Old Alder, ca. 1920

Old Alder in around 1920
Old Alder in around 1920

Ever wondered what Old Alder looked like, when it was a working town — before the dam? Here’s a shot of the town taken around 1920.

The sawmill is in operation and the Alder School (the 2nd) is the white building to the right of the house in the background.

Here’s an excerpt from the 1909 “Auditor’s Annual Exhibit of Finance, Pierce County, Wash.” The third paragraph is particularly descriptive.

Forty-one miles southeast of Tacoma, on the Tacoma, on the Tacoma Eastern Railway, in an extensive timber and mineral area, is situated the beautiflu town of Alder. The soil of the country surrounding is varied and very productive. The giants of the forest are a marvel, and to the great lumber indstury the people of Alder look for the future usefulness and wealth. Diversified farming is successfully followed and yeilds splendid returns.

Alder was platted by Martin Holes and wife, from a part of their homesetaed, on December 19th, 1905. The name is taken from the wealth of alder trees on the hills and valleys surrounding.

The town as grown steadily and now has a population of two hundred, two general stores, two hotels, livery stable, fraternal hall, church, rural telephone, one saw-and-shingle mill and two logging camps, and has surrounding it enough undeveloped resources to support a large city. The hills are covered with fine virgin forest and underlying this wealth of timber is a vast deposit of excellent quality of coal and other minerals. 

Photo courtesy of Louise Wackerle.

Click on image to enlarge.

One response to “Old Alder, ca. 1920”

  1. According to “Bootstrap” Book, there were settlers there in 1892. Check out the Alder section of History of Tacoma Eastern Area by Pearl Engel and Jeanette Hlavin.


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