University Place is a new city with a rich history. The name "University Place" has existed since the late 1800s. During this time, the Methodist Episcopal Church sought a larger site for Puget Sound University (currently the University of Puget Sound). Through a combination of donated and purchased land, the Church obtained 420 acres near present day Lemons Beach and Parkway Loop. They designated sixty acres for the campus and intended to fund its construction by selling the adjacent lots.
The financial panic of 1893 devalued the land and excavation of the site halted. After being forfeited for nonpayment of taxes, the lots were sold in 1901. The name "University Place" remained, however, along with a map of the planned campus.
Approximately 100 years after the community received its name a movement began towards local government and local control. Groups formed to discuss incorporation; other factions opposed incorporation. In November of 1994 proponents succeeded in passing a ballot measure that established the 7.86 square miles of unincorporated Pierce County into the City of University Place. Today, University Place is a community of nearly 32,000 people.
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