In the summer of 1889, Thea Foss, a recent immigrant and new bride from Norway, buys the rowboat that launches the Foss Launch Company. She is sitting on the porch of her houseboat on the Tacoma waterfront and buys the boat for five dollars from a fuming, disgruntled, failed fisherman. Thea's husband Andrew Foss, a carpenter, is up in the valley building a shed at the time. Before long, Thea sells this rowboat for $15 and buys two more boats from two more discouraged fishermen. Thea begins renting the boats for 50 cents a day. By the time Andrew returns from his shed-building job with $32, Thea has amassed $41. Thus begins the Foss Launch and Tug Company, now Foss Marine Company. This now Seattle-based tugboat and marine services firm employs 1,000 people and is (in 2003) the largest tugboat enterprise on the West Coast.
Text from Historylink