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.
Eventually, 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.