In 1917, many Pierce County farms were condemned


253 Watch

By Marianne Lincoln

In 1917, there was a war in Europe. South and Central Pierce County farmers were shocked to find out, the Secretary of the Army had decided that a certain part of Pierce County, where they lived, had been identified a choice location for a new military base.

The Commissioners of Pierce County set out to raise money, hold a bond election for $2 million of taxpayer money and start acquiring the land.

Some farmers were paid, “pennies on the dollar.” Others tried to hold on to their farms, but in the end, everything was condemned and they lost their farms, homes and livelihoods to the needs of the military.

It took an act at the County Level, the state level and an Act of Congress to seal the deal. The approval of the Attorney General was bypassed as the deal was initially done under a wartime emergency…

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