SHMA Documents and Original Art
  "Bringing the past to life in Washington State's oldest town."
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Documents

Steilacoom Centennial Celebration Official Souvenier Book                      1954

Women of Steilacoom  Unk

Map of Puget Sound Agricultural Company claim (hand drawn)  1855
     You can magnify this map slightly by clicking on the map once
you open it.  To magnify it even more, you will have to save it as
photo and magnify it with your photo software.  If you do so,
you see some of our present familiar landmarks had different 
names in 1855.  For example...

  Present NameName on Map

Chambers Creek                 Steilacoom River
Fort Steilacoom         Steilacoom Barracks*
Steilacoom Lake       Wyate (sp?) View Lake
American LakeSpootszith (sp?) Lake
Ketron Island  Kittson’s Island
Flett CreekSalatale River
Nisqually River    Squally River

It is interesting to note that Steilacoom, which was incorporated 
by the Washington Territorial government in 1854, isn't even 
mentioned on the map.  This is probably because the Puget 
Sound Agriculture Company, a British company, didn't recognize
the town's status as a United States entity.

*The Army post has always been known to Americans as "Fort
Steilacoom" and never as "Steilacoom Barracks", the latter implying
it had a lesser status that a "Fort".  The "Barracks" name on the 
map may be a misunderstanding on the part of the map maker, or 
it might have been intentional as a slap in the face by the Puget 
Sound Agriculture Company as if to say, "Hey...Great Britain has the 
only "Fort" in this area", that being Fort Nisqually.

1889 plat (map) of Steilacoom showing how the town was divided.         1899
For example, the current Nathaniel Orr property shows up on the plat as 
four subdivisions, all of which were owned by Orr.

Letter home from David Orr during Alaska Gold rush                        1903

Nathaniel Orr/Emma Thompson marriage certificate1868

Interview with Clenda Davidson1983

Interview with Docia Bair    1983

Interview with Edna Dyer    1980

Interview with Lynn Scholes1983

Interview with Ellen Freckleton 1854

A tribute to Miss Tait, (1892 - 1980) a respected and beloved teacher         1980
in Steilacoom for many years.  The paper was written by one of Miss 
Tait's students, Steilacoom resident, Margaret Humm Wilkinson.  The
The link above takes you to a Washington State Historical Society
web page.  To get to the paper on Miss Tait, click on "Access this item" 
centered near the top of the WSHS page.

The Old Settler,  a poem written by Puget Sound pioneer Francis     1874 
Henry.  The Old Settler is followed by an un-titled poem he wrote 
in 1904 wherein he contrasts the 1904 world to that which he had 
enjoyed in 1874.

Photographic inventory of Steilacoom Masonic Cemetery (on-line).7/2009
You can magnify this map slightly by clicking on the map once you
open it.  To magnify it even more, you will have to save it as photo 
and magnify it with your photo software. 

The Tacoma-Steilacoom Railway 2011

Federal Censuses for Steilacoom
These census are transcriptions of the handwritten censuses.  Not
all enumerators had good handwriting and many errors have been
made in the transcriptions.  For example, Nathaniel Orr is listed in the 
1860 transcription as "W. H. Orr" where the transcriber mistook the 
enumerator's "N" for a "W".

1860 Census Thie census is a transcription of the handwritten census.       1860
Not all enumerators had good handwriting and errors have been made 
in the transcriptions.  For example, Nathaniel Orr is listed in the 
1860 transcription as "W. H. Orr" where the transcriber mistook the 
enumerator's "N" for a "W".860

Steilacoom 1870 Federal Census   Original is very poor quality.     1870

Steilacoom 1880 Federal Census                                                           1880 

Steilacoom 1890 Federal Census  There was no 1890 census, per se, 
but rather censuses in 1885, 1887, and 1892.  And rather than being 
broken down by precinct (e.g., Steilacoom), the smallest "block" of
of inhabitants is for is for counties (e.g.,of Pierce County.  Those 
censuses are recorded on more than 500 pages each which precludes 
saving each page as a photo, combining them, and coverting the result
to an Adobe PDF document which is what was done for other censuses
on this web page.  Subscribing to a genealogy software site (such as 
Ancestry.com) would allow the subscriber to access the files and search 
for individuals/families.

Steilacoom 1900 Federal Census     1900

Steilacoom 1910 Federal Census     1910

Steilacoom 1920 Federal Census    1920

The last Federal Census for Steilacoom available on the internet at 
this time (Jan 2012) is 1930.  That census (link below) is written in 
very legible handwriting unlike some of the others which are hard to 
read for some entries.
   
Steilacoom 1930 Federal Census     1930 

Shaking the Wagon Shop Roof    2009 

Captain Lafayette Balch,  extracted from "Brush off at Olympia 1950
Led to  Founding of Steilacoom", Lucile McDonald, Seattle Times,
June 25, 1950.

Origin of Place Names in and around Steilacoom.  The web site linked here is Unk
copyrighted by the Town of Steilacoom.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.

Article on 1853 Immigrants first to enter western Washington by                1913
wagon train over Naches Pass.  Includes photo of 5 still living in 1913, 
Laura Belle Downing Bartlett among them.

History of Tacoma by Herbert Hunt (contains many pages on history          1916
of Steilacoom and surrounding areas).  Used with permission from
Google, Inc.

An interesting web page about Thomas ChambersUnk

An insightful writing on the struggle by the Hudson Bay Company, through its  1890
subsidiary Puget Sound Agriculture Company, to retain ownership of what is now 
Pierce County and surrounding areas.  The writing is a chapter from Volume 31,
History of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, 1845 - 1889, Herbert H. Bancroft, 
1890.   Much of the writing involves Steilacoom residents of the time (e.g., Chambers, 
Balch, Chapman, and others).  The link takes you to a web page sponsored by 
Ancestry.com. 

Article about the Reverend John F. DeVore, Steilacoom's Methodist Episcopal    1889
minister in the 1860s.  The article is taken from the History of the Pacific Northwest, 
Oregon and Washington, 1889.  The link takes you to a web page sponsored by
Ancestry.com. 

Article about the Honorable William R. Downey, father of Steilacoom's Laura Belle1889
Downey Bartlett (see Laura Belle's collection of photos including a photo of her 
parents here).  The article is taken from the History of the Pacific Northwest, 
Oregon and Washington, 1889.  The link takes you to a web page sponsored by
Ancestry.com. 

Article about the Honorable Levant F. Thompson, proprietor of a hotel in Steilacoom  1889
in the 1850s.  The article is taken from the History of the Pacific Northwest, 
Oregon and Washington, 1889.  The link takes you to a web page sponsored by
Ancestry.com. 

Article about E. R. Rogers, prominent merchant in early Steilacoom.  The article            1889
The article is taken from the History of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon, and
Washington, 1889.  The link takes you to a web page sponsored by Ancestry.com.

Article on Captain Warren Gove, sea captain, county politician, and Steialcoom    1889
in the mid- to late-1800s.  The article The article is taken from the History of the   
Pacific Northwest, Oregon, and Washington, 1889.  The link takes you to a web 
page sponsored by Ancestry.com.

Treaty with the Nisqualli, Puyallup, Etc., December 26, 1854.  The article is                  1854 
extracted from the History of the Indian Treaties, Acts and Agreements.  The link 
takes you to a web page sponsored by Ancestry.com.  Note that the treaty includes 
the signature of Chief Leschi (spelled "Lesh-high" on the document) although he said, 
and others confirmed, that he did not sign the document.

Article on the initiation of Indian warfare in Washington, 1855 - 1856.  This article is        1890
extracted from The Bancroft Works, Volume 31, History Of Washington, Idaho, and 
Montana, 1845-1889, Hubert H. Bancroft.  Most of this article is about warfare in 
eastern Washington and the Seattle area, but Fort Steilacoom was deeply involved
in the conflict by providing soldiers, equipment, and supplies.  The link takes you to
a page sponsored by Ancestry.com. 

Article about the continuing Indian wars in Washington, 1856 - 1858.  This article is    1890 
extracted from The Bancroft Works, Volume 31, History Of Washington, Idaho, and 
Montana, 1845-1889, Hubert H. Bancroft.  A major portion of the article is about the
involvement of Fort Steilacoom in the conflict.  The link takes you to a web page
sponsored by Ancestry.com.

Composition of Washington's First Legislative Assembly.  This article shows that       1890
Lafayette Balch of Steilacoom was one of nine councilmen composing the first 
legislative assembly, he representing Pierce County.  John Chapman of Steilacoom 
was one of three men representing Pierce County in the House of Representatives, 
the others being H. Mosely and L. Thompson.  This article is extracted from The 
Bancroft Works, Volume 31, History Of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, 1845-1889
Hubert H. Bancroft.  The link above takes you to a web page sponsored by 
Ancestry.com.

Origin of Steilacoom Street Names.  An interesting article published by the Washington      2013
List identifying people for whom Steilacoom streets were named, or in some cases, how 
some streets (e.g., Union) got their name.  Before reading the document, you might guess
which two streets are named for the same person (a clue is in the photo on the first page 
of the article).

An archeological survey of the northern shore of Chamber's Bay just inside the mouth         1996
of Chamber's Creek.

Letter pertaining to incorporation of Steilacoom

1890 Map of Tacoma and surrounding region including Steilacoom.  Long lost place names such as Higgins Beach, Lemon's Beach, and Menlo Park stops on the Tacoma - Steilacoom "Electric Street Railway" are shown.  Also shown is the trace of the Tacoma Lace City steam railroad  terminating at Americal Lake, and the Northern Pacific Railroad  line.





  
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This page was last updated: April 17, 2016
Steilacoom Historical Museum Association