1914: Booster Club Passes the Buck

anacortes booster club

Spoiler: I think they kept the original name! (image credit: Anacortes Museum & Maritime Heritage Center)

By 1914, it was becoming somewhat challenging to find a confident speaker of Chinuk Wawa on Puget Sound…

The Anacortes boosters’ club, formed to promote their city, knew they wanted a name “in Chinook”, surely to reflect their pioneer heritage.

But they wound up having to seek help farther afield than planned.

One week, they were eagerly announcing their Jargon name search…

booster club 02

booster club 03

The Anacortes Booster club, which will go by that name until a more suitable one is adopted, held a meeting at the city hall Tuesday night at which a committee was appointed to decide upon a name for the organization. The Chinook jargon is to be ransacked for a suitable title and the committee…will welcome any suggestions…

— from the Anacortes (WA) American of August 13, 1914, page 1, column 2

Notice that the Jargon-named “Seattle Tillikums” booster club is mentioned.

That’s probably the notorious Tillikums of Elttaes.

Hmm, did anyone consider “Tillikums of Setrocana” as a name??

Maybe so, and maybe they didn’t like it. (Sounds too much like nearby rival town, Sedro-Woolley!)

The next week, they were already desperate…note that “Dad” in that era’s US English connoted ‘respected male elder’, actually a slangier synonym for ‘patriarch’!

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After trying in vain to get a Chinook name suitable for the new Anacortes boosters’ club, the committee recently appointed to adopt a title for the organization has passed the buck to Editor Clayson, of the Seattle Patriarch, who is one of the best authorities on the Chinook jargon in the state. Editor Clayson has been asked to supply a suitable and unique name. 

— from the Anacortes (WA) American of August 20, 1914, page 8, column 5

Clayson was indeed recognized for his Chinuk Wawa skills; we’ve seen him on this blog before, if you’d like to read some of his words.

He was also a prickly character, and I wonder if the Anacortes crew received a brusque response from him.

To judge from the photo at the top of today’s post, they wound up without any Jargon name at all!

What have you learned?