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 (River Woman).

A Tale of Snoqualmie Falls

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.”)

A Tale of Snoqualmie Falls

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.

A Tale of Snoqualmie Falls
A Tale of Snoqualmie Falls

Elva Bush Polley, 1961. She was an important Fall City historian, and wrote many articles for the Snoqualmie Valley Record.



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