Old Indian Camps

Here and there may yet be found traces of old Indian camps. On a little tour of investigation in 1910, the writer looked over three old camp sites. The most interesting and easiest to find was the one at Mrs. Leque’s place a short distance east of Stanwood. This camp must have been used for a long time. There was a mound covering at least half an acre, and at some points as much as five feet higher than the level of the adjoining land. It seemed to be built up entirely of clamshells, rocks, bones and refuse. Some of the clamshells were immense, 5 and 6 inches long. The location of the camp was ideal-on the river bank with unobstructed view for a long way both up and down stream. A little slough swings in behind the camp on the southeast side, making a fine place to hide a number of canoes. No doubt this was at one time a very busy place. You may find traces of their camps from Stanwood to Hat Slough, but hardly any as conspicuous as this one.

At the Pilchuck creels crossing, on the old Bryant-Cedarhome road, some men levelling ground for a mill site found a circular pit of rocks about a foot under the surface of the soil, evidently an old fireplace. The Indians say this was a temporary camp used for generation after generation, being near a big berry burn and good hunting grounds. At the upper Pilchuck, near where the N. P. railway bridge crosses the creek, was the junction of Skagit and Stolukquamish trails. There one time very long ago occurred a battle between some hunting parties, and thereafter Stolukquamish Indians were rather careful when passing it, on account of bad tamanowis.


Bruseth, Nels. Indian Stories and Legends of the Stillaguamish and Allied Tribes. 1926.

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