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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

12 February 2014

❖ WEDDING ROCK ❖ Petroglyphs on the Washington Coast, 1955

Wedding Rock petroglyphs, Washington Coast,
with Bruce Stallard, archaeological surveyor, 1955
Original photo from the archives of the S. P. H. S.©
If there is an ancient Indian house pit, petroglyph, or deposit of kitchen refuse in Olympic National Park deserving future investigation, steps may be taken to preserve it.
      The 50-mile ocean strip of the park this year was the subject of an archaeological survey as a preliminary measure.
      Two University of WA students had the longest, most difficult walk of their lives in recent months while seeking traces of prehistoric occupation on Jefferson and Clallam Counties' uninhabited shores.
      Bruce Stallard and Clayton Denman, both undergraduates from Seattle, made the survey for the National Park Service, under supervision of Dr. Douglas Osborne and the UW Department of Anthropology. They looked at and reported on 11 sites, some of which were on offshore islands or inland on coastal streams. The bulk were on the beach front.
      The expedition entailed much wear and tear of shoe leather, wading streams, drenchings in downpours of rain, meetings with bears, and floating across a river on an improvised raft, paddled with a shovel.
      "The raft method was the only way we could get across the Ozette River," Stallard explained. "We tied several logs together and rode the raft one at a time. I held the rope while Clayton crossed. Then I pulled the logs back and followed him to the other side."
      Where possible the explorers followed the faint traces of trails cleared by the Coast Guard for patrolling during WW II. These were overgrown and blocked with windfalls. Travel over them was extremely slow and the blazes were difficult to find.
      "When we could keep on a trail like that we thought it a bit of good fortune," Stallard related. "We took shelter in the old patrol cabins when we could find them."
      The pair depended upon US Army topographical maps on their unguided forays. They do not recommend the stretch of coast between LaPush and the mouth of the Hoh River for pleasure hikes. South of Hoh Head they were thankful to be able to climb up from the beach on a rope left by earlier comers.
      "The most surprising thing to us," Stallard said, "was the lack of level ground for habitations on that part of the coast. A number of places where Indians formerly lived have washed into the sea. Indian informants would tell us of houses they remembered standing at certain spots when they were children. When we visited a place we often found it covered with slides or eroded away.

"The old site of Ozette village in time, I believe, will be gone. It is much narrower than it was when reported by early writers. In the 1850s the Indians bulkheaded the place to check erosion."
       Stallard told of seeing cultural materials such as shells, charcoal, ashes, and fire-broken rock sliding out of a wave-eroded cliff.
Above text by author, historian, Lucile McDonald for The Seattle Times, 22 October, 1955.
Regretfully, McDonald didn't recognize Dr. Richard Daugherty who worked closely with the Makah during this time. This was the largest, most complex archealogical site in the Pacific Northwest. For a tribute to the scholar, who the Makah called "Doc", please click here.

1970––This year began a 11-year excavation at the Ozette site by the Makah Tribe and Washington State University. A radio carbon test yielded data of a slide 500 years BP (before present). Six longhouses and contents with pre-contact, wood, artifacts were found in a tomb of mud. According to the University of Washington, the excavation yielded 55,000 artifacts that the tribe cleaned, identified, and stored on the reservation. 
1979––The Makah Cultural and Research Center, Neah Bay, WA,  was created under leadership of the tribal chairman Edward E. Claplanhoo. The Makah Museum site can be seen here.

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