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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) Ray Cook at the Jamestown Tribal Center in Blyn, WA. (Bottom) Walt Kardonsky, Lillian Kardonsky, Leo Kardonsky, Ray Cook (kneeling).



Ray Cook:

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Ray Cook

June 6, 1928 in Sequim Hospital
Art and Flora Dick Cook
Maternal Grandparents:
James Dick and Martha Chubby Dick Collier
Paternal Grandparents:
John and Nora Johnson Cook

  Sharing Our Memories Audio Clips:

A Fishing Story  [870KB .mp3]
Aunt Lil's House  [1,275KB .mp3]
Picking Berries  [495KB .mp3]


Ray Cook’s mother and father were full Indian and he remembers knowing his grandmother Nora Cook when he was growing up. From what he has heard she lived to be over 100 years old.
Ray said he remembers very little about living at Jamestown but remembers being in the water a lot. “My sister Laura told me that we used to go out to Dungeness Spit and we used to camp out there.” They would put up a tent and his dad would go out in a boat and start jigging for fish. “I guess that’s the way we made our living. Whatever he caught he would keep some for food and sell the rest so we could buy food.”
He barely remembers traveling from Jamestown to Washington Harbor in a canoe when they used to go there to dig clams. One time the waves were pretty heavy and the boat was going up and down and “way out in the distance there was a bunch of clouds and I kept watching them and I got scared and I thought they were ghosts or bogey men and I started crying. My Dad kind of settled me down and told me they were just nothing but clouds.”
From Jamestown at age seven or eight he went to the Cushman Hospital in Tacoma, “that was the TB hospital for American Indians.” He was in the hospital a “couple of years.” He remembers Charlie Johnson and his brother from the Lower Elwha Reservation being there also. While at Cushman he played marbles and cars just like kids and “just goofed off.” There wasn’t much to do. “We would have what they called a sleeping period from one to three and then we get up and go about our business and go out and run around just like little kids do.”
After that he moved in with the Kardonsky family to the home in Port Angeles on the beach and was taught to fish by Leo Kardonsky. “We would go out and fish and whatever we caught we would have for dinner. We were still in the Depression at that time so we had to get whatever we could get. That’s what got me interested in fishing. I can remember Leo and I would walk all the way out to the spit (Ediz Hook spit) from where we lived. In order to get to where we wanted to catch the fish we had to walk all over those log booms and sometimes we had to run real fast to get where we were going or else we would sink. Once we got there we usually caught sea bass and maybe a ling cod or two or a red snapper.”
His cousin Meredith Bridges told him that he used to be able to speak the Jamestown S’Klallam language “but after I started growing up I guess I must have lost it somehow.”
Ray Cook passed away in 2005.



Jamestown Elders featured in this Exhibit.

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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.”