Bones excavated near Discovery Bay determined to be Native American

Former S’Klallam village at Discovery Bay site

DISCOVERY BAY — Bones that included a human skull unearthed last month during an excavation have been determined to be Native American, a state historic preservation officer said.

Allyson Brooks, the director of the state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, confirmed the findings late Tuesday and said her agency is working with tribes on next steps.

The state still has the remains and is conducting an analysis, said David Brownell, the historic preservation officer for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe late Wednesday.

Brownell said Wednesday the remains include at least two individuals, both Native American and “definitely” from one of the S’Klallam tribes.

A homeowner in the 3200 block of state Highway 20 near Discovery Bay had hired an excavation company, which was digging on the property Aug. 21 when the skull was found.

The homeowner called the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to investigate, and the agency contacted the state archaeology department with photos of the bones.

Brownell said the state has a mandated process after it determines remains are Native American to contact tribes to see if they have interest. The state typically contacts all of the Salish Sea tribes, he said.

Brownell confirmed the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has expressed interest in the remains.

“It was at one of our old village sites that was on Discovery Bay,” he said.

Undersheriff Andy Pernsteiner said last month the skull was “quite old” based on the condition of the teeth, which didn’t have any dental work. The skull and the rest of the bones initially were stored at the sheriff’s office in Port Hadlock.

Brownell said the tribe typically doesn’t release public information about reburials. His office handles about six to 12 similar cases per year, he said.


Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at

More in News

Wind returns for Day 3 of Race to Alaska

Teams pushing north along Vancouver Island

Port Townsend pool on track to open in July

Task force favors Chimacum Park for replacement

‘Positive support’ shown for Recompete grant

Port of PA extends lease with Homeland Security

Jason Minnoch, left, and Jim deBord move a set of musical chimes as Al Oman and Jo Johnston look on during preparations on Wednesday for Sunday’s playground opening of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles. The playground, rebuilt by volunteers in May after much of it was destroyed by arson in December, will host an official reopening and dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Reopening ceremony Sunday

Jason Minnoch, left, and Jim deBord move a set of musical chimes… Continue reading

Port Townsend, YMCA sued over 2022 pool ban

Confrontation with transgender employee at center of lawsuit

More muscle than wind in Phase 2 of Race to Alaska

Winds die down, force sailors to alternate with human power

Chris Fidler.
Port Angeles man honored with Distinguished Alumni award

Chris Fidler of Port Angeles has received the Distinguished Alumni… Continue reading

Members of the Makah Tribe bring a gray whale to shore on May 18, 1999. A federal ruling Thursday will allow the tribe to take 25 whales in a 10-year period. (Peninsula Daily News file)
Makah Tribe granted waiver to hunt gray whales

Ruling to allow tribe 25 in 10-year period

Team Roscoe Pickle Train of Port Townsend, which includes Chris Iruz, Enzo Dougherty, Odin Smith and Pearl Smith, were first out of the Victoria Inner Harbour at the start of the Race to Alaska on Tuesday. The cannon fired at noon and 38 racers headed to Ketchikan, a 750-mile contest that started in Port Townsend on Sunday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Racers restart in Victoria on their way to Alaska

One rescued by Coast Guard; two others try wheeling over land

Sequim city council members approved a $2.45 million purchase of 16.52 acres off West Hendrickson Road to be used for a future park. It remains closed to the public as it’s being leased for agricultural use until plans and funding can be put in place for the future park. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Sequim purchases 16 acres for park

City negotiated with McCord family for 2 years

Clallam sheriff pursuing $9.6M grant for public safety facility

Defense program geared to supporting military installations