|Looking west through Balch Passage|
Puget and his party transited from Pitt Passage thru Balch
and arrived Ketron Island
It is filled with The Voyage of Discovery adventures as The Puget Expedition and the Vancouver Expedition plied these waters in May of 1792. I am calling Steilacoom, The Crossroads of the Voyage of Discovery now that I have had time to savor the historical tidbits that are continually being placed in my simmering and thickening soup that I am cooking. The Puget party crossed from Pitt Passage to Balch Passage to Ketron Island to get a noon sight and bearings up the Narrows for Mr. Whidbey. Lt Manby tried to shoot a bear and his double-barreled gun exploded. The sun dripped day resulted in lightening and thunder storms which forced them into Oro Bay on Anderson Island where they spent the night. Trading with the Nisqually Indians in the evening provided them with salmon, raspberries and a bear skin. The Vancouver Expedition also crossed through this area and camped on Ketron Island. That evening Puget's expedition returned from their southern exploration and passed Ketron making their way back to the HMS Discovery. They see a camp fire on shore and believe it to be Indian. Vancouver fires muskets upon seeing boats pass in the darkness of night. Since there was no return of muskets firing, they, too thought the boats were Indian.
The Steilacoom group was excited to hear this history, are most supportive, have become new "Friends of the Puget Memorial Project" and are eager to look at other possibilities of embracing the Puget Expedition into their projects list. I look forward to seeing them again in the near future. What a wonderful group of people. Stop by and visit the town and their beautiful history museum. Tell them Puget sent you.