Eatonville School Diagram and 1917 Budget

Eatonville School plan (ca. 1916)  by Supt. B.W. Lyon and drawn by Fred Chamberlin
Eatonville School plan (ca. 1916) by Supt. B.W. Lyon and drawn by Fred Chamberlin

This cool diagram of the Eatonville campus was drawn by Fred Chamberlin for Superintendent B. W. Lyon back around 1915. There are a number amenities you won’t find today, like a barn, cow pen, pig pen, garden, orchard and poultry plant. (Eatonville had an outstanding Ag department.)

In July 1916, the Dispatch ran the school budget for the coming year. This state-of-the-art school had an annual budget ($21,873)  equaling less than one teacher’s salary today.

$     420 — Expense of of General Control
$14,535 — Expense of Instruction
$  2,243 — Expense of operating School plant
$  1,965 — Expense for maintenance
$  1,160 — Expense for auxiliary agencies
$    800 — Payment of outstanding warrants and warrant interest
$    500 — Equipment for new new building and grounds
$    250 — Equipment for old buildings and grounds.

Photo provided by Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

The Malms of Ohop Valley

Lena & John Malm, 1930
Lena & John Malm, 1930

I never met Lena and John Malm, but I feel like I’ve known them all my life. My grandparents, Louie and Anna Mettler,  purchased their dairy in Ohop Valley the 40s. My folks, Louie and Kathy Mettler, built on the land in the early 1960s and the dairy continued into the 70s. Today my folks raise organic beef there.

I grew up on the same fields the Malms farmed and today I live there too. In fact, today I was down in the valley checking on a new born calf.  Although today the Pruitt family lives in the original Malm home, I looked up from the valley, next to the cow and calf, knowing that the Malms, my grandparents, my parents and myself have all shared this same experience in this same spot.

Another thing that makes me feel close to Lena and John is that were were both married in Ohop Valley — although almost 100 years apart. They were married in 1905, and Chris and I were married in 2002.

I wish I’d met them, but in a way I feel like I have.

Below is the article that ran in the Dispatch in 1955 when they celebrated their 50th Anniversary. (I especially like they had the phonograph there that played music at their wedding.)

Malm 50th Wedding Anniversary from the Dispatch
Malm 50th Wedding Anniversary from the Dispatch

“More than 160 friends and relatives gathered at the social hall of the Community Methodist Church to offer congratulations and to join in celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. John Malm on Wednesday afternoon, December 28 [1955].

Gold was the predominant theme in the decorations. A ceterpiece of gold chrysanthemums graced the serving table. Baskets of foliage highlighted by gold flowers and a mantel arrangement of forest greens accented by large gold candles added to the holiday air.

The same phonograph that furnished music for the wedding in 1905 provided several of the same tunes to the delight of the younger set. When they were not receiving, the honor couple occupied the same love seat that helped furnish their first home in Ohop Valley. 

Wedding Crown
Mrs. Malm wore a hand wrought gold filigree wedding crown provided by a friend for this special occassion. Mr. Malm wore a matching boutonneie of the same design. The crown was a copy of the original Geramn wedding gown.

Lena Malm as a young girl
Lena Malm as a young girl

Pouring for the occasion were Mrs. Andrew Anderson of Tacoma and Mrs. Guerney Van Eaton of Sliver Lake, assisted by Mr. Ethel Jacobson. The wedding cake was served by Mrs. Harry Hicks of Everette, cousin of the bride, and Miss Charlotte Kjelstad had charge of the guest book.

A program of songs and music furnished entertainment for the afternoon. Dick Taylor sang “”He” and “Take My Hand” accompanied by Mrs. Jonas (Helen) Asplund. Carolyn Burwash played the flute, including selections of Scandinavian music, also accompanied by Mrs. Asplund. Maxine Games sang “Put On Your Old Gray Bonnet,” accompanied by Mrs. Cyrus Jensen. Harriet Ittner of Seattle sang “Silver Threads Among the Gold”. The Rev. J. W. Reynolds offered a few appropriate remarks.

Messages Received
Guests from out-of-state were Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Lake from Eugene, Ore., who had been friends of the Malms during the years they lived in Eatoville. Among the message of congratulations received was a telegram from Mrs. Norman J. Bruen of Wading River, N.Y., who lived here many years ago when her husband was the first cashier of the Eatonville State Bank, and Mrs. George Ingersoll, widow of the early day Eatonville merchant, now living in Tacoma, tlepehoned them she was unable to be present at the party.

Lena's first boat ride at Seal Rock in 1939
Lena's first boat ride at Seal Rock in 1939

Arrangements for the festivities were made by Mrs. James Carlson, sister of Mrs. Malm, and her two daughters, Mrs. Steve Packer of Eatonville and Mrs. Don Journey of Spokane. 

Photos courtesy of Steve Burwash.

Click on images to enlarge.

Sasquatch Sightings

Diane Mettler's Bigfoot
Diane Mettler's Bigfoot


Mention Bigfoot and it’s just a matter of time before you hear about someone who claims to have seen the tall, hairy beast. Heck, I know several people — folks I consider sane and reasonable — who will swear they spotted him just miles from my house.

Eatonville Sasquatch Central
According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization there are more Sasquatch sightings in Washington than any other state, and more sightings in Pierce County than any other county. So that would put Eatonville in Sasquatch Central.

Although we don’t talk much about our Sasquatch sightings, he’s definitely become part of our culture.

1971: Eatonville created a float for the Daffodil parade, complete with a Sasquatch. The float won a best humor award.

1972. A camera crew from Channel 5 came out and interviewed young men about a Sasquatch sighting.

1972. The Dispatch featured a cover story (extremely tongue and cheek) about Game Warden George Smallwood’s error in not following up the Sasquatch lead involving a calf killing.

Boys being interviewed - By Channel 5 (Dispatch Photo)
Boys being interviewed - By Channel 5 (Dispatch Photo)


1975. The bar on Mashell Ave. changed its name to Bigfoot Tavern.

1981: Four kids spotted Bigfoot near Alder Lake. A witness said, “We  . . . noticed rustling sounds in the bushes directly across the creek from us, maybe 40-50 feet away.  As we kept walking and trying to see what was making the sounds, we realized whatever it was, was keeping pace with us across the creek.

“Then we noticed a face peering through an opening in the bushes. It was mostly covered in reddish-brown shaggy hair. The eyes were a golden brown color. We kept walking another 100 yards or so, with the sasquatch peeking through the bushes maybe two more times. We ran back to camp, fast. We told our parents, who took us pretty seriously. I remember reading about other sightings in the area that same weekend when we got home from camping. (www.bfro.net)

May 10, 2010: Three hikers surprised a Bigfoot near the Eatonville cutoff road. One of the witnesses said, “I and my friends were hiking at the Eatonville waterfalls when we smelt a wet dog musky sweet smell. We figured it was elk or a bear. When we turned the corner by the middle fall there was a huge black creature crouching over like a human drinking from the river. My buddy gave a surprised yelp and it looked up stared at us for a minute then moved lightning quick into the trees. It didn’t seem scared but more annoyed. (www.bfro.net)

Eatonville Daffodil Float 1972 (Dispatch Photo)
Eatonville Daffodil Float 1971 (Dispatch Photo)


June 2011: There are plans to shoot a music video in near Eatonville. The subject? Bigfoot.

And the legend continues . . .

Click on Images to Enlarge.


Eatonville’s First Store (1890)

1st store post card
Community gathering

The entire population of Eatonville gathered for this picture when it was taken  — around 1890.

Below is what was written about  this photo in the 1959 Dispatch:

A settlement of a few buildings grouped together behind a rail fence in a clearing was called Van Eaton’s Trading Post around 1890.

The “surrey with the fring on tope” owned by T.C. Van Eaton, was used a a stage to and from Spanaway and on the trip this way would carry food, passengers and mail, going all the way to Longmire, which was corduroy road most of the way.

On horseback, directly in front of the trading post, Eatonville’s first store, are Mr. and Mrs. T.C. Van Eaton and Mrs. Groe. Sitting in the wagon are Mr. and Mrs. Richard Canty and Mr. and Mrs. Richard White, the teller of tall tales and one of the most colorful characters to come to Eatonville, is at the left.

The Van Eaton log cabin at the rear, now part of the Eatonville Hotel, and the trading post, in a different location, on upper Mashell Avenue, are both still in use. The latter is used by Williams’ Electric.