Lakewood is one of the youngest cities in the United States with a birthday of February 28th, 1996. Our name comes from the beautiful lakes (the largest being American Lake, Gravelly Lake, and Steilacoom Lake.)
Native Chinook lived in this area before Europeans came over the Oregon Trail to live here in the 1800s. The Hudson Bay Company provided settlers in the area with supplies.
As the city of Tacoma developed in the 1900s, Lakewood was a fun place for city dwellers to visit by trolley and railroad. The lakes were popular with swimmers, fishermen, and campers.
Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base caused Lakewood to become a community after World War I. From there we continued growing as a suburb of Tacoma, until 1995 when residents of Lakewood voted for cityhood.
Information from "The Lakewood Journal" February 1996
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