As 2020 begins, it’s a good time to look back at how the last year at SouthSoundTalk went – namely, it’s a great time to see what our readers most enjoyed reading. As usual, our readers love things to do, things to drink and learning a bit about their local history. Fortunately, these are the very same things we love to write about!

Thank you for being a part of our Pierce County community – for reading, contributing and giving back so we can share your uplifting stories.

From new developments and parks, to fascinating and lesser-known historical tales, here are…

The Top 10 Posts for 2019 on SouthSoundTalk

#10. Brewery Blocks Tacoma Coming to Historic Brewery District

Summer of 2019 saw the opening of Brewery Blocks, located in the center of historic downtown, just south of the University of Washington Tacoma’s campus. The development aimed to redefine downtown living by restoring the area’s historic warehouses – converting the buildings into spaces where the community can live, work and play.

#9. Tacoma’s Elephant House Provides Trunk Loads of Character

Every living space, whether an apartment, lavish mansion or even your average living room, takes on the personalities of the people who use it. Family pictures line the side tables and couch colors match the owner’s tastes. But not often does a living space alter the personality of the occupant. Such is the case with the owners of Tacoma’s famed “Elephant House.”

Ray Gamble house Tacoma
Ray Gamble’s former house might not have as many elephants as it once did, but it has a fiberglass worm in the yard, if that counts for anything. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger

#8. A Vintage Fashion Tour of Tacoma: 6 Small Businesses Bringing Fashion to You

Whether you already know your vintage style or are just looking for a fun way to mix up your wardrobe, Tacoma has a great selection of small and independently owned vintage shops and vendors. Best of all, many of our local vintage shops are run by hard-working business owners who make it a labor of love to bring you the best treasures they can find.

#7. Wilson Way Tacoma and Dune Peninsula Bring New Life to Former ASARCO Site

One of the most memorable events of 2019, at least as far as public spaces go, was the opening of the Dune Peninsula and Wilson Way, linking Point Ruston to Point Defiance. Walkers everywhere rejoiced!

#6. Play With Otters in Parkland at Debbie Doolittle’s Indoor Petting Zoo

It’s true. Right here in Pierce County, we have an indoor petting zoo. One of our writers took some time to venture to Debbie Doolittle’s to hang out with some otters.

Carolyn Osborne
Artist and business owner Carolyn Osborne always wanted to open a gallery that would feature only local artists. That dream was realized in 2012 when she opened her shop inside the Hotel Murano. Photo credit: Amanda Bretz

#5. Artist and Small Business Owner Carolyn Osborne is a Creative Force in Tacoma

One business owner in the City of Destiny wants to keep elevating the city’s love of art with a gallery dedicated to showcasing the work of Tacoma artists. Also an artist herself, she’s made art her whole life, but she didn’t always have a full-time career built around her creative work. That changed seven years ago when Carolyn opened Creative Forces Gifts and Sundries, an art gallery and gift shop located inside the Hotel Murano.

#4. Where to Sip Some Delicious Coffee in Tacoma

Grit City is bursting with coffee shops – big and small, new and familiar – located downtown and throughout the city. One of our writers sought out some new and yummy places to try.

#3. Pierce County’s Forgotten Cemeteries Are Being Rediscovered, Repaired

It might seem difficult for modern Pierce County residents to imagine that at one time the landscape was dotted with distinct and separate towns rather than the urban sprawl of today. Each of those clusters of houses and businesses had cemeteries of their own, some around churches and hospitals while others were located just outside of the town limits. Many of these places of eternal rest became increasingly neglected as the decades passed, and there’s increasing interest in caring for these spaces.

Old Tacoma Cemetery
Volunteers cleaned about 30 gravemarkers in old Tacoma Cemetery off South Tacoma Way. Photo credit: By Steve Dunkelberger

#2. Long Lost Airports in and Around Tacoma

You might be surprised by how many airports used to exist in and around Tacoma – many in unsuspecting places that are now shopping centers or open fields.

#1. Ranger Ash Street Shootout Remains Part of Tacoma’s Gang Lore

And our #1 post of 2019 was yet another history piece about Tacoma’s famous Ash Street Shootout in 1989, an incident that brought national attention to the city’s gang troubles and prompted residents to take action to reclaim their streets.

Thank you to all of our readers and all of our awesome writers. We’re looking forward to another awesome year in 2020!

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