Arts and Entertainment

Journalist brings 'Breaking Ground' to Port Townsend

The August First Friday lecture sponsored by the Jefferson County Historical Society features author Lynda Mapes and her book "Breaking Ground: The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Unearthing of Tse-whit-zen Village."

The program is at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, in Port Townsend's City Council Chamber.

Admission is by donation that supports Historical Society programs.

Mapes is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years experience in newspaper reporting, much of it with the Seattle Times. Her book tells the story of the unearthing of the historical village on the Port Angeles waterfront.

In 2003, a backhoe operator hired by the state of Washington to dig a massive dry dock discovered what the world soon would learn - he was working atop one of the oldest and largest Indian village sites ever found in the region.

Eventually hundreds of burials were disturbed and 10,000 artifacts uncovered.

Tribal members worked alongside state construction workers encountering more and more human remains including intact burials.

Finally, in an unprecedented decision, the state agreed to find a new site.

Mapes spent more than a year interviewing tribal members, archaeologists, historians, city and state officials, and local residents and business leaders.

She explores how the site was chosen and how the decisions were made to proceed and then to abandon the project, as well as the aftermath and implications of those choices.

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