T.C. Van Eaton

TC Van Eaton Home — built 1898

TC Van Eaton home & family
TC Van Eaton home & family. Pictured are Left to Right: Kate Dutton, Nellie Van Eaton, Jennie Miller, Frank, Susie and John Van Eaton. (Photo courtesy Pat VanEaton)

Pictured is the home built by T.C. Van Eaton in 1898, located on Rainier Street.

It was built after there were sawmills nearby for lumber and was the height of architecture in its day and the finest home for miles around.

It had eight room. Most of the cedar and scroll were were hand-planed by Lou Osborne. Mr. Van Eaton also freighted some boards, such as flooring, from Tacoma,

The dimension lumber came from Andrean’s mill at Muck Creek, and the foundation timbers from the Goe and Tomlin mill on the Little Mashell.

At the time it was the highest building in town and situated on a knoll. Originally there was a 110-foot well near the back door dug by Nate Williams with the assistance of Silas Barr, an Indian from Indian Henry’s village.

The small house next to is, toward Center Street, was built by Mr. Van Eaton for his mother, Mrs. Caroline Van Eaton, who lived there for five years in the early 1900s. (History of  Southeastern Pierce County)

During the 2009 Eatonville Centennial there was a tour a tea at the home.  You can read more about the home today in Dixie and Bob Walter’s article. Just click  HERE.

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

Indian Henry (So-To-Lick)

Indiana Henry Gravestone, photo by Stephen B. Emerson
Indian Henry Gravestone, photo by Stephen B. Emerson

Indian Henry (So-To-Lick, 1820-95) was a complex man, able to live in two worlds. While he was dedicated to indian customs he was also comfortable with the white man.

Some believe he was a Klickitat or Yakama from the village at Simco and that he arrived on the Mashell Prairie around 1864.

“Indian Henry’s village (the second one on the Mashell Prairie) was about five miles west of Eatonville, reached by the first road that turns left below the Triangle, of the Mountain Highway. The Indians owned about 600 acres of land, commonly referred to by people her as “the reservation” although it was not a reservation, but a land grant made to Henry by the government.”

“Henry was an intelligent man and made many friends among the white people, including the Ohop Valley pioneers, T.C. Van Eaton . . . and many others. ” History of Tacoma Eastern Area

Local legend has it that he showed T.C. Van Eaton the spot where Eatonville stands today.  Whether he did or not, he did have a lot of interaction with the Eatonville community.

The newspaper Independent published in Vancouver noted on January 3, 1884 that “Indian Henry raises a large quantity of produce which he brings out to market on the backs of his ponies. He raises wheat and oats and all kinds of vegetable; besides, he has a large band of horses and a large number of hogs.”

For more information on Indian Henry, clink on any of the following:
• October 2t, 2007 News Tribune Article by Rob Carson
Washington State history link on Indian Henry
• The book Firm Foundation, formation of Eatonville, WA

Eatonville’s First Doctor – A.W. Bridge

A.W. Bridge's office
A.W. Bridge had his office above what is today Kirk's Pharmacy

What do Eatonville and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital have in common? Answer: Dr. A. W. Bridge.

In 1909 a young doctor, Albert Wellington (A.W.) Bridge, schooled at the Vermont Medical School, arrived in Eatonville carrying his bicycle and all his earthy possessions. He’d lost his father to a logging accident and his late mother had worked in a sawmill. Now he was focused on providing services to logging camps and lumber mills.

 

The town was in need of a doctor and T.C. Van Eaton offered to build him a clinic if he’d set up shop in Eatonville.

 

Taking Care of Loggers
A.W. settled in and got right to work. He set up clinics in Kapowsin, Mineral, Ashford and Morton. He also established one of the first medical plans for loggers and lumber company employees — $1 a month for medical care

The doctor didn’t just provide care to loggers. You could find him traveling out to farms — first by horse and buggy and then by car — to deliver babies and care for the sick and injured. Despite this incredibly busy schedule, he still found time to serve as Eatonville’s mayor in 1919.

Cruiser Cafe
A.W. Bridge's home — currently (2011) the Cruiser Cafe

Estate Goes to Children
When Dr. Bridge passed away in 1949 he surprised many by leaving a half million dollar estate ($4.5 million in today’s dollars). He said all his money was to go to a group or hospital for children, but there was one stipulation. It must be named after his mother and inspiration, Mary Bridge.

The years between 1909 and 1949 were filled with lots of colorful stories, which will be the subject of future columns. Until then, take a look around Eatonville. Dr. Bridge’s footprint is still here.

• The annual Eatonville Country Christmas bizarre, which raises money for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, is put on by the A. W. Bridge Orthopedic Guild.

• Dr. Bridge’s home still stands. Today it’s more commonly known as the Cruiser Café.

• The doctor had his offices above Kirk’s Pharmacy.

• He also practiced at the old Eatonville hospital, which is now a residence across from the Eatonville High School.