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Point Defiance Park

This 17 mile side trip leads out through downtown Tacoma to the picturesque Point Defiance Park, passing through several of Tacoma’s major historic districts

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The section of the Prairie Line that cuts diagonally through Tacoma’s south downtown warehouse district is more than just a former rail corridor. The Prairie Line represents the significant moment when the Northern Pacific Railroad completed its transcontinental line, which brought numerous people and goods to the City of Destiny. The Prairie Line continues to provide a means of transportation through the city now as the Prairie Line Trail—a newly...

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A concrete box girder bridge built in 1941 by S.R. Gray. The Winnifred Street Bridge crosses a deep chasm through which the Burlington Northern Railroad passes and is believed to be the third structure to span that difficult crossing. The structure is the second oldest box girder bridge built in Washington State. (The Purdy Bridge is the oldest box girder bridge in the state.) The W. H. Witt Company designed...

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The point was named by Cmdr. Charles Wilkes, who stated that "This narrow pass was intended by nature for the defense of Puget Sound." The name he selected reflects this idea. While Hudson's Bay Company maintained posts and operations in this area, they referred to it as Point Ryan. The Tacoma city park at Point Defiance with its zoo, old growth forests and gardens is one of the premier public...

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