Historical events form a basis for this fictional story. Moola John and his brother, Peter, are fictional, as are all of the SíKlallams, with the exception of Chetzamoka and his wife Jenny Lind.
It might be interesting to the reader to know that while most of the characters in the "Moola John" saga are fictitious in history, many of them are taken from current living friends of the author. For instance, Moola John and his brother, Peter, are actually John and Peter Wagner, who operate a sawmill today cutting specialty woods. Their wives are Barbara and Meredith as they appear in the story. Dungeness Jim is actually Mike Jones, a SíKlallam from the Port Gamble Reservation. He is the Forestry Manager for the Suquamish Tribe. The Scotsman, McTavish, is modeled after Dr. Lloyd Averill, a Doctor of Theology and former dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Washington.
The author would like to, at some time, be involved in the narrative; as yet the other characters have not seen fit to acknowledge him.
Publication of "Tenas Wawa," and the tale of Sawmill John and Dungeness Jim, ceased in early 1995. As to this new adventure, in early 1858, the author reports he has it on good authority that they did complete their journey and make it back home, in spite of a hairy encounter with a fierce storm in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. McTavish fell from grace after the encounter and became an alcoholic. Mr. White, Dungeness Jim and Prince Albert shipped out on a sealing schooner. The canoe went on board with them. The rest of the men hired on at the mill in Port Gamble. Molly baked bread and supplied some of the lumber ships for their southbound trips.
We hope you have enjoyed the story of Sawmill John. The main objective for creating "Moola John" and publishing the "Tenas Wawa" was to help those who wanted to learn Chinook Jargon, and to help perpetuate it among those already fluent. Many thanks to you, our readers, for helping to keep Chinook Jargon alive.