Tacoma was a town of 36,000 people when Holy Rosary Parish was founded. A group of German-speaking Catholics raised the money to purchase the land and build the first wooden church.
At the request of those first pioneers, Bishop Aegidius Junger of Nisqually offered the parish to Abbot Bernard Locnikar, O.S.B. of Saint John's Abbey of Collegeville, Minnesota, who came out personally to inspect the new church.
On July 16, 1891 Fr. William Eversmann, O.S.B. arrived in Tacoma as Holy Rosary's first pastor.