Many of Tacoma's early settlers came from an area in central Europe, called Croatia. Slavonian Hall is one of the newest buildings on our walking tour. It was built in 1907 as a meeting place for the Slavonian American Benevolent Society. SABS provided a place of comfort to new immigrants and financial support to widows and children of fishermen and mill workers who died on the job.
The group still exists today and works to preserve their Croatian heritage, culture, and history. They commissioned the "Fish Story" statue (by local sculptor, Larry Anderson) in front of the hall to celebrate the many Croatian families who made their livelihoods in Tacoma by fishing. The flag poles on top of the building resemble the masts of the ships that fishermen sailed through Puget Sound and beyond.
The Old Town neighborhood welcomed immigrants from around the world. The two largest immigrant populations came from Croatia and Scandinavia.