Tacoma Light and Water Co. illuminates Tacoma streets on December 26, 1886.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 11/29/2002
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5020
On December 26, 1886, Tacoma Light and Water Co. illuminates Tacoma streets for the first time. Power comes from a hydroelectric plant connected to the drinking-water supply from Galliher Creek. The city pays $12 a month for each streetlight.

Service was erratic until January 1888, when a new generator came online. Streets were lighted with 16-candlepower globes from dusk to midnight, except for the three nights each month when the full moon illuminated the streets of Tacoma.

Sources: Murray Morgan, Puget's Sound: A Narrative of Early Tacoma and the Southern Sound (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1979), 314-315.

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