Historical Society celebrates Founder’s Day
Come to the South Pierce County Historical Society’s Stage Stop Museum for some old-fashioned family fun during the Eatonville Founder’s Day Celebration Saturday, June 29 from 1 to 5 p.m.
There will be spinning wheel demonstrations, children’s activities, refreshments (coffee, cupcakes, lemonade), and displays of early Eatonville. View and learn the history of the Tofu House.
The Society is preserving this historic building to help tell the story of Eatonville’s early growth as a mill town. Learn about the huge Eatonville Lumber Company sawmill complex, which operated for about 50 years just a few hundred yards east of the museum.
On the far side of the mill was a farm, a cluster of homes, apartments and a community hall, all connected by boardwalk lanes. It was here that a small neighborhood of Japanese Americans lived. They worked in the mill, and one family handled the farm chores.
Their lives were forever changed after Imperial Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In the spring of 1942, by presidential order, these families, many of them U.S. citizens, were ordered to pack only what they could carry, and bused to the “Camp Harmony” assembly center at the fairgrounds in Puyallup, then later to Camp Minidoka in southern Idaho, one of ten camps of concentration holding over 110,000 people.
The building we now call the Tofu House was the farm’s spring house. As the last remaining building from the mill’s early days, it will eventually house exhibits that will tell this story. A key source of information about their experiences comes from open letters written by Chet Sakura from the camps, and published in the Eatonville Dispatch.
The celebration will take place at Mill Pond Park, 101 Alder Street E., at the south end of town along Highway 161. Plenty of free parking is available.