Meadowbrook Farm Preserve

Houseposts at Meadowbrook Farm Interpretive Center

For thousands of years, the native people of the Puget Sound area spent the region's long, wet winters in the protection of homes built of western red cedar. Small to large multi-family long houses hundreds of feet long sat near riverbanks or saltwater shores. These homes were roofed and walled in broad hand-split cedar planks and supported by frames of massive cedar beams. As the physical structures sheltered the people living in these homes, so their spirits were elevated and sheltered by carved and painted personal designs on the inside main support posts. These designs, often representing ancestors or spiritual powers of the house owners, were only visible to persons inside the house, facing inward and guarding all within. Often the traditional painted and carved figures were made on cedar planks which could be left attached to the flat-faced posts or moved to sleeping areas, ceremonial sites, or graves as needed.

These local Puget Sound-area private house posts reflected the personally expressed traditions of Puget Sound, in contrast to the bold, heraldic, public outdoor totem poles of the northwestern coast, from British Columbia to Alaska. Meadowbrook Farm's Interpretive Center, designed in the tradition of a cedar longhouse (and echoing the early cedar homes and barns of local settlers) also has carved houseposts in the local Puget Sound style.

Meadowbrook's houseposts were carved by Snoqualmie Tribal members Jacob Mullen, Wayne Graika, and Damien Moses, under the direction of master carver John Mullen. The project was conceived by historian/artist Greg Watson, and supported by grants from the Ferguson Foundation, the Snoqualmie Tribe, and the Meadowbrook Farm Preservation Association. Presently, five posts have carved faces, and more carvings may be added in the future.

"Spirit of Salmon"
The "Spirit of Salmon" carving represents the importance of salmon and clean water to the Snoqualmie people, and also commemorates the first large sea-going cedar canoe carved in recent years by the Tribe's Canoe Family. The "Spirit of Salmon" canoe is used in canoe journey youth programs.
Spirit of Salmon

"Elk" recognizes the elk and deer hunted on the edges of the open prairie maintained by the Tribe for hunting for thousands of years. The core of this prairie is present-day Meadowbrook Farm; the carving also celebrates the return of elk to this land in recent years.

"Mountain Goat"
The carving of "Mountain Goat" honors the mountain goats living today as they have for thousands of years, on the nearby face of Mount Si. The thick wool of their long coats was highly prized for weaving blankets.
Mountain Goat

"Eagle" recognizes the large birds hunting and fishing in the Snoqualmie Valley, and sometimes seen in the skies and trees over Meadowbrook Farm.

The "Dipper" carving recognizes that shy, elusive bird of fast clear rapid western streams, and the Canoe Family's canoe by that name-the first cedar river canoe carved in recent years. It also honors late Tribal elder Earl Moses, whose family lives near Meadowbrook on the Snoqualmie River, and who named the river canoe.