Tag Archives: Yama

Surprise donation will jumpstart investigation into B.I.’s ‘vanished village’

Rick Chandler’s dream of exploring the remnants of Yama village is coming true.

Thanks to a surprise gift of $50,000, the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum curator now has the funding to begin an archeological investigation into one of Puget Sound’s earliest Japanese immigrant communities.

The donor, a Bainbridge woman who lives not too far from the Yama site, read about Chandler’s desire to preserve and protect Yama’s many artifacts in THIS Kitsap Sun story.

Her donation will be used to hire archeologists to survey of the 7-acre site and eventually oversee a dig. Chandler wants to involve young people in the process, possibly helping to excavate artifacts that would be displayed or stored at the museum.

Read more about the donation HERE.

The above photo is of a shoe I found partially embedded in the soil at Yama. For more images of Yama artifacts, see THIS photo gallery.

The ‘general’ of Bainbridge’s vanished village

Head over HERE to read my story about the effort to preserve the many artifacts at Yama, a Japanese immigrant village that took shape near the Port Blakely mill in the late 1800s and faded away 80 years ago. The story features a photo gallery of a few artifacts that remain at the site.

Bainbridge Island Historical Museum Curator Rick Chandler has done a good deal of research about the village. His exhibit about Yama is currently showing at the museum. It features photos, maps and several household items once owned by some of the island’s first Japanese residents.

Below is a short history by Rick about the Takayoshi brothers, two of Yama’s most prominent residents. Known by the village’s residents as the ‘general’ of Yama, Tamegoro Takayoshi owned a general store that was the epicenter of activity at Yama. It had, among other things, a photo studio, ice cream parlor, bathhouse and tea garden.

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