Entertainment, Puyallup

The History of Halloween


Halloween is a much loved holiday in America. People around the country love getting dressed up in a costume and going out for a fun evening filled with treats and scares. There are so many fun aspects to this simultaneously entertaining and frighteningly holiday. A majority of people love to be scared silly on October 31st but most aren’t even aware of the history behind the holiday. As you are out and about, dressed up as your favorite character and celebrating this scary time of year, remember that this holiday has a very long history. Halloween is a celebration of the living and the dead and is filled with plenty of superstitions and a lot of historical traditions.

The ancient origins of Halloween date as far back as 2,000 years ago to the Celts. The Celts lived in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France. They celebrated their new year on November 1st instead of January 1st like we do today. November 1st was a very important day to the Celts. This day signified the end of summer and the harvest and marked the beginning of the long, dark and cold winter. This time of year was also associated with the death of humans due to the harsh weather conditions. The time between October 31st and November 1st opened up the boundary between the dead and living for the Celts. They celebrated Samhain on October 31st which they believed was the night that the dead returned to walk amongst the living. The Celts believed that these spirits wreaked havoc on their crops and also allowed for the Druids to make predictions about the future. The Celts lived in an unsure and harsh enviroment and these prophecies were very important to their overall sense of comfort and gave them some control in an unpredictable world.

The Druids would build huge bonfires that they considered sacred and the people would gather around the bonfire and burn crops and animal sacrifices to Celtic gods. The Celts would wear costumes made up of animal heads and skins. They would celebrate by telling each other’s fortunes and then they would re-light their hearth fires with the fire from the sacred bonfire. The lighting of the hearth from with the fire from the sacred bonfire was believed to help protect the people from the long harsh winters. This celebration was looked forward to all year long as a way to help the Celts face the upcoming challenges of the winter months.

By 43 A.D. The Celts were mostly conquered by the Romans and for four hundred years the Romans ruled over the Celts and they incorporated the festival of Samhain into their own two festivals of Feralia and Pomona. Feralia was celebrated in late October for a day and this festival commemorated the passing of the dead. Pomona was a festival that celebrated the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. Her symbol is that of an apple and it is believed that when the Romans incorporated the festival of Pomona with Samhain the tradition of bobbing for apples was born.Roman Goddess Pomona

By the 9th century Christianity spread quickly and deeply in the Celtic lands and the rites and traditions of the religion blended with the older Celtic rites and superstitions. In 1000 A.D. the church decided to make November 2nd All Soul’s Day which like Samhain was a day to honor the dead. It was rumored that the church was looking to supplant all the Celtic Festivals with church sanctioned and approved holidays. The two holidays were very similar in nature. All Saint’s Day also featured large bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas from the Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day. The traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion began to be called All-hallows Eve by the people and eventually it turned into Halloween.

Halloween in America was slow to pick up. There was limited celebrating of Halloween in Colonial New England due to the very rigid Protestant belief system. Celebrating Halloween was more common in the southern colonies as opposed to the Northern Colonies. Soon, as the beliefs of the different European ethnic groups merged with the beliefs and traditions of the Native Americans and a very distinct Americanized version of Halloween began to take shape. This form of Halloween featured aspects that are akin to how we celebrate Halloween today. “Play parties” emerged and were popular with the public. These “play parties” featured the telling of ghost stories and each other’s fortunes, dancing, signing, and to celebrate the harvest.

During the second half of the 19th century, America saw a huge influx in the amount of immigrants coming to the United States. There was a large population of Irish people immigrating to the states and they brought with them their Halloween rituals, superstitions and traditions. Since the Celtic people lived in Ireland many of the traditions that the Irish brought with them to the United States were based on the original traditions of Sanhaim. This included dressing up in costumes, asking their neighbors for food and money, and pulling pranks in the evening on Halloween. Soon Americans started doing the same thing, which eventually morphed into the current tradition of “trick-or-treating.”vintage halloween costumes

In the beginning, the tricks were more prominent than the treats. Halloween was a night filled with pranks and mayhem until there was a move to turn Halloween into a more family friendly affair. Halloween parties became a family event and they focused on food, games, and costumes. Parents were encouraged by the media and community leaders to remove anything frightening or grotesque out of Halloween celebrations and to create a more fun and light environment. Halloween then lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century as it began to morph into a more family oriented event. Cities began to organize community events and celebrations and once candy companies began releasing special Halloween candies, our modern version of “trick-or-treating” emerged.

Halloween Candy

Today Halloween is the country’s second largest commercial holiday because American’s spend about $6 million a year on Halloween. This fun night of costumes and candy is a favorite amongst Americans and people in Puyallup have a lot of fun options in the city when it comes to celebrating Halloween. Check out our blog for tips on the best haunted houses, pumpkin patches, and trick or treating events in Puyallup. Make sure to tweet us and let us know your favorite way to celebrate Halloween!


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, Puyallup

Good Samaritan Hospital – History

MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup

The Good Samaritan Hospital was a 225-bed acute care facility with an active staff of 250 physicians. Supplementing the staff are more than 800 volunteers who annually donate more than 50,000 hours of time to enhance patient care. The hospital changed it’s name to MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, however, it is still located in the same location in Puyallup. The building was also re-vamped during this process.

Do you want to learn a tiny bit about the History of Good Samaritan Hospital? Here is a very abbreviated history for your enjoyment…

As early as 1906, Ezra Meeker had put his “Meeker Mansion” up for sale after the loss of his hop fortune. It was also during this time Ezra’s wife’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed to the point she moved to Seattle to live with her daughter. And to know anything about today’s current hospital, we need to know a little about the communities first hospital. In 1910 the Meeker house was leased to the Bair brothers to be used as a Sanitarium. The first hospital in Puyallup was apart of the Meeker Rest Sanitarium. Opened in 1910, the Sanitarium was located in the Meeker mansion, during a time which it stood empty. After about a year, the Hospital/Sanitarium was deemed financially unsuccessful, and a new Administrator was appointed. Patient care improved, but it still could not compete with Tacoma hospitals. By 1915, the Mansion was sold, further adding to the need for a modern hospital for the growing city.

It was that same year the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic turned the mansion into a home for surviving widows of Union soldiers of the Civil War.

Finally, in 1922 five area doctors (Raymond Morse, F.F. Cullen, W. Karshner, S.D. Barry, and C.H. Alyen) opened the Puyallup Clinic, a community hospital they build with their own money. The building is still standing in the 100 block of 4th Ave. NW. In 1935, the Clinic was renamed Puyallup General Hospital. However, it was still a financial failure. So, in 1951, the Lutheran Welfare Society took over management of operation, and again changed its name to the now familiar Good Samaritan Hospital.

The Lutheran Welfare Society, at this same time, also owned a financially floundering hospital on the property today’s hospital stands. Because care was limited in scope to Diseases of Old age, along with psychotherapy, this limited patient care was threatening the financial heath of the hospital. But now, with their downtown hospital filled to capacity, the decision was made to consolidate both facilities on its current site. Now, residents had one location for both their health and mental health needs.

Whether your delivering books to a patient, or playing with a baby with a broken arm, your smile will make it a better day to those who you help. Good Sam is the regions premier hospital, but always is on the lookout for warm and caring volunteers to make the patients stay’s at the hospital the best it can be.

Departments and Descriptions – call directly to see if any of these departments are still available. (253) 697-4000

Diagnostic Services

Good Samaritan’s Lab is a full service laboratory, including hematology, chemistry, microbiology, a blood band and pathology. The Lab is staffed 24-hours a day to serve inpatients, outpatients and physician office needs.

Nuclear Medicine
Using pharmaceuticals with radioactive isotopes attached and gamma cameras, diagnostic procedures such a s bone scans and cardiac studies are performed by technologists under the supervision of a physician who is a specialist in nuclear medicine.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

State-of-the-art MRI magnet and imaging unit.

Diagnostic X-ray, CT scans and Ultrasound procedures are carried out by technologists under the supervision of a physician who is also a specialist in radiology.

Vascular Testing
Vascular testing is usually used for peripheral vascular disease, abnormal spastic changes in fingers toes, and other related conditions.

Treatment Services

Fully staffed by board-certified emergency physicians and nursing personnel, the Emergency Department provides acute care, cardiac, and trauma services to more than 40,000 patients each year. A telephone consulting nurse is available 24 hours a day.

The hospital’s Surgical Department has a skilled professional and technical staff plus highly sophisticated technology, including several surgical lasers. This department includes Outpatient Surgery, which allows patients to return home only two to four hours after a procedure.

Respiratory Therapy
Respiratory Therapy professionals provide care and education 24 hours each day to patients with breathing difficulties or disorders. Special services are also available for lung function studies, neurology studies, sleep studies, asthma education and pulmonary rehabilitation.

Cancer patients have access to a full range of options, from diagnosis through treatment, with both impatient and outpatient services. Our 23-bed unit is staffed with specially trained nurses and caters to the unique needs of cancer patients and their families. Patients are also offered complementary therapies – music, pet and massage – to aid in their healing.

Medical Psychology
Medical Psychology helps patients use their mental abilities to cope with the stresses of their conditions, control their pain with fewer medications, and make their treatment program effective.

Obstetrical Care
This unit provides private birthing rooms, 24-hour rooming-in, a nursery capable of caring for all but the most critical of newborns, and a full range of classes to support the birth process, including prepared childbirth, breast feeding, a returning-to-work class for breast-feeding mothers, and sibling preparedness. Lactation consultants are also available, and there is telephone follow-up with patients following discharge. Baby Beepers are also offered. To register for classes call directly to see if it’s still available at (253) 697-4000

Critical Care Center

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
ICU provides nursing care to patients needing maximum medical attention. Staff members are skilled in the use of advanced cardiac life support.

Special Care Unit (SCU)
SCU provides nursing care for seriously ill patients who require more monitoring than can be provided in an acute-care unit.

Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Cardiac rehab services are designed to help people with heart disease recover faster and return to productive lives. The program helps people with asthma, chronic obstructive disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis return to their fullest potential.

Health Rehabilitation Center
Rehabilitation services are available to persons of all ages in a variety of settings, including the hospital, clinics, home or community, depending on specific medical and clinical needs, treatment goals, available family support and resources.

Impatient Rehabilitation
Impatient Rehabilitation services are provided to people who require a high level of medical care, or 24-hour rehabilitation nursing and specialized therapies. the program is managed by a physiatrist. Other members of the rehab team can include rehab nursing/care coordination, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language pathology, clinical psychology, neuropsychology, social work, case management and therapeutic recreation.

Outpatient Rehabilitation
Outpatient Rehabilitation services are provided when the constant medical and nursing attention offered in the impatient setting are no longer required but the patient still needs therapies and/or outpatient nursing checks. Specialty services include vesicular rehabilitation, specialty clinics for seating, spinal cord injury treatment, amputation or contingency, disabled driving evaluation, hand therapy and bio-feedback. While most outpatient rehabilitation services are designed to assist with resolving recent medical concerns, we also work with people facing longer term rehab challenges and needing reassessment or re-evaluation to develop new or improved treatment plans.

Inpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation
A dedicated pediatric rehab team is trained to assess, treat and instruct children under age 19 and their families challenged by functional disabilities caused by accidents, illnesses or congenital problems.

Work Rehabilitation
Work Rehab offers therapy specifically designed to get injured workers safely back to work. A variety of rehab specialists evaluate and re-train people in new ways of doing their jobs and applying new work-related skills. Services include performance-based physical capacities evaluations, work conditioning and/or hardening, job specific testing and job analysis, evaluations of job-site and/or workplace modifications, injury prevention, education and consulting.

Good Samaritan School
Child and Family Services also operates a therapeutic school for adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems. 848-4045

Other Adult Services
This program addresses unique needs of older adults and the families who care for them. It provides individual assessment, counseling sessions, geriatric day treatment, psychiatric services, geriatric residential services, in-home behavioral health care, volunteer peer counseling and consultation and direct services in area nursing homes.

Adult Services
Adult specialists assist with personal, family and work-related problems, such as depression, stress, anxiety and other life-adjustment issues. Support services are also provided to adults experiencing significant limitations due to mental illness.

Crisis Services
The 24-hour crisis please call them directory at (253) 697-4000

Child and Family Services
Child and Family programs are designed to meet the unique needs of children exhibiting mood, behavior or adjustment problems.

Children’s Therapy Unit (CTU)
A regional center providing evaluations and therapy for children with nerve and muscle disorders, birth defects and/or developmental disabilities. CTU staff provides specialized services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, clinical and neuro-psychology, assistive technology and orthotic intervention. Established in 1966, the Children’s Therapy Unit was the state’s first hospital-based therapy program exclusively for children with neuromuscular disabilities.

Center for Independence
Helping severely disabled people achieve more independence in their daily lives.

Good Samaritan In-Home Services

Home Health/Hospice and HomeCare
Providing consistently high-quality, in-home heath care to adults and children since 1972. Our Home Health program helps return patients to their prior level of functioning before surgery or illness. We also provide in-home behavioral health care services.

Hospice care is for terminally ill patients wishing to remain at home. Medical care is provided as well as a respite for the family and bereavement follow-up.

HomeCare provides trained staff members to care at home for clients of any age. This can include in-home respite for the caregiver, personal care to an elderly client or continuous skilled care. Sleep-over care is also available.

Community Living Services
Offering a variety of residential option to young adults and older adults. These services range from structured programs with 24-hours supervision to independent living. The continuum of services includes congregate care facilities, intensive supported living services, short-term crisis respite beds, shared independent living houses and subsidized supported living apartments.

In-Home Respite
Periodic or daily respite care for non-housebound clients.

Teen Parent Resource Center
This program provides teenage parents with the help they need for every aspect of pregnancy and coping with a baby and parenthood. A wide range of classes, support groups, and many things necessary to help out the young parent are available.

Providing nutrition, health information and vouchers for nutritious food to pregnant women, breast-feeding women, infants and young children.

(Encouraging Relationships In The Community And Home)
Provides access to the community for people with developmental disabilities. Staff members take clients to local stores and accompany them on social outing to help them build relationships with others.

Mobile Health Services
Offers health-promotion and disease-prevention activities by providing health screening, child and adult immunizations, and health education at schools, senior citizen centers and businesses.

Senior Wellness Project
Offers regular classes, programs and seminars especially for seniors.

Family Support Center
Provides family-based advocacy, health and education services. Also includes parenting education, nutrition services, family support services, immunization services and information and referral.

ElderCare Family Services
This program provides a variety of services to older adults and their families to help them comp with normal and disease-related functional disabilities. Telephone information and referral services connect families to services in the community and at the Hospital. Nursing and social work staff members provide in-home assessment and help families find the care they need, deal with difficult decisions and understand care options. Other services include support groups, Lifeline emergency response, and Alzheimer’s and caregiver library, overnight respite services and classes on caring for aging parents and dementia.

Celebrate Seniority
This senior member program helps older adults stay health by providing access to services, health education classes, healthy activities, and senior-specific educational materials.

Community Education
Good Samaritan regularly provides a wealth of information regarding health care, disease-prevention, nutrition and wellness through its Community Education Classes.

Healthcare Resource Center
Combines into one, a convenient facility the Hospital’s multiple clinics that provide educational resources, support and chronic-condition management. The center, located at 1420 S. Meridian St. houses the

•Asthma Management Clinic
•Anti-Coagulation Clinic
•Diabetes Education Center
•Heart Failure Clinic
•Nutrition Clinic
•Pediatric Endocrinologist Clinic

Patients enter the Healthcare Resource Center programs through a physician’s referral.

Urgent Care Center
The center provides walk-in services and care for patients when those services are not available at their doctors office.

Health Consultant/Physician Referral
This service features symptom-based telephone triage, physician referral, resource coordination and health information provided by consulting nurses.

Speakers’ Bureau
Experts from Good Samaritan Community Healthcare are available to speak about a wide range of health care topics at churches, schools, businesses and community groups.

Please note: This information is to used as a historic archive for information. Please call the hospital directly for any questions. This information above may or may not have changed. (253) 697-4000.

Address: 401 15th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98372

Photo Credit: MultiCare.org

Downtown, Puyallup

The Hop Industry in the Puyallup Valley

Puyallup Valley Hop Industry

Growing hops was important to the development of Puyallup. Pioneer Ezra Meeker was known as the hops king of the World when this photo was taken about 1890. The hops boom went bust in 1891.

A brief History….

When settlers first began arriving in the valley in 1854 they found the valley floor consisted of dense strands of cedar and cottonwood trees, with often dense brush that was very difficult to remove with the tools available to them. Many of the first settlers continued to search for land elsewhere, unaware of the rich soil that lay beneath the brush. Ezra Meeker and his brother were among the first to arrive. After inspecting the valley, he at first rejected any notion of living in the valley, writing that it would take back breaking labor to clear the land.

As settlement in the valley started to take hold, settlers did work hard to clear enough land for a cabin, and to grow some food to sustain their families. Then, in 1855, Indians in the valley became increasingly dissatisfied with treaties being forced upon them by the U.S. government. They destroyed all but one of the settlers homes. Many settlers did not return to the valley. The settlers that remained were in dire financial need. The Meeker’s had suffered the greatest. Not only was property destroyed in the valley, but their mercantile business in Steilacoom had failed too because merchandise ordered – sank in a shipwreck on its transport to Washington. The money to buy the supplies had been borrowed, leaving the Meeker’s in desperate financial need.

At that time, another Meeker relative had been persuaded by a friend in Olympia to attempt to grow hops on his land, a thought that seemed crazy to most residents. On his way back to Sumner, he stopped off at Ezra’s cabin to drop off the hop roots. Ezra planted the roots among the tree stumps around his cabin, on the land that is now Pioneer Park in downtown Puyallup. From those few roots, Ezra Meeker made $157.27. In the 1800’s, that was like striking gold. The word about the “crop” spread quickly, and soon every farmer in the valley planted the Hop roots.

Hops quickly become Puyallup Valley’s biggest cash crop. During the next quarter century, hops brought the valley more than $20 million, making Ezra and his family wealthy.

Ezra became a hop broker, and frequently traveled the World marketing the valley’s hops. Disease and mildew finally put an end to the crops. Today we know the Puyallup valley for it’s daffodils, but it is the hops that started our history, and gave original valley residents the wealth, fortitude and persistence to stay in the valley and to shape our future.

Backup plan the Park Hotel in Puyallup:
The Grandiose Hotel that never was…One of the most talked about buildings in Puyallup in 1890 was the Park Hotel. The structure was to cover an entire block and would have been three stories high. It was to be built with an anticipated $40,000 from the booming hops industry. The construction of 83 luxurious suites, an adjoining restaurant, and the possibility of an additional 40 rooms, was well underway when the hop boom went bust. The hotel was never completed. After years of disrepair, the structure became “home” to unsavory individuals who used the building as a sort of flophouse. The amount of “guests” became larger, and the inhabitants began terrorizing the community for food and money. Finally, Washington States Governor came from Olympia and finally persuaded all to go home. For awhile afterwards, the building was used to store bailed hops, but the building had no other uses and went into further disrepair. Finally, a group of local citizens bought the building and property, and soon began to demolish the shell of a building that was to become Puyallup’s grandest, most beautiful building.

Entertainment, Puyallup, Washington State Fair

Washington State Fair Rides & Fun!

Washington State Fair Rides & Fun

This Friday the 11th, the Washington State Fair will start again for another year. Each year is more exciting than the last. One of the main attractions of the Puyallup Fair is its rides. Washington State Fair rides are arguably one of the biggest perks of going to the Fair. It brings out the “kid” in all of us.  Every year they have all kinds of kid activities as well so it really is all ages.  In fact, if your kid is under 5, the Fair is free!

Growing up in Puyallup, I remember all the great rides. As a young child it’s all that really matter to me. I couldn’t wait until 11am when the rides started to actually get turned on so I could have some real fun. We also got to the Fair early so my Mother and Father could enjoy everything else the Fair offered – then it was my time. Unfortunately, my Father is no longer with me but it was one of my favorite moments with him. Being older now, I understand his frustration and will be forever grateful for his patience. He would literally wait for hours and hours in lines with me so I could get on the next ride. You just don’t appreciate it until you get older and understand it better.

The Fair is an exciting time of year! We have listed some of the most popular rides so you can prepare yourself for all the fun you’re about to have. Lets get started with all the Washington State Fair rides.

The Merry-Go-Round ride is the oldest ride at the Fair. It’s been operating at the Fair since 1923! If you’re a senior (62+), you can actually ride the Merry-Go-Round for FREE. This ride is a timeless antique so if you want a smooth ride give it a shot.

Classic White Wooden Roller Coaster
The wooden roller coaster has been one of the biggest attractions forever at the Fair. In fact, people all over the nation come to ride the iconic ride. It’s been with the Fair since 1935. The roller coaster has completed a 5 year renovation which will make sure the ride will continue operating the next 100 years. It’s one of 20 wooden roller coasters across the nation. This 55-foot ride is an amazing and popular ride.

Extreme Scream
Not for the faint of heart this ride will make grown men cry. You can see it from the freeway. It’s tall and will take you 20 stories in the air in a matter of seconds. As you stomach nearly leaves your body, you’ll hit nearly 3G’s.

Rainer Rush
This is the Washington State Fair’s newest roller coaster. It was started in 2013. If you’re ready to take on this ride, you’ll experience a 60 foot drop, prompt curves going 50 mph, while you hang on for the ride of your life. Not for the faint of hear but if you want to feel +5.8 gravity force, then take this ride head on and be ready to scream.

There you have it our top picks for rides at the Fair.


Simple Facts About Puyallup

Puyallup Facts & Population

Puyallup’s earliest known history stems back to a group of Indians that inhabited the land nearly 200 years ago, prior to any European Settlers moving into the region. A group of some 2,000 Indian people called this area their home. In the 1830’s, when European settlers first came into the region, they named the place Puyallup, and its people, the Puyallup Indians. As the town grew in the later 1800’s, its primary specialization was agriculture. Today Puyallup is a thriving city ever growing in size. Sitting at the foot of Mt. Rainier, the area boasts spectacular views while still providing a modern-day urban atmosphere inside the city.

Puyallup Population

Population (2013): 38,609
Population (2000): 33,011
Population (1990): 25,610
Population Change: 28.9% Growth
Housing Units (2000): 13,467
Median Household Income (1999): $47,269
Median Value of owner-occupied housing units (2000): $155,100

Puyallup Business Facts

Businesses/Firms (1997): 3,367
Total Retail Sales (1997): $955,582,000
Manufacturer Shipments (1997): $320,511,000
Accommodation & Food Service Sales (1997): $72,078,000

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.