Men and women beside railroad track, St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company, Kapowsin, n.d
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On June 4, 1888, the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. incorporates. The incorporators are lumber and real estate magnates who arrive that day by train from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The next day Tacoma headlines shout the event: "The monster milling company of Tacoma organized." The firm, known locally as the St. Paul, spurs what the historian Murray Morgan calls the greatest boom in Tacoma's history. Before the firm was incorporated these entrepreneurs had purchased 80,000 acres of Pierce County timberland, mostly Douglas fir, from the Northern Pacific Railroad's land grant. They had received from the Railroad a small island on the Tacoma waterfront called "the boot," and had purchased other land as well. By 1889, they had built the mill, laid tracks into the forest, established camps and skidroads, and were transporting 50 carloads of logs a day into Tacoma for processing. The St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company was in business until 1947, when it was bought out by the St. Regis Paper...