“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mukilteo in Snohomish County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)

Early Explorers

Early Explorers of the Mukilteo Region

Early Explorers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 31, 2012
1. Early Explorers Marker
Inscription. We do not know the name of the first man or women to venture into the Mukilteo area, but we do know that the ancestors of todayís Native Americans migrated from Asia to North America at least 12,000 years ago. Evidence of the next explorers is also fragmented, as scholars debate the possibility of visits to the Washington coast by early Polynesians, a Chinese navigator in 458, Sir Francis Drake in 1579, and Juan de Fuca (a Greek mariner employed by the Spanish) in 1592. The historical record is clearer in the 18th century, as Russian fur traders came down from Siberia and Spanish navigators came up from Mexico, drawing sketch maps and making claims along the coast.

The towering figure among all of them was Captain George Vancouver, who led a British naval expedition to explore and map the entire western coast of North America, from California to Alaska. Between 1791 and 1795, Vancouver and his men mapped the 5,000 miles of coastline so well that portions of his maps were still used until the 1920s. On May 30, 1792, Vancouverís ship, the Discovery, anchored just off the point of land on which the Mukilteo Light Station is now located: “...we anchored off a place called Rose Point from the numerous trees of that name that were on the low ground...” The next morning, Captain Vancouver carried out measurements “on
Early Explorers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 31, 2012
2. Early Explorers Marker
The Mukilteo Lighthouse is in the background.
a low point of land near the ship,” perhaps on the very spot you are now standing. At the same time, the expeditionís Naturalist, Archibald Menzies, walked along the beaches around here, collecting plant specimens and making observations. (See bronze plaque in front of the Lighthouse Tower)

Rose Point remained the English-language name of this site until 1841, when a United States Naval Lieutenant, Charles Wilkes, named it Point Elliot (called Elliot Point on modern charts) on the map he produced for the American government. The Wilkes Expedition was part of a larger policy to strengthen the claim of the United States on the region, whose trade was still largely dominated by Britainís Hudsonís Bay Company.

Resistance by Native Americans to immigration into what was named the Washington Territory in 1853 resulted in a series of ten treaties, of which the second, the Point Elliott Treaty, was signed on this site on January 22, 1855. Careful readers may have noticed that Lt. Wilkes named it “Point Elliot,” but it was misspelled in the official treaty and so it has been the Point Elliott Treaty ever since Congress ratified it in 1859). In 1860, just one year after ratification of the treaty, the first official land claims in Mukilteo were made by two American settlers, Morris Frost and Jacob Fowler.

Mukilteoís founders rejected both
Sign in front of lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Pat Filippone, May 27, 2015
3. Sign in front of lighthouse
Rose Point and Point Elliot in favor of a name in the Snohomish language: Muckl-te-ho. Written in English as Mukilteo, the word probably meant “long neck of the goose” in reference to the narrow spit of land which was here at the time (most of Lighthouse Park was a lagoon). Mukilteo may have been used also by the Indians to refer to a “good camping ground or meeting place”. Whatever the origins of the name, it may be seen today as a kind of linguistic tribute to that first human explorer who arrived here so many millennia ago.

Text courtesy of John & Ann Collier, Mukilteo Historical Society City of Mukilteo
Erected by City of Mukilteo.
Location. 47° 56.896′ N, 122° 18.369′ W. Marker is in Mukilteo, Washington, in Snohomish County. Marker is on Front Street. Touch for map. This marker is located at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 610 Front Street, Mukilteo WA 98275, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Landing Site of Capt. George Vancouver (within shouting distance of this marker); Mukilteo Light Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Ken Griffey Jr.
The Lighthouse image. Click for full size.
By Pat Filippone, May 27, 2015
4. The Lighthouse
(approx. 5 miles away); Humble House (approx. 9.1 miles away); Alderwood Manor Heritage Cottage (approx. 9.1 miles away); Wickers Building (approx. 9.1 miles away); Interurban Trolley (approx. 9.1 miles away); The Olympic Mountains (approx. 10.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mukilteo.
Also see . . .  History - Mukilteo Historical Society. l792: Captain George Vancouver mapped the Puget Sound area (named after Lieutenant Peter Puget), landing on the point where the light station stands today, Captain Vancouver designated the area as Rosehill Point because of the beautiful wild roses that cover the hillsides. (Submitted on November 12, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
Categories. ExplorationSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 12, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 470 times since then and 30 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 12, 2012, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   3, 4. submitted on May 27, 2015, by Pat Filippone of Stockton, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the plaque located at the lighthouse as mentioned in the marker text. • If the plaque qualifies as a historical marker please submit as its own marker page. • Can you help?
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