Puyallup Tribal News

Meaning of word ‘Puyallup’ Discovered;

//It’s ‘Oliver Twist’ of Indian Story

Puyallup, June 30—- (Special.)—-

The origin of the name “Puyallup” and it’s tradition of hospitality from the very earliest times is related to President Paulhaumas of the Puyallup and Sumner Fruit Growers’ association in a letter from Henry Sicade, wealthy Indian capitalist  of the Puyallup Valley,  today. Mr. Sicade believed that the association might be interested in the origin and derivation of the word since it adopted for its label “Pu-L-Up” and an Indian head. After years of inquiry he received the story of the name from the lips of an old woman of the Puyallup Tribe, as it has been handed down to her in the legends of the tribe.

    As all Indian names originally had meanings, so did “Puyallup,” Mr. Sicade says in his letter. “At East 24th street or Puyallup avenue, in Tacoma, there is a creek called by the Indians ‘Swad-hums,’ which means “Plains people.” These people from the great plains came down the gulch now used by the Tacoma Eastern railroad and crossed this stream to the head of the bay in search of salt water fish and clams, change of diet and exchange of foods,

    There lived about where the Watson & Olds flouring mills now are a band of Indians of the Puyallup Tribe, in what was then the great medicine house. In this place people going to all points north began their journey. Sometimes when they arrived there they were short of provisions. These natives were very generous and would always provide.

    “So they’d “pough” or “add more” and the Indians always referred to them as “Pough-allup”—- allup’ meaning people—or the people who always add or give more than is needed.’ In time the name was shortened to ‘Puyallup.’”


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