The Sequalitchew

October 07, 2007

Tenth Edition

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

Fall Meeting

Our meeting this spring is scheduled for Sunday May 18th, 2008 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 this fall will be one of our current members and former speaker, Robert Foxcurran. He will provide an overview of his latest research on the Pacific Northwest regional picture of the Canadian mixed-blood communities during the second half of the 19th century. “The following (and forgotten) generations.”

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.

At our last meeting we held our elections according to our Bylaws and with the help of our nominating committee have worked out a solution to continue our group here. The solution may be bitter sweet and more might be required of us this term. Our new President is Roger Newman, our Vice-President/Chairperson continues to be Judy Smith, and our Secretary/Treasurer will be Roxanne Woodruff.

The bitterness came in the form of hardships with each of our appointees. Hardest hit of all was for our Vice President Judy Smith. This summer after finally reaching retirement, she was diagnosed with Cancer. Her mother, Mary Jane Cartwright, as well as Judy, when possible, will keep us informed of her health. I know that we all wish her our best and will continue to keep her in our thoughts and prayers.

Roger and Chris have also had some healthcare concerns too with Chris’s mother. This has not been an easy for them.

For myself, Roxanne, I was transferred from a job I held for six and a half years to another site. My old place will be closing and many of my very close friends will be loosing their jobs. The transition was very sudden and took me way off guard. I have struggled with my new job and continue to hope it will work out. It came at a bad time financially and now that my twenty-five year old car has died it is another added stress. There is a ray of hope with the car situation thanks to our older sister, Sue. She has some good used cars that are available to test drive. With my work, I feared early on that if I lost my job I would not be able to make it up here. I am still hanging in there and I do hope to be up at the meeting this fall. When I send out the message that I have rented my car for the drive up there, you will know I will be getting settled in for the winter.

Fort Nisqually Living History Museum Candlelight Tour

Eavesdrop on an October evening in 1859 at Fort Nisqually’s annual Candlelight Tours. Encounter the servants of the Honorable Hudson’s Bay Company as they bid farewell to their longtime Chief Factor, Dr. William Tolmie and his family as they prepare to move to Victoria with only the stars and campfires and candles to light the evening!

This event takes place on October 5th & 6th. Tours start at intervals between 7 – 9:30 pm on Friday & 6:30 – 9:30 pm on Saturday. Tickets have been on sale since September 1st ($8/adult; $5/children). For Ticket Information contact Fort Nisqually (253) 591-5339 or check their website

Also, did anyone catch some of the other activities happening at the Fort which included “Looking at Lace” with Lace Specialist Nancy Evans on Saturday, September 29th, 1pm? Fort Nisqually Living History Museum is located in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park.

Ft. Nisqually Candlelight Tour


The Eighth Annual Cowlitz Powwow Honoring the Spirit of All Cowlitz People will be held on Saturday October 13th, 2007 at St. Mary’s Center 107 Spencer Rd Toledo, WA 98591

Cowlitz Powwow

MC: Gerry Chapman
Arena Director: Mike Brock
Host Drum: One People One Voice
Honor Drum: Veterans Drum Group
Head Woman Dancer: Celine Cloquet-Voglar, Cowlitz
Head Man Dancer: Raymond Cree, Umatilla

Contact: Suzanne Donaldson-Stephens (360) 280-2321
Vendors, Curt Stephens (503) 504-0780
Volunteers: Linda Foley Email:

The Cowlitz September Calendar also showed an event closer to my home on Wednesday, September 26th, 2007. They hosted the National Indian Health Board Cultural Gala at the Double Tree Inn in Portland, Oregon. This is located directly behind the Lloyd Center for those of you familiar with the Portland area. The Cowlitz Drum Group performed. This event was open to everyone.

AT FORT NISQUALLY, a rare glimpse of history

Rob Tucker: The News Tribune

Published: August 18th, 2007

Robin Ross, Kay Hecox, Betty McDonald, and Ken Ross
Robin Ross, Kay Hecox, Betty McDonald, and Ken Ross

(We had our own stars in the news this past August and hope they will let the rest of us know what all happened that day. I will repeat a portion of the story here for those who did not see this article.)

Lorraine Overmyer drove past the 164-year-old Fort Nisqually site (2nd 1843 Site) about a year ago and realized something needed to be done to let more folks know about it.

“I thought new people don’t know what’s behind that black cyclone fence,” she said.

Washington’s history received a major push from the Hudson’s Bay Company fur-trading fort and agricultural center that was established there when John Tyler was U.S. president, nearly 50 years before statehood.

There’s nothing left there now. Only the venerable black locust trees, planted in the 1850s, stand in a row. They once shaded the home of the company’s chief agent, who was known as the factor.

The site is usually closed to the public to preserve it. But Overmyer got permission from the owner to open it to the public for a few hours Sunday (August 19th 2007).

There are a lot of new people around who might like a historical tour. DuPont has grown from a small town with 592 people in 1990 to a city of more than 7,000 today.

Pierce County records show that The Archaeological Conservancy owns 19.6 acres on the old fort site, including the area where the stockade stood.

Gene Hurych, western coordinator for the New Mexico-based organization, said it tries to acquire such sites before they are destroyed or developed.

The Conservancy has owned the (2nd) Nisqually site for 14 years. It’s visible from a city sidewalk and a trail, but Overmyer said the organization rarely opens it for the public to walk through. Historian Drew Crooks (led) a guided tour of the place Sunday (August 19th)

“It’s one of the most important historical sites in the Pacific Northwest,” he said.

The beginnings of European-American culture in the South Sound originated at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Nisqually, Crooks said.

The British company had a long-lasting effect on later American settlers as well as on local Indians who lived in the area long before the fort was built.

The company gave American settlers “critical aid and assistance,” he said. Some recipients became founders of Steilacoom, Olympia and Tumwater – key American pioneer settlements, he said.

Many descendants of company employees, both Indian and white, still live in the area.

The first Fort Nisqually was built in 1833, about a mile from the 1843 site. The company moved the fort to higher ground to be near a better source of wood and water, according to Gary Fuller Reese in “Origins of Pierce County Place Names.”

The fort also was headquarters of the company’s subsidiary, Puget’s Sound Agricultural Co. The fort exported furs and agricultural products to England, Russian Alaska, Mexican California, and the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands, Crooks said.

The fort remained until 1869-70, when the Hudson’s Bay Company withdrew to Canada. Edward Huggins, the last company agent, got the 1843 fort property. He sold it to the DuPont Co. in 1906 along with other lands. The company built a powder works for explosives, but it preserved the site.

The last two buildings standing at the fort, the factor’s house and the granary, were moved to Point Defiance Park in Tacoma in the early 1930’s.

Metro Parks “has done a good job on restoration” of the 2nd site of Fort Nisqually, said Overmyer, a founder of the DuPont Historical Society who has lived in the city for 33 years.

The Weyerhaeuser Co. purchased DuPont company lands in 1976 and later built the Northwest Landing development that transformed the former company town into the modern city of DuPont.

Weyerhaeuser Co. donated the fort site (again 2nd 1843 site only) to the Conservancy in 1993. Fort Nisqually’s footprint is still outlined with old logs placed end-to-end. A white stone monument stands within the footprint. A plaque once attached to the monument has been missing for years. (It would be great if the first site of the fort would be protected and marked with the many who lived and died there, such as Caroline and Jesse, the children of William Kittson as he noted in the Journal of Occurrences, and so many others)

“It’s really living history.” Said Lee McDonald, the society president.”

The 1843 Fort Nisqually site was open to the public and Historian Drew Crooks led a guided tour on Sunday August 19th, 2007. The 1843 site is on Center Drive. The 1833 First Site is located not far from there. Take exit 119 off of Interstate 5.

To meet descendants of the Employees of these fort sites, come and attend the Descendants of Ft. Nisqually Employees Association at our bi-annual meetings. I will see you there on October 7th, 2007.

In The Shadow of the Mountain

In the Shadow of the Mountain book cover

Marianne, in keeping up with her tradition of keeping me supplied with articles and information of the Washington history, sent me the information on the above book written by Lawrence D. “Andy” Anderson. This book and research has taken him 30 years. The story is of the early days of Graham, Kapowsin, and surrounding communities. Hopefully I remembered to forward Marianne’s e-mail out to all of you, as the early buyers would get a deal on the sale and the books would soon be in your hands if you were one of those who responded.

His book “follows those early settlers who claimed their piece of unspoiled wilderness beyond the prairies south of Tacoma, WA. Their quest took them down meandering trails that quickly dissolved into dense brush and timber reaching to Mt. Rainer. Lakes and streams with odd-sounding names such as Muck, Tanwas, Ohop, and Kapowsin were their only guideposts in the tangled landscape. Mt. Rainier served as a backdrop and constant companion for those who came this way.

This carefully researched volume captures both the uncommon and everyday experiences of those people through first-hand accounts and other archival documents. Learn about life in this wilderness from those who opened the country and witnessed the monumental changes brought by the Tacoma Eastern Railroad. Contained in this book is a detailed account of the early setteres, mills, communities, and events. Such towns and settlements as Nelson, Kirby, Harding, Graham, Thrift, Morgan’s Lake, Kapowsin, Electiron, Lakehead, Holz, Clay City, Benston, and otheres come to life. Read about Glennis, one of the earliest utopian colonies in Washington, the engineering and construction marvels of early Electron, the perils of the bootleggers, and the story of Kapowsin and its fate.

For those of you who did not get in on this first run, I am sure that Andy would love to hear from you and receive your request for the purchases. The book’s price, including state sales tax, is $43.36. The delivery was complimentary for orders received with payment by September 15, 2007, but as that time has passed there is a $5.00 delivery charge per book.

To place an order, please mail your check or money order to
Lawrence D. Anderson
P.O. Box 24
Graham, WA 98338.

Be sure to include your phone number and mailing address. For questions, please send e-mails to or call (253) 847-6182.”

Naches Trail Preserve Site dedication & grand opening

Naches Trail Image

Join Pierce County officials this Saturday, Oct. 6 from 1-4 p.m. for the official grand opening and dedication of the Naches Trail Preserve. A short program and ribbon-cutting ceremony will precede the opening of 2,000 feet of rustic trail to public use. The Naches Trail Preserve is a 50-acre natural conservation area near the Frederickson community on Military Road East between 44th Avenue East and 38th Avenue East. Parking for Saturday’s event is at Clover Creek Elementary, 16715 E. 36th Avenue. A free shuttle will take visitors to and from the Naches celebration.

The Naches Trail Preserve site was purchased by Pierce County Public Works and Utilities’ Water Programs Division and Cascade Land Conservancy in 2003 with a Conservation Futures grant and surface water management funds. Its designation as a conservation preserve requires the site to be protected, maintained, restored, and managed as wildlife habitat and open space for public use and enjoyment and to preserve the ability of the Clover Creek Floodplain to protect surrounding areas from flooding. The overall area of publicly-owned land adjacent to and including the preserve is about 129 acres, including 23 acres of wetland and over 3,000 feet of Clover Creek.

“This is an example of what we have to do – we must preserve remaining functioning floodplains” said Dan Wrye, Water Programs’ Watershed Services manager. “To not do this means we will be paying big bills for decades to compensate for floodplain loss”

Water Programs, Cascade Land Conservancy and the Frederickson community jointly produced a Naches Trail Preserve Stewardship Plan in 2006. Included in the plan is the phased establishment of various trail segments. The trail will eventually be extended to 1.3 miles in length. Signs identifying unique plant communities and natural features where installed along the completed portion of the trail.

The Naches Trail Preserve derives its name from being along the route of the historic Naches Trail that connected Yakima Valley Indian country with the Nisqually Delta. The trail was used by Native Americans and later by early settlers traveling by wagon. Frederick and Louisa Meyer became the first registered owners of the property in 1853, and the Naches Trail was later used by the U.S. military during the 1855-56 Indian War, which is where the name for Military Road originated.

More site information and history including the entire stewardship plan, is available on line at

Contact: Gloria Van Spanckeren, Water Programs Outreach Specialist, 253-798-4688; or Carol Mockridge, Communications Specialist, Communications Dept. 253-798-6228.