Steilacoom is a town in Pierce County, Washington, United States. The population was 6,270 at the 2010 census. Take a look below for 15 interesting and awesome facts about Steilacoom, Washington, United States.
1. Steilacoom incorporated in 1854 and became the first incorporated town in what is now the state of Washington.
2. It has also become a bedroom community for service members stationed at joint Army–Air Force base, called Joint Base Lewis–McChord (JBLM).
3. Based on per capita income, Steilacoom ranks 61st of 522 areas ranked in the state of Washington.
4. The origin of the name “Steilacoom” is unclear. According to the Legacy Washington program, the town’s name is derived from a Native American word meaning “little pink flower.”
5. Another possibility is that it was named by fur traders with the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and is an adaptation of Tail-a-Koom, the name of a Native American chief.
6. In 1824, HBC chief factor John Work called the town “Chilacoom”. Another early spelling was “Chelakom”.
7. The Town of Steilacoom says it was named after the Steilacoom tribe, especially their main village in the Tacoma area, located on Chambers Bay. This village was called Scht’ləqʷəm, later anglicized as Steilacoom.
8. William Bright says the name comes from the Southern Coast Salish subgroup /č’tílqʷəbš/, anglicized as “Steilacoom”.
9. European-American settlement at Steilacoom was founded by Lafayette Balch, a sea captain from Maine, and the town was officially incorporated in 1854. It is the oldest incorporated town in Washington.
10. It has four individual buildings and sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the oldest Catholic Church in the state, the first Protestant Church north of the Columbia River, as well as the Steilacoom Historic District, with 68 contributing properties.
11. Steilacoom’s main source of early prosperity was the processing and export of lumber to San Francisco. When the United States Congress established the Washington Territory on March 2, 1853, Governor Isaac Stevens chose Steilacoom as the seat of Pierce County.
12. Steilacoom had the first jail in Washington and the first sawmill.
13. The City of Lakewood has developed next to it, and the city is home to one of the two major state-run mental health facilities, Western State Hospital, on the site of what was once Fort Steilacoom.
14. There are no state highways in Steilacoom. Drivers can access Interstate 5 or State Route 512 by driving through the adjacent city of Lakewood.
15. Pierce County maintains a Steilacoom-Anderson Island Ferry which departs from Steilacoom and serves Anderson and Ketron islands.