State historical group to honor locals

SOUTH SOUND: Awards will focus on mural, archaeological dig

Staff writerOctober 17, 2012 

Two Olympia groups, a college archaeology professor and a Squaxin Island tribal leader will be honored this week by the Washington State Historical Society for their work creating a sense of South Sound history and cultural diversity.

The Olympia Downtown Association and the Olympia Heritage Commission will receive the David Douglas Award from the historical society’s board of trustees at a noon luncheon Saturday at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma for their work on the Rebecca Howard Mural in downtown Olympia.

The south-facing mural at 222 Capitol Way N. honors Howard, a black American who, as owner-operator of the Pacific House hotel-restaurant in downtown Olympia in the 1860s and 1870s, was Olympia’s first female entrepreneur.

The two Olympia groups will receive the annual award named after early 19th century Pacific Northwest explorer-botanist Douglas for both creating a sense of place through history and helping beautify downtown Olympia.

Dale Croes, a South Puget Sound Community College archaeology instructor, will receive the Peace and Friendship Award for his collaborative work with the Squaxin Island Tribe, drawing on tribal members and their cultural knowledge to interpret artifacts discovered at an ancient tribal fishing village, Qwu?gwes, at Mud Bay.

Also receiving the Peace and Friendship Award will be Squaxin Island tribal leader Charlene Krise, who is executive director of the Squaxin Island Tribe Museum Library and Research Center. Krise has worked closely with Croes at the Mud Bay archaeological site and was a leader in this summer’s Paddle to Squaxin canoe journey event that brought dozens of Pacific coastal tribes to a potlatch gathering at the Squaxin Island tribal center in Kamilche.

To reserve a seat at the luncheon, contact Laura Berry at 253-798-5899 or

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