Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Finding Thea – screening

July 18 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Free, but donations always appreciated.

This documentary focuses on the story of Thea Foss, a Norwegian immigrant who arrived in Tacoma in 1889, the year Washington achieved statehood, and who recognized the growing demand for water travel. She started by buying a rowboat for $5, and gradually built a marine transport business with her husband that has become the largest, most modern fleet of tugs on the West Coast.

Through her life and work, Thea Foss became a pioneer archetype for women in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1931, Thea became the inspiration for a fictional character in Norman Reilly Raine’s famed “Tugboat Annie” stories published in the Saturday Evening Post. These popular tales led to three Hollywood motion pictures and a 1950’s television series.

Finding Thea separates the woman from the myth. It combines rare archival footage, photos, and clips from the 1933 Tugboat Annie film starring Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery with contemporary reflections of her legacy along Washington State’s waterfronts.

Finding Thea is an entertaining and educational historical documentary appropriate for all audiences age 7 and older. It serves schools; libraries; and historical, ethnic and women’s organizations.


July 18
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Free, but donations always appreciated.
Event Categories:


Historical Society of Federal Way
2645 S 312th Street
Federal Way,
+ Google Map


Historical Society of Federal Way