The Sequalitchew

May 18, 2008

Eleventh Edition

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

Spring 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 spring will be one of our current members and former speaker, Drew Crooks. His presentation is one of a celebration for all of us. It is, “The 175th Anniversary of Fort Nisqually: A Time to Remember”. That is a lot of time to cover and we know that he will do this well.

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.

This past winter has been a very long and hard one for many of us, but we come from a hardy stock of pioneers and we keep on going with our visions of our group and history of our families in hopes that those new comers to the area know the history of the land that they have settled on.

I am late with pulling together all of the news that has been sent my way and beg your forgiveness for not having this completed sooner.

Kelly Stonum of the Nisqually Valley News tried to make contact with me and I believe was anxious to hear Drew Crooks, so I am hoping that she will be among our guests here. Both Drew and I made phone contact with her and I did write to her in an e-mail and provided our meeting information.

Yes, this is it, our 175th Anniversary for Ft. Nisqually. Just think of all of our ancestors who were around here on this very ground back then. The excitement for them in building that first building for this fort that would be long remembered by their great, great, grandchildren who came so many years after them. Little did they know then how important all of their words and histories would be to all of us. I think though in some ways at least our great, great grandfather, William Kittson, had some idea how resounding his words would be as he often reflected on family in the journals, but not only did he highlight what was going on in his family he also noted the families of so many of the other men under his care and supervision while clearly noting the daily activities of the fort.

I encourage those who have a strong interest in the history here to purchase a copy of the Journal of Occurrences. I continue to hope to that one day the lost or missing pages might some day surface to give further light on our ancestors.

Happy 175th Anniversary Fort Nisqually and let your history live on in all of us!

Roxanne Woodruff

We recently received the sad news of the loss of one of our long time members and friend, John Noyce Millner, who worked so hard to help with getting our group, Descendants of Ft. Nisqually Employees Assn. started and organized. He held a wealth of history and information. His speeches were spontaneous and packed with his knowledge of the history around him. He knew the questions to ask, the people to seek out, and the places to go to. He was not a Descendant, but an Associate member who spoke loud and clear, not only for the Chalifoux’s but for all the descendants. His wife Elizabeth Jean Millner, also a long time member kept our histories for us and prepared another to be given in time to the DuPont Museum. Their daughter Alice prepared our first members address book which many of us still hang on to and cherish. John always helped us to remember to tape everything. That recorder was always running and tapes were made of each and every meeting. John and Alice both over the years submitted stories for The Sequalitchew Newsletter. The following is Alice’s story remembered of her father shortly after his passing.


John Noyce Millner 1918 - 2008 “John Noyce Millner was born in Ola, Arkansas on September 26th, 1918, during the great flu epidemic. His mother was not well and she delivered him prematurely, him weighing only2 and a half pounds at birth. At that time, babies born prematurely, and especially at that weight, were not given much hope for survival, so most of the attention was given to save his mother and he was handed off to a nurse. Well, this nurse put him in a little box and took such good care of him, that he survived. Dad was an excellent straight “A” student all through his school years, and attributed much of his education to the set of encyclopedia’s he read from cover to cover while being raised at his grandparents place in Texas. After graduating from McAllen High School in McAllen, Texas, in 1938, dad joined the navy and was officer-of-the-deck of the Light Cruiser USS Detroit and was at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, when the Japanese attacked. See “A Pearl Harbor’s Survivor’s Story”

In 1944, dad married Elizabeth Jean Millner, my mom, who at that time, was a war-widow and single mom of a three year old little girl. Her first husband was in the Coast Guard and was lost, missing in action off the coast of Greenland. Dad and mom went on to have three more children and dad went to work at Boeing in Seattle the year I was born, 1948. While he pursued his career at Boeing, he became quite the inventor in his spare time, creating some executive toys, (magnet toys, decision makers, etc.) and also became a ham radio operator. He talked to folks all over the world on that radio and spent hours out in his radio room which was plastered wall to wall with QSL cards from people he’d met. He stayed at Boeing ‘til the big lay offs and demotions of the seventies, and then decided, since all the kids had left the nest, it was time for a change of scenery. Mom and dad left for Tucson, AZ, where dad’s family lived, and dad became official caretaker of the Old Tucson Movie set out in Benson, AZ. They lived in a little travel trailer out in the middle of the dessert, on the edge of what looked like an Old West ghost town. Dad and mom got to meet all the celebrities and dad kept things in running order on the set when the movie makers came out to film such great movies like, “True Grit”, “The Sackets”, and others. It was a great life, and dad had time for his hobby of bottle-cutting. He made all kinds of wind chimes and other creations using the famous Fleming Bottle cutter. He’d take his creations to the swap meet there, set up a table and sell them like hot cakes.

Dad and mom moved back to Washington to take care of Mom’s mom when she had a stroke. Dad got back on at Boeing and worked there until he retired. After he retired is when he and I really had time to dig into the genealogy research. Computers were a household appliance by then, and dad loved using it. He and mom began joining historical societies and mom joined the Cowlitz tribe. They were both finally enjoying their retirement. This is about the time they took part in the forming of the Descendents group and you pretty much know the rest of the story. Dad loved the researching and learning of his families history, and of the history of the State he lived in. He remained sharp as a tack up to the end.”

Alice Harrison
Daughter of John & Jean Millner


The Queen will not be short changed in this time of celebration.

“Mark the date of May 17th for Queen Victoria’s Birthday Celebration! Step back in time, to the mid-1800’s, as the royal subjects of Fort Nisqually celebrate the birthday of her Majesty, Queen Victoria with volleys of muskets and birthday toasts. Visit with Chief Factor Dr. Tolmie, his wife Jane and other members of this early Puget Sound community. Join the re-enactors of Fort Nisqually Living History Museum as this tradition from Hudson’s Bay Company forts across North America is recreated on May 17th from 11 am – 5 pm. Special presentations will include: children’s clothing and textiles (complete with a look at little seen articles from the Fort’s collection), a participation primer in “19th Century Manners & Deportment”, as well as a presentation of the new Dining Room Chairs following the birthday celebration at noon. Tea and gingerbread will be served following the flagraising ceremony while supplies last. The traditional playing of bagpipes and a holiday for the laborers and servants of the fort marks this event for visitors. All buildings will be open and re-enactors in 1850’s attire will be waiting to share their knowledge and skills with you!

If you would like to volunteer at this even. Please contact Peggy at the Fort: (253) 591-5339” or

Also noted in the third sites newsletter:


Coming Soon! From the Images of America series, “Nisqually Indian Tribe” by Cecelia Svinth Carpenter, Victoria Pacualy, and Trisha Hunter. This book tells much of the history of the Nisqually Tribe and includes many good photos – some of these photos are new to the Fort staff. On sale soon for $19.99.

If you have any questions about the Museum store, please call #253-591-5339. Remember – Come for the history, stay for the shopping!! (or vice versa). And don’t forget to add the Journal of Occurrences to your list.

From Jill Dykeman


Are you looking for a family fun outing that is also giving your children the experience of the true frontier? Have you checked the Cowlitz Indian web pages lately? Go to the following pages and be sure to check their links as well:

And check the dates at

For May 17th & 18th see Elochomon to Vista park to Deep River (Sat & Sun)

Time: Meet at Vista park on Friday, May 16th; or meet by 9 am on the 17th to Carpool to Elochoman. Canoe leaves Elochomon Marina at 10:30 am and estimated arrival at Vista Park at 1 pm (smaller trips will take place in the afternoon to and from Vista Park). Canoe leaves Vista Park at 8 am on May 18th and estimated arrival at Deep River or Oneida Landing at 1 pm.

Directions: Elochomon Marina – From Longview, WA head west on State Route 4 and go about 35 miles to Skamokawa, WA. Turn South on School Rd. to the Park.

Directions: Elochomon Marina – From Longview, WA head west on SR-4 and go about 25 miles to Cathlamet, WA. Turn left onto Elm St. and go 1/3 mile and turn left onto S 2nd St. to the Boat ramp.

Directions: Deep River or Oneida Landing- From Vista Park head west on SR-4 for about 20 miles to Rosburg, WA You will cross over Deep River bridge and immediately take a left onto Onieda Rd. for 2 miles.

Camping Information: Plenty of Camping spots have been reserved at Vista Park for this trip. This is a two night camping trip.

If you miss this trip due to all the other activities going on this weekend check their calendar for more dates. There is another one coming up on May 31st. See Swift Reservoir, Lewis River, WA (Saturday).

Time: Meet at Swift Forest Camp at 9 am on May 31st or meet there on Friday, May 30th if you intend to camp. Trips will go throughout the Day back and forth from here.

Directions: From I-5, take exit 21 to Woodland, WA. Go West on Lewis River Rd. or Highway 503 all the way to Cougar, WA (~32 miles). Keep going, 503 turns into Forest Rd. 90 (continue for ~16 miles). Turn right at Swift Forest Camp ground. It is owned and managed by Pacificorp Co. Note: it is near Northwoods, WA.

Camping Information: It is listed as a first come, first serve campground. Some people plan to Camp there on Friday May 30th. Some people plan to cam over for two nights. I would call one of the contact numbers if you plan to camp here so we can attempt to save a spot for you.

With temperatures predicted into the 80’s and 90’s over the weekend of the 17th and 18th I thought these very cool activities would be something many of you might want to check out. I am hoping the contact numbers they were referring to were the ones listed on the first web site shown.

  1. Taylor Aalvik, Canoe Committee Chair, 360-575-1952
  2. Mark Anderson, Canoe Captain, 206-696-0389.
  3. Gerry Brickey, Ground Crew Lead, 360-575-3303

They further state there are many ways to join the fun.


A bit of research from Marianne:

“While I was looking at historic plat maps of Spanaway on Tuesday, I noticed that much of the Spanaway Marsh and adjoining area that will become the Cross Base Highway was owned by Adam Benston. Adam Benston was part of a historic local family that started as employees of the Hudson Bay Company at Fort Nisqually’s—Puget Sound Agricultural Company. The Benstons, William and Adam, were married to local American Indian women, both named Sarah.

Before any discussions come up about who to name this road after, I wanted people to know historically who the original property owners were. There are photos on the Tacoma Library historic photo website of him and the family from the “Spanaway Marsh.” See web page,

If the name ever changes, perhaps it should go beyond the politicians.

Marianne Lincoln

One of my cousins past on a cute joke that has been around a while and made several rounds through e-mails, as it pertains to Genealogy, I will repeat it here:

A little girl asked her mother, “How did the human race appear?”

The mother answered, “God made Adam and Eve and they had children and so was all mankind made.”

Two days later the girl asked her father the same question. The father answered, “Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved.”

The confused girl returned to her mother and said, “Mom, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Dad said they developed from monkey?”

The mother answered, “Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family and your father told you about his.”

Passed on to me by my cousin,
Fred Kittson 

By the way, Happy Birthday Freddie