As Enumclaw prepares to celebrate its centennial, I would like to expand the 100-year story into a narrative that starts with the first people who lived here through about 20 years into the future. As I indicated in my previous history post, this series will be richer with comments and stories from community members like you.
It is impossible to understand Enumclaw's local history without a picture of its connection to a larger world. How was the history of Enumclaw affected by native tribes, the frontier, and homesteading; the Gilded Age and Roaring 20s; economic crises of the 1880s and 1890s, 1930s, and 2008-13; eight wars; the rise of the middle class; globalization?
What was the economic impact on local residents of the neighboring coal towns, the hop boom and bust of the 1890s, the early concentration of cooperatives around Enumclaw, the changing role of logging, the age of suburbia and commuting?
It is also impossible to forecast Enumclaw's future without understanding the past, and unreliable even if you do. Predicting the future is colored by wishful thinking and other biases. It can be rendered more accurate by understanding trends, and confounded by unforeseeable events. One way to improve the forecast is to pose alternative futures. If such and such occurs, then this is likely to happen, but if another thing occurs, this is the more likely future.
My father and mother were born before Enumclaw's incorporation as a town and I came along thirty years after that, but we didn't move here until 1961. Then I relocated to a neighboring community and didn't return until the 1990s. So I am not a native. Natives are people who were born here. Or people whose families were pioneers here. Or people whose ancestors were here before that. So I will look at Enumclaw's history as a relative newcomer. These blogs will take a look back at our history and prehistory, and forward twenty years.
Native peoples have been living in the area for many thousands of years, and some of their artifacts found near town are 6,000 years old; pioneers first came in 1853 (for two years), and permanent settlers arrived soon after. The town was platted in 1885 and incorporated in 1913, and has since grown in population to 10,669. Between 2013 and 2033, Enumclaw will . . . Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
ENUMCLAW CENTENNIAL BLOG SERIES
The Histories of Enumclaw
Introduction: Enumclaw--the First 6020 Years
Early Enumclaw: 6000 Years Ago to the Mid-1800s
Early Enumclaw: The First Europeans Arrive
The Adventures of Allen Porter's Wagon
Enumclaw's Early Plateau Neighbors
Schools and Districts
Enumclaw Becomes a Town: 1879-1913
Incorporation through World War II: Enumclaw from 1913-1945
Logging and Lumber
Growth and Prosperity: Enumclaw from 1945-2008
Searching for a Town's Identity
Enumclaw's Safes and Banks
Recent Past to the Present: Enumclaw from 2008-2013
The Limits of Growth
Enumclaw's Next Two Decades: 2013-2033
For those of you who would like to explore Enumclaw's history further, here are a few resources you might find helpful:
--The Enumclaw Plateau Historical Museum. This 1909 building houses the best collection from and about our area's past, including numerous artifacts, books, family histories, and an extensive collection of early photographs. The volunteer staff are very helpful in answering your questions and directing you to the resources most relevant to your search. The museum is located at 1837 Marion Street and is open Sundays and Thursdays from 1 to 4 pm.
--The Foothills Historical Society Museum. Buckley's museum has indoor and outdoor displays of early activities in Buckley, Boise, Osceola, and nearby communities. The old heavy logging and mill equipment you can see along highway 410 is just a small sample of what this collection holds. Hours are Tuesday-Thursday, 12-4 pm and Sunday from 1-4 pm.
--The Black Diamond Historical Society Depot Museum. Housed in the restored turn of the century railroad depot, this museum tells the story of early life, especially mining, near Black Diamond. The museum features displays and information about Franklin, the abandoned mining town out past Krain, Birch, and Veazie where many from the Enumclaw Plateau worked. The museum is located at the end of Railroad Street in old Black Diamond. It is open from 9 am to 4 pm on Thursdays and from from 12 to 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays in summer, 12 to3 pm in winter. Volunteers lead walking tours of Franklin on February 2 and March 2 of this year.
--The White River Valley Museum. This partnership between the White River Historical Society and the City of Auburn includes objects and materials relating to the Plateau, most notably the original wagon of Alan Porter, the Enumclaw area's first pioneer settler. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 4 pm, and is located at 918 H Street, behind the Auburn Library.
--In the Shadow of the Mountain. This meticulously researched book chronicles the pioneer history of Enumclaw from before the first white settlers through 1919. Besides numerous pictures and detailed information about life of the early families, the book includes census reports, official land records, property maps, and an extensive index. Nancy Hall's 361 page book was published in 1983 by the Courier-Herald, and in 2004 by Heritage Quest Press in Orting. This book is available at the Plateau Historical Museum in Enumclaw.
--Pioneer History of Enumclaw. Compiled by the Women's Progressive Club of Enumclaw. 1938. This women's group interviewed many of the still living town pioneers or asked them to write down their recollections from the early days. In this book, you can hear these settlers in their own words. Only two copies were printed (hand typed), with one for the library and one for a bank vault. However, you can read the entire book online here.
--There Is Only One Enumclaw. Longtime resident Louise Ross Poppleton interviewed many early residents and conducted extensive research for writing this history of Enumclaw. First published in 1980 and revised in 1995, it is one of the best single sources of stories and facts about our town's past. The book is available at the Enumclaw Plateau Historical Museum, the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce, and The Sequel bookstore on Railroad Street.
--"The Only Enumclaw is in the State of Washington". In 1909, the Enumclaw Commercial Club produced this booklet to attract new families and businesses to locate here. In 1995, the Enumclaw Plateau Historical Society reproduced the original booklet and has copies of it available at the museum.
--"Special Edition: Enumclaw's Centennial Issue" Supplement to the Enumclaw Courier-Herald/Buckley News Banner, 1985. This publication celebrates the centennial of the platting of Enumclaw by Frank Stevenson in 1885, while we are now marking the centennial of its incorporation.
--Black Diamond: Mining the Memories. 1988. Diane and Cory Olson compiled and edited this collection of interviews and stories about the early days of mining in the area. The concluding chapter is devoted to Franklin, a ghost town that was one of Enumclaw's early neighbors.
--Seven Stars and Orion is a collection of family stories by seven black women and one black man in the early days of our area. Two of the individuals described life in Franklin. Esther Mumford is the editor of this 1986 book.
--Puyallup Perspectives. Although Larry Kolano's 1976 book is primarily about Puyallup, it contains important information about the Naches Road, the Donation Land Act of 1850, and the Puget Sound War of 1856 on Connell's Prairie across from Osceola.
SELECTED WEB LINKS
Enumclaw Historical Society on PATCH