Vashon Island beginnings: Chautauqua Post Office (renamed Ellisport) opens on September 10, 1888.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 12/12/1998
  • Essay 495
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On September 10, 1888, the Chautauqua Post Office opens. Edward E. Perry is appointed first postmaster.

The name Chautauqua changed to Ellisport on February 27, 1912. The town is located on the east shore of Vashon Island at the north end of Tramp Harbor. Vashon Island is in Puget Sound between Seattle and Tacoma.

Chautauqua was the site of the first "Chautauqua," a summertime presentation of lectures, discussions, and cultural activities lasting several days to a week in a resort atmosphere. Puget Sound's first Chautauqua took place on Vashon Island in August 1885.

Sources: Guy Reed Ramsey, "Postmarked Washington, 1850-1960," Microfilm (Olympia: Washington State Library, February, 1966), 612; "Chautauqua comes to Vashon Island on August 3, 1885," HistoryLink Timeline Library, (

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