Skagit River Journal
(Clipper Shingle Mill)
This photo of the Clipper Shingle Mill dates from the period circa 1900. Old timers may recall the old Clipper story. We are researching the old villages of Clipper and Van Zandt. We hope a reader will have family memories, copies of documents or copies or scans of photos to share. We never ask for your originals. Please email. Photo courtesy of Geneva Ensign.
of History & Folklore
(bullet) Covering from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Washington counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish, focusing on Sedro-Woolley and Skagit Valley.
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(bullet) Site founded Sept. 1, 2000. Passed 6 million page views, November 2012; passed 800 stories in 2012 — Mailing: (bullet) Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284 where Mortimer Cook started a town & named it Bug
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In memory of Hazel Nadine Bourasaw
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      Click for tables of content for each issue
Archives 1-32
Archives 33-43
Archives 44-52
Issues 53-55
Issues 56-57
Issues 58-59
Please note: Over the past year, we have been moving more than 400 stories from our old Stumpranch Online domain to our present domain. This may cause dead links. Please email us if any link does not work for you.

Issue 61, Spring 2014, under construction

Part One: 1882 Skagit river expedition led by Lt. Henry H. Pierce — drawings by Alfred Downing
Part Two: River expedition sketches by Alfred Downing and subsequent railroad surveys of Cascade passes.

Menu of Historical Delicacies

Volume 13, Issue 60, Fall 2014
. . . Returning for our 13th Year on the Web

      Dear subscribers: thank you for your patience during our recovery over the past year-plus. We will be posting a new issue nearly every month in an attempt to catch up. If your subscription was current on Jan. 1, 2012, we have extended your term into the 2014 issues. If you reached this page by accident and you would like to subscribe, see details at this site or click the "Donate" button on any page to contribute to our project.

(Selucius Garfield)
Selucius Garfield

(Sartwell Cabin)
Magnus Anderson and the Sartwell Cabin

(C.X. Larrabee)
C.X. Larrabee

(click thumbnail photos
above for story links)

Issue 60, Fall 2013
A transcription of a 1931 article from the "Builder's Edition" of the Mount Vernon Daily Herald. It is a comprehensive history of Skagit Valley and the county, and includes dozens of names for genealogists and researchers, as well as new historical facts we discovered for the first time.
Selucius Garfield — 4-part series on the most colorful politician of Washington Territory, the two-time Territorial delegate to Congress, and an overview of early Territorial elections
Part 1 Youth, Kentucky, California, Washington Territory, ally of Gov. Stevens
Part 2 1857, 1859, 1861 Delegate elections, Masonic Lodge, Garfield in Canada during civil war
Part 3 Wins 1869 and 1870 Delegate elections, loses 1872, personal downfall and death in 1883
Appendix: Documents about Garfield, elections, humorous incidents, obituaries
Expanded section on Mount Vernon-area log jams on the Skagit river
1946 article provides new information about log jams and Mame Hammack shares information about her father, Magnus Anderson
Introduction to log jams section and articles and photos about how jams were formed and removed.
A peek at our book in progress: the biography of Mortimer Cook and the founding of Sedro-Woolley. An invitation for you to be a critic and help us polish part of the book.
Draft Introduction to new book, Humbug! said Mortimer Cook
Draft Chapter 1 Dramatized story of Cook arriving at future town site in June 1884
Updated and expanded section on C.X. Larrabee, the 1890s financier behind Fairhaven, the Fairhaven & Southern Railway and the Sedro coal mines that became that became the village of Cokedale.
Part 1: Youth, Kentucky, California, Washington Territory, ally of Gov. Stevens
Part 2 1857, 1859, 1861 Delegate elections, Masonic Lodge, Garfield in Canada during civil war
Documents and obituaries that supplement the Larrabee section
(Fairhaven Hotel)
Fairhaven Hotel, 1890-1955

(Landre cabin)
Sedro's 1890 Township school

(click thumbnail photos
above for story links)

Issue 59, December 2011
Courier-Times Tella-Pix photo features from 1950s-'70s
New Portal section to all links
Tella-Pix Sedro-Woolley businesses 1960s, Part 1 Clothing Stores and others
Tella-Pix Sedro-Woolley businesses 1960s, Part 2, Autos, service stations and others
Tella-Pix Sedro-Woolley businesses 1960s, Part 3, Grocers, Furniture stores, TV, Appliances, Jewelers and others
Tella-Pix Sedro-Woolley businesses 1960s, Part 4, Restaurants, Food, Dug Stores and others
Tella-Pix Sedro-Woolley businesses 1960s, Part 5
Professionals, Hardware, Barbers, Beauty Salons

Many more Tella-Pix and other photo features coming in 2014

Journal History of early Sedro, Woolley and Sedro-Woolley schools, completely revised
Part 1: Pre-Sedro (1883-1890)
Part 2: Sedro, Woolley & Barefoot Schoolboy Law (1890-1900)
Sedro-Woolley High School graduates, the first 20 years
(pulled for additions, will be posted 2014)

History of the late, great and truly grand Fairhaven Hotel (1890-1955)
The Rise and Fall of the once-majestic Fairhaven Hotel, circa 1890s, a 1965 memory. With other history items about Fairhaven.
The 1953 Washington Territorial Centennial Museum, set up in the aging, amputated Fairhaven Hotel, just weeks before the wrecking ball came swinging in.

More Issue 59 features
  • Norm Lisherness, Sedro-Woolley's beloved chief of police.
  • New information discovered about one of Woolley's most influential early leaders, George Green, who attracted at least 75 more emigrants from Lincoln Center, Kansas, the town he founded. His son-in-law Emerson Hammer became state senator from Skagit county.
  • John Savage, Birdsview painter, son of George, whose autobiography he shared

(Joseph F. Dwelley)
Joseph F. Dwelley, 1870 Puget sound pioneer

(Landre cabin)
Gilbert Landre's 1892 North Cascades cabin/hotel, restoration 2000s

(click thumbnail photos
above for story links)

Issue 58 November 2011

Joseph F. Dwelley, Whidbey and Skagit pioneer, 1870
Discovery of the decade

Our new portal section to the Dwelley and Maloy families, three generations of pioneers.

Introduction to Joseph F. Dwelley and our Discovery of the Decade,
the original manuscript of his autobiography

Kate Dwelley Maloy, interviewed by Lucile McDonald in 1959, re: her family

Re-posted from corrupted file: Joseph H. Sartwell, first permanent
Skagit settler, 1863, South fork

New portal section to all our stories and research about the earliest settlers
in what is now Skagit county

More Issue 58 features
Portal to all Lucinda and Glee Davis family links
Re-posted from corrupted file: Dolly Connelly's 1955 Seattle Times article about the Davises and their life in the mountains as well as later years in Sedro-Woolley.

The North Cascades and future Hwy 20
New: Glee Davis' manuscript from his days at Cedar Bar in the North Cascades: "A Dugout Canoe Over Sour Dough Mountain"
New: 1948, 1959 and 1967 predictions of the "North Cross-State Highway," now Hwy 20, by Glee Davis and the Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times. Link corrected

Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Volume 11, Issue 57, September 2011

(Davis family)
Glee Davis and the Pelton Wheel

(Coal Mountain)
Coal Mountain, behind Hamilton

(click thumbnails
above for story links)

Lucinda Davis and her sons Glee and Frank were
upriver, North Cascades pioneers for 40 years

In this section we provide the opportunity for you to read several articles by and about Glee Davis and other members of his illustrious Skagit- and Cascade-river family. These transcriptions will be followed by future excerpts from the Davis family diaries. .
New: Glee's memories from the 1953 Bellingham Herald.
New: We are now studying and transcribing Davis family diaries, to share with you in upcoming issues. Here is a preview of the diaries in a very detailed article by the late Dick Fallis from 1981 after he too read some of those diaries.
New: Dolly Connelly's 1955 Seattle Times article about the Davises and their life in the mountains as well as later years in Sedro-Woolley.
New: Glee Davis talks about the color of gold and other matters at their upriver properties in this 1971 Bellingham Herald article.
Introduction to articles about the Davises. Includes an article about the Davis family, from Charles Dwelley's 1929 Concrete Herald and a memoir by Frank Davis.
Portal to all Davis family links, both in Issue 57 and prior
Features about Hamilton:
Ray Jordan shares Alice Hamilton's memories of her father and the settlement of Hamilton
Ray Jordan tells more about the important coal discoveries at Hamilton that excited miners and financiers in the 1870s.
Pioneer biographies:

Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Volume 11, Issue 56, July 2011

James Wardner autobiography

(Sartwell Cabin)
Sartwell 1863 cabin, South fork

(click thumbnails
above for story links)

James Wardner, silver king and Fairhaven promoter, and his hilarious, apocryphal consolidated Black Cats Fur Co.
New: Wardner keeps the gag alive in his 1900 autobiography, along with the worldwide newspaper reaction
New: Wardner provides facts and figures about his Fairhaven and other investments
Our original black cats research and debunking, updated
Our original Wardner profile, updated
Exclusive Journal features, following 15 years of research that clears up ambiguities
William Sartwell, first permanent settler on the Skagit River and his 1863 South fork cabin
Magnus Anderson, his 1869 North fork cabin and his role in the growth of the town of Fir
Skagit County History articles transcribed
John Conrad's story of the first settlers of Skagit County, with annotated profiles of Lt. Robert H. Davis, Salvador Fidalgo and Grennan & Cranney's Utsalady mill
George E. Hartson's 1908 history of western Skagit county
Rev. J.F. Devore'a 1873 tour of Skagit Valley, from the Bellingham Bay Mail
J.O. Rudene's 1908 history of county agriculture
Violet Burmaster's 1916 history of Skagit County
W.F. Robertson's 1893 visit to Skagit Valley oat farms
Introducing our new County Histories Portal Section with links to all such transcriptions
Another Catherine Savage Pulsipher story: The indentured Irish servant girl who came to Skagit County
Portal section with links to all Journal stories by and about Catherine Savage Pulsipher, also known as Mountain Katy to her pals.

Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Volume 11, Issue 55, May 2011

(Harrison Clothier)
Harrison Clothier

(Stump Man)
Pete Beletsky, Stump House man

(Fern Rooms)
Fern Rooms memoir & Elsie Moore

(click thumbnails
above for story links)

Volume 11, Issue 55, May 2011
Harrison Clothier and Edward G. English, founders
of Mount Vernon and pioneer loggers and politicians

Newest feature: Norman Spragg's memories of
English Logging Camps

Part One, Harrison & Clothier — Clothier the leader at first
Part Two, English rises in business, Clothier in politics
Our Kinsey family section will double in size this year. See our overview of photographer Darius Kinsey, the brother who got his start in Sedro-Woolley. And the Whatcom Kinsey collection.
New: Darius Kinsey's widow Tabitha Kinsey and his children recall Darius and the techniques that made him famous. 1953 interview.
Kinsey Ace Photographer, a personal memory by Sedro-Woolley historian Ray Jordan. Updated with more photos.
Later this year we will share with subscribers our expanded section on the Kinsey family, all the brothers and their descendants.
After years of requests to feature the brothels of Sedro-Woolley and Elsie Moore, we begin with our transcription of Cookson Beecher's 1994 series with an eye witness from the 1930s. Also includes our introduction to this most amusing subject and a preview of much more to come about Moore.
New: Part Three, Ruby Creek, from the Seattle Intelligencer editorials and background of Ruby Creek region and the brief gold rush.
The Ruby Creek Gold Rush, Two-parts: January-December 1880 from the Seattle Intelligencer clippings.
More Issue 55 new features
Lavina Gates Chapman's 19th-century memoir of bloody Kansas, including the bravery there of future-Sedro pioneer Lewis Kirkby during the civil war.
Two sets of police attempt to arrest illegal Chinese immigrants in Woolley in 1891 and lawman George Poor is killed.
By popular demand:Memoir about famous brothels in Sedro-Woolley and Journal research into Sedro-Woolley brothels and a mini-profile of Elsie Moore, the most famous madam.
Captain Henry H. McDonald and his pioneering steamboats and his daughter, also Captain, Anna G. Grimison.
The ever popular Courier-Times 1948 profile of Pete Beletsky, the Stumphouse man near Northern State Hospital. And a follow-up report via Portland. Reader Joanne Brawley's corrections of the original 1948 story and her personal memories of her friend.

Menu of Issue 53 & 54, February-April 2011
(Woolley 1920)
1st National Bank
Sedro-Woolley, 1920

(Nina Cook)
Nina Cook,
1886 Sedro diary

(Frank Hoehn)
Frank Hoehn

(B.R. Lewis)
B.R. Lewis
Clear Lake Lumber Co.
(click thumbnails
for story links)

Menu of Historical Delicacies, Issue 54, April 2011
Log of transcribed newspapers
Various 1902 issues, Skagit County Times
June 26, 1902 issue,
More 1902 issues,
Mini-profiles, Sedro-Woolley area pioneers
Profile of B.R. Lewis
and Clear Lake Lumber Co.

George Hammer, of
Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop

Mary Purcell, educator, 45 years, Sedro-Woolley
Nellie Coupe, educator,
Whidbey Islands and Whatcom (updated)

Photo tour of Sedro-Woolley, 1903, 4th of July, Osterman House Hotel, courtesy of Muriel Weissberg
Menu of Historical Delicacies, Issue 53, February 2011
Over the last few months, we have transcribed the first five chapters of a very important local history book, Yarns of the Skagit Country, by Ray Jordan. That makes 36 Jordan transcriptions so far. We went further and researched more than a hundred names of pioneers and businesses that he mentioned and we have annotated each chapter with endnotes and mini-profiles so that you can learn who they were.
Portal to all 36 Jordan story links
Chapter One, Part One
Chapter One, Part Two
Chapter Two, Part One
Chapter Two, Part Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Introduction to Nina Cook's 1886 Sedro Diary, Part One
Nina Cook's 1886 Sedro Diary, Part Two added
Frank Hoehn, Sedro's genuine cowboy, Part One
Frank Hoehn, Part Two, the Woolley years

Issue 60 posted Sept. 16, 2013 . . . Please report any broken links so we can update them

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(bullet) Did you enjoy this story? Remember, as with all our features, this story is a draft and will evolve as we discover more information and photos. This process continues as we compile and collaborate on books about Northwest history. Can you help? And also remember; we welcome correction, criticism and additions to the record.
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Would you like information about how to join them in advertising? We cannot emphasize how we need such support for our accelerated research journeys of 2013-14 for books and many more stories.

(bullet) We are advertising for sale by readers, two fine historical books. The first is Theodore Winthrop's The Canoe and the Saddle, NY, American Publishers (c. Ticknor & Fields, 1862), a second edition, published circa 1890. And the four-volume set of The History of Washington by Lancaster Pollard and Lloyd Spencer, 1937. Please inquire by email if you want more details or want to make an offer. Also inquire about other offerings or if you request a specific book.
(bullet) Our newest sponsor, Plumeria Bay, is based in Birdsview, just a short walk away from the Royal family's famous Stumpranch, and is your source for the finest down comforters, pillows, featherbeds & duvet covers and bed linens. Order directly from their website and learn more about this intriguing local business.
(bullet) Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 88 years.
(bullet) Peace and quiet at the Alpine RV Park, just north of Marblemount on Hwy 20, day, week or month, perfect for hunting or fishing
Park your RV or pitch a tent by the Skagit River, just a short drive from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley
(bullet) Check out Sedro-Woolley First section for links to all stories and reasons to shop here first
or make this your destination on your visit or vacation.
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We may be able to assist. Email us for details.

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