Eatonville residents often complain that the deer are eating their flowers. It could be worse. A hundred years ago it was cows and horses in your yard. Here are just some of Eatonville’s animal ordinances
Horse & Cow
March 1911 — Eatonville’s Horse and Cow Ordinance is amended “to allow cows to roam at large during the day”.
August, 1911 — Mr. Rivers asks the City Council to restrict cows from running at large at night. The cowbells are keeping citizen from getting a good night’s sleep. The Council declares the cows a public nuisance and the Marshall must notify the cow owners.
March 1912 — Citizens petition the Council that ranging livestock be prohibited, but the Council votes down their request. Undeterred, Councilman Overmire submits a second ordinance to prohibit “the ranging of horses, cattle and chickens.” This ordinance is also voted down. Finally, Councilman Jackson comes up with an ordinance that applies to only horses and cows and only for those running at night. This ordinance passes, but it’s unclear whether the residents are happy with the compromise.
March 1911 — A Chicken Ordinance is passed and repealed, but in February 1913, chickens are officially curtailed. The Clerk instructs a notice to appear in an official paper publicizing the date chickens are no longer allowed to run at large.
January 1910 — Ordinance passes limiting the speed of horses “and vehicles of any description” to six miles per hour.
June 1916 — Mr. Smith goes before the Council and demands steps are taken to improve the sanitary conditions on Groe Street (now Center St.). He is unable to keep tenants because of the stench coming from a local dairy barn.
March 1912 — The Marshal and City Clerk are authorized to shoot any rabbits running at large within the city limits.
October 1911 — Chinese Pheasants are destroying vegetable gardens and the Mayor authorizes the Marshal to appoint deputies to kill them. Shooting is allowed from Washington Avenue west to the town limits, and from Railroad Ave. north to the town limits. The deputies receive no pay, but they do get to keep the dead pheasants.
March 1911 — T.C. Van Eatontells the Council something has to be done about the rats. The Council puts a bounty of ten cents (about $2.50 today) on each rat. “When captured they should be presented o the Town Clerk who will draw an order on the Town Treasurer for the amount due.” (Grim news for the Town Clerk.)
Records show that payments ranged from $1.40 to $13.80. There must have been some success in cleaning up the town. By September 1916, the rat bounty was dropped from the town’s budget.
(Information taken from the History of the Tacoma Eastern Area.)
Photos Courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.
Click on images to enlarge.
6 responses to “Eatonville’s Animal Ordinances”
According to John Van Eaton most people put up fences to keep the cows and horses out.These fences show up in old photos as a picket style like those at Snow Hotel and the school. Over time these disapeared along with the cows.
I see some of those fences. Since I’m pretty familiar with cows, it wouldn’t take much to push one over.
[…] information I was given with this photo was that it was taken outside Snow Hotel (now Eatonville Manor). The two men have taken down a black bear that sits between them. The man on […]
[…] this shot are the roaming chickens. Between 1911 and 1913 Eatonville passed, repealed and passed an ordinance curtailing chickens from “running at large”. Chickens at the time of this shot were still on the […]
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