Ezra Meeker Historical / Meeker Mansion 312 Spring Street Puyallup, WA 98372

dan6125@yahoo.com or 253-884-9633 or e-mail him at You can contact Dan at 253-848-1770 Dan Stats - Director and Administrator Greg Meeker Steve Dawson Bill Peacher Suzy Perkinson Johanna Jones Bob Minnich Audrey Neuendorf - Secretary/Conservator Wes Perkinson - Treasurer Andy Anderson - President

Board of Directors

meekermansion.org or visit our web site;

President’s Message

Call for info at: 253-848-1770
The Ezra Meeker Historical Society P.O. Box 103 Puyallup, WA 98371 9:00AM - 4:00PM are important to us. Reach us at:


The President has spent a lot of time here lately, so other than congratulations to the staff and volunteers for a very successful Christmas Season, he’s going to give the historian a chance this time. We have alluded to the fact that alot of reasearch has been going on. Ken Keigley in old newspapers and other interesting old records; Dennis Larsen ferreting out the Meeker story through the Meeker papers in the Washington State Historical Society archives as well as wherever in the world he is driven to follow the story. His latest coup is finding an undocumented diary of the 1910-1912 trip back over the Trail in the WSHS archives. Great work, Dennis! As a side note, Dennis will be the speaker at our Annual Meeting, Sunday March 30th at 2p.m. His topic will be something like “Chasing Ezra.” Last year we took in Lori Price’s papers, and Jan Baginski has been carefully and busily archiving them, meaning that if a name or a place is mentioned, we will be able to find it. Our long-term goal is to include all of our other holdings into that same system, so we will not only know what we have, but be able to find it, as well. The more we take in, the harder this becomes. Wes and Suzy Perkinson are busily doing the same chore with images - archiving and annotating material gleaned from photos and putting that material into the same files. Their long-term qoal is to establish and maintain a joint imagery index of all three major collections in the community - ours, that of the Karshner Museum and the City’s collection, called the BETA club collection and housed in the library. We committed, after the death of Lori Price, to provide one historic article a month to the paper. It is not my column, it belongs to the society, and I encourage anyone to participate. We will take steps early this year to put those columns on our web-site <www.meekermansion.org> to get them wider readership.

All of this activity revolves around the third floor of the Mansion, home of a desk, a table and a card table, as well as a large worktable and a series of file cabinets. The material stored here feeds the articles for the paper, identifies knowledge gaps, and drives our displays in the Mansion itself. At this time, only a handful of people are involved in the intellectual stoop labor required to bring order out of this chaos - it is tedious, thankless work - but it is critical to the success of this society. Why am I telling you this? Simple. More volunteers are needed to work at nibbling away at the edges of this massive project. Hours and working conditions are negotiable, as is your choice of subject matter. For example, a long time resident and new member, recently returned to the area, Michael Mowrer, is interested in the Berry Industry. We know a lot about it, but in bits and pieces. We know some about the Hop industry, but not a lot. In fact, some of the lore surrounding it appears to mask the real reasons for its demise. Well, the offer is out there. If you are interested, give us a call. Got old photos? We’d like a copy. Not the original, just a copy. See you at the annual meeting!

Your Comments and Questions
Admission $4.00, $3.00, $2.00 12-4 PM Wednesday through Sunday

Hours of Operation


Andy Anderson President

Notes from the Attic... Audrey Neuendorf-Conservator
Early Americans decorated their homes with needlework and linens of some kind. It symbolized prosperity and the fulfillment of years of hard work and dreams, for generations to come. Here at the Mansion, we have a growing collection of needlework, which now stands somewhere around 800 pieces. This includes; bed linens dresser scarves; doilies, which are crocheted and or embroidered; table coverings in rounds, squares, runners and rectangular shapes; tablecloths and napkins; placemats; hand towels; linens for the parlor, sitting room, library, bedrooms, kitchen; etc and etc! This does not include clothing, aprons, quilts, counterpanes, bedspreads, woven coverlets or tapestries. Needlework and textiles generally were accorded high monetary value and were therefore far more important to the Colonial American family than they are to its counterpart today. Contemporary wills and inventories listed possessions in the order of their importance: i.e. after land, money and silverware, came household textiles, clothing and needlework. Needlework items received special attention in those inventories because of the personal associations they represented. It was considered essential for every woman to have knowledge of sewing and fancy needlework, as they took great pride in their linens. It was prestigious for the male members of a family to have an expert needlewoman in their families. She would command great respect and be successful in her own right. On November 2nd, 1995, we had a work party here at the Mansion, and while I was cleaning out the Library showcase, I found a box pushed to the back with other things placed in front of it. This box had a small hand written note in it. Written on one of the Mansions very first informational leaflets or handouts, about the Ezra Meeker history, dated 1972, by Marcella Hillgen, a Puyallup Librarian: It said ‘These were done by myself, Eva Cunningham, age 58, my mother and great grandmother.’ The box not only had sat there for 24 years unopened, but had gone through two arson fires! There were numerous household linens, beautifully done, and some which had been used as everyday linens. They, of course, smelled of smoke and did have water 2

damage, as the outside of the cardboard box had gotten wet from the fireman’s hose, but had dried over the years. I remember being very excited to find a new discovery and interested in seeing what could be done to improve their appearance. By washing, treating stains, starching and ironing, most, if not all, were able to come into our collections with minimal damage. Today, these items have been integrated into our collections and are used for display purposes throughout the house. By doing so, we hope to instill in our public visitors an interest in textiles, plus providing a memory of when their Grandmother had her own home table linens in use.

MARCH 30th Annual Membership Meeting 2 p.m. Guest speaker Dennis Larsen on “Chasing Ezra.” FEBRUARY 14th - Imagine you and your significant other going back in time with a romantic carriage ride followed by champagne and incredible desserts. An evening you won’t forget. $49.50 per couple. Reservation Required MARCH 15th - Put your Irish on as the Mansion celebrates with corned beef, cabbage and a jig or two. Admission is $8.00 APRIL 29th - A VICTORIAN PSYCHIC FAIR. Something bothering you about your past? Wondering about your future? Here’s your chance with over 10 psychics on duty to help you find your way. Admission is $5.00. APRIL 26th - DOLLHOUSE/MINATURE SHOW AND SALE. The Mansion hosts vendors displaying and selling dollhouses, room boxes and their miniature wares, a great event for children as well as serious collectors. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission $5.00 Adults, $4.00 Seniors & Students, $3.00 Children. MAY 3rd - PRESERVATION DAY. In a joint effort among the Karshner Museum, Main Street and the Meeker Society we recognize the unique character of our community. Free admission and town walk tours. MAY 10th & 11th - MOTHERS’ DAY TEA. The Mansion will serve a formal Victorian Tea in three seatings per day, at 12:30, 2:00 & 3:30 p.m. The cost is $12.00 per person (includes tour of Mansion). Prepaid reservations are required! Make your reservations early as this popular event fills fast. Call 253-848-1770 for more information. MAY 31st - MEEKER OLYMPIAD. Let the games begin. Get your team together and compete in the Meeker tri-athalon. Croquet, badminton and horseshoes. The competition will be fierce! $10.00 per team. Prizes will be awarded. JUNE 20th thru 22nd - MEEKER DAYS. Meeker Mansion, the historic location where MEEKER DAYS originated, will be bustling with old-fashioned fun. The Mansion will have many fascinating items on display. On Saturday morning June 21th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Society will hold its annual PANCAKE BREAKFAST. For one low price you will be served a delicious breakfast of all you-can-eat pancakes, plus a serving of ham, applesauce, juice and coffee. Regular admission will be charged for tours of the Mansion. JULY 4th - BAND CONCERT AND ICE CREAM SOCIAL. FREE from 4 - 6 p.m. the Puyallup Community Band will perform on the lawn of Meeker Mansion. The snack bar will sell ice cream sundaes, shortcake and cheesecake (all topped with strawberries from local farms), hot dogs and soft drinks. A hat will be passed for the band. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Come and enjoy an old fashioned concert in the park. The Mansion is open for tours from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Regular admission is charged. AUGUST 16th - ALL-AMERICAN ANTIQUE AND YARD SALE. From 9 a.m to 4 p.m., the Meeker Mansion grounds are overflowing with vendor booths selling art, antiques and general what-have-you. Spaces are available on first come, first serve basis. Call 253-848-1771 for information and reservation of space. Save gas! Do all your yard sale shopping in one place! Regular admission charged for tours; admission to the grounds is free. Snack bar will be open! AUGUST 23rd - FOUNDERS DAY. Celebrate what made the valley famous, “Hops” and “Ezra.” Area micro brewers will be on hand showing the finest beers. Brats, Polish and Dogs are on the menu. Entertainment and a really special attraction. More on that later.

Necessary Items for all Ladies of Refinement
A Fine Leatherette Needlebook Crochet hook, for lace making Ivory hook, for wool Ten (10) darner needles in various sizes Smallest of which will serve excellently for embroidery Gold eyed sewing needles of best English make Fifteen (15) each, in five (5) different sizes Ivory bodkin for lingerie - ribbon Tape needle Normandy needle Ivory stiletto Scissors Threads as needed

Administrator’s Notebook Dan Stats
As the election year approaches decisions must be made by all of us as to what direction the country takes. Those decisions will have an impact not just on us but businesses and the livelihoods of many of us that we could not see forthcoming. Take for example the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy. No I’m not talking about religion, The Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis or civil rights. No, I am talking about hats. Back in those days men wore hats. Fedoras, dusters and straws ruled the day. With images of Broderick Crawford on “Highway Patrol”, Eliot Ness and

SEPT 20th - PSYCHIC FAIR II. The psychic’s return with more predictions than you can throw a tarot card at. Admission is $5.00. Psychics set their own prices. OCTOBER 1st - 5th COUNTRY CRAFTERS HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE. A huge selection of superior quality handcrafted gifts and holiday decorations is displayed in this historic Victorian Mansion. All items are the work of many of the area’s finest crafters. Hours: Wed-Fri 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. $3.00 Admission $2.00 (with canned food donation) all benefiting restoration of the Mansion. Visa & MasterCard Welcome! OCTOBER 11th - ANNUAL CIDER SQUEEZE. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Mansion grounds are filled with cider presses, both manual and powered. Come squeeze our apples, bring your own jug or buy from us. Pumpkins and seasonal farmers’ market and crafters round out the day. Squeezing your own cider is great family fun. Regular admission charged for Mansion tours. Donations for the use of the presses requested. OCTOBER 31th - HALLOWEEN IS HERE AT THE MANSION and with it our haunted house. Do you dare? Will you be a fraidy cat? BOO 6-10p.m. Regular admission NOV 28th - DEC 21th CHRISTMAS AT THE MANSION. The Mansion is decorated for the season with Victorian Holiday decor. Hot spiced cider and cookies are served at the end of your tour. Marvelous entertainment is planned and Santa Photos are available. Call for times. Mansion Hours - DAILY 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M. Admission $5.00 Adults, $4.00 Seniors and Students & $3.00 for Children. DECEMBER 5th - AN EVENING AT THE MANSION Go back in time when women dressed in their finest and the men looked pretty good too. Historic costumes by everyone attending are encouraged. Dress the part and take a step back into 1890. The Mansion will have her best on, will you? 6-9p.m.