In 1907, financiers from San Francisco, including Major Edward J. Bowes of the “Original Amateur Hour” fame, had a vision of a ‘residential park, an enchanting spot to enjoy life and raise a family.’ With that in mind, they purchased a parcel of land to the west of Tacoma and named the subdivision Regents Park. Their influence is reflected in the streets named after their California background and their value of higher education.
With its curved, aesthetically designed streets, sidewalks, and sewers, Regents Park offered quiet living with a strong sense of community. The first store was established in 1919 on Farallone Avenue. The Fircrest Golf Club was incorporated in 1923.
In September 1925, Regents Park and its 306 residents incorporated as the Town of Fircrest in an effort to start new and reenergize the community. Incorporation gave them the financial stability and control to repair and develop the infrastructure and services.
Through the years, Fircrest continues to preserve its sense of community. During the depression, milk and hot meals were provided to needy school children. In 1936, ten dollars and ten days created one hundred dollars worth of Christmas toys for the children. A 150-acre fire threatened Fircrest in 1949, but no homes were lost.
In 1960, Fircrest retook ownership of its parks and constructed the community building, followed by the construction of the swimming pool and the dedication of Masko Park. Fircrest continues to rival any city in Washington for resources and facilities dedicated to recreational purposes. The Annual Strawberry Feed began in 1976.
The first woman councilmember was elected in 1973. Many changes occurred in 1988, including the change to a Council-Manager form of government. In 1990, the town that had started as a subdivision became the City of Fircrest, having grown in size and population. During the decade, surrounding properties were annexed to even out the boundaries and provide financial stability.
The Public Safety Building was completed in 1979. The 1990s saw the end of the volunteer fire department’s 52 years, and a contract was signed with the Tacoma Fire Department for emergency services. The new City Hall building was built in 1999.
Today, Fircrest has lived up to the dream of a residential park. The City has a reputation of quality living, great recreational facilities, and setting the standard for community oriented policing.