Bonney Lake’s historical treasures | Best of the Plateau 2012

For a city that didn’t incorporate until after World War II, Bonney Lake and the surrounding community has its fair share of notable history, for those who want to look.

The Naches Trail, which became the Sumner-Buckley Highway, was once the main route over the mountains, bringing settlers and then the military into western Washington, then part of the Oregon Territory. Historic markers dot the path today.

In 1855, Connell’s Prairie, just outside today’s city limits, became the flashpoint for the Puget Sound Indian War when Michael Connell and Lt. James McAllister were ambushed by Native Americans as they crossed what was then a swamp. The next day, the Native Americans crossed the White River and killed nine more settlers before returning to the prairie to ambush two more.

Today, the spot is marked by a large stone pyramid at the intersection of Connell’s Prairie Road and Barkubin Road.

In 1864, William B. Kelley and his family settled on the banks of what is today called Fennel Creek, establishing the first permanent residence in the Bonney Lake area. A home on his property, the Kelley Farm, still sits there today and has even been restored recently.

In 1911, Lake Tapps was constructed out of four natural lakes to create a massive reservoir to power the Puget Sound Energy turbines that provided electricity to the region for nearly 100 years, before being shut down just after the dawn of the 21st Century.

But perhaps the most interesting, and certainly oldest bit of history hidden in the hills of Bonney Lake is the Sky Stone. Believed to have been deposited by retreating glaciers, the Sky Stone has been studied by archeologists, astronomers and geologists who believe it could have been a map of the constellations, or helped indicate seasonal changes.

Though its exact purpose is known only to the ancients, most scientists believe it used as a calendar and observatory of some sort.

Located near the Naches Terrace development, the Sky Stone easily takes the cake as the coolest historical spot on all the Plateau.