About Our Society
In 2001 the South Hill Historical Society was organized to trace the history of South Hill. Many would ask, and still do, “what history?” Today South Hill is known as an area south of Puyallup, Washington, consisting of unending housing developments, apartment/condo complexes, shopping malls, fast food restaurant franchises and traffic congestion. Few current residents realize that anything of historical significance ever occurred here. It’s true that no famous battles were fought on the Hill, no early resident appears in high school history books, no famous landmark exists — but before today’s current suburban growth, generations of families lived on the hill, various small enterprises came and went, significant events took place worthy of historical preservation and research. For example, not many realize the north fork of the Oregon Trail passed through our community, or during World War II a Japanese balloon bomb landed on South Hill.
Yes, The Hill has a history, involving an historic corridor, lumbering, an era of small farms and interesting stories vividly remembered by many old timers.
Simply put, our mission is to gather up and preserve South Hill history from the late 1800’s to the present. We are collecting various types of historical material to maintain a link to South Hill’s past for future generations and those of us today curious about that past. We are gathering old maps, copies of original documents, photographs, narratives, audio and video interviews of longtime residents, old artifacts, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia.
Organizing Our Task
Since there is no designated format for our research, the leaders of South Hill Historical Society (SHHS) have designed a plan for discovering and organizing our past. Areas of interest which have been identified are: maps, roads, crops, forestry, stump farming, schools, business, government, churches, community organizations, published history, biographies and personal interviews. More categories will be added as needed.
Currently our society is engaged with other Pierce County historical associations under the umbrella of the Pierce County Heritage League. We are actively engaged with the Pierce County Planning commission, and many community organizations.
Our geographic area of study
“South Hill” for our historical purposes is defined as the area south of the Puyallup Fairgrounds (15th Ave. SW) up “the Hill” and then south to 200th Street. On the east the boundary is "the ridge” overlooking the Orting Valley, and on the west the boundary is Canyon Road.
Meetings at the Highlands
Entrance to the Highlands
We meet regularly on the THIRD TUESDAY of the month 11:00 AM (No meetings July and August) at the Highlands Community Center. The Highlands is located at 502 43RD AV SE, adjacent to and east of the Mel Korum YMCA. We welcome you to our monthly meetings.
Meetings held at the Community Center
South Hill Historical Society Officers
Bob Ballou (pro tem)
Vice President (vacancy)
Secretary Susan Beals
Research Coordinator Carl Vest
Treasurer Ben Peters
Public Relations (vacancy)
Newsletter/Website Jerry Bates