IT ALL STARTED WHEN…
The history of the Bonney Lake plateau figures prominently in the early history of WashingtonTerritory. The Naches Trail, a former Native American path extending from the waters of Puget Sound to the Cascade Mountains and beyond, saw not only the traffic of Native Americans, but also trappers with the Hudson Bay Company and explorers from the 1841 Wilkes United States Exploring Expedition.
With the establishment of Washington Territory by an act of Congress in 1853, there was increased interest in settling the Puget Sound region. The Donation Land Claim Act served as an enticement for many new immigrants, including our area's first settlers. Michael Connell and James Williamson, former soldiers in the U.S. Army assigned to Fort Steilacoom, built cabins on their claims along the White River. Reuben Ashford Finnell built his cabin and barn a mile to the west on the banks of what is now known as Fennel Creek.
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