Since the dawn of recorded history, the Klallam Indians have thrived upon the bounty of the Elwha River. In 1889, on the eve of Washington's statehood, the Olympic Peninsula remains America's last frontier. But not for long. As northwestern expansion reaches its feverish crescendo, the clock is ticking on the Klallam Indians and the wilderness that has long sustained them. At the foot of the Elwha River, the crude and muddy outpost of Port Bonita is about to boom. A failed accountant by the name of Ethan Thornburgh has arrived to reclaim the woman he loves, start a family, and dam the mighty Elwha to harness its power and put Port Bonita on the map. More than a century later, his great-great-grandson, a middle-manager at a failing fish-packing plant, is destined to oversee the undoing of that vision, as the great Thornburgh Dam is marked for demolition.