•January 18, 2010 • 1 Comment

La Push is the home to the Quileute Tribe and is approximately 12 miles from Forks Washington . The tribe’s ancestry extends back thousands of years to the Ice Age, they are perhaps the oldest inhabitants to the Pacific Northwest.

They constructed cedarwood canoes that ranged in size from two-man to seafaring cargo vessels able of carry up to three tons. They ranked only second to the Makah as whalers, and first amongst all the tribes as seal hunters. Special woolly-hared dogs were bred, and their fur used for blankets. According to legends, they were related to the Chimacum who became split up from the Quileute by a great flood that carried them to the Quimper Peninsula on the other side of the North Olympic Peninsula, where they were annihilated by Chief Seattle and the Suquamish Tribe in the 1860s.

Official contact with the white man took place in 1855, when they contracted an accord with congressmen of Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens. A treaty a year latter would have resettled them to an Indian Reservation in Taholah, but the territory was so remote it wasn’t imposed. In February 1889, an executive order by President Grover Cleveland instituted a one mile square indian reservation at LaPush which, at the time, had 252 natives. While villagers were plucking hops in Puyallup, the township was burned to the ground by fire in 1889. Quileute military headquarters and a micro- museum are on the old settlement site.

The tribe has revived its traditional skills and craftsmanships, which are learned at school along with the unique language, which is unrelated to any root language in the world, and one of just five in the world without nasal speech sounds.

Nestled higher up from First Beach in La Push is the La Push Ocean Park and Shoreline Resort, which has motels, condominiums and cabins.

The newly built store, Lonesome Creek has a local post office and recreational vehicle park. Now, La Push has seacoast lodging, a seafood company, fish hatchery and a newly built marina.

The famed Quileute Days happens July 17-19 in La Push. The celebration of cultural heritage and modern life-style includes a fireworks show, a traditional salmon broil, dancing and songs, a softball tournament, and other outdoor sports, a slo-pitch tournament, a horseback show, artworks and craft works exhibit as well as food concessions