Place Names G-I

Garrison Plain

The Puget's Sound Agricultural Company map of their land claims in Pierce County shows the land upon which Western State Hospital stands as the Garrison Plain. The United States Army from 1849 to 1868 garrisoned the site as Fort Steilacoom. August V. Kautz, whose diary covers his career at the Fort, generally referred to the Fort as the Garrison. Joseph T. Heath had previously used the grasslands above Puget Sound for his flocks of sheep and herds of cattle.

Garrison Springs

Garrison Springs are the name given to the springs and creek which flow from Western State Hospital into Puget Sound by Chambers Creek. The springs provided water for the United States Military garrison at Fort Steilacoom. The details of the building of a water ram to pipe the water from the canyon floor to the military garrison on the plain above are recorded in the diary of Lieutenant August V. Kautz.

Gibson Point

Also Point Gibson

This point on the south cape of Fox Island was named by the Wilkes Expedition for James H. Gibson, a coxswain. Inskip called the place Patterson Point for Lieutenant George Y. Patterson of the HMS Fisgard, who was on the Northwest Station of the Royal Navy from 1843 to 1847.


Glacier is a stop on the main line of the Burlington Northern Railway north of Steilacoom on the east side of Puget Sound. A large gravel operation once owned by the Glacier Sand and Gravel Company is located there. William Bolton had his shipyard nearby in the 1850s.

Gordon Lake

Also American Lake

This name was given to American Lake by R.A. Inskip on his chart of lower Puget Sound during his survey of 1846. Captain George T. Gordon of the HMS Cormorant was on station at Nisqually.

Gordon Point

Also Saltar's Point

The R.A. Inskip chart of 1846 honors George T. Gordon of the HMS Steam Sloop Cormorant who was at Nisqually when Inskip was conducting his survey. George Thomas Gordon entered the Royal Navy in 1818, became a Captain in November of 1846. He was a flag captain in the Baltic in 1854 and became an admiral in 1877.

Gove Island

Also Ketron Island

Captain Warren Gove arrived in the Pacific Northwest in 1853 having spent several years at sea. His land claim on Ketron Island was not recognized. The Island was known as Gove Island when Captain Gove lived there. Captain Gove "... is credited with being the first American steamboat operator on Puget Sound, was in charge of the Puyallup Indian Reservation for a time and lived at Nisqually for some years ..."

Gravelly Lake

Also Cook-al-chy

One of the lakes in the Lakewood district of Tacoma is named Gravelly. Hunt described them like this: "These lakes lie in silt lined basins. A disturbance of the silt permits the water to disappear into the vast gravel bed beneath." The lake shores were developed with summer homes and estates of Tacoma's more wealthy citizens during the early 20th Century.

Grassy Lake

Also Sawmill Lake

Sawmill Lake on the Military Reservation south of Interstate Highway Five near the Fort Lewis Golf Course was listed on Metsker's 1936 Atlas of the County as Grassy Lake. The lake is shallow and marshy.

Greene Park

Greene Park is an area east of the town of DuPont and north of Interstate Highway Five centering on the building now occupied by the Fort Lewis Military Museum. It began as a " of recreation for the soldiers..." and eventually had restaurants, movies, a bank and other businesses. It was demolished, leaving only the former Fort Lewis Inn. It was named for Major General Henry A. Greene, who was commanding general of the 91st division which trained at Camp Lewis during World War One.

Hale Passage

This waterway between Fox Island and the mainland was named by the Wilkes Expedition for Horatio Hale, the philologist, who was the first to compile the trade language known as the Chinook Jargon. His book on the subject appeared in 1846 and was immediately accepted as a classic. 

Hale was born in Newport, New Hampshire, on May 3, 1817, and died in Clinton, Ontario, on December 28,1896. He graduated from Harvard in 1837 and after the Wilkes expedition settled in Canada where he practiced law and pursued the study of ethnology.

Heath Bay

Also Chambers Bay, Steilacoom Bay

Heath Bay on Puget Sound receives the waters of Chambers Creek at Steilacoom, Pierce County. It first appears on the British Admiralty Chart 1947, Inskip, 1846, but no name is given the bay on the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Chart 6460. In the Works of H. H. Bancroft reference is made to an Englishman named Joseph Thomas Heath who held the large Steilacoom farm for sheep raising under lease from the Hudson's Bay Company. Heath died in the late winter of 1848-1849 and his farm was then rented to the United States Army for what became Fort Steilacoom. The bay is more well known as Chambers Bay, after the Creek.


Alfred J. Smith wrote that the site of Western State Hospital was known as Heaths during the years Joseph Thomas Heath lived there and as Ross Ville from the death of Mr. Heath on March 7, 1849, until August of that year when Fort Steilacoom was founded. Walter Ross, a Hudson's Bay Company Clerk was in charge.

Higgins Cove

This cove on the northern end of Anderson Island, west of Otso point, is named for former islanders Robert and Nella. Mr. Higgins was a veteran of the Spanish American War and of World War One. He retired to the island after a career as an engineer for the Northern Pacific Railroad and died May 2, 1966.


This post office was on the eastern shore of Fox Island two miles across the water from the foot of Sixth Avenue in Tacoma. It was established as a post office on March 26, 1910, and discontinued on February 28, 1918. Mail was received on a float where the steamer from Tacoma dropped it off. One story is that the place was named because local residents had "hope" that the steamer would stop with mail and supplies.

Hudson's Bay Company Trail

This trail, the first overland route of communication on Puget Sound, ran from Yelm Prairie in present Thurston County to Fort Nisqually. The Hudson's Bay Company used it to drive herds of cattle and flocks of sheep over the route and used it as the "road" that joined Puget Sound to Cowlitz Landing. A marker commemorating the trail is at the DuPont entrance to the main post of Fort Lewis.

Hyde Point

Also Dyke Point

The east cape of McNeil Island was named Hyde Point for William Hyde, a carpenter's mate on the Wilkes Expedition.


On December 20, 1849, William F. Tolmie, Chief Factor at Fort Nisqually, wrote a letter to Thomas M. Chambers at "Ilkumeen" indicating that Chambers was illegally "squatting" on land owned by the Hudson's Bay Company.

Inskip Bank

This name was given to the Nisqually Flats at the mouth of the Nisqually River in Puget Sound by Robert A. Inskip in 1846 on his map of Puget Sound. Robert Inskip was a naval instructor attached to the HMS Fisgard from 1843 to 1847 on the Northwest Station of the Royal Navy. Several surveys were conducted by Inskip on lower Puget Sound. He returned to England, became a chaplain and died December 1, 1900. His brother Captain G.H. Inskip was in the Pacific Northwest from 1852 to 1855. Some writers have confused the rank and titles of these two men.


A community located between Steilacoom and Gravelly Lakes is listed on the Kroll 1915 Atlas of the County as Interlaaken. Property around both lakes was platted as Interlaaken by the Tacoma Land Company. It was offered for sale as summer homes and for permanent residents just prior to World War One. It was a precinct in the 1914 election.