Bonney Lake dedicates more historical markers

Emanuel Johns

From the ancient Sky Stone to the modern-day Milottes, the area Bonney Lake is rich with the history of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, traveling pioneers, hops farming, film and more.

The Bonney Lake Historical Marker Project will dedicate two new historical markers that aim to help residents learn even more about the city and surrounding area.

The project combines the efforts of the city with the Greater Bonney Lake Historical Society to educate residents about the Plateau’s past.

On Sept. 12, the city will hold a dedication ceremony to the newest additions to the various historical markers around town. One will mark the history of Victor Falls, and the other details the historic site of Connell’s cabin.

The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Victor Falls Park with refreshments and speakers.

Victor Falls

According to the city, the falls were named after the youngest son of Emanuel Johns, who originally came to the Bonney Lake area to oversee a shingle mill at the top of the fall on Elhi Hill.

Although young Victor died in 1901 at the age of 15, the name stuck even when the mill closed down many years later.

The land was bought by the Frazier family, who left San Francisco to live in the old bunkhouse near the mill.

The city of Bonney Lake eventually purchased the mill in 2013 from Ken Love in order to make the falls a public park.

The marker will be installed at Victor Falls Park at 18212 Rhodes Lake Rd E.

Connell’s Cabin

According to Bonney Lake, Michael Connell was one of the first pioneers to settle down in the area that would eventually become the Plateau area.

Connell filed a claim to the land in 1853 and built a cabin along the Naches Trail, which was routinely used by the Puyallup and other Native Americans for trade and travel across the Cascades.

Connell’s cabin and the prairie he cultivated hosted what is thought to be the first wagon train to come over the Cascades into Washington, arriving on Connell’s Prairie in October 1853 before travelling on to Fort Steilacoom.

Connell died on Oct. 29, 1855, a casualty of the Puget Sound Indian War, and the cabin was burned down.

This historic marker will be installed at 7109 Barkubine Road in Buckley, although Bonney Lake Special Projects Manager Gary Leaf said this marker may be installed after the dedication ceremony.