Nisqually Villages

Introduction: Here are some locations/descriptions of Nisqually villages from Marian Smith’s book Puyallup-Nisqually.

16. Located at Glencove on Carr Inlet. This village was originally peopled from the village and Minter and retained its close alliance with it.

17. Located at the head of Burley Lagoon, Carr Inlet. In giving village sites sites the informant that he had never heard of the one at this site but that it was an excellent location for a village. The term had been given to Arthur C. Ballard by an informant now dead and when it was repeated to him my informant said “That’s the name of the head of Carr Inlet; so there must have been people there after all.” Evidently the village had united with the Minter group, or become extinct, at an early period in white occupation.

18. (Gibbs: Steilakumahmish; Eells: Stulakumamish; Curtis: Stelakubabsh) Peoples of villages 18-19 and particularly of the village site located at the present site of Steilacoom.

19. There may have been two of these closely allied, so-called “Clover Creek” villages: one near Spanaway and the other at the present site of Clover Creek. If there were but one I am inclined to place it in the latter location.

20. Although the name sqwaleabc (Gibbs: Niskwalli or Skwallishmish; Eells: Nisqually of Squallismish; Curtis: Sqalabsh), derived from the name of the Nisqually River, was applied to all the peoples of the Nisqually including McAllister Creek and, probably also the Sequalitcu River (20-26), nevertheless there seems to have been no single village of that name. This village at the mouth of the river, contrary to the usual custom, did not bear the river name. This is undoubtedly a reflection of the fact that the sqwaleabc were thought of as an up-river rather than a salt water people, the name applying more particularly to those villages than to the one at the mouth of the river, which was relatively unimportant.

21. Located at the mouth of McAllister or Medicine Creek, the spot which where the treaty was signed. Derived from the word for shaman and shaman power, a fact to which informants always refer when speaking of the ill effects of white occupation. In addition to Nisqually contacts this village had close connections to South Bay.

22. (Gibbs and Eells: Segwallitsu) Located where Dupont Creek enters the Sequalitcu River.

23. Located on Nisqually Lake at the mouth of a sizeable creek. Derived from the name of the lake.

24. Where Muck Creek enters the Nisqually River. Due to the fact that its site was included in the reservation and that several of its older members survived the period of early concentration, this village maintained its identity somewhat longer than most. The village site was on the flats near the river bed rather than upon the high prairie land adjoining, another fact which tended to preserve the village since white settlers on the Nisqually sought the high wheat and grazing land. The extra Nisqually contacts of this village were rather to the west along the southern Sound than to the northeast toward the mouth of the Puyallup River.

25. Located on a hill near the junction of Clear Creek and the Nisqually River. “Perhaps the largest” Nisqually village at the time of the treaty.

26. Located on a highland below Eatonville on Mashell Creek. This village is listed by Jacobs and Spier as Sahaptin. There is no doubt that Sahaptin was as common as Salish in this, as in many bilingual foothill villages, and that there have been small western movements of Sahaptins into the area. Nevertheless, the “bacalabc” can only be considered as a Nisqually group. Leschi, who fomented the “war” with the settlers in the Sound country, was of this village.

27. (Gibbs: Nusehtsatl; Curtis: Stischahlabsh, including Budd’s Inlet and South Bay Located on South Bay or Henderson Inlet, between the creek at the head and that on the south. This village, as well as 28 and 30-32, moved into the Nisqually reservation at the time of concentration.

28. (Gibbs: Stehtsasamish; Eells: Stehtsasamish, including Budd’s Inlet or South Bay) Located on Budd Inlet at Tumwater, above Olympia.

29. (Gibbs: Skwai-aitl; Eells: Skwaiatl) Located on Mud Bay or Eld Inlet. The people of Mud Bay perhaps had their closest contacts with the Upper Chehalis villages immediately south of them.

30. (Eells and Gibbs: Sawamish) Located on Oyster Bay or Totten Inlet, below the town of Oyster Bay. The term “Sawamish” was the only one local one used by Gibbs which was not recognized immediately by my informants. The term given me derives from the name of the inlet.

31. (Gibbs: Sahehwamish; Curtis: Sahewabsh, including Mud Bay and Oyster Bay) Located at Arcadia. This was a large village. Since it pratically commanded the outlets of Budd Inlet, Mud Bay and Oyster Bay, as well as Shelton Inlet, its name was sometimes extended to include that entire drainage and the peoples on it, villages 27-32.

32. Located on Shelton Inlet opposite the town of Shelton. This village was small and closely allied to its parent village at Arcadia.

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