Duwamish Longhouse and the Train

The adventure on this leg of my journey started on the Duwamish River Trail that follows along West Marginal Way South across from the Duwamish tribe’s longhouse.

The longhouse has a sign with a large cut out picture of Sealth who the city of Seattle was named after.  It says “Chief Seattle is Watching”.  I did a little research on where this sign came from. Found that it had been part of the demonstration around the Shell Oil Rig that was docked on Harbor Island Terminal 5 earlier this year. The message is suitable for a number of issues including the pollution of the Duwamish River.

Chief Seattle is Watching
Chief Seattle is Watching

This area of the Duwamish holds much history for both the tribe and those that settled the area around the mid 1850s.  On the informational boards I captured a drawing of what the area looked like before it was developed.  It has Mt Rainier in the background of the Duwamish River mouth and is quite stylized but it gives you an idea of why the Chief is watching what we are doing with his land.

Mt Rainier and mouth of Duwamish sketch from 1854 - from signage at T-107 Park.
Mt Rainier and mouth of Duwamish sketch from 1854 – from signage at T-107 Park.

Now back to my adventure.  Here is what it looks like on the trail next to the railroad tracks and a busy 4 lane road.

Duwamish River Trail
Duwamish River Trail

Right after I took these photos of the longhouse and the Sealth sign I looked south and saw a train coming.  Actually I was startled by its loud horn.

Freight train working along the Duwamish River.
Freight train working along the Duwamish River.

The train was so close to the path I pulled the camera out and took this video.

It was exciting as it came towards me and like a little kid I waved at the Engineer.

Train was really close up
Train was really close up

The Port of Seattle has developed what would have been Terminal 107 into a park.  Down by the river I found the remains of the Duwamish Tribe’s ancient village shell midden.  This has been documented during several archaeological digs as Duwamish Number 1 Site or 45KI23 in 1978 & 1986.  The photo below gives you some perspective of how the midden sits on the river.

Beach area with shell midden
Beach area with shell midden

The site is side by side with remnants of more recent building’s foundations. This little beach area has also seen some graffiti activity.

Shell Midden and old building foundations at T-107 Park
Shell Midden and old building foundations at T-107 Park

Next here is a good look at the shell midden.

T-107 Shell Midden
T-107 Shell Midden

To see more of my Duwamish Adventure I have a directory post that links all of the pieces together.  You can find that post here – My Duwamish Adventure Directory

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