Chimacum: Sacred Indian rock for sale

The bright orange letters on the For Sale signs stand out like primitive pictographs against the evergreen trees lining the road.

“60 acres in the heart of Chimacum,” the flyer from the plastic box reads.

“‘The Rock’ — Indian Rock known to S’Klallams as Tamanawous Rock — Panoramic water & mountain views — Olympics & Cascades plus Admiralty Inlet — just off Anderson Lake Road.”

Behind the signs, metal arms bar access to a logging road.

Beyond the barrier, the road leads up a muddy slope, then curves around to a ridge composed of columns of rock, one of which is free-standing.

Tamanawous, Tamanowas . . . the spelling of the name varies. The rock is said to be a place where spirits dwell, where humans have come for hundreds of years to fast, to sing, to pray, to catch a glimpse of the sacred.

“It’s a special place for a lot of people,” says Raven, a Port Townsend musician who has been coming to the rock for years.

“The sacred aspect is an on-going thing. Native and non-native people go there to hold ceremonies.”

Today, as Jefferson and Clallam county residents celebrate the first Thanksgiving of a small band of settlers who landed on a rock on a distant coast, many mourn the fact that Tamanowas Rock is up for sale.

The full report appears in today’s Thanksgiving editions of the Peninsula Daily News. Click on “Subscribe” to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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