five generations



The Croatians brought their familiarity with the sea and a knowledge of fishing imported from the Dalmatian coast.  Their boat designs and purse seining method revolutionized the trade throughout the Puget Sound.  Some of these fishermen took Native American wives who taught them how to hunt, trap fur, smoke meat and render fish oil. The Scandinavians – mostly Norwegians and Swedes – applied their aptitude for building infrastructure (schools, post offices and civic clubs) and introduced farming and agricultural techniques well suited to the local terrain.  Pioneers from across the United States – particularly Minnesota, New York, Iowa and the Dakota Territory –brought skills acquired along the trail: logging, mining, masonry and an “entrepreneurial spirit” that characterized our country’s westward expansion.  Within a generation, these unlikely neighbors came to share their respective expertise; farmers became fishermen, loggers became merchants, fishermen became boat builders and millers became entrepreneurs. Together they grew orchards, dug wells, cleared roads and stepped up to their civic responsibilities.  Before long, a bond between families from across the globe formed a new kind of “community” tough enough to overcome not only the inclement weather, thicketed soil and perilous ocean, but – five generations later – perseverant enough to reflect a chapter of American history unlike any other.



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