I've told how we starved out in Montana in 1932 and wound up in the State of Washington. Margie's folk, along with her and myself, settled in Ellensburg, on the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountains. There is something strange about them. They are real mountains and have tremendrious drifts of snow but their altitude is not all that great. Mt. Rainer is pretty tall at 14410 feet but most of the Cascade range averages only a little over 5000 ft. Snoqualmie Pass which often closes because of snow slides is only 3010 feet. I could hardly believe it when I first heard it. I compared the altitude with western Nebraska and found that Scottsbliff sits at 3880 feet. It does come to my mind that when we moved to Minatare, in 1920, we were advised that if we were going anywhere at night, no matter what time of the years it was, we should take a coat as evenings at that altitude were chilly.
I'm getting off my intentions. I said that we stopped at Ellensburg but I hadn't got around to mentioning that many of Margie's family on both sides during the “Great Migration”, had given up on the mid-west, and made their way to the Puget Sound near Tacoma. In Tacoma is a lovely area by the name of Point Defiance Park. Both sides of Margie's parents' families developed a habit of gathering there now and then for a picnic. Our folks, at Ellensburg seldom missed one. I also enjoyed visiting the Washington State Historical Museum that was located near there. I was particularly fascinated with a display of Flat Head Indian skulls on display there. The thing that amazed me was that the flattened area was on the back of their heads and not on the top, as I had supposed. In fact, the skulls were somewhat pointed at the top. The interesting thing was that the Indians considered the white man's head to be flat. It was long before WWII that I first visited that Museum. Years later when Billy was about 12 years old, we were in the area and I wanted him to see those skulls. In the meantime something was taking place over on the lower Snake River in eastern Washington. Dams, with locks, were being built, making it possible for river boats from Portland to extend their routes up the Columbia and the Snake Rivers clear into Idaho. Four dams were being built and one of those, Lower Monumental was nearing it's time for filling.
I don't have the whole story on this, but a prehistoric human dwelling had been discovered on the river bank of the Snake river, up stream from the Lower Monumental Dam. and would be covered when the reservoir reached it's level. The site was one of the most ancient, ever found in North America, even including human skeletons dated between 9000-11,000 years old. A great effort was being made to excavate everything possible before the waters covered the site. This was while Billy and I were trying to find the display of Flat Head Indians and failing, at that Museum in Tacoma. I finally found a Curator, and asked where the display could be found? He was very indignant that any white-men would want to disgrace Indians by asking to view their skulls. He told us that the skulls were wrapped and stored in the basement and would never be humilliatingly put on display again. Then he went on to inform me that the Indians had never done anything wrong until whitemen corrupted them. I asked howcome the tribes had fought each other and made slaves of captives? He would not listen to anything I said so I gave up. I don't remember how the subject of the Marmes excavation came up, but it did and he was ecstatic over it and well read on the findings. He knew just about every item they had recovered. He told how one certain item, an Indian skull, was found with a flint arrowhead embedded in it. I couldn't pass it up. I asked, “You mean to say that there were whitemen around at that time?” He had no answer. Oh Well.