Sunshine On Ki-a-Kut’s Bridge

It is said that Tualatin has a distinct Ice Age, Native American and pioneer history.
Now that I live here at the End of the Oregon Trail, I want to learn more about this area.

I haven’t been feeling all that well this week and have been staying in at home in my pajamas. It has been very foggy and cold day and night. But today the sunshine finally broke through and I felt compelled to take a walk. I had to combine that with going out to buy a wedding gift, so I went to Cook Park over on that part of town where I needed to shop.

And I like to walk there. Cook Park, along the Tualatin River in Tigard, is part of 250 combined acres of natural and open spaces, much of it protected wetland with great bird-watching potential. It is a community place, a fine meeting of the vision of city planners of Tigard, Durham and Tualatin, providing miles of walking paths and river access as well as soccer fields, picnic tables and BBQ grills, a dog park, skate park, basketball and tennis courts.

In 2007, a new walking path/ bicycle bridge was completed over a bend at the Tualatin River, connecting the Tualatin Community Park on the south side to Cook Park on the north side, where a memorial plaque was placed. It is a dedication to Ki-a-kuts, in tragic times, the final chief of the Atfalati band, part of the Kalapuya language group.  Native Americans who lived here long before. Before the pioneers came. Before the US government forced native Americans off their ancient homelands, marched them to the Federal Indian Reservation of Grand Rounde around 1856.

Jan. 22, 1855. | 10 Stats., 1143. | Ratified, Mar. 3, 1855. | Proclaimed, Apr. 10, 1855.

Read this excellent article: The Original Tualatins
about the Tualatin area native Americans written by Mary French, published in The Tualatin Life July 2013.

Long before native Americans and Ki-a-kuts, ice age mammals roamed these acreages. In 1962, John George, a PSU student working on a geology project, was clued in to dig up a mastodon skeletin from the Tualatin swamps. The story of how this amazing historical relic was discovered and came to be on display today in the lobby of the City of Tualatin Public Library can be read here:

I have a library card from there, so I have seen the mastodon display for myself.

Later, bones of ancient mammoth and sloth were also excavated and verified.

Ice Age Mammals Who Roamed Tualatin


Leave a Reply