In 1944, my auntie Iva was born in a cabin on Little Baldy, a grassy hilltop located about a mile east of Hillyard, Washington. Today I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany my aunt, along with many of my cousins, to visit her birthplace. During our visit this afternoon, we were blessed to hear her speak about her memories of that place.
Iva's parents, grandparents, and about a dozen other Indian families all lived together in a transitional community, situated somewhere between the traditional lifestyle of the past and the modern world. Some of the families lived in cabins made of discarded railroad ties, while most lived in canvas tents. The majority of the people worked in the orchards during the day, and then returned to the camp in the evening. They spoke Salish and practiced the spirituality of their ancestors. Essentially, it was an Indian camp that functioned well into the 1950s; although, I'm not sure if the community has acknowledged its importance within local history.
This afternoon, we took a video of Iva sharing her life story. We hope to gather other oral histories. If anyone remembers visiting this site, I encourage you to send me an email. I would love to add your story to our history.
During our visit, our nephew pushed Iva in her wheelchair up the hill.
Despite the difficulty, Iva was determined to visit the actual home site, even if she had to walk across the uneven ground.
Cousins, nieces, and nephews all helped.
Auntie Iva holding an old pot.
A grove of trees at the base of the hill.
On old well located on the property.
Family members discovered old trinkets
left behind more than a generation ago.
Death camas is growing in a meadow
a few hundred yards below the cabin site.
Yarrow grows on the hill
The cabin site looking east.
Iva remembered this rock from her childhood.
Iva also remembered that her mother and her aunts used to collect fruit from trees growing on the home site. This tree still has on old wooden step ladder leaned against the trunk.
Arrowleaf balsamroot withers on the hillside.
An old bed spring at the cabin.
Broken glass from the home site.
Wood from the old cabin.