Hotel Fife Owney tag
Owney received this hotel check key tag from the Hotel Fife in Tacoma, Washington. The five-story hotel, built in 1888, was located on the northwest corner of 9th and Pacific and was torn down in 1925. William H. Fife, the hotel’s owner, was born in Ontario, Canada. He was an important figure in the early days of Tacoma, building the first general store and acting as the city’s first postmaster (1874-1882) and became one of the city’s most prosperous citizens.
The tag itself was produced by the Talcott Brothers, who owned a jewelry business in Olympia, Washington, as is noted at the top portion of the tag. Lucius Ford Talcot and his son, Charles established the first business. Charles’ brothers George and Lucius Grant Talcott continued the work as the Talcott Brothers. The business thrived and grew, with the store selling more than just jewelry (bicycles and sewing machines, among other items). In 1889 the trio were asked to design the Washington state seal.