With a population hovering around 6,000, Steilacoom is a community that treasures its history of “firsts” with a serene waterfront that looks out over Puget Sound, Fox Island, McNeil Island, and Anderson Island—where you can also catch a ferry. Chambers Bay lies to the north, Lakewood to the east, and Joint Base Lewis-McCord to the south. The area was named for its original residents, the Scht’lǝqwǝm tribe (later anglicized as Steilacoom).
Steilacoom was the first town to be incorporated in the Washington state territory, and while it had early aspirations to grow to a bustling port town like San Francisco, it never reached such a level of industry. The town is proud to boast of its many firsts which also include the first brick building north of the Columbia River, the first school in Pierce County, the first public lending library in the Washington territory. And while it was overtaken as a gold rush destination by Whatcom County, and as a major port hub by both Seattle and Tacoma, it did grow to be a town brimming with charming waterfront homes, welcoming neighborhoods, and a community that looks forward as often as it reflects on its history.