Tuesday, 04 June 2019

Elks Temple History Pub

Tacoma in the Movies, Eyes of the Totem

5:30 pm doors, 7 pm event

Free. First come, first served. Arrive early!

All ages welcome

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About Tacoma in the Movies, Eyes of the Totem

Tacoma in the Movies, Eyes of the Totem

Presented by Michael Sullivan, Pacific Northwest historian, and Bill Baarsma, Tacoma Historical Society President

Join us for the story of how Tacoma became the home of a major motion picture studio during the 1920s. In addition to a screening of the Tacoma-made-silent-film, Eyes of the Totem, enjoy a presentation about the nearby locations used in the film, the backstory of director W.S. Van Dyke,( who went on to be nominated for Academy Awards for films like The Thin Man and San Francisco with Clark Gable, Jeanette McDonald and Spencer Tracy), and the unlikely events leading to the discovery of the lost film just a few years ago.

It will also be a chance to learn about the history of Tacoma in the movies, including the lost Weaver Studio films that were made nearby, other major and minor productions shot in the area and the way film and the movies have shaped Tacoma’s theatre district and visual arts.

About the Speakers:

Michael Sullivan is a Pacific Northwest historian, writer, teacher and storyteller behind the local history blog https://tacomahistory.live./ Michael taught a course on the History of Tacoma at the University of Washington Tacoma for more than 20 years and recently wrote the introduction for the new edition of Murray Morgan’s epic book Puget’s Sound, a Narrative of Tacoma and the South Sound published by the University of Washington Press.

Bill Baarsma was born and raised in Tacoma, graduated from Stadium and attended the University of Puget Sound where he received a BA degree in political science in 1964. After graduation, he became the first Tacoma student to receive a Scottish Rite Masonic Fellowship for graduate study at George Washington University in Washington D.C. While in the Nation’s Capital, Bill worked on the staff of Senator Henry M. Jackson and as a White House

Fellow with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1968, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Puget Sound where he taught courses in political science, business management, public administration and urban studies.

In 1991, he was elected to the Tacoma Council as an at-large council member. Since the council position was part-time, he continued his career at UPS where he established the public administration program. In 2001, Bill retired from UPS upon being elected Tacoma’s 37th mayor.

During Bill’s terms as council member and mayor, Tacoma participated in the successful completion of the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum, the restoration of Union Station, the Murray Morgan Bridge, the Seaport Museum, the Albers Mill and the environmental cleanup of the Foss Waterway. The University of Washington -Tacoma became a four-year undergraduate institution during his tenure as mayor. Tacoma also constructed the largest municipally owned telecommunications system in North America (Click network).

Bill is now retired and volunteers as the president of the Tacoma Historical Society and as a board member for several non-profits. He and his wife Carol live in Tacoma’s North End. He has a son, Bill, a daughter, Katya, and three grandchildren.

Photo Courtesy: Tacoma Historical Society

About Elks Temple History Pub

Elks Temple History Pub

These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon, Washington and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp

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