Village Descriptions

Skokomish-Bremerton section










1. shill-SHOHL (‘threading a needle', evidently for the narrow opening out to the Sound). Duwamish. On the N shore of what is now called Salmon Bay.  The headman here when the settlers arrived was called Shilshole Curly.  This village site was destroyed when the Chittenden Locks were built in the early 1900s. The people here were called shill-shohl-AHBSH.  (1, 2) 








2. [name not known]. Suquamish. On the NE point of Bainbridge Island at what is now called Point Monroe. The people here were of the sook-WAHBSH ('clear saltwater dwellers') group.  (1, 3, 4)







3. CHOO-kwohp . Suquamish. At the N end of Bainbridge Island on the bay near the present town of Port Madison. "...four large buildings on the W side of the bay...average size [about 55’x150’]...there were buildings on the east side where the town is now located which had been destroyed when the sawmill company built their sawmill [mid-late 1800s]."  The people here were of the sook-WAHBSH ('clear saltwater dwellers') group.  At one time k'TSAHP, the man for whom Kitsap County is named, was reputed to have lived here.  (1, 3, 4, 5)







4. ts'KOOB (‘clear saltwater’). Suquamish. On the N part of the Kitsap Peninsula just S of the present town of Suquamish. This was the location of the 600’ longhouse called Old Man House where Chief Seattle lived in post-treaty days. This was one of the main Suquamish villages and of great concourse. The people here were of the sook-WAHBSH ('clear saltwater dwellers') group.  (1, 3, 4)








5. ho-CHEEB. Suquamish. On Liberty Bay N of the present town of Poulsbo. "One or two large [55’x150’] buildings...about 4 smaller [25’x50’] ones..." Another source only credits this village site with one small house. The people here were of the sook-WAHBSH ('clear saltwater dwellers') group.  (3, 4, 5)








6. [name not known]. Suquamish. On the N part of the Kitsap Peninsula about 4 miles S of village 4 at Point Bolin or Bolen.  (3)








7. [name not known]. Suquamish. On the W side of Bainbridge Island at Battle Point. At this village site there was a "fort that was built in Chief Seattle’s protection against any invading people." The fort consisted of palisaded poles with mat houses inside.  (3, 5)  Near, or at, this location, on a promontory which does not appear on current maps but used to be locally known as Snag Point, was an old village known as KHAH-wh'tee-oo.  (1)  








8. [name not known]. Suquamish. On the E side of Bainbridge Island at Rolling Bay. "One or two large buildings besides the smaller building."  (5)








9. [name not known]. Suquamish. On Bainbridge Island at Eagle Harbor. The people here were of the sahk-TAHBSH band.  (3, 4)








10. too-soo-kloo-SOOB. Suquamish. On Bainbridge Island at the present town of Port Blakely. At least "one building...[55’X150’] and about seven other small [25’x50’] buildings." The people here were of the sahk-TAHBSH band.  (5)








11. beh-beh-HOO-dee ('dancing place', because The Transformer found people dancing here). Suquamish. At the S end of Bainbridge Island on Rich Passage at Pleasant Beach. In the late 1800s "all that were left [here] were two [25’x50’] buildings."  (1, 3, 5)  Near here, at Point White was an old village called too-kwah-HAH-duhch, meaning 'goose droppings'. (1) 








12. spee-OOTL. Suquamish. On Dye(s) Inlet at the present town of Chico. "One large [55’x150’] building." The people here were of the sahk-TAHBSH band.  (3, 5)  








13. [name not known]. Suquamish. At Blake Island S of Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound. "One or two large [55’X150’] buildings besides the small [25’X50’] buildings..."  (5)








14. boo-COHL-bee ('people gathered together from various places') . Suquamish. On Kitsap Peninsula opposite Blake Island and near the present day village of Colby. "One or two large buildings besides four small ones..." According to another report there was one small house.  (1, 3, 5)








15. oh-LAH-lee (‘cat-tails’). Suquamish. On Colvos Passage opposite Vashon Island and near the present day town of Ollala. "One or two large buildings besides about four smaller ones..." According to other reports there was only a seasonal camp here where people picked cat-tail rushes.  (3, 5)








16. STEH-khoog'wl ('where one pushes a canoe over').  Puyallup. At the present day village of Portage on the narrow stretch of land connecting Maury and Vashon Islands. " buildings [about 35’x50’] and about seven families in each."   Part of the skwah-PAHBSH band.  (1, 5)






17. tsoo-GWAH-lehlh. Puyallup. At the entrance to Quartermaster harbor on Maury Island. One large [50’x200’] building originally built as a fort. This village was begun by a single man, possibly a Skagit warrior, and populated by him through wives from neighboring groups. The fort was built to guard against retaliatory measures from nearby Duwamish. When this man grew old the village moved to Gig Harbor in the early-mid 1800s. Above the fort, further up the Harbor, were "...four small [30’x50’] houses..." People here were part of the skwah-PAHBSH band.  (5, 6)  Possibly at the same location, in the inner harbor near the present-day town of Burton, were three pre-contact villages:  koh-kohl-chehch, 'madrone', was an old village that had kitchen midden one feet deep in the early 1900s; the site has since washed away.  kwee-LOOT, 'over there', was an even older village site and the scene of a famous mythical war with the Snake People.  AHL-ahl-ehl ,'old houses' was a related site just below the the town of Burton.  (1)







18. spwee-YAWL-ah-pahbsh (from pwee-YAWL-ahp, 'twisting', referring to the name of the river, although according to (1) the word means 'ample supply of everything'). Puyallup. Located at the mouth of the Puyallup River in what is now the city of Tacoma, at the current intersection of 15th Street and Pacific Avenue. This was the central site of an extended village which included TWAH-deb-tsahb, village 19, as well as two other nearby house sites. People of this village were the "real" Puyallup.  (6)








19. TWAH-deb-tsahb. Puyallup. Located in what is now the city of Tacoma where a creek, which no longer exists, emptied into Commencement Bay, at the current intersection of 24th Street and Pacific Avenue. This was part of the extended village spwee-YAWL-ah-pahbsh.  (6)








20. swh’LOH-tseed. Puyallup. Located at the head of Wollochet Bay about five miles S of the current town of Gig Harbor. This village was established to accommodate the increasing population from TWAH-well-kawh, village 21.  (6)







21. TWAH-well-kawh. Puyallup. Located at the mouth of a stream at the present town of Gig Harbor. This village was said to have been founded many generations prior to treaty time by people from one of the villages around Commencement Bay (Tacoma). This was the main village of the skwah-PAHBSH band. At this site, in the mid-1800s, there were "six buildings, one large about 100’ long and the others about 30’ square." Also nearby "...there was a big white rock in front of Kingsbury’s homestead now at the harbor, and there were two buildings in there and this rock was between the two [about 60’ square] buildings."  (5, 6)







22. tw’LEH-lah-khleh. Puyallup. Located at the head of Burley Lagoon, Carr Inlet. Peter Puget saw a village here in 1792, but its population had either moved to other sites on Carr Inlet or become extinct well before the mid-1800s.  (6)  Near here, on the sand spit which separates Burley lagoon from Carr Inlet was the village of too-SKHOHT-lehb (from a stem meaning 'to bite').  The people here had the reputation of being great fighters.  Once, it was told, all the people in the village were killed except for a pregnant woman.  She later gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, by whom the (no doubt seriously deranged) group was perpetuated.  (1)   







23. s’HOHT'l-bahbsh. Puyallup. Located on Carr Inlet just N of the present town of Minter. This was the main village on Carr Inlet and in the mid-1800s had at least one " of a hundred feet or over, and probably 50 feet wide...and they used to call that a training train their young ones." In addition, people lived in this same house and dances were also held there. Most reliable testimony tells of three to six buildings at this location.  (5, 6)








24. kl’BAH-lt’w. Puyallup. Located on Carr Inlet at the present town of Glencove. This village was originally peopled from village 23 at Minter and retained a close alliance with it. The people here were also considered s’HOHTL-bahbsh.  (6)







25. k'SKWAH-k'sood  ('split apart'). Squaxin. On North Bay off Coulter Inlet, at the mouth of Coulter Creek. Principal SWAHKS-dahbsh village. There was a well-defined path across the narrow stretch of land between this village and Lynch Cove at the head of Hood Canal. People from here may have moved thus to the Skokomish reservation after its creation.  (1, 6)








26. [site name not known, part of extended village of the SWAHKS-dahbsh, above]. Squaxin. Located at the present village of Allyn on North Bay off Coulter Inlet. Some reports put the eastern terminus of the path to Hood Canal here.  (6)








27. doowhk-OO-kwahbsh (‘where they eat backbones of salmon’). Twana. At the mouth of Big Mission Creek on Lynch Cove at the eastern end of Hood Canal. This was home to the ch’wh-LAY-lup Twana who supposedly migrated from wh’TSAY-yai, village 39.  (7)







28. bus-kahl-AH-wud (‘having a lagoon’). Skokomish. At the mouth of a small unnamed creek onto Hood Canal about 2 1/2 miles east of Shoofly Point and 1/4 mile west of an unnamed point and adjacent small lagoon. Unclear whether the name refers to the ancient pre-1800 permanent village site here, or to the camping site near the lagoon (where oysters were gathered), or possibly to both.  (7)







29. skahlh-LAH-luh-wuch. Skokomish. Between the mouth of Shoofly Creek onto Hood Canal and the lagoon just behind the adjacent Shoofly Point to the east. The village here was abandoned probably about 1800, and subsequently this was a camping site for harvesting oysters from the lagoon as well as pilchard--a herring-like fish--that would gather at the nearby beach. Excavation of the village site has yielded two strata of shell deposits.  (7)








30. tah-WHOO-yah. Skokomish. On the Hood Canal beach just W of the mouth of the Tahuya River. Houses here were burned and residents evicted to the Skokomish reservation in about 1860.  (7)








31. t’BAH-whay (‘gooseberry bush’). Skokomish. On Hood Canal shore about 1 mile W of the mouth of the west channel of the Skokomish River. An old summer camping place and, after about 1850, winter village to at least one family. There was a large plank house here until mid-late 1800s that was used in winter spirit dancing.  (7)








32. SWEE-PAH’k-sub (‘lacks a point’ ?). Skokomish. On Hood Canal shore about 1/2 mile W of village 31, t’BAH-whay, and 1 1/2 mile W of mouth of west channel of Skokomish River. A camping and possibly early winter village were here. In early 1900s a settler digging in the area recovered artifacts at a depth of 6 feet.  (7)







33. doowh-tl’WHAH-lhahk. Skokomish. On Hood Canal near where Hwy 101 meets the canal at the N edge of the Skokomish reservation. There was an extensive post-reservation permanent settlement here; earlier this was probably only a summer or fall settlement. A potlatch house stood here until late1800s. A rock called wha-AH-what (‘thunder’) used to be here. Trails from here led to a camping site on the Skokomish River and to village 39, wh’TSAY-yai, about 4 miles W on the N Fork Skokomish River. Just N of here was tuh-BAH-dahs, the principal Skokomish settlement of the mid-1800s, and doost-CH’l-bud (‘herring place’), at Tillikum Beach near the old power plant, which was also largely a post-1850 village site.  (7)







34. duh-TLEHB. Skokomish. At present village of Potlatch on Hood Canal. In the old days this was a camping site; it has no creek and would thus never be used for more than a temporary camp. After the reservation was founded ch’wh-LAY-lup Twana settled here and gave a famous potlatch to mark their move. In the late 1800s this was a large village.  (7)








35. tah-LAH-ahk’w-loo. On Hood Canal on a small point just S of mouth of a small creek about 1/2 mile S of present town of Hoodsport. This was a village populated by slaves belonging to the people of SLAH-lahlh-lahlh-too-BAWH, village 36.  (7)








36. SLAH-lahlh-lahlh-too-bawh. Twana. On Hood Canal at mouth of Finch Creek, a major salmon stream, at the present town of Hoodsport. There was a large village here and most of the houses were on the S side of the creek.  (7)







37. choh-KWAH-luhlh (‘narrows’). Skokomish. On N Fork Skokomish River 1/2 mile below the falls (2 to 3 miles below the present upper dam) on E bank in a small flat. There was a small winter settlement here occupied by at least one family. This was a good location for spearing salmon and it drew other Skokomish during the salmon season. From the nearby falls a trail led to duh-TLEHB, village 34, as well as to village 36, SLAH-lahlh-lahlh-too-bawh, whence came the Hoodsport Twana slaves who caught and dried fish at the falls.  (7)








38. chuhl-AWH-tsud (‘in the canyon’). Skokomish. On N Fork Skokomish River. Location is uncertain. Headman here in early-1800s was a professional warrior named STAH-kuhb-ee-tsood.  (7)







39. wh’TSAY-yai (from swh’TSAY, ‘ironwood roasting spit’). Skokomish. On E bank of N Fork Skokomish River about 3 miles upriver from junction with S Fork. The Skokomish here--at least some of them--were believed to have moved in pre-white times to the head of Hood Canal and to have become the group of Twana known as the ch’wh-LAY-lup (see village 27).  (7)







40. yee-LAHL-koh (‘forks of the river’). Skokomish. On the S bank of the Skokomish River about 1/2 mile below the fork. The river has shifted and eroded its banks extensively in this area and the site no longer exists. This large settlement with at least two big cedar plank houses was the principal Skokomish settlement in pre-white times, with the headman here recognized as a community leader by other villages in the Skokomish drainage. There was a fish weir here, and the graveyard nearby was used by people all along the river.  (7)








41. kwuhl-KWELL-ee (‘cedar trees’). Twana. In a prairie along the N bank of Vance Creek 3 or 4 miles from its confluence with the S Fork Skokomish River. This was the main settlement of the ch’t-kwuhl-KWELL-ee, a Twana speaking group distinct from the Skokomish and wholly inland in habitat.  (7)







42. EH-low-awlh. Skokomish. At the former (pre-dam) lower end of Lake Cushman near the outlet of the N Fork Skokomish River, probably not far from the present State Park. A small settlement was here where at least one family wintered. The name not only applied to the village, but to the lake, nearby (present) Mt Washington and the surrounding country.  (7)







43. sluhl-AH-wahp (‘inlet’). Skokomish. Along the shore of Lilliwaup Bay from the S side of the mouth of Lilliwaup Creek to an unnamed creek emptying into a cove just S of the bay. A permanent settlement in post-treaty times, in the old days this site was probably populated only during the summer and fall fishing seasons when plank houses were erected here.  (7)








44. doowh-yah-BOOS (‘place of crooked-jawed salmon’). Twana. At the mouth of the Duckabush River. The name refers to both the river and to the winter village here. Other Twana and Klallam visitors also camped nearby during salmon season. The village headman in the early 1800s was a warrior named whah-WHAH-kw’sub.  (7)







45. doos-WAH-loopsh (‘place of thieves or selfish people’). Twana. On the beach near the mouth of the Dosewallips River at the present town of Brinnon. The name refers to the village, the river, and to a mountain (Mt Jupiter? Mt Constance?) far inland, on the left hand as one goes upriver. The mountain is flanked by a series of hills which were called its children.  (7)









1.  "Puget Sound Geography" by T. T. Waterman.  Washington DC:  National Anthropological Archives, mss.

2.  "Seattle Before Seattle" by David Buerge in the [Seattle] Weekly, Dec 17-Dec 23, 1980. 

3.  "Commission Findings on the Coast Salish and western Washington Indians" by Indian Claims Commission in Coast Salish and Western Washington Indians, v.5.  New York:  Garland Publishing, 1974.

4.  "The Coast Salish of Puget Sound" by Marian W. Smith in American Anthropologist, v. 43 [new series]: 197-211, 1941.

5.  Duwamish et al vs. United States of America, F-275.  Washington DC:  US Court of Claims, 1927.

6.  The Puyallup-Nisqually by Marian W. Smith.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 1940.

7.  "The Structure of Twana Culture" by W. W. Elmendorf in Coast Salish and Western Washington Indians, v.4.  New York:  Garland Publishing, 1974.