Allen Petrich - Tacoma's First Boat Builders

Sun, July 26
July 26, 2015 - 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Please join us as Allen Perich hosts this Sunday' Speaker Series!  This session is free with your admission to the museum!

Allen  was born into one of Tacoma's prominent boatbuilding families, the Petrich's.  His grandfather, Martin Petrich, founded Western Boat Building Co. in 1917. Many of Tacoma's boat builders, and the fishermen who used them, originated as immigrants from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.  These immigrants brought their skill and craft to the New World, of which the Petrich family was a proud member.   Allen's father took over management following World War II and founded the Fairliner Division of Western Boat Building Co. towards the end of the war, eventually becoming the largest builder of wooden pleasure boats on the West Coast.  Fairliners are still often seen in the marinas of Tacoma, a testament to the construction of these recreational craft.

Allen's work for the last decade has been to research the beginnings of boat and ship building on the Pacific Coast since around 1850, with a background of timber resources and commercial fisheries. The latest results have been the discovery of the first commercial boat builders in Tacoma and the first major boat builder in the State of Washington.