Cars & Trucks, Downtown, Education, Entertainment, Farmers Market, Puyallup, Real Estate, Restaurants, Washington State Fair

Puyallup Events (Jan 23-29)

It’s a new week in Puyallup. Check out the different events happening in the community! 

Sportsmen’s Show

It’s where the great outdoors comes indoors! Western Washington’s only Sportsmen’s Show features over 150 hours of free “how to” seminars, the one-of-a-kind indoor “Steelhead River,” camp cooking demonstrations, the Kid’s Free Trout Pond, the “Head & Horns” competition and much more. This event is family-friendly and also good for those who want to be a bit more adventurous in nature. It’s the perfect time to begin planning outdoor adventures with professional guides, outfitters and other resources to assist in making fishing, hunting and wildlife-watching trips a reality. We live in an amazing area of the world where the great outdoors is very accessible. Areas of interest include hunting, fishing, camping, guides and outfitters, resorts & lodges from western US, Canada & internationally, boats, RVs, 4×4’s, wildlife art, pack equipment, hunting dogs, 3D archery, horse and mule packing, and casting pools. If you love the outdoors, this event is not to be missed! The event begins Wednesday and runs through Sunday evening!

Hours: Wed – Fri, 12pm – 8pm; Sat, 10am – 8pm; Sun, 10am – 4pm
Location: Sleep Train ShowPlex – Enter at Blue Gate

Feed My Starving Children- Mobile Pack

FMSC is a global Christian hunger charity that donates nutritious, dehydrated MannaPack meals to missions running orphanages, schools, clinics, and feeding programs in nearly 70 countries. MobilePack program connects volunteers from across the United States to children across the world. We invite you to participate in these events by packing food or donating funds. This is a great way to give back and help those less fortunate.
Hours: January 27 at 12:00 pm to January 28 at 6:00 pm
Location: AgriPlex – Enter at Green Gate


Puyallup Public Library

Check out the calendar of Puyallup library events. This week the library is hosting:

24 -Tuesday
25 – Wednesday
26- Thursday
27- Friday
28- Saturday

High School Winter Sports

With the cold winter months in full swing, indoor winter sports are a great way for students to stay active and busy. Check out the different schools and teams and go out and support a student you know in the community. You can find the different sports, teams, and times here on the SPSL (South Puget Sound League) website.

Pinot’s Palette 

Painting and wine in one relaxing evening. Spend an evening at Pinot’s Palette in the Sunrise Village located on South Hill. Pick your evening here!

South Hill Mall 

Brawl at the Mall

Friday, January 27th 7 pm

Come out and support Rogers High School Rams Wrestling Team as they compete against Kentridge High School. Bring your canned food to help the Puyallup Food Bank restock after the holidays.


Cascade Regional Blood Drive 

Saturday, January 28th, 10am-2pm

Donate Blood on the Cascade Regional Bus located near Applebee’s!

Weather update

Have you enjoyed the warmer weather or do you miss the cold temperature and clear sky? With the temperature rise, it’s time to get back outside again! Check out local parks and trails to stay active in the winter!

That’s all for Puyallup this week! Follow us on Twitter or Follow us on Instagram @puyallupwashington. Check in next week for what’s happening in Puyallup! Make it a terrific week.


Downtown, Education, Farmers Market, Puyallup

Puyallup Public Library

Puyallup Public Library

Education is a powerful thing. It is one of the most important things Ezra Meeker, our Puyallup pioneer, valued highly. The power of education not only enhances literacy, it creates inspiration and imagination. It can not only inspire yourself but help inspire others.

Before Puyallup was even a city, there has always been a library. Before the land cut down to a manageable level by Ezra Meeker, his wife Eliza Jane was lending out books from Puyallup’s Pioneer Park. She always knew the value of acquiring knowledge and that is why she would lend the books out of her cabin. Puyallup was growing fast, however, and the process of her lending out the books was becoming more difficult. Soon after several businessmen (8) got together with funds of $5,000 to form the Puyallup Library Association. They expanded the book lending efforts greatly. This new enhancement allowed them to hire their first librarian, Francis McCoy, who was paid $25 per month.

The first Puyallup Library was created by a grant that the City Council applied for. The City Council was persuaded/pushed by the local citizens to apply for it. During the beginning of the century about 3,000 Carnegie Libraries were built. Millionaire Andrew Carnegie was financing many of the public libraries during that period. This grant was one of the those opportunities and Puyallup was eventually successful. The initial library cost $12,500 and the City Council had to pledge $1,250 annually for supporting the new Puyallup Library. With the permission from Ezra Meeker, the library was built in the now Pioneer Park we all know today. Ezra donated the Pioneer Park with the agreement that it would only be used as a park, thus his permission was required before the library construction could be started. In 1913 the 4000 sq. ft. library opened and continued to serve the community for 50 years. Eventually, it just couldn’t support the growing community and the building was wearing down. The weight of the books were struggling to support all the books and it was declared unsafe.

A new building was proposed. Voters approved a new bond and with that a new library would be built. The cost was $210,000 and 11,622 square feet. The building was bigger, better, and much more modern. Puyallup’s population continue to grow rapidly it went from 12,450 to 30,740 people and the library items continued to grow as well. In 1962 it was more than just books now. The Puyallup library had computers, DVD’s, cd’s, and talking books. The rooms were always occupied with students and business meetings. In short, the library needed to grow to meet the demands of the city, students, rental items, and the growth of the city of Puyallup.

Another bond was presented to the voters and it passed on Sept. 14th 1999. The new building would be 39,500 sq. ft. Crowds came from all over Puyallup to witness the new opening of the library. It was a celebration and the people were anxious to experience it. The new Puyallup Public Library we know today has lots of space. It supports enough space for 150,000 books, 150,000 books, 20,000 videos, 12,000 talking books, and 10,000 cd’s. The also have computers which help and supports the process of finding more knowledge not only in the library but via the Internet. They have book meeting rooms and also studying rooms which can be used by students. Throughout the building you’ll find lots of tables for studying and friendly helpers. In 2009 during their first 4 months, the library lent out approx. 41,000 items per month.

The Puyallup Public Library is a must visit being a resident of Puyallup. It offers so much to the community. Not only the knowledge it provides but events as well. In Oct 2015, they have readings, public movie events, and award winning authors who you can meet in person.

Some of their programs include the Puyallup Festival of Books program. They have a full calendar of events on their site which are quite popular. On Oct 23rd and 24th 2015, they have the third annual Memories of Valor event. The Library has adult programs where you can get a guide to understand the communities history better. Volunteers help with this effort by using old photographs, year books, and other information which dates all the back to the 1900’s. There are also computer classes available for both adults and younger students. Kids’ Programs are available which focuses on making learning fun. More is available here but one of the more recent programs is called STREAM which stands for Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math. The program is hands on with the goal of using activities to make it fun to learn. Other kid events include a Mad Scientist Library Lab, Chain Reactions, and Technology Exploration. They also have children authors who visit and storytelling events. The kids have a great time and love the activities. These events change all the time so you’ll want to check back on their website often to see what is new at the Library. Lastly, the Puyallup Library has weekly programs for teens throughout the school year. These include movie days, creative art events, comic book events, the Anime Club, gaming, and crafting events.

The Puyallup Public Library offers online tools also to help Puyallup residents find the information they are looking for 24/7. You can search by keyword, book, or author to get the information you’re looking for at the comfort of your home.

Address: 324 S Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371 (in Pioneer Park)
Phone:(253) 841-5454

The park which includes the library is known as Pioneer Park. It features the statue of Ezra Meeker and the ivy location where the Meeker’s cabin once stood. Puyallup’s concert in the park is held here each year. The community really comes together for the musical events (Thursday nights). They bring lawn chairs, dance, and eat from many of the food vendors. The Park also holds the Pioneer Pavilion. The space is often used for the Famer Markets and also rented out for Weddings or special events. The newest attraction is the Kiwanis Kids Spray Park.

Concert Stage in Pioneer Park Puyallup

Pioneer Park Pavilion in Puyallup

Education, Puyallup

Ezra Meeker Statue & Cabin in Pioneer Park

Ezra Meeker Statue And Cabin

As I was driving down Meridian yesterday, I came across the sun shinning down on the Ezra Meeker statue and the ivy cabin area where his home originally was built before the Meeker Mansion we know today. Ezra and his family lived in the cabin for 26 years! The ivy was actually planted by his wife Eliza Jane to provide shade for the cabin in 1864. The ivy continued to flourish (as we all know it does) many years after the cabin walls rotted away. Ezra and his wife Eliza donated the “Pioneer Park” land to the citizens of Puyallup. The vines were saved to be part of the history of the city as well as the concrete pergola to support them.

Ezra in Puyallup Pioneer Park for his Statue CeremonyEventually, the Meeker family moved out of the Meeker Mansion in Puyallup. The statue of Ezra was created to honor him and his one-time home. Ezra came back to Puyallup for the local ceremony in 1926.

Just a few years later Meeker would be hospitalized with pneumonia while in Detroit. His condition got better and he returned back home to Seattle but he unfortunately got sick again. George F. Frye (built the Frye Hotel in Seattle) was married to Ezra’s oldest child Louise Catherine. While he was sick he was moved to a room at the Frye Hotel (room 412) and he eventually passed away a few months later on December 3, 1928. He was 97 – just 27 days short of his 98th birthday. His body was taken back to Puyallup where it rest today next to his wife at the Woodbine Cemetery.

Today, the Pioneer Park holds many events throughout the year. One of the new additions is the Kiwanis Kids Spray Park which was just finished in 2015.

Kiwanis Kids Spray Park Pioneer Park in Puyallup 10/5/2015
Kiwanis Kids Spray Park Pioneer Park in Puyallup 10/5/2015

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Downtown, Education, Puyallup

Why Daffodils for Puyallup Valley?

Puyallup Daffodils

If you were to ask a Puyallup resident, circa 1880, what the most common crop in the Valley is, they would of course answer…? Hops??? Yes, it made many farmers Millionaires at the time, but today there is no trace of this crop in Puyallup. What about Daffodils you ask? Well, here’s how it all happened.

In 1865 the Puyallup Valley was covered in Hops. By 1900, there were nearly none left due to an hop aphid infestation, as well as a growing problem with mildew ruining the plants. At the time, hops was considered the best plant for the valley soil and climate, but growing frustration with failed crops had farmers looking to plant a different crop.

It is uncertain who brought the first daffodil bulbs to the Puyallup Valley, though many credit either Mary Ann Boatman, Emma Darrow Carson or Ruth Kincaid McCarty from their homes in the Midwest. While they added beauty to the garden around the homesteads, few would have foreseen the importance of the flower to financially save Puyallup’s farmers after the failure of the Valley’s Hop Crops. The first person to plant his fields with the Daffodil bulb was George Ward Lawler in the year 1910.. He had a plant stand in Fife at the time, and who’s business mostly consisted of selling his beautiful flowers to the upper class who passed on their new horseless carriages. So successful was Mr. Lawler during his first year, the next year Lawler expanded operations, purchasing 9,000 bulbs from England and Holland, importing some of the finest varieties. While all varieties were expensive with the high costs of shipping, Mr. Lawler had some exquisite bulb varieties that cost as much as $75 each, a fortune in that time. The daffodil farm had grown to 15 acres by the early 1920’s, on leased land in North Puyallup. It was at this time George Lawler needed to expand, but was unsuccessful in his efforts to lease or buy adjoining property to expand his increasingly successful operation. He finally left the Valley in the early 1920’s, moving to Roy, Washington where he continued to thrive growing daffodils and other bulb varieties. But, despite his absence from Puyallup, valley farmers closely watched his success. At this same time, domestic bulb growers in other parts of the country were complaining to the US government about unfair competition from Holland in undercutting the domestic prices of flowers. The USDA eventually placed an embargo on Dutch bulbs, and encouraged US farmers to pick up the slack to fill consumer need. At the same time, the USDA named the Puyallup Valley as one of the most ideal places in the nation in which to grow daffodils. Add to this a huge shipment of bulbs imported into Seattle, but unclaimed by its original purchaser. That was all the encouragement the Puyallup Valley many farmers needed.

In 1924, W.H. Paulhamus called a meeting of local farmers. He finally persuaded Charles and William Orton to purchase the unclaimed shipment. The Orton’s then in turn persuaded their many farmer friends to purchase some of the bulbs. Together, the farmers purchased the abandoned shipment, planted the bulbs, and this began Puyallup’s affiliation with the Daffodil.

Concerns about disease and insects led the United States to ban the importation of flower bulbs from Holland on January 1, 1926. The ban, “Quarantine #37,” changed bulb growing in the Puyallup Valley from a minor to a major industry almost overnight. In April 1926, a short 100 days after the ban took effect, the Puyallup Valley Tribune could brag that “the largest daffodil field in America – is right here in our own city. That same year, the Puyallup Valley Bulb Exchange was formed to promote and market the bulbs to the World.

Also popularizing the beauty of the flower and its burgeoning importance to the valley was the precursors to today’s Daffodil festival. When the Bulb Exchange was formed, Mrs. Charles Orton opened their home to visitors to view their beautiful home, view the daffodil fields and eat wonderful cakes while sipping tea. More than 400 visitors arrived to their home! So successful was the event that Mrs. Orton decided to make it an annual event. Many view this as a precursor to the Daffodil festival that started 8 years later in 1934.

Another event is credited to the current Daffodil festival roots. During the same year, the Sumner Chamber of Commerce held an annual banquet, which was decorated in grand displays of daffodils, not only in the banquet hall but on each of the diners tables. It was that banquet that in 1935 changed its name to the Daffodil Festival Bulb Banquet, and a flower show and official bulb farm tour maps were created. So popular was this event, that Express trains were organized to bring spectators to the valley to view the carpets of daffodils.

As stated above, the Daffodil festival began in 1934. The person who had great influence in this decision was Lee Merrill, a Tacoma photographer who recognized the waste in seeing the beautiful flowers die on the vine. At this time in Puyallup’s history, it was the bulbs that were valued, the flowers were a “by-product” of what the farmers really valued. In 1934, Merrill suggested the flowers be used to decorate floats and a more formal “Daffodil Festival” be held. He suggested that a true festival needed a queen, and certainly needed a street parade. So, for that first parade, a queen was chosen. Ms. Elizabeth Wotton was stopped on Meridian Street and asked to be the queen. She accepted this rather odd, but wonderful invitation. And so began the Daffodil Festival that still brings beauty, history and the events that are among the most cherished among valley residents to this day.

Those of us raised in Puyallup remember as children seeing a yellow carpet of the flowers lining the valley, but today’s children may find it difficult to understand our connection with this beautiful flower. Were there was once 40 daffodil farmers, there are now only five. And, their acreage is much smaller; less than half of what it once was. Not only are there less fields, but there are less blooms. One of the last major daffodil producers in the Puyallup Valley is the VanLierop bulb farm. With sophisticated methods of refrigeration, most flowers are picked before they bloom—to bloom later, when its best for the retailer.

So, now you know some of the story behind the growth, and the slow demise of our cherished flower. I very much hope we can keep some essence of the flowers importance to our Puyallup community. But, I fear, that the daffodil will be forgotten, just as the history of the Hop’s of the late 1800’s is largely forgotten.

Downtown, Education, Puyallup

Central School in Puyallup (History)

Central School class photo in Puyallup

Students at Central School in Puyallup posed for this photo in about 1888. Today’s public school enrollment in grades from kindergarten through high school tops 22,250.

Fort Maloney served as our city’s first school at what is now Grayland Park. No longer able to accommodate a growing student population, in a building not originally intended to house a school, townspeople decided it was time for a new school to be built. It would be located where the present day Karshner Museum is located. Although larger than the room they shared in the Fort, accommodations were sparse. Logs served as chairs, students had no desks, and with no ceiling, the precious warmth remained high in the rafters. To help remedy this situation, and interesting proposal came about. One of the townspeople owned a flag that had once proudly flown over Fort Steilacoom. The flag was huge, large enough to easily cover the open rafters in the schoolhouse. So large, in fact, that it had to be partially folded to fit in the accommodating space. This school, dubbed the “Green School” because it was entirely coated in green paint, served the city from 1873 until 1886.

However, by 1884, it was apparent that the Green School was becoming to small to serve the growing community. Even with many additions, such as desks and large windows, the building was becoming increasingly inadequate. A new school was proposed, but taxpayers rejected the idea of building the planned $10,000 school. By 1885, a new plan was proposed, cutting the costs to $3,000. With a winning bid of $3,035, construction finally began. By summer 1886, the three-story school was nearly complete. All that was left was to place a 475lb. school bell at the top of the beautiful new building. When classes began in October 1886 enrollment stood at 140 students.

What happened to Central School? Unfortunately, in 1928 the building was destroyed by fire… But, the foundation of the original Central School was not destroyed. It was built upon and used as the original Stewart Elementary, and today that building serves as the Karshner Museum.

Old Central School Puyallup Washington

Puyallup's Central School old class photo

Downtown, Education, Puyallup

Amazing Pictures of Puyallup’s History

We found these amazing pictures of Puyallup’s history. You must see them and share with your friends. Oh how times have changed in Puyallup downtown. What do you think?

Clearing trees in Downtown Puyallup.  1889
Clearing trees in Downtown Puyallup. 1889
Downtown Puyallup in 1883
Downtown Puyallup in 1883. Town Shops.
This view of Puyallup, taken from Central School's tower.
This view of Puyallup, taken from Central School’s tower.
Puyallup's Train Station.  1888
Puyallup’s Train Station. 1888
Downtown Puyallup 1890
Puyallup in 1890, Meridian St. looking South. Photo from Beta Womens Club Collection, Puyallup Public Library.
Downtown, Education, Puyallup

What’s with the name, Puyallup?

Puyallup name origin why

In short, the name came from an Indian phrase “pough,” which meant “add more,” and “allup,” which meant “the people.” The Indians who lived in Puyallup’s river area, he said, always gave more than needed or expected to other Indians who came to trade. They were a very generous people.

Our first settlers in the valley began to know the town as Meekersville, after Ezra Meeker, the one most considered the first to plat the land in the valley. Mr. Meeker wasn’t fond of the name, so when the first postmaster was asked by the government postal office the name of the town, he replied Franklin, named after the first postmasters (J.P. Stewart) hometown in New York. However, this name frustrated settlers who found that because Franklin was a common name for communities throughout the still forming United States, their mail often ended up in the various Franklin’s throughout the States. Once Washington became a state, Ezra Meeker was asked to supply a name for the town in which this land laid, he choose Puyallup as its name.

Why Puyallup? Ezra was determined to pick a name that no other town in the United States would have, or ever likely have in the future, so that citizens would be assured that any and all mail addressed to “Puyallup” would no doubt find its way to this distinctively named city.

In later years however, Ezra Meeker always questioned (and regretted) his decision, seeing the difficulty those from outside the region had in pronouncing the name or interpreting its spelling.

Downtown, Education, Puyallup

Warner Melvin Karshner Biography (Karshner Museum)

Dr. Warner Karshner Puyallup

Warner Melvin Karshner was born in December of 1874 on his father’s farm in Ohio. After a brief move with his family to Kansas, his restless father was unhappy with the weather of the Midwest and very quickly decided to move to the new territory of the Pacific Northwest. Soon after arriving in the Puyallup Valley, Warner’s father purchased a 3-acre farm in the N.W. corner of Puyallup. Warner quickly embraced his new town, loving his surroundings and the opportunities for work in the Valley. Picking berries and hops for area farmers was one of his first jobs, but he also was a janitor at the Central School, and was a sexton of the First Methodist Church where he rang the bell for services and stoked the furnace. But despite these opportunities, Warmer’s father wanted nothing more to do with civilization. He sold their farm to John R. Rogers (future governor of Washington and namesake of Rogers High School). The family moved to the Olympic Peninsula where the family filed a new homestead claim.

Despite his fathers desire to live a life on a farm without influences of civilization, his parents truly valued education and had a great desire for the best education for their children. So strong was this belief, it was decided that Warner, his 3 brothers, one sister, and his mother would move to Olympia where they could attend school during the winter. In the summer, all were needed on the farm, but this sacrifice was made during the winter where education could be the focus of family concern – and pride. Warner graduated from High School, then enrolled at the University of Washington. To save money, he and a friend lived in a shack they built on the university campus. During the summer months, he worked on a fishing boat to earn the money to pay his tuition. Incredibly, to save money, he would walk from Gray’s Harbor (where he fished) to Seattle each fall. In the Spring, he would then walk back to Gray’s Harbor.

After graduation in 1898, he returned to the Puyallup Valley to teach school. He primarily taught at Maplewood Elementary, although substituting at all Puyallup schools.

Karshner’s goal was not to be a teacher, however. He was saving his money to attend medical school. After saving enough for a years tuition, he enrolled in the Northwestern University Medical School near Chicago. there, during his last year of studies, he met Ella Hibbert and soon after, asked her to be his wife. After graduation, he returned to Puyallup to establish a medical practice and built a home on 4th St. S.W. and West Pioneer. With that done, he married his Ella on March 4, 1905. A few years later, their only child was born. Paul Hibbert Karshner became the centerpiece of his parents lives.

Dr. Karshner’s contributions to our city live on today in many ways, the most obvious being that of the Karshner Museum, and in the many lives he brought into the world with the over 2,000 babies he delivered in our community. For 25 years, Dr. Karshner had taken care of most all the health needs of Puyallup’s citizens, lovingly assisted by his wife Ella Hibbert Karshner, whom he married on May 14, 1905.

The early years of his practice were difficult. There were no health care facilities in the Valley, and few modern conveniences such as electricity, running water, and with only the basic medical equipment. Soon after he was appointed as Puyallup’s health officer in 1909, conditions quickly worsened as a case of Bubonic plague was discovered in Puyallup. U.S. Public Health officers visited Puyallup, ordering Dr. Karshner to clean up the city. This was a time in Puyallup’s history were many downtown buildings were in shambles from neglect and abandonment, where there was no sewer lines and no garbage removal systems in place. With Dr. Karshner’s insistence, several buildings were condemned and burned, and the City of Puyallup put in a sewer system and forced city residents to hook up to the sewer. With Dr. Karshner’s efforts, Puyallup became much cleaner, sanitary, and “modern” as a city. As a result, the plague was stopped. Incidences of typhoid fever also nearly vanished, a problem once prevalent in the growing city of Puyallup.

Even without modern facilities and patients lack of transportation, Dr. Karshner found ways to treat all his patients. This often included house visits, occasionally performing surgery on a patients kitchen table if needed. But always close to his heart was education. Before becoming a doctor in our city, he served for many years as a teacher in Puyallup before entering medical school. He also served for many years on the Puyallup School Board, and was elected to the Washington State legislature where he chaired the Education Committees.

In 1917, the same year he was elected to the State Senate, he entered the U.S. Army Medical Corps, serving as chief physician and surgeon of a military hospital in Georgia. He returned to Puyallup in 1919.

It was in 1924 that their only son, Hibbert Karshner, died of a polio epidemic in September of 1924. Paul was only 17 years of age, just beginning his senior year at Puyallup High School. In memory of their son, they established the Karshner Museum. The Karshner’s also established two scholarships at Puyallup High School in his memory. They continue to be awarded even today.

Shortly after his son’s death, Dr. Karshner decided to give up his practice in Puyallup and return to the University of Washington to seek another degree. He did in fact complete a Pathology Degree at Harvard University, returning to the UW to teach pathology the UW medical school.

Education, Puyallup

Rogers High School

Rogers High School in Puyallup

Governor John R. Rogers (known as ‘Rogers High School’) is located on South Hill in Puyallup, Washington. The school mission and vision is “WE! Every Day for Every Ram!” “We” stands for Win Everything. We believe that if students have the mentality and support to “Win” at the “4 A’s” (academics, activities, athletics and the arts) coupled with building successful and positive relationships, their growth in each one of those areas will reach their full potential.

Rogers is well known for its strong schools spirit, academic programs, athletics, and arts. Rogers is well loved by its students, staff, and alumni. Rogers is home to approximately 1,800 students.

Sports are an important part of Roger’s culture. The school division falls under the 4A classification, which is for the largest schools in the state. Fall brings in school spirit with football, cross country, soccer, golf, tennis, volleyball, and water polo. Many of these teams compete in state wide tournaments, and compete at the district and state level. Winter and spring sports include basketball, wrestling, gymnastics, bowling, track and field, fast pitch, and baseball. Many of these sports host try outs, but some are open to all who are interested.

Arts and drama are also a big part of the school culture. The choir department is very strong and has a long tradition of excellence. The drama department puts on numerous plays throughout the year and also produces an annual musical. The band and orchestra programs are also thriving parts of the music department and send students to compete in the state solo ensemble every year. Roger’s is a high school that invests in the arts and sees the importance of these activities to enriching the academic experience. Educators in the art department have been recipients of teaching awards and are well respected by students.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered to earn college credit in high school. Most juniors and seniors are eligible to enroll in these classes and take the AP test. Advisory is offered as a ‘home room’ to guide students in signing up for classes and working on the senior portfolio that is a graduation requirement. The Counseling Career Center is available to help students with their personal and academic growth. The Counseling Center can assist with the following: advanced placement, college entrance exams, culminating project, emergency community resources, financial aid/scholarships, high school graduation requirements, homework assistance, post high school planning, running start program, state testing requirements, and volunteer opportunities. Classes are offered in art, music, drama, debate, world languages, business and marketing, leadership, teaching careers, sciences, math, and more. Pathway programs are offered including JROTC, botany, ACE academy (construction and drafting), and welding.

There is something for every student to become involved in at Roger’s. Many clubs and activities exist that will meet the needs of student interests. A wide range of academic course offerings are available. Teachers and staff are there to support the needs of students and help them realize their dreams and full potential.

Education, Puyallup

Puyallup High School

Puyallup High School

Located in Downtown Puyallup in the Valley you’ll find the Puyallup High School.  The school is part of the Puyallup School District.  The district includes 3 other high schools as well which are Rogers High School, Emerald Ridge High School, and Walker High School.  PHS is the home of the Vikings and one of the biggest high schools in the state of Washington.  The colors of the school are purple and gold.

The Principal of the school is Eric Fredericks (2015) and between the years of 2013-2014 there were 1,589 students enrolled.  PHS provides education for the 10th-12th grade levels.

Puyallup Vikings standard logo for the school.
Puyallup Vikings standard logo for the school.

History of the School:
Puyallup High School was originally named Central High School.  The school was founded in 1890 and it’s first graduation class had 9 students in 1983.  Remember Puyallup was first incorporated in 1980 as well so everything was brand new for this small town.  The building went through a construction period in 1928 which cost between $30,000 – $35,000.  When the construction of the new school was completed, the school changed it’s name from Central High School to Puyallup High School.  During the graduation year of 1926, PHS had a graduating class of 112 students.  In 1956, the population of Puyallup was growing at a very fast rate and enrollments were very high making it difficult for the facility to support everyone.

The Fire at PHS:
Unfortunately during the year of 1927, the school had a fire and the graduating class that year held their graduation ceremony at the Liberty Theater.

The Liberty Theater
The Liberty Theater

Earthquake Damages:
After many years another event literally shook the school.  The Olympic Earthquake of 1949 caused great damage to the school building as well as the auditorium.  Several years later in 1965 yet again another earthquake caused damaged.  Due to the earthquake and damage, Puyallup High School felt the most damage and in fact was the only school closed in the Pierce County area.  To make matters even worse and unthinkable happened again in 2001.  In addition to all the other earthquakes, the school felt another shake which caused more damage.

There has been lots of construction projects at the school.  The first major construction of the building happened at the classroom building during 1971.  The gym was remodeled during 1984 and then a few years later the Library Science building (1986) was remodeled.  At his point, the school has grown very large with student enrollment.  Approximately 1600 students were moved to portables and extra rooms to just make it work during all the construction that was happening.  They even used other areas around the City of Puyallup, Washington.  The school really needed more room due to growth and the construction projects helped enhance the layouts so learning could happen more smoothly and efficiently.  Even though there was a lot of construction over the years at the school, they always made an effort to try to keep some of the original school structure as it was back in the day.

School Performance & Academic Scores:
Comparing the student performances during the years of 2005-2006, Puyallup High School 2nd in the entire district.  The school out performed Rogers High School and Walker High School.

During September of each year, qualifying seniors can apply for a scholarship. These scholarships are funded and created by the community through donations, auctions, raffles, and philanthropy efforts.  The Association also has a yearly annual dinner and a live auction. The events started in 1993 and have been very successful each year. They are managed and provided by the Puyallup High School Alumni Association.  The Washington State Fair (previously known as the Puyallup Fair) holds the event in the Expo Hall which is right in the middle of the fairgrounds.

High School reunions are put together by the many alumni volunteers as well as with the help of the Viking Booster Club.  For many years, reunions were being held at the Varsity Bar & Grill in Tacoma, however, the location closed several years ago.  The Viking Booster Club has a long history and is a non-profit that was created over 25 years ago.  They are very involved in the PHS raising funds to support the staff and students with planning and school events.  They often sell merchandise, provide the school Letterman patches, help with Homecoming, graduation activities, and of course scholarships which is noted above. Many of school yearbooks for Puyallup are held on display at the Library. The Puyallup Public Library has history days where you can review and discuss them.

Popular & Famous Alumni:
Puyallup High School has had there fair share of noble students.  We’ve seen Gail Bruce, Billy Joe Hobert, Brock Huard, Damon Huard, Dane Looker, and Adam Grant all make it to the NFL playing professionally.  On the topic of sports, we have Ryan Moore who is a professional golf player as well.  We’ve even had political figures such as Jim Kastama and Frank Brouillet.

PHS Vikings Football:
The schools football team holds many records to be proud of.  They were the state champs in 1987.  The football team has been league champs 14 times from 1971-2006.  Probably the most successful family related to football was the Huard students.  All three boys played football and 2 or 3 went to play professional after.  Brock Huard is often on TV discussing sports and the Seattle Seahawks.  There has been so many great football players who got there start with the Puyallup Vikings Football Team.  The mission statement for the football team is “Building Championship Attitude For A Lifetime Of Success”.

Over the many years at PHS, there have been many controversies.  According to the, in 2002 there was a $7.2 million dollar settlement by the Puyallup School District over a civil rights suit.  36 students and 23 parents were involved in the lawsuit.  The Viking Vanguard which is Puyallup High Schools student paper has faced some censorship over the years (as well as other Puyallup Schools).  Students formed a group to address the issue with the school board.  In 2008, the Seattlepi reported that several PHS students had their sex lives detailed in the Emerald Ridge Student Paper, JagWire, and ended up filing a lawsuit against the district as well.

I am so proud to be a Puyallup Viking graduate.  My experience with Puyallup High School was positive.  Sure there were a lot of students during my years, however, I felt the school was large enough to support everyone and provided the education we all were given.  Portables were used for several of the classes and it wasn’t really a big deal for me personally.  I’m a big fan of the schools in Puyallup and this high school in particular since I’m a proud graduate.  If you’re considering relocating to the Puyallup area, then I would recommend the Puyallup School District as being a great choice.  Puyallup was obviously growing and continues to grow every year not only in students but it’s population in general.  The many events, friends, and football games were my highlights.

School Address:
Puyallup High School 105 7th St. S.W. Puyallup, WA. 98371
Phone:  (253) 841-8711

Education, Entertainment, Puyallup

Places To Visit Today in Puyallup

Places to visit in Puyallup

The weather today in Puyallup is amazing and that means you need to get out of the house and have some fun. If you’re new to Puyallup or just moved here – then give these main places to visit a try. It’s a short list but covers all the big places you must see and what better time then now to go see them!

Puyallup Fair
People come from all over to see the semi-annual Puyallup Fair! It was voted to be one of the Top 10 fairs in the entire U.S.! Find out more about the fair at!

Recently the Puyallup Fair changed its name to the Washington State Fair. The change was due to branding and to draw bigger events and crowds to the area.

Puyallup Library
Read more about the new Puyallup Library! The library offers a variety of classes and programs. The Library is fully updated and remodeled. They have rooms available for special events and/or can be reserved. From books, dvds, fast computers you can find almost everything at the Puyallup Library downtown.

Meeker Mansion
Meeker Mansion is a historical site and former home of Puyallup’s founder, Ezra Meeker. He was the first mayor and the one who named the town Puyallup, meaning “generous people”. Find out more about the mansion at the website

Karshner Museum
A fun place for kids to learn about history and other cultures. Everything from dinosaur fossils to Indian tipis are on display. Programs for children are also offered. Go there! I remember visiting as a child and smelling the big elephant foot. The Karshner Museum is a popular student destination.

Mount Rainier National Park
This enormous 200,000+ acre park is ideal for climbing, skiing, camping, or just photographing the beautiful wildlife! Find out more by visiting the Mount Rainier Park website. One of the great things about living in Puyallup is that if you want to visit the snow it’s not too far away.

Education, Puyallup

Puyallup Art Scene

Arts Downtown/Valley Arts United

Arts Downtown and Valley Arts United are organizations that provide a free outdoor gallery in downtown Puyallup. Since 1995 they have built a collection of over 32 pieces. It is enjoyable to walk through the downtown area and view these artistic pieces. Works are created by students, professional, and emerging artists. The pieces are valued and appreciated by the community.

arts downtown

arts downtown.png 1

The Northwest Sinfonietta

The Northwest Sinfonietta is a group of nationally acclaimed musicians that perform in Puyallup, Seattle, and Tacoma. Concerts in Puyallup take place in the Pioneer Pavilion. The group brings together a breadth of classical works in an intimate chamber setting that will make for a memorable evening.  The ensemble is made up of 30-40 musicians that create a vibrant and crafted sound. Classical music lovers will greatly enjoy this musical performance and collaboration.


Education, Puyallup

Puyallup Schools

puyallup school district

Organized in 1854, The Puyallup School District was the third school district formed in the state of Washington. It is also the eighth largest district in the state of Washington. Serving a population of approximately 122,806 residents, the district is a very active part of the community. Located six miles east of Tacoma and 30 miles south of Seattle, schools are located in a suburb of nearby larger cities.

The district has 21 elementary schools, seven junior high schools, three comprehensive senior high schools, and an alternative school, all of which serve more than 22,250 students.

The Puyallup school district takes pride in its strong arts programs, athletics, and academics. Advanced Placement courses are offered at a number of high schools, and allow high school students the opportunity to earn college credit in high school. Schools offer programs and services to students’ at all different academic and social levels. There are ample opportunities to excel and resources available for extra support.

Puyallup schools have a great reputation, and many families chose to settle down in the area because of them. Puyallup schools are a great place to foster a comprehensive and well rounded education.

A few anticipated district events include:

  • Annual District Elementary Track Meet
  • 9th Grade Dance
  • Daffodil Parade
  • High School Musicals
  • District wide honor band and choir
  • High School Sporting Events
  • Commencement
  • Junior High District Wide Track Meet
  • King of the Hill Football Game
Downtown, Education, Entertainment, Puyallup

Historic Meeker Mansion

Meeker Mansion Puyallup

The Meeker Mansion in Puyallup is one of the cities most treasured attractions.

Born near Huntsville, Ohio on December 29, 1830 in a log cabin, Ezra Meeker life spanned a period of almost a century in which he lived to see a nation of 13 million spread to the far Pacific with the population increasing 10 times. He took a noticeable role in the expansion and development. (Ezra Meeker history & photos)


Ezra Meeker was a trailblazer, author and a superb salesman of the Pacific NW.  Meeker is almost certainly known best for his 25 year struggle to interest the nation and particularly interest Congress to the marking of the Old Oregon Trail, over which three hundred thousand immigrants had travelled searching for a start that was fresh in the West.

Known throughout the World

Long before this epic adventure Meeker had already lived a three score and ten years of purposeful and vigorous life by pioneering and leadership that made him well-known not only locally and nationally but internationally. There are very few men who have accomplished so much in a lifetime.

Trail West

In the late 1800’s, Ezra Meeker married Eliza Jane Sumner then in April of 1852, a son was born. When his son named Marion was only 7 weeks old they joined the trail west with total possessions of:

• two yoke of oxen;
• one wagon;
• three cows;
• provision for the trail;
• High hopes.

Five long, dusty, hot and very fatiguing months they finally reached Portland, Oregon on October 1st, with only 3 dollars.

Staked His Land

They eventually settled in today’s Puyallup. It was there that Mr. Meeker staked his claim, cleared the land and then became a very influential, and one of the richest men in the state, as well as internationally and nationally famous in commercial circles.

The Meeker Mansion is an Italianate Victorian mansion with 17 rooms. Located on Spring Street in Puyallup, this home built by Meeker and finished in 1890. Meeker finished building this very impressive mansion as a gift to please his wife. The home was designed by Ferrell and Darmer Architects from Tacoma. The Meeker Mansion is now owned and operated by the Meeker Historical Society which is a 300 member, private, non-profit corporation.

Lets continues its history….

Ezra Meeker accumulated his wealth during the 1870’s from the hops he grew in the fertile valley soil. Together with his wife’s inheritance, they had their home (today’s Meeker Mansion) built for a cost of $26,000. The mansion rooms included a billiard room and a third floor ballroom as well. It even was built with a rudimentary intercom system of speaking tubes to connect the rooms. The home was a show piece in the community, and a truly loved home of Ezra’s wife, Eliza Jane. However, within a few years, Meeker’s affluence was becoming less as the infestations of valley crops drained much of his wealth. The home was becoming a financial burden to Ezra and his wife Eliza Jane, but Ezra vowed he would not move his wife from the house she loved so dearly. The financial strain continued until Eliza’s death in 1909, but Ezra kept his promise. That same year he put the home up for sale.

After years as serving as a hospital, a home for the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, a nursing home, it was finally given to the Ezra Meeker Historical Society in the early 1970’s. The building was in a terrible state of disrepair. Water leaked through the ceiling into the once grand ball room. The gorgeous hand painted ceilings had been painted and plastered over. The building was an eyesore to the community. But, the society, with hard work, dedication, sweat and much manual labor, their persistence paid off. The Mansion is now on the National Register of Historic Sites, and again is the pride of our Valley’s past.

The Ezra Meeker Historical Society receives NO state or federal support. It is their fund raisers, admission, and mostly hard work that preserves this landmark.

Hops Market

In 1865, Mr. Meeker, with father and his brother, planted a few rows of hops and started an industry that soon was to affect the entire commercial world, bringing millions of dollars into the area of Puyallup Valley as well as the NW. During the next 30 years, he cornered the hop market of the world, accumulated a very large fortune, and became a merchant, then a bank president and promotor of the NW, lecturer and proponent of railroads and roads. (Read more about Puyallup’s hop industry)

Historic Society Formed

The “Ezra Meeker Historic Society” was established in 1970 to protect one of the town’s momentous historic places, Meeker Mansion. They then changed the name to The “Puyallup Historical Society at Meeker Mansion” and now are a non-profit organizationthat operates and restores both the home and the grounds.

Tours of the Mansion

There are tours at the Mansion, both guided and self-guided as well as educational tours for students. During the year, the Mansion can be rented for various parties as well as community events and weddings.

This Mansion is a must see attraction, when visiting in this area of Washington.

Historic Landmark Place Meeker Mansion
Historic Landmark Place Meeker Mansion. Washington State.
Downtown, Education, Puyallup

Karshner Museum

Having tragically lost a son, Dr. and Mrs. Warner M. Karshner founded the museum in 1930 as a tribute to their son, Paul H. Karshner, who was at the time, about to start his senior year at Puyallup High School. Over years of collecting pieces for the museum, in 1935 the Karshner family donated the collection to the Puyallup School District. The museum remains close to its school district roots, not only sharing Stewart Elementary “campus,” but also by integrating part of it’s collection with the curriculum of the district. What better way to learn about the NW Indians but to visit “your own” district museum? The Karshner Museum is a terrific resource for every student in the district, and every family in the region.

The museum includes collections of fossils, rocks and minerals, wildlife, sea life, microscopic slides, artifacts by North American Indians and fro the South Pacific, Alaska, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Philippines, Japan, China, Mexico, and South America. Students view and study the collections in ever changing exhibits, many of which invite the children to touch. In addition there is a fine museum library of rare books and magazines, maps, documents, photographs and original manuscripts.

The collection of more than ten thousand artifacts donated by the Karshner’s has been added to over the years by members of the community who have identified with the museum and donated their own collections, artifacts, and specimens.

Some highlights: an oil lamp from 300BC., a stone point used 30,000 years ago, a Northwest Costal Indian basket display, artifacts from our earliest Pioneers, or walk into classroom set up to appear as it was 100 years ago. There is so much to see in so small a space, so check back often, as only about 20 percent of the collection is on display at any one time.

Not only is this museum excellent, but so to is their website. Or, make sure to bring your family to one of the open houses during the first Saturday’s of the month, where your family can explore the museums wonderful collection.

Karshner Museum Puyallup Photo
Karshner Museum

In the Words of the Karshner Family:

“The aim of this memorial school is to improve a serious local defect so commonly found in the public schools of our state. Book knowledge becomes valuable only to the extent that it can be visualized and thoroughly understood. As historical and scientific exhibits and demonstrations help to satisfy this pedagogical need, we feel that a teaching museum should find a place in every school. This small offering although consisting of several thousand specimens, manifestly is very incomplete. It can but serve, therefore, as a stimulus to scientific study and provide a nucleus for future additions. It is our wish that the specimens be preserved intact and undisturbed, else they become disarranged and broken. Further specimens, added from time to time, should be promptly classified and cataloged. We hope that this collection will continue to serve and grow, so that the Puyallup schools may ever prove a leader in education.”

[Google Map]

Downtown, Education, Puyallup

Foothills Trail

The foothills trail winds a path along the Puyallup river, from behind Kmart to the bridge on 5th St. N.E. Eventually, with more funding, the trail will run the entire length, from Puyallup to Buckley. Included will be a branch from Lower Cascade Junction to Wilkenson and to Carbonado.

Where the Burlington Northern train once moved coal and lumber, now is paved and used by hundreds of runners, walkers, horses, bicyclists, and roller-bladers. There are open grass areas, and picnic tables where a home made meal tastes perfect in the fresh air and summer sun. Or, if you simply need a break from a brisk walk, benches with views of the Puyallup river can be found along the pathway. A perfect setting where family’s often stroll in the summer sun, stopping to talk to neighbors and old friends. Children use the path to walk home from school, couples walk hand, bird watchers scout the banks for glimpses of a majestic bald eagle, fishermen try for one that didn’t get away, and everyone enjoys the gorgeous views of Mt. Rainer and the Puyallup River.

The section of trail through Orting is one of the more scenic trails I have ridden. Traveling (or walking) east from the parking area between Mc Millen and Orting, you have a full, unobstructed view of Mt. Rainer in all its beautiful glory. New housing developments blend with open farmland. Riding the trail during the summer weekends affords special treats, like the small community festivals Orting holds throughout the summer.

To traverse the trail at different times of the year is to see an up close view of the seasons, and the changes those seasons bring. Where corn grows high in a field during the hot summer heat, cows stroll with there young in the early spring. The late summer floods of the Puyallup River are contrasted by the mid summer fishermen standing on the sand bars in which dominate during the mid summer months. In autumn migratory birds pass overhead on their route to warmer climates, while others decide the towering trees above the river are a perfect place to raise their little bird families. No matter the time of year, there is always much beauty to see and experience.

Some history of the trail. Much of the land was acquired from the Burlington Northern Railway’s abandonment of their rail bed in 1982. Other land was purchased through grants and federal matching funds. It has been a long, difficult process for the visionaries behind this project. The founder recognized the need for a trail system in Puyallup, and seen the wonderful potential for a path along the banks of the Puyallup river. Through painstaking work, the Coalition was able to acquire sections of land, piece by piece, permit by permit, in hopes of creating this trail.

Sadly, the project is currently delayed because of those same salmon. The protection of salmon has stopped further expansion of the trail, as the county worries about is potential impact on salmon spanning. Currently, the Salmon Recovery Act has mandated biological assessments concerning the impact of expanding the Puyallup and the South Prairie Foothills Trail segments, which has delayed their expansion. The South Prairie section has been granted preliminary approval from National Marine Fisheries, but the full biological assessment process will not be complete until late summer or early fall! Perhaps we can again resume with trail expansion by early 2001, depending on their findings.

The northern end of the current trail, from Mc Millen to Sumner has it’s own unique set of problems which have slowed expansion. Under Federal Law, while these tracks (and their required easement) were granted to Burlington Northern Railroad, the railroad can in turn either lease the tracks to another company, or allow an entity to purchase the easement for use as a public thoroughfare. Fortunately, both the railroad, and the current holder of the lease on this section of the tracks have come to an agreement, the trail will soon be extended to the current location of the VanLierop farm near East Pioneer. Additionally, local farmers insist their business will suffer from the trail expansion, or they may suffer lawsuits over trail users inhaling the chemicals used in treating their crops. (?). Regardless, the trail will be extended, and thousands of users will soon enjoy the expansion for walking, biking, rollerblading, and enjoying the beauty of the valley.

The Foothills Rails-To-Trails Coalition does need our help in completing this wonderful trail. Along with the trail, the Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition is hopeful that, along with the city of Puyallup, other land currently available can be purchased for an additional city park, with facilities for a Tiny Tot playground, and additional riverfront grass open area for all to enjoy. It is an obtainable goal, but only with your help. With a monetary donation, a call to your legislator or the city of Puyallup, or an appearance at a city council meeting, we can get the funds for that park, playground, and parking lot. Let’s make this happen!

Any donation, and all your help are greatly appreciated.