Tuesday, October 8, 2013

History Of The First People That Lived At Yesler Swamp

The Friends of Yesler Swamp, located in Laurelhurst, has been publishing many interesting posts on the history of Yesler Swamp.

They write:
Most people know that Henry Yesler once ran a mill in downtown Seattle at the foot of what we now call Yesler way. But what does Yesler Swamp have to do with the famous Seattle pioneer? Find out the answer to this and lots more at our website:   
  • Historic photos
  • Videos
  • Source Notes
  • And much more!

Here is one of the excerpts from their Blog:


In the early days, a band of Duwamish Indians known as the hah-choo-AHBSH or “Lake People” lived in villages along the shores of Lake Washington. They moved about from season to season, canoeing through the waters and marshes of Union Bay. Their large canoes, carved from a single huge log of western red cedar, had gently up-curving bows and tapering, angled sterns.[6] A carved Salish canoe can be seen today at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle.

“Chudups John and others in a canoe on Lake Union, ca. 1885,” University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections SHS 2228.
The Lake People spoke Lushootseed, the Puget Sound Salish language. They are said to have buried their dead across from Yesler Swamp on Foster Island, which was known as “Stitici.”[7]A village not far from Yesler Swamp was one of their seasonal homes. An influential Duwamish group constructed their principal longhouse near what is now Talaris.[8]
The Duwamish who lived on Union Bay traveled to Lake Union along a portage called “Skhwacugwot” (“portage” in Lushootseed.) This is probably the route marked “Indian Trail” on an early Seattle map.
The small cove that is now Yesler Swamp, known as “√°deed,” was where the Lake People gathered to play “slahal,” a bone game. In the late 19th century, the site was set aside as a camping spot for the Indians. [9]
Food was plentiful on a seasonal basis around Yesler Swamp. In spring, the women foraged salmonberry shoots and bracken fern fiddleheads, while the men hunted deer or elk grazing on the nearby skunk cabbage grasslands.

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