A photo of Pilchuck Julia taken around 1910 by the Rigby Photo Shop. (Everett Public Library)

A photo of Pilchuck Julia taken around 1910 by the Rigby Photo Shop. (Everett Public Library)

Pilchuck Julia may be honored with Snohomish park name

The 20-acre plot could be named Julia’s Landing. The City Council is set to vote next month.

SNOHOMISH — She made a home on the banks of the Pilchuck River.

Pilchuck Julia was a member of a Snohomish-area tribe that later became part of the Tulalip Tribes.

Now, a nearby park may be named after her.

The Snohomish City Council is expected to vote on the name Julia’s Landing during its June 4 meeting. The 20-acre park along the Snohomish River includes a boat launch that was built a few years ago. The space is on Lincoln Avenue.

The city hopes to plan a ceremony with the Tulalip Tribes if the name is chosen, said Denise Johns, the city’s project manager.

Much of Julia’s early life is not clear.

Her birth date probably was in the 1840s. The name she was first given also is not widely known.

Those who moved to the area often would not call Native American people by their names, said LJ Mowrer, a librarian at the Hibulb Cultural Center and a member of the Tulalip Tribes.

“In Indian country, their last names were like first names,” she said. “That’s because people just said, ‘I can’t pronounce the Indian name, so I’m going to call you Jim.’”

Some reports say that Julia was at the 1855 signing of the Point Elliot Treaty in what is now Mukilteo. That document established the Tulalip Indian Reservation.

Eventually, Julia married a man named Pilchuck Jack. They likely moved to Snohomish soon after.

Julia became a widow sometime around 1900. The couple’s son, Peter Jack, died several years later. He fell from a bridge in Snohomish at the age of 32. He left behind his wife and five children.

Julia was known for her ability to tell the weather, including the region’s big snow storm in early 1916.

The following winter, newspapers warned that Julia had made another forecast. One publication was in Kansas City.

Businesses printed her predictions in advertisements to sell their products. One was for briquettes to warm a home. Another was for a heated hotel room.

Julia reportedly contracted smallpox and died at her Snohomish home in 1923. She would have been about 80 years old.

Mowrer is happy to see that Julia is being remembered in the place she lived.

“How often do Indian people get recognized like that?” she said.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter:@stephrdavey.

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