Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nearby University Place

This week The U.S. Open is being played at Chamber’s Bay Golf and Country Club in University Place, Washington. So the United States and the golf world will learn about this small suburb of Tacoma.

Doing a little research I found that University Place in a census in 2010 to have a population of just over thirty-one thousand people. I expect it is a little larger than that now since some construction of businesses, condomin- iums, housings, and shopping centers have been added in the last few years.

University Place is southwest of down-town Tacoma. Though there are those living with low income, and middle class there are quite a few upper middle class as well. University Place takes about ten minutes for me drive to. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is what separates University Place, and Gig Harbor.

If you look out toward the west and the south from the Chamber’s Bay course you will see the southern part of Puget Sound. Just off to the south of the golf course is Steilacoom which is the oldest city in the state of Washington. The population of Steilacoom is a little smaller than Gig Harbor.

During the U.S. Open those coming from Gig Harbor area will have to park at Steilacoom to be bused to the course; however, a shuttle will be available as well to go directly to the course. Also, throughout the tournament there is a shuttle boat that will bring people close but will only be there for a couple hours and then return to Gig Harbor. Other boats are only allowed no closer than one thousand feet from shore.

Growing up in Gig Harbor I did often go to University Place. It was smaller city in those days as was Gig Harbor. When I was little my mother would take my brothers and I to Titlow Pool in University Place to learn how to swim; this was important since we lived near the water on the east side of the harbor. By boat East Gig Harbor is off to the right after entering into the harbor. You will see many homes on that side as well.

I have heard from those who are older than I that when they were kids it was quite popular for teenagers to walk over the Narrows Bridge to Titlow Pool. I understand the pool is no longer there but a park is still in existence.

Most of the golfers arrived by private planes at Narrows Airport which is on the west side of Gig Harbor after crossing the Narrows Bridge. Other than by boat it is the only access to Gig Harbor coming from Tacoma.

My brothers attend Charles Wright Academy which is a private school that is real close to the Chamber’s Bay golf course. Also, Curtis High School is the public high school in University Place. While I was in school we played Curtis High School often in sports. So growing up between Titlow Pool, Charles Wright Academy, and Curtis High School I spent a lot of time in or going through University Place.

You may wonder why an odd name for a place in University Place. Actually when the city was founded in the 1800s the private College University of Puget Sound had property there and was planning to build the school; however, the school ended up being built in north Tacoma which it is still at today. University of Puget Sound sold the property back to the city.

You will see watching the U.S. Open that University Place is a beautiful place. You see a picture below showing a picture of Chamber’s Bay. I heard a residence say that they should change the name of University Place to Chamber’s Bay because of the tournament. I guess we will see if it happens. In the meantime, University Place will never be the same ever again because of the tournament.

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