Located at a valley crossroads by the 1940s it was in the midst of a thickly settled berry growing and truck-gardening district that was represented by a string of markets, taverns, shops, and a large, balloon-roofed dance hall along the highway.
Beyond Fife the highway was illuminated at night by a special type of sodium-vapor lights that produce a strong amber glow which penetrates the frequent fogs that drift across the low section in the fall.
For many years it was the center of an agricultural area that produced berries and other crops. It was named for Col. William J. Fife of Tacoma and was one of the many stops on the Puget Sound Electric Railway between Tacoma and Seattle. Separated into two sections by Interstate 5, Fife’s growth has been rapid as businesses extend into the region around Tacoma.