Chetzemoka trail to open with ceremony June 29

Followed by dedication of Welcome Pole at Northwest Maritime Center

Posted 6/26/19

The Chetzemoka Trail, an interpretive trail highlighting 18 historically significant sites throughout Port Townsend, will open with a ceremony at Memorial Athletic Field at 1 p.m. on June 29.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Chetzemoka trail to open with ceremony June 29

Followed by dedication of Welcome Pole at Northwest Maritime Center

Posted

The Chetzemoka Trail, an interpretive trail highlighting 18 historically significant sites throughout Port Townsend, will open with a ceremony at Memorial Athletic Field at 1 p.m. on June 29.

The celebration will be immediately followed by a dedication of the Welcome Pole at the Northwest Maritime Center.

The trail, a project of the Native Connections Action Group of the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, in partnership with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, is to educate the public on the relationship between the S’Klallam people who had lived for hundreds of years in what was once called “qatáy,” and the European settlers who arrived in Port Townsend in the mid-19th century.

At each site, signs will offer historic information about Chief Chetzemoka (pronounced Cheech-ma-han; later changed by settlers to Chetzemoka) and the S’Klallam people of the 19th century, as well as the impact of the arrival of European settlers and connections to present-day S’Klallam people.

The trail follows the life of Chief Chetzemoka, who is one of the best remembered S’Klallam leaders because he befriended the early Port Townsend settlers and helped the S’Klallam negotiate the difficult changes in their lifeways.

“Settlers and the indigenous peoples of the North Olympic Peninsula area have worked diligently to coexist and develop respectful relations despite their cultural differences,” wrote Ron Allen, Tribal Council Chairman with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in a message about the new trail. “Chief Chetzemoka played a key role in establishing this relationship in the 19th century. … Today in the 21st century, our S’Klallam and sister Tribes continue to strive to work together to solve problems in a complex society, respecting the values of both the indigenous and the non-indigenous populations of the area.”

The trail will divide into three different loops: a 3-mile loop, a 6-mile loop, and a 12-mile loop. The 3-mile loop is easily walkable and features downtown historical sites, such as Point Hudson, Memorial Field and the Fowler Building.

The 6-mile loop extends west to Kai Tai Lagoon and Laurel Grove Cemetery, whereas the 12-mile loop goes all the way out to North Beach County Park and Fort Worden.

The trail is walkable and bikeable with elevation changes and some steep uphill and downhill grades, but is also driveable.

Along the way, signs will give information about the historical significance of each site, offering an opportunity for both locals and tourists to learn more about the people who lived in Port Townsend, or qatáy, before white settlers arrived. It also offers a perspective on Chetzemoka’s decision to seek peace between the S’Klallam people and the white settlers.

The partnership that Chetzemoka forged back in the 1800s is still alive today. An example of this is the Welcome Pole that was donated to the Northwest Maritime Center by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

Carpenter Dale Faulstich designed the new totem pole, which features the Supernatural Carpenter, the Spirit of Western Red Cedar, Chetzemoka, and Sentinel Rock.

“This is the latest manifestation of a relationship between the Northwest Maritime Center and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe that is probably about 15 years old now,” said Jake Beattie, executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center. “Even during the initial fundraising efforts to secure a place for the Maritime Center, the Tribe was involved.”

Beattie said the Maritime Center is honored to receive such a gift. It will be placed outside of the Chandlery, on the intersection of Monroe and Water Street.

“It’s really profound how something like this can provoke all of us to think about who we are in relation to this place,” Beattie said. “It helps us more completely conceive how we can be better informed, to think about the connections of humans to this place that happened before 1850.”

The dedication of the Welcome Pole will take place after the celebration of the trail, at 2:30 p.m. at the Northwest Maritime Center.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment