The First Settlers

First Eatonville School House (ca. 1905)

Eatonville's First School
Eatonville’s First School

The Eatonville School District has come a long way in the last 100+ years. This was Eatonville’s first schoolhouse. You can find it today at Glacier View Park. 

Here is some information about the little school house from Dixie Walter’s blog, written in 2006:

The following historical excerpt is from the History of Tacoma Eastern Area by Jeannette Hlavin and Pearl Engle written in 1954. “The first school was the log house built from logs and nails and on ground donated by T. C. Van Eaton. It stood across the Mashell Avenue from the present grade school building. Some of the Scandinavian settlers were “Broad axe men,” experts at hewing logs or lumber, and they hewed the material for the school house.

First School House (photo taken 2006)
First School House (photo taken 2006)

“The first teacher was Miss Alice Dodge. School was conducted only three months a year. Two other teachers taught in the log school house, Miss Hortense Oliver and Miss. P. Messinger.

“Some towns neglect their historic buildings but this cannot be said of Eatonville. The old log school house has been tenderly cared for and is often referred to sentimentally in writings and speeches of local people.

Clyde Williams says that when it was to be removed from its original location, he said to T. C. Van Eaton, who with a team of horses, was his partner on the job: “Let’s save it” and Van Eaton replied: “All right, we have plenty of room.” Accordingly, they hitched it to the horses with chains and pulled it to the spot where it now stands.

Mensik family school photo
Mensik family school photo

“Before 1912 church services were held in it.

B. W. Lyon told the Community Day audience in 1923 that when he was school superintendent here, an orphan boy was permitted to live in the old school house. He was placed in charge of the agricultural class’s poultry, and was allowed to keep what money he made from it. In this way he was enabled to complete the high school course here. His name was John Kruger and in 1923 he was head of the Agriculture Department of the Sumas public schools.

“The Fortnightly Club used the building as a club house for some years, and it is now used for the same purpose by the Girl Scouts.”

For decades the old school house stood in the area behind the present day tennis court at the high school. Eventually, through the efforts of the Dogwood Garden Club it was moved to it’s present site. The log building has been used as the Eatonville Cooperative Nursery School for thirty-one years.

Photo courtesy of the Baublits family and Bob Walter.

Click on images to enlarge.

 

Long Logs coming through Eatonville, 1960

Long Logs, March 1960
Long Logs, March 1960

This load of logs came down Mashell Ave. in March, 1960. In fact, the truck is stopped at the corner of Center Street and Mashell.

I can’t tell by the image what logging outfit this was. If you have some information, please share.

There has always been a need for straight, long logs, which are used for masts for sailboats, and the like. In fact, there is still a mill in Aberdeen, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, that mills these logs for boats and flag poles. Hollywood hired the mill not long ago to create the masts for Pirates of the the Caribbean.

Photo courtesy of the Baublits family, and taken by Joe Larin. 

Click on image to enlarge. 

Map of Eatonville Area in 1897

1897 Map - Eatonville area
1897 Map – Eatonville area

These wonderful maps of the area, including this first one created in 1897, come to us via Abbi Write Wonacott. There are a few names here you don’t hear any more, like Glennis, Hollandale and Leber. You might also notice Kapowsin has a different spelling.

Abbi Wright says, “Kipowsin was the word for slow water.”

Mary Schactler, who lives on the original Campbell homestead, says the map was drawn up, “When Campbell Lane was the old road to Eatonville (through sections 9 and 10).”

Enjoy taking a closer look!

Kipowsin Lake
Kipowsin Lake

Click on images to enlarge.

Clara Jensen (ca. 1900)

Clara Jensen
Clara Jensen

Clara (Fiander) Jensen made quite the impact on the rural community. She was born in 1883 and raised in the Swan Lake area on the family farm. She lived out her life in the small community.

She was an attractive women, and could hunt cats too. Sunset Magazine published a story in 1923 about her skills and she enjoyed hunting well into her 70s.

To read more about this woman, just click HERE.

Photo courtesy of the Jensen family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Picture of Clara Jensen that appeared in Sunset Magazine. Pelt is of the 45-pound wildcat she took down.
Picture of Clara Jensen that appeared in Sunset Magazine. Pelt is of the 45-pound wildcat she took down.

First Mineral Store

First Store in Mineral
First Store in Mineral

The first store in Mineral wasn’t much to look at, but if you lived in Mineral in the early days, it was no doubt your life line. Early stores had little of everything, and in Mineral that would include a mining pan, which is on display out front.

Photo courtesy of the Jonas family and the Mineral Lake website.

Click on image to enlarge.

T.C. Van Eaton and Lenore Van Eaton

T.C. Van Eaton and first wife Lenore
T.C. Van Eaton and first wife Lenore

Thomas Cobb (T.C.) Van Eaton  was married to his first wife, Lenore, in 1887. They had two children and my understanding is that they both died before they were five years old. Here is a picture at a happier time.

Photo courtesy of the Parnell family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Nellie and Kate Appleby

Nellie and Kate Appleby
Nellie and Kate Appleby

Nellie Appleby, born in Chautaugua County, Kansas, had no idea when this picture was taken that she would eventually marry a man named T. C. Van Eaton. She would be his third wife and they would have three kids, John, Robert and Nell.

I’m curious what this little girl would have said if you had told her she would live in a beautiful house on top of a hill . . . in a tiny logging town of Eatonville, Wash.

Photos courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

TC Van Eaton home & family. Pictured are Left to Right: Kate Dutton, Nellie Van Eaton, Jennie Miller, Frank, Susie and John Van Eaton
TC Van Eaton home & family. Pictured are Left to Right: Kate Dutton, Nellie Van Eaton, Jennie Miller, Frank, Susie and John Van Eaton