While the Pacific Northwest as a whole has a common thread of local history, each individual town has its own unique past.
Now, the history of University Place and the stories of the families who built it have been officially documented, thanks to local historian and retired teacher Arne Handleland.
His family traces their UP roots back to the early 19th Century, and Handleland has always called it home. He retired from the University Place School District in 2010 after spending 41 years as a history teacher at Curtis senior and junior high schools and is a member of the University Place Historical Society.
Patch Editor Brent Champaco caught up with Handleland over coffee a while back. Read more on University Place Patch.
Handleland's book, University Place: Images of America was released by Arcadia Publishing on Feb. 11. The 128-page book features 200 black-and-white images from personal family collections and archival photos from the University Place Historical Society and more.
In the book, he details the origins of the town's name, plus captures some great detail about UP's past in sheep herding, gravel and sand mining, tomato farming, orchard planting, and rhododendron farming.
The Tacoma News Tribune also sat down with Handleland recently to talk about town history, read more in their Feb. 21 interview.
Handleland is scheduled to host a special book signing at the University Place Library on Sunday, March 24th at 2 p.m.
You can purchase the book through the Arcadia Publishing website, on Amazon.com or at Barnes & Noble. The book costs $21.99. The University Place Pierce County Library also has the book ready to check out.