Five Pierce County historical facts in honor of its 164th birthday.
1 The Oregon Territorial legislature created it Dec. 22, 1852 and named it after new President-elect Franklin Pierce. (A blatant kiss-up gesture to a man who never set foot here.)
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2 King County was created on the same day and was named after Pierce’s sidekick, Vice President-elect William King. (Guess which county ranked higher in the pecking order back then?)
3 Pierce County’s population was listed as 513 during the first census of the new Washington Territory in 1853. (Thurston was 996, while King brought up the rear at 170.)
4 The county seat was located in Steilacoom until 1880, when it was moved to the bustling railroad community of New Tacoma. (Too bad the “New” was lost after a merger with neighboring Tacoma City in 1883.)
5 All men between ages 18 and 50, except the infirm and ministers of the Gospel, were required to work on local roads three days each year. (Bring back that rule today and maybe I-5 projects would finally get done.)