The lower Puyallup basin is the ancestral home of the Puyallup people, who were relocated after the signing of the Medicine Creek Treaty in 1854. The treaty ceded Puyallup lands and created the Puyallup Indian Reservation, which was expanded to include modern-day Fife. The land on which the city sits was lost after the signing of the General Allotment Act in 1887 and other land transfers that were later resolved in a 1990 claims settlement.
In 1940, Fife was described as "at a valley crossroads in the midst of a thickly settled berry growing and truck-gardening district is represented by a string of markets, taverns, shops, and a large, balloon-roofed dance hall along the highway." The 1940 population was 135. Fife was officially incorporated on February 11, 1957.
Due to the increased traffic volume traveling from Puyallup and Tacoma, Fife felt the need to establish itself as autonomous community, not just as an intermediate area between Interstate 5 (I-5) and State Route 167.
Fife may have been named for William J. Fife, a prominent Tacoma lawyer, Yukon prospector, once head of the Washington National Guard, and a lieutenant colonel in the field during the Philippine Insurrection. There is also a historic county of Scotland and former Pictish kingdom called Fife, which could also be a source of the city's name.
Fife, an eastern suburb of Tacoma, consists primarily of businesses such as car dealerships, warehousing and industrial facilities, motels, drive through smokeshops, quick-dining restaurants as well as an Indian casino and various other highway-side businesses. Its proximity to the Port of Tacoma, Interstate 5, and Highway 167 has contributed to the large number of freight forwarding companies. Fife's tax base is made up of sales tax, utility tax, and property tax. Fife Heights, located on a hill beyond the incorporated bounds of the city, is a primarily residential area. Milton is located immediately to the east and Edgewood to the southeast.
Fife is also a tideflat community, residing in the low, flat area extending from the Port of Tacoma. This means the water table occurs only 10–15 feet (3.0–4.6 m) below ground in some parts. Consequently, during the day, as the tide rises and falls in the Puget Sound, so do parts of land slightly rise and fall.
About the Neighborhood
Listings courtesy of Northwest MLS as distributed by MLS GRID. Based on information submitted to the MLS GRID as of Sep 28, 2022 1:38:am. All data is obtained from various sources and may not have been verified by broker or MLS GRID. Supplied Open House Information is subject to change without notice. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.