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Sharing Our Memories:Jamestown S'Klallam Elders
Artwork by Jeff Monson

Sharing Our Memories:
Jamestown S'Klallam Elders

Honoring Elders for their Lives and their Wisdom.




(Top) Helen Becker Jarvis, (Bottom) Ida Marshman Becker holding Helen Becker, Robert Becker and Ed Becker, approximately 1928



Helen Becker Jarvis:

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Helen Becker Jarvis

March 6, 1928 at home in the “pink house” in Dungeness.
Edwin Becker Sr. and Ethel Stevens Ellis Becker
Maternal Grandparents:
Lyman Stevens and Henrietta (Sea-Litza, means “Little Quail) Annie Stevens
Paternal Grandparents:
Herman Becker (from Germany) and Ida Marshman Becker

  Sharing Our Memories Audio Clips:

Sewing Clothes  [314KB .mp3]


When Helen was still a baby, her family moved from the “pink house” to another home in Dungeness. She lived there with her “folks” and her brothers. “As times got tough for the other members of family we often had other people living with us. Helen said "Matt", her oldest Ellis brother from the Ellis family, "lived with us for a while and my cousin Bert Stevens who mother raised from a baby. He lived with us off and on so we always had a house full of people.” Even in the toughest times they always had fish, ducks and other food in their pantry. Her folks always had their own garden. “Mother canned everything.”
The house had three bedrooms and “a lot of times Mother would make up a bed in the dining room and partition it off if somebody needed another bed. We lived there until the house on Towne Road was ready about 1934.” That is where she lived when she started school at the old Dungeness School.
Growing up Helen liked going to school the most. They had inside plumbing when she was there, and she was glad about that. She graduated from school going through eight grades in seven years. She didn’t skip; her teacher had her whole class take two years in one “because she thought we were ready for it.” The teacher went to each home and asked the parents permission to do this. “Until I graduated from grade school, I had long curls. My mother just about died when I had my hair cut finally. She took care of my hair. She did the shampooing, special brushes and special shampoo and when I got it cut that was it, I was on my own.”
Her father worked in Port Townsend “when I was a baby and commuted. Mother said I fussed so much that he quit and came back to Dungeness to work. Helen remembers the old Dungeness Dock where her father worked. He had a bad accident there but recovered and lived to be seventy-one.
Her best friend was Virginia Geier who is deceased now.
“My Mother sewed and made me dresses and she made a coat from another coat. Anytime you got a new dress it was a special occasion. She taught me to sew on an old Singer sewing machine. My Mother even made the boys’ clothes when they were little. We were all well loved.”
Helen went to Sequim High School and graduated Valedictorian in the class of 1945. Helen worked as a banker in the old Sequim Bank for thirty years and one year in the new bank. She was married to Joe Jarvis for fifty-one years before he died. It wasn’t until she became an Elder and started going to the Elders Luncheons that Helen became acquainted with other Tribal members.



Jamestown Elders featured in this Exhibit.

Exhibit Home

George Woodman

Harriette Lorraine Hall Adams

Tillie Campbell Norton Baker

Robert C.
Delores Kardonsky Bridges

DeEtte William "Bill" Broderson


Ruby Prince George

Walter Joseph Hubman

Helen Becker Jarvis


Lincoln T.

Image of Exhibit companion book cover: 'Sharing Our Memories' Jamestown S'Klallam Elders; Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Official Federal Recognition of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe
In 2001, with funding from the National Park Service Historic Preservation program, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe conducted interviews with Tribal Elders and transformed these oral histories into the book “Sharing Our Memories:
Jamestown S’Klallam Elders.”