Featured from our Collections
July 2014 - A Tale of Snoqualmie Falls by Elva Bush Polley
As schoolchildren most of us were exposed to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem,
The Song of Hiawatha, written in the heavy-footed trochaic tetrameter verse form.
In 1935, Elva Bush Polley wrote a similar (but shorter) verse account of a famous
Snoqualmie story about an early attack on the Snoqualmie tribe by the powerful Yakima
tribe from east of the mountains… which ended in the Yakimas going over the
Falls to their deaths. The story is entitled A Tale of Snoqualmie Falls by Sto’loug Sla’de
Printed in a small format, approximately 4.5 inches square, the copy in our collection
was donated by Donna Bennett Stewart, and was given to her as a Christmas gift by
Elva’s sister, Iva Bush, as noted on the title page. There are two photos included: one
of Snoqualmie Falls on the first page and one of the “gorge”, the river below the Falls,
at the end. The story comprises 11 pages of verse, and may be read in this Tale of
Snoqualmie Falls pdf. (You will note the use of “klootchmen”, a Chinook word which
means “women” or “wives.”)
The title page of A Tale of Snoqualmie Falls, with inscription by Iva Bush and the first of eleven pages of verse in the story.
Elva Bush Polley, 1961. She was an important Fall City historian, and wrote many articles for the Snoqualmie Valley Record.
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