The Sequalitchew

October 2005

Sixth Edition

President: Roxanne Woodruff
Vice President: Judy Smith
Secretary/Treasurer: Roger Newman
Webmaster: Greg Hitchcock

Fall Meeting

Our meeting this fall is scheduled for Sunday October 2nd, 2005 at the DuPont City Hall 303 Barksdale Ave. DuPont, WA 98327. The doors will be open to us around 11am, bring a sack lunch. Our speaker will be Mr. Robert R. Foxcurran who will use “vu-foils with maps, words, graphics and such on the (re-)settlement and distribution of our Métis antecedents.”

At our Break time there will be some snacks and a raffle for any donated items will be held. Bring your thoughts, ideas, and histories and join us for a wonderful afternoon.

We meet bi-annually (May and October generally) at the DuPont City Hall and on occasion at the DuPont History Museum 207 Barksdale Ave DuPont, WA 98327 Our $5.00 dues are collected each spring. If you know someone who might be interested in joining, please pick up an application.


Whether you are helping or planning to attend, here is one last reminder that this year’s Candlelight Tours will be held on Friday & Saturday October 7th & 8th. This is a wonderful way to introduce friends and relatives and young and old alike to the stories of our ancestors. For further information contact Peggy at 

Charles George Ross

Letter from Canadian descendant:

“I received your letter and information this past week. I am always so interested about what is happening in U.S.A., after all, I am a descendant in the Descendants of Ft Nisqually Employees Association. My great grandfather, Charles George Ross lived in the area when the Hudson Bay was in charge there. He had 9 children — 5 boys and 4 girls — John, Charles Ross, Jr, Walter, Francis, & Alexander — Catherine, Elizabeth, Anne Marie, & Flora. Of these, Charles Ross, Jr, Francis, Catherine, Elizabeth, & Anne Marie remained when it changed to Washington State. Catherine married a Henry Murray and they had a farm. Elizabeth married a man (Charles Wren) who worked at Ft Nisqually, but she died after having three children, so her sister Anne Marie took over to look after the children. Flora came up to Canada and was later in charge of the women in New Westminster, who were in a hospital for those who had sick minds and needed help.

In 1843, Charles Ross was sent up to the Vancouver’s Island to build a fort called, Ft Victoria, after Queen Victoria of England. His son, John, came with him to help him build the fort and as his father wasn’t well. In one year Charles George Ross died in June 1844. Walter also came to Ft Victoria, but he didn’t marry and died in 1854. Alexander, who was my grandfather, came to Victoria and looked after the farm of Isabella Mainville Ross’s farm. (She was the wife of Charles George Ross). (Cecelia was unable to show that Alexander was actually employeed at Ft Nisqually, but the family was near by and he may have worked with some of his brothers and other men as needed.) Charles Ross, Jr & Francis Stayed in Washington State.

I got in touch with Cecelia Svinth Carpenter….she wrote a book and it was a good history….I gave it (the book) to the Museum in our Parliament Buildings, as I thought it was a history of our family and the early days of all of you.

I won’t be able to come down to the meeting as I haven’t been well and am almost 90 years old.”

Margaret Ross Sweeney tells of her medical care and some falls that she has had, then she concludes her letter with, “I wish you all a very wonderful meeting and wish I could be there. Sincerely, Margaret (Ross) Sweeney.”

To reach Margaret you can write to her at the following address:
Mrs. Margaret Sweeney
1456 Thurlow Rd
Victoria, B.C., Canada
V8S 1L9

When I received Margaret’s letter I knew I wanted to share it with the others who had descended from Charles Ross and all our members here. I think that this is a very good way for those members who live out of State or Country can communicate and share their histories with the group. I knew I might get some good feedback from Cecelia and from Ken Ross and my thoughts were right. First I will show a portion of what I received from Ken. He begins:

“Thank you for the copy of the letter you received from Mrs. Sweeney. Many years ago my sister, Kathryn corresponded with Alexander, Margaret’s grandfather, and we met herself in Victoria for a few moments.

In 1993 my wife and I met her at the 150th anniversary of the founding of the fort. I believe her granddaughter was with her.”

They corresponded for a while, then, lost contact. He was glad to be back in touch. He later goes on to write the following:

“Last year when visiting a friend in DuPont, I met a woman who is a descendant of Annawiscum McDonald; he worked at the ’33 fort several years, and then could find no more information about him. From what she had said, he had gone south of the Nisqually and settled near a river where descendants still own some of his original land. Annawiscum farmed land adjacent to that of John Ross, for a time. Both sites are now in the Fort Lewis golf course.”

He added a little more about the Sequalitchew Creek, then closed with

“Thanks, Ken”

TTo reach Ken Ross you can write to him at:
Mr. Kenneth E. Ross
522 181st Street Ct. E.
Spanaway, WA 98387-8358

Charles Ross, Jr.
Charles Ross, Jr. Son of Charles G. Ross

Cecelia responded to the letter partially with sending excerpts from her book, Fort Nisqually”, “A Documented History of Indian and British Interaction”, pages 131-134. It begins as follows clearly showing that it was some of the sons of Charles, Sr. who actually went to work at Ft. Nisqually rather than himself:

 “The attraction to the Ross family could have been Madame Ross, the widowed mother of John Ross, who maintained the other tenant farm for the Company. Mrs. Ross, 36-year-old widow of Chief Trader Charles George Ross, deceased in 1844 at Fort Victoria, had arrived with several of her children to make her home for the time being with her eldest son, John. Two other sons, Walter and Charles, worked and lived at Fort Nisqually. Walter, Charles, and John often arrived at the Heath farm on fort business; other times the entire Ross family came to spend the day with him. His diary mentioned visits made to the Ross home in return. Although the relationship between Joseph Heath and Isabella Ross seemed confined to dining and visiting with occasional gifts to Heath, had Joseph Heath not died in 1849, one ponders the possible outcome!”

She also sent a couple of notes showing the family lines for Margaret and for herself. They are as she writes:

Margaret Sweeney is the daughter of Francis Ross, who comes from Alexander Ross & Mary Ann Bastian. Alexander is a son of Charles George Ross and Isabelle Mainville.

Cecelia Svinth Carpenter is the daughter of Mary Edna Binder. Mary is the child of Cecelia Ross Binder. Cecelia is the daughter of Charles Ross, Jr. and Catherine Tumalt. Charles Jr. is a son Charles George Ross & Isabelle Mainville.”

As for Cecelia’s book, I can only encourage readers get a copy of her book as it is filled with so much history of not only the Ross family, but so many engaged in the Fort’s history. You can reach Cecelia at the following address:
Mrs. Cecelia Carpenter
9609 Sheridan Ave. S.
Tacoma, WA 98444-4143

Treatment of Human Remains at 45P1712

The following letter and booklet came to the Descendants of Ft Nisqually Employees Assn shortly after I sent out our group mailing, so did not get this in the news at that time. It is regarding a Copy of Report on Treatment of Human Remains at 45P1712 at Former DuPont Works Site, City of DuPont, Pierce County, Washington. It begins: “Dear Ms. Woodruff: This letter is to follow up some telephone calls, correspondence, and a meeting with the Descendants of the Ft. Nisqually Employees Association (DFNEA) that occurred during 2004 regarding your concerns about human burials within at the Former DuPont Works Site in Pierce County, Washington. Bob Martin, Weyerhaeuser’s Project Manager for the site, wrote to you on March 17, 2004 to offer to meet with you and other DFNEA representatives to discuss the preservation of the 1833 Fort Nisqually site and the Old Fort Cemetery site. Bob also said that he would make arrangements for Dr. Gary Wessen, who has supervised much of the archaeological work at the site, to give a presentation to the DFNEA meeting on Sunday May 16, 2004.

In his letter, Bob discussed the pieces of human bone that had been found on the ground surface in the area north of the entrance gate, saying that the team wanted to check the area to be sure no other remains were present. Since this additional work has taken place, I want to provide you with a copy of the report about it. As stated in the report, more human remains were found at the location (site number 45P1712), which likely represent late prehistoric Nisqually Indian burials. All of the remains from the site have been reburied where they were found, and Weyerhaeuser is transferring title to the Nisqually Tribe. The enclosed report discusses the methods and results of the work. Written by Dr. Wessen, the report is titled Treatment of Human Remains at 45P1712, Former DuPont Works Site, City of DuPont, Pierce County, Washington.

As Bob Martin also discussed in his March 17, 2004 letter, the other burial that was encountered near Old Fort Lake has been preserved in place to avoid additional disturbance to it. Please call me at 206-343-0226 if you have questions about the enclosed report. Thank you very much for your attention in this matter.

Gail Thompson, Ph.D.
Vice President Historical Research Associates, Inc.

II will bring the booklet to the meeting, but I am sure many of you will want to read it. Possibly we might keep it at the Museum for a temporary time where members can read its contents. I would like to thank Gail personally for providing us with this report.

6th Annual Cowlitz Pow Wow at St. Mary’s Center in Toledo, WA.

Honoring the Spirit of all Cowlitz People, 6th Annual Pow Wow will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2005 at:
St. Mary’s Center
107 Spencer Road
Toledo, WA 98591

Headman Dancer: Larry Coyle (Cowlitz)
Headwoman Dancer: Bille Coon (Cowlitz)
Master of Ceremonies: Fred Hill, Jr. (CTUIR)
Arena Director: Jerry Chapman (Sto:Lo Nation)
Host Drum White Wolf (Yakama, WA)
Honor Drum One People One Voice (Yelm, WA)

*First seven drums registered with the MC will be paid.

Grand Entries begin at 1 PM and 7 PM

Complimentary Salmon Dinner at 5 PM (Donations Gratefully Accepted)

Raffles throughout the day!

Free Admission – Open to the public

From I-5 take Exit 63 – Head east toward Toledo.

Further details see Http:// Or for General Info. Call Patty Kinswa-Gaiser 306/864-8727

Archaeological Walking Tours of Fort Vancouver

Saturday, October 8th, 10:00 am & 1:00 pm
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site,
National Park Service, Vancouver.

10: am – Archaeologists will lead a walking tour of the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground (weather permitting). Learn the history of the world-class archaeological site, see how past activities have affected the modern landscape, and discuss how archaeology informs what the National Park Service does today.

1:00 pm – Select artifacts from collections and recent excavations at the Vancouver National Historic Reserve will be on display. Curator, Tessa Langford, will discuss how objects are catalogued and curated. Over 1.5 million artifacts are curated at this site, representing its diverse uses by Native Americans, the Hudson’s Bay Co, and the U.S. Army. Objects will be on display in the newly reconstructed Counting House inside the stockade at Ft Vancouver.

For more information, please contact
Danielle Gembala at 360/696-7659