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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.

15 January 2016

❖ WITH JOE AT THE KUHN SPIT CLAM BAKE ❖

Mouth of Chimacum Creek.
Litho postcard from the archives of S.P.H.S.©
"The Joe Kuhn Clambake was perhaps the earliest of Port Townsend's community celebrations. Begun in 1866 and continuing episodically into the next century, the festive, and often ribald, occasion was traditionally held at Kuhn spit near Chimacum Creek. The date was flexible, but the invitation invariable:

      NEAH!
Nika Tillicums, Klosh nanitch: Al-ki nika tickey manook ict hyas Potlatch, caqua nesika mamook ahn kottie. Mesika kiosh charco copa Port Townsend, kah Klallam Siwash mitlite ahn kottie, wake syah Chimacum Creek, kah nesika mamook hyu he-he; pe manook tin-tin, pe much a muck-byu Clams, pe clap klosh chuck. Spose nika nanitch pirechuck, nika iskum delate sullox-klosh wake lo-lo. Klosh charco pe lo-lo konaway tenas man pe tenas klootchman, pe tenas sap-olil icktas. Spose mesika wake charco, nika iskum sick tum-tum.

      HELLO!
My friends please take notice: Soon I wish to make a big clambake such as we made long ago. You please come to Port Townsend where the Klallam Indians lived long ago, not far from Chimacum Creek, where we will have lots of amusements and music, and eat plenty of clams, and fine good water. If I see any liquor I will be angry-don't bring any. Please come and bring the little boys and girls, and things made of flour. If you fail to come I will be sorry."
City of Dreams, A Guide to Port Townsend. Simpson, Peter. Bay Press. (1986)


Every summer Kuhn would load locals aboard a boat
and head to Kuhn Spit near Chimacum Creek.
There, the group would eat clams, drink whiskey,
make music, and debauch until dawn.

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