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Tacoma author to speak about company towns at Wilkeson historic series

The Wilkeson Centennial Committee offers the second installment in its speaker series Tuesday, when Tacoma author Linda Carlson visits the town.

The author of 11 books, Carlson’s background in forest products resulted in her most recent book, “Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest,” published in 2003. Based on her research on company-owned towns for the past 10 years, her presentation on “Washington’s Company Towns: How Women Shaped Employer-Owned Communities” describes what daily life was like in towns like Wilkeson, Black Diamond, Port Gamble, DuPont, Roche Harbor and others. These towns were built to guarantee a work force, but they became true communities because of the schools, church events, dances, libraries, card clubs and welfare programs established by women. Town life also was enriched by the entrepreneurial ventures of these women; often denied employment by the company except during wartime, many found personally fulfilling and financially worthwhile work in their own businesses.

Carlson’s presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. at Wilkeson Town Hall, 540 Church St.

The presentation is being sponsored by Humanities Washington’s Inquiring Minds Program.

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