Elwha Klallam Historical Timeline


1700 - An estimated 9 magnitude earthquake in Pacific Northwest causes a tsunami in Japan.

1782 - Small pox epidemic

1787 - Strait of Juan de Fuca named by Charles Barkley

1788 - Robert Duffin encounters Klallam Indians at Discovery Bay.

1789 - Robert Gray reaches Clallam Bay

1790 - Spanish Explorer, Manuel Quimper lands at Freshwater Bay and Dungeness

1791 - Port Angeles named, Nuestra Senora de los Angeles by Juan Francisco de Eliza

            Spanish military post established at Discovery Bay

1792 - George Vancouver explores the Olympic Peninsula


1800 -

1804 - Lewis and Clark Expedition begins

1819 - Spain surrenders claim to Pacific Northwest

1824 - Russia surrenders claim to Pacific Northwest

1828 - The Hudson’s Bay Company launches punitive expedition against the Klallam

1833 - Nisqually House records show evidence of Klallams trading

1841 - Wilkes explores Puget Sound and reports potatoes being grown by Port Discovery Klallam

1842 - Mass migration of white settlers begins along the Oregon Trail

1843 - James Douglas establishes Fort Victoria

1846 - Establishment of 49th parallel

1847 - Paul Kane documents visit to Ennis Village site in Port Angeles

1848 - Measles and dysentery epidemic

1850 - Donation Land Act of Oregon

1851 - First settlers in Port Townsend

1852 - Settlement of Dungeness area begins at Whiskey Flats


Treaty Era, a time of tremendous change and loss


1853 - Washington Territory established

            The Appropriation Act authorized the President of the United States to negotiate with Indian

            tribes to extinguish   

            title to their lands so that citizens of the U.S. could settle these lands.

1855 - Point No Point Treaty signed on January 25th by Governor Isaac Stevens and  representatives of

           the S’Klallam, Skokomish and Chemakum Tribes. Gibbs’ census shows 926 Klallams. The Elwha

           Klalams and villages are named in the Treaty and it constitutes federal recognition of the Tribe.

1857 - 1859 - First settlers in Port Angeles

1856-1857 - Indian war, Puget Sound Indians fought for suitable land base

1858 - Gold was discovered in Frazer River causing the population to swell

1859 - Congress ratifies the Point No Point Treaty on March 8

            Small pox epidemic

            Micheal Simmons recommended that the Clallams be allowed a reserve at Clallam Bay.  It was not approved

1862 - Smallpox epidemic

            Census shows 1,300 Klallams

            Many Klallams from Port Angeles move over to Beecher Bay

1863 - Ethnographer, George Gibbs documented Klallam historic information

            Port Angeles land sale

1871 - End of treaty making with U.S. government and Tribes

1874 - Amendment to Homestead Act to extend to Indians

            James Balch purchased 210 acres so the 140 Clallams could live at Jamestown.

            Many Klallams at Port Gamble and Elwha took up Indian Homesteads.  At Elwha there were 10 homesteads on

            the Elwha River, Deep Creek and Pysht totaling over 1,300 acres

1872 - An effort to create a reservation on Ediz Hook failed to pass.

1875 - Small pox epidemic

1878 - Census show 597 Klallams

1879 - Dysentery, fever, phthisis, scrofula and syphilis are among the most common illnesses among Coast Indians

1880 - Chemawa Indian School Starts

1881 - Lung disease, measles and scarlet fever break out

1882 - Origin of Shaker Religion

1883 - Population of Port Angeles grew

1884 - Indian Homestead Act

1885 - Shaker Church in Jamestown

1887 - General Allotment Act

            Reverend Myron Eells wrote about the Klallam

            Port Angeles population over 600

1889 - Washington becomes 42nd State

1890 - Influenza epidemic

1893 - Last Klallam secret society initiation held in Port Angeles


1900 - Self Governance, A time to rebuild


1906 - Burke Act, 25 year trust status on allotted lands removed

1910 - Construction begins on the Elwha Dam

            Fishing laws and regulation exclude Klallam from fishing

1911 - Quinault opened for allotment but the Klallams refused to relocate

1912 - Elwha Dam breaks

1913 - Edward S. Curtis, recorded Klallam language and songs

1914 - Construction of the Elwha Dam completed

1916 - The State of Washington ruled that off-reservation fishing was subject to state control.  After this ruling the Indians were arrested for fishing.

1918 - Flu epidemic hits Port Angeles

1920 - Anthropologist, T.T. Waterman wrote extensively about the Klallam

            Small pox epidemic

1924 - Indian Citizenship Act passes

1925 - Construction begins on the Glines Canyon Dam

1927 - Erna Gunther, wrote ‘Klallam Ethnography’

1930 - There were still over 30 Klallam families living on Ediz Hook

1933 - Relocation of families off of Ediz Hook

1934 - Indian Reorganization Act passed by Congress to provide new form for organization of tribal

          governments and for federal acquisition of land in trust for tries.

          Johnson O’Malley Act

1935 - Anthropologist, William W. Elmendorf recorded Klallam language and history

1935(6)  - A reservation for the Elwha Klallam Tribe is established with 372 acres at the mouth of the

           Elwha River

1939 - Port Gamble becomes Federally Recognized

1942 - Linguist, John Peabody Harrington, recorded Klallam over 250 place names

1951 - Anthropologist, Wayne Suttles recorded Klallam language and history

1953 - Indian Claims Commission established. Way to pay off Indian claims with no option for return of lands. 

Termination Act

Anthropologist, Leon Metcalf recorded Klallam language and history

1959 - Ethnomusicologist, Willard Rhodes recorded Klallam music and language

1964 - 1971 - Linguist, Laurence and Terry Thompson recorded extensively Klallam language and history

1966 - National Historic Preservation Act amended

1968 - In a special election called by Secretary of Interior under authority of the Indian Recognition

           Act of 1934, tribal members vote to approve Constitution and Bylaws for the Lower Elwha

           Community (also known as the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe). Secretary approved Constitution

           and Bylaws. Also under authority of Indian Recognition Act, Secretary proclaims the Tribe's

           trustlands at the mouth of the Elwha River to be the Lower Elwha Indian Reservation.

           Indian Civil Rights Act

           Amendments to Public Law 280

1972 - The Elwha Klallam Tribe participated with other Washington State tribes in a lawsuit filed against the State of Washington, U.S. v. Washington, to regain their fishing rights.

1974 - Boldt decision in U.S. vs. Washington upholds tribal fishing rights

            Anthropologist, Dr. Wayne Suttles has written extensively about the Klallams

1975 - Construction of a Community Center, Fish Hatchery and Group Home on the Elwha Klallam Reservation

            Self Determination and Indian Education and Assistance Act

1976 - Anthropologist, Mark Fleisher recorded Klallam language

1977 - Manis mastadon site discovered

            Indian Claims Commission makes payment for lands (750,000 acres) to the three Klallam bands each received $100,000 from the Point No Point Treaty of 1855

1978 - American Indian Religious Freedom Act

            Indian Child Welfare Act

1978 - 1980 Linguist Timothy Montler recorded Klallam language

1979 - The Boldt Decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court

1981 - Jamestown becomes Federally Recognized

1985 - Linguist, Steven Egesdahl recorded Klallam language

1989 - Army Corps of Engineers builds a flood control dike to protect the valley from the

 Elwha River flooding

1988 - Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, to provide for Tribal Gaming

            Self Determination expanded

1989 -            Centennial Accord between Washington State and Tribes signed

            Paddle to Seattle takes place as part of the Washington State Centennial

1990 - Amendments to the Native American Language Act

            Native American Graves Protection and repatriation Act

            The Indian Arts and Crafts Act

1991 - Anthropologist, Jackilee Wray recorded Klallam history

            Jamestown and Port Gamble becomes self-governance tribes

1992 - Klallam Language Program starts

            Amendments to National Historic Preservation Act

            Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act

            Elwha Klallam Tribe becomes a self- governance tribe

1993 - Religious Freedoms Restoration Act

Governor Lowry signs gaming compact

1994 - Judge Rafeedie upholds right to shellfish

            Self-Governance becomes permanent law

            Memorandum on Government to government Relations

1996 - Executive Order 13007 protects sacred sites on Federal lands


2000 - Cultural Revival, a time of renewal


2000 - Federal government acquires Elwha River dams

2003 - Construction begins on the Port Angeles dry dock uncovering ancient Klallam village of 


            First Peoples Language Bill passes

            2004 - Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian opens

2005 - History and Culture Bill passes

2005 - Elwha Klallam Tribe hosts Paddle to Elwha canoe journey.  Over 70 canoes and over 5000 participants arrive

2006 - Tribe reaches settlement with the state over Tse-whit-zen

        -  JARPA Completed and Submitted to appropriate agencies for approval. 

2007 - Tribe &  the City of Port Angeles sign a wastewater agreement. 

        - First request for bids for the Port Angeles Water Treatment Facility released. 

2008 - Contract Awarded for the Elwha Surface Water Intake Facility. 

2009 - Stratton Road Modifications Completed

        - Contract Rewarded for Tribal Hatchery Construction

2010 - Contract for Levee Construction Awarded

        - Contract awarded for Wastewater Construction

2011 - Dam Removal