Lewis Hawkins Davis left Indiana in 1851 and joined a wagon train in Independence, Missouri, heading west to Oregon Territory’s Willamette Valley. Two years after arriving he headed north to Saunders Bottom in Lewis County, Washington where he built a double log cabin for his family. His son Levi Adrian Davis filed a claim for adjoining property. Upon arrival they remained a few days with the Saunders family, their nearest neighbors, while scouting the area for land.
The Davis family settled on a hillside in an area the Indians called Claquato (pronounced Cla-kwah-toh, the name means “high ground” in Salish). The next order of business for Lewis, with the help of other settlers, was a road-building program, and all roads led to his home on the hill. The first road went over the hill and down into the Chehalis Valley to the place where the Skookumchuck River emptied into the Chehalis River, a place where Lewis encouraged new settlers to camp upon arrival.
NOTE: Digging History is now a monthly digital (PDF) magazine. This article will be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. Check out the latest issue here: www.digginghistorymag.com or try a subscription here.