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<< Back to Start | < Previous Point | Next Point > Point 3 of 12

Point 3: Camano Head. Southern Tip of Camano Island.

A village was reported to have been here, WHESH-ud ("splashing water") before the great slide of the 1820s in which a substantial portion of Camano Head (Xweshud) slid into present Possession Sound, causing a great tsunami. Although it has been speculated that the landslide was caused by an earthquake, oral history exists and none of the informants mention earthquake tremors. Tribal people who witnessed this event described how the landslide sent a large wave toward Hat Island, drowning many on its northern shore. An account of the tsunami is published in Colin Twedell's "Historical and Chronological Study of the Snohomish Indian People":
"The bluff slid in. People at Hat Island in the early summer morning saw Camano Island bluff smoking; they couldn't see it for the smoke; and there was something black coming toward the, and then they saw it was a wave. They fled to high land. Some of the men and women and some of the children were drowned" (Twedell, 1974).

Washington Department of Ecology has listed the Camano Head landslide as the only known landslide on Puget Sound that generated a tsunami large enough to cause significant loss of life. (Shipman, TsuInfo Alert, Vol. 3, No.6 [ December 2001]). After the fall of Camano Head, the area was avoided by the older tribal people, except for seasonal clamming.

<< Back to Start | < Previous Point | Next Point > Point 3 of 12

Camano Head, southern tip of Camano Island, 2002
Courtesy Karen Prasse

Camano Head, Southern tip of Camano Island, 2002
Courtesy Karen Prasse

Point 2: Sandy Point, Whidbey Island, east of the present town of Langley. Point 3: Camano Head. Southern Tip of Camano Island. Point 4: Hat Island/Gedney Island. West of Everett . Point 5: Priest Point/Priest's Point. Point 6: Spee-Bi-Dah. Latitude 48.09167, Longitude: -122.32194. Point 7: Tulalip Mill Site. Tulalip Creek at Tulalip Bay. The mill was located just below present-day Totem Beach Road. Point 9: Mission of St. Anne. 7231 Totem Beach Road. Point 10: Tulalip Tribal Center and Longhouse. 6700 Totem Beach Road. Point 12: New Boom City. Behind the Tulalip Casino Hotel. Point 8: Tulalip Bay. (Mission School site, Marina, Leased Land). tw'LAY-lup
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