1865 - 1868 - 1869 - 1874 - 1875 - 1876 - 1877 - 1878 - 1879 - 1880 - 1881 - 1882 - 1883 - 1884 - 1885 - 1886 - 1887 - 1888 - 1889


  • Mathew Bridges, first settler on Vashon, files claim on Vashon - dies on Vashon in 1926


  • By the end of year 2,849.3 acres claimed and 745.91 acres homesteaded


  • First Homestead claim filed

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  • Tacoma “Weekly Pacific Tribune” - industries at Quartermaster Harbor included fishing, farming, logging, brick making, and shingle making
  • 43’ Steamer Lively begins daily runs from Tacoma


  • Alec McLeod lands 1,000 sheep at Ellisport drives then to center of Island west of what is now Vashon Town built extensive set of barns ad sheds - unsuccessful


  • Euro-American child born to Reeves family on Vashon. They later move off-island.


  • Sherman party establish settlement on North Quartermaster Harbor

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  • “Old Black Joe” - Salmon Sherman’s ferry to Tacoma
    Frank Miner shingle mill at Fort Necessity on QM Harbor


  • Ella Miner born. First Euro-American child of settlers who remain on the island.


  • S.D. Sherman begins intermittent runs to Tacoma with “Old Black Joe” a lifeboat converted to a schooner.
    Jacob Ellis pre-empted 168 acres at what is now Ellisport
  • Voting precinct established - John Bamfield the 1st inspector - polling place at his home near Center


  • First schoolhouse built at Center.
    Enoch J. Mathis begins logging - mile south of Center

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  • Enoch Mathis and his son George homesteaded 160 acres south of Center and for ten years did extensive logging.
  • West Side School District organized and an 18x28 ft building built for the
  • Chautauqua and Vermontville (Glen Acres) build schools
  • Steamer Zepher making regular trips Tacoma to Seattle


  • Northern Pacific Railroad completed, Tacoma is the terminus.
  • King County build first island roads - Burton to Center Road named Cascade Ave. King County Roads No. 116 and 117 were established in 1883 on Vashon Island. Today these roads are named SW Cemetery Road and SW Bank Road, respectively.
  • Article in the Tacoma News - most of the settlement of island at head of QM Harbor and north up the center of the island for 4 1/2 miles
  • Salmon Sherman retired "Old Black Joe" and purchased the Swan a 32-foot steam launch - began regular twice a week service to Tacoma - The Tacoma News reported Sherman intended to "bring milk and other farm products to the city."
  • Vashon Post Office established April 12
  • Quartermaster School District formed
  • Captain James M. McClintock, his wife and 4 children land at Point Heyer to establish homestead - Point Heyer mainly a place for Indians to camp on canoe trips up and down the Sound
  • First saw mill operated by Warren J. Gordon east of Center - later that year taken over by Miles hatch and moved to east of present high school

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  • School held in North District - west of Vashon Town
    Quartermaster School District organized -school built on Morgan Hill
  • First store built at Vashon Landing.
  • Rev. R.B. Dilworth settled at Point Beals, better known by its local name of Dilworth Point. Dilworth paid a squatter named Shaffer $100 relinquish his squatter rights, and then filed a homestead claim. This may have been fairly typical of how settlers dealt with squatters on the island.
  • Methodist Church organized - first church built the next year
  • The sternwheeler "Bob Irving" started weekly service between Quartermaster Harbor and Tacoma - Thomas Brown owned Brown's Wharf and Navigation Co. - built warehouse and wharf in Tacoma next to Hatch's sawmill - "Bob Irving was 85 ft long 22 ft beam and 3 ft draft - flat-bottomed, shovel-nosed so could easily run up on the beach - made run from Tacoma to Quartermaster, also stopped at Gig Harbor, Lakebay, and communities south of Pt. Defiance
  • Woodmen of the World building built at Burton by Howard C. Stone - 1st floor for commercial use - 2nd floor for lodge meetings - King County Landmark Building


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  • 69 Farmers on Vashon-Maury
  • Point Robinson fog signal installed.
  • Anti-Chinese riots in Seattle and Tacoma - November 3 - Tacoma expels all Chinese - Chinese community at Manzanita disappears
  • 5 brickyards around harbor employing 200 men - Bleeker Yard at Burton the largest - "Molly Bleeker" a large steam barge that ferries bricks to Tacoma and was used as living quarters by the Bleekers at various times
  • Puget Sound Chautauqua Assembly held first meeting at Dilworth Point - August 3 - large speaker's platform, wooden benches and a few cabins were built - but only time used
  • Hilen Harrington Log House built - King County Landmark Building
  • Washington Territory Poultry and Professional Stock Association formed on Vashon - John T. Blackburn first president -
  • E.F. Johnson opens first real estate office on the Island


  • First recorded wedding among pioneers - J. A. LeBallister and Nettie Cassler - LeBallister was a foreman for the Phinney Logging Company

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  • Pt. Robinson light on 25-foot pole added to fog signal
  • First Vashon school at what is today Ober Park - land donated by John T.
    Blackburn - 1st school 18’x28’ building with 1x12 board and batten


  • A Cemetery District was established in 1888 creating a new sense of permanence about the settlement of Vashon-Maury Island
    Independent Order of Grand Templars - bought lot and build a large hall
  • North School District - school 1st term
  • Fairfowld Brick Yard employed 100 men -most bricks used in Tacoma for buildings and streets - 2 brickyards at Vashon landing - and one north of Aquarium -Lucian Cook ran brickyard on Quartermaster - bought steamer Estella and ran it between Tacoma and QM Harbor to ferry bricks and workmen - in 1889 Cook had six barges built to haul bricks and bought the steamer Seaside as a towboat
  • W.L. Livesly built and operated a shinglemill at the entrance to Nettle Creek (Tilton's name for it) locally called Shinglemill Creek from then on
  • Puget Sound Chautauqua Assembly chose Chautauqua as permanent home - 115 acres donated by islander (McClintock Ellis, Fuller, and Judd) - Assembly had trustees from Lopes Island, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Walla Walla - eventually the site was 600 acres, two miles of shoreline, a dock, a hotel, dozens of cottages, and a 1200 seat pavilion. (Payton) "Parks with rustic paths and viewpoints added charm to the beautifully landscaped permanent dwellings. Chautauqua was billed as a flower garden spot 'where families may escape the noxious vapors and the immoral influences of a crowded city and combine health, instruction and pleasure.'" (Payton)
  • May 24, 1888 - Puget Sound Chautauqua Assembly platted Chautauqua Beach - first town platted on the island -with roads named for the writers Bryant, Emerson, Lowell, Hawthorne, and Irving; tress Alder, Fir, Cedar, and Laurel; and inspirational names like Olympus and Prospect -built large wharf - pavilion seating about 1200 -"The residents, with justifiable pride, improved their homes and planted shrubbery and flower until Chautauqua was known far and wide as the flower garden of the State."
    September 10 - Chautauqua Post Office opened - Edward E. Perry first postmaster (closes in 1943)
  • October 13 - Maury Post Office opened - Charles H. Davis first Postmaster (closes in 1912)
  • Rev. Dilworth had the steamer Halys (from the Greek "fisher of men") built on Vashon, just north of where Vashon Landing would be, (First Boat Built on Vashon?) and used it as a "sea-going circuit rider" to visit remote settlements around the Sound and conduct religious services. Sold the boat in 1890 and it was used as a towboat for a number of years.

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  • November 11 - Washington becomes a state
  • John T. Blackburn first representative in Washington State Legislature
  • Regular ferry service “Iola” makes six round trips per week, 3 for each side of the Island.
  • Kingsbury logging operation and dock at Kingsbury Beach, became Mentzer, then Pankratz, then Williams and Miller, bought school land tract - sons Frank and Fred did extensive logging on Maury, County built dock - Kingsbury Landing - abandoned and taken out in 1931
  • Steamer Iola run by Captain John Vanderhoef and used as a residence by he and his wife, was making 6 round trips per week between Tacoma, Seattle and Vashon - MWF ran Tacoma to Seattle up and down East passage, TTS made the same trip via West Passage (Colvos) - stopped at all the docks and would pick up passenger or freight anywhere it was rowed out in a dingy
  • Seattle fire encourages brick works on Vashon
  • March 15, 1889 - Idaho Daily Statesman - “L. F. Cook, of Vashon Island,
    proposes to cut a steamboat channel between Vashon and Maury islands in order to shorten the route between Seattle and Tacoma. He has also conceived the idea of building a halfway town at the portage, making the entire island a beautiful place. Three hundred and fifty acres and a long piece of water front were subscribed to the enterprise. M. F. Hatch, S. D. Sherman and J. McClintock was appointed a committee to solicit further subscriptions.”