(Shingle Bolt Sledge)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
600 of 700 total Free Home Page Stories & Photos
(Also see our Subscribers Magazine Sample)
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit

Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

(Click to send email)
Site founded Sept. 1, 2000. We passed 5 million page views on June 6, 2011
The home pages remain free of any charge. We need donations or subscriptions to continue.
Please pass on this website link to your family, relatives, friends and clients.

Skiyou Gothic
Click on the photo to read about Skiyou farmers and their dahlias and corn — and a Cookie! And the strange story of a 19th-century Skiyou hotel and a body turned to stone.
    December 7, Pearl Harbor Day, is a very big deal around here. My father, Victor Bourasaw, was a survivor of the attack, as you can read in his online diary. And 35 years later in California one of my favorite people was born on that day, although we did not then now he would become a doctor. Happy Birthday, Dr. Ross Hanchett, of Paradise, California, a fitting place for you and your family.
    The Journal test launch appeared on AOL on Aug. 26, 2000. On D-Day, June 6, 2011, we passed 5 million page views, more than we ever dreamed. Please note: we are in the midst of transferring the last few hundred files to this domain from the old stumpranchonline domain. During this period, you may encounter dead links. In that case, please email us and we will correct the link and send the new link to you.
    We need donations or subscriptions to continue and to complete our grand research trip by next spring all over the West Coast, especially to Santa Barbara and the '49er gold fields to complete research for our planned book Humbug! — Mortimer Cook. Please pass on this website link to your family, relatives, friends and clients. Express to portal/category buttons and newest features.

If you joined us for the first time via the Skagit Valley Herald front-page feature on Lyman, you will learn a lot more of the town's rich history, dating back to 1872. You will find there links to our extensive Lyman and upriver section, with more than 100 stories.
History show Dec. 8, 2011, at Sedro-Woolley Senior Center
      You can view several recent rare historical discoveries about Sedro-Woolley at 12:30 p.m. at the Sedro-Woolley Senior Center, 715 State street, next to the library. The public is welcome. Noel V. Bourasaw, editor of the online history website, www.skagitriverjournal.com, will show documents and photographs of very early Skagit County, Sedro-Woolley and upriver Skagit. He will also preview the book in progress, "Humbug!" — Mortimer Cook, about the founder of Bug and old Sedro near the Skagit river. He urges people to bring old photos, documents and books to show; someone can possibly help identify them.

This is the year for centennials and significant anniversaries
in Sedro-Woolley, including

(bullet) The centennial anniversary of The Great Woolley Fire of 1911.
(bullet) The centennial anniversary of the first Model-T Fords on sale here, via Livermore Ford Agency, 1911.
(bullet) The centennial anniversary of the opening of Sedro-Woolley High School. New photos added from 1923.
(bullet) 90th anniversary of both Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop, still going strong in Sedro-Woolley, and the launch of the Volunteer Fire Department

Two requests from our Wish List section, which details all the gaps we face in research.
    1) Three weeks ago, both our desktop and laptop computers failed within days of each other, causing considerable panic. We have rebuilt the desktop, with the help of Sedro-Woolley's computer guru, John Hanks. But we still need a laptop. If you or your company are trading up to a newer system, would you consider donating your old model?
    2) We are nearly busted in our attempts to research the old town of Wilburton, which was just a crossroads between Hamilton and Lyman on Cochreham island in the 1870s and 1880s, with a very small village clustered around John Wilbur's store. We have only a handful of references to it. Do you maybe have something in your family collection that could help?

See this photo feature with nearly two dozen photos of Gilbert Landre's cabin/hotel, built in the 1892 era, which still stands near Cascade Pass.
(bullet) Check out our completely updated Puget Sound Mail column, with stories about Illabot Creek and the Harrises, Porters and O'Connors; how Orson Welles scared the bejeezus out of everyone the night before Halloween 1938 with War of the Worlds, but especially the folks in our very own Concrete; and a lovely rare quilt from Utopia; as well as the art of Skiyou Gothic — eat your heart out, Grant Wood.
(bullet) One of our earliest features from 2000 has fallen throught the cracks, as indeed did Arthur Seidell, an early Sedro-Woolley grainary owner, builder of an early bank building, and the most famous Civil War vet in the area, having a hand in rousting out Jefferson Davis.
(bullet) See our Wish List — and one special need, which would not cost you a cent.
(bullet) Read the story behind the Plumeria Bay bedding company in Birdsview, our latest sponsor
(bullet) B.R. Lewis and his family and the Clear Lake Lumber Co., which at one time was the biggest mill in the Northwest.
(bullet) The two most humorous stories of our 700. Otto Klement's tale of his Lyman trading post, in 1881, and the mixture of liquor and the good ole boys and the pig. And Frank Wilkeson's 1890 New York Times column about the two rapscallion hobos of old Sedro, who took the Swedes for a ride. Link has been repaired.
(bullet) Did you know that Buffalo Bill helped Sedro-pioneer Frank Hoehn promote Sedro-Woolley's first rodeo in 1914? Read our exclusive two-part Hoehn profile
(bullet) We have totally rewritten our "Who we are/Statement of Purpose" file so that you could see what has transpired in the past four years since we last updated it.

(bullet) And see our special new portal section of links about Mortimer Cook's original towns of Bug and Sedro and the very early days of the little village that was located where Riverfront Park stands today.
      (bullet) Important: This is our Free Home Page. If you are looking for the full Contents Links for our Subscribers Magazine, check the current-issue link in your email or email us for it. Also note: some stories still have a Stumpranchonline prefix because we originally partnered with Dan Royal's fine website and we have not finished moving them.
(bullet) How to Navigate the Journal. Or use one or all of these routes below:

Go ahead . . . we dare you . . . push our buttons below

Portals, subjects & areas to explore: Below or here
Newest features
Subscribers Edition Menu. See what you miss if you don't subscribe
Enter a name or subject in our search box
we are


Overview & Highlights

Need some research done?
Our Wish List
Puget Sound

our CDs, 2 and 3 being assembled

Northwest history


Follow these links below to portal sections
of the areas and subjects that interest you:

Click on the underscored Sedro-Woolley link above for an interactive map showing the location of Skagit County at the far northwest corner of Washington and the United States.
(Dance on stump)
(bullet) Check out Sedro-Woolley First
(bullet) Bug through Sedro-Woolley (bullet) Reader questions answered
(bullet) Early timeline (bullet) Founders Mortimer CookP.A. Woolley4 British bachelors.

Areas surrounding Sedro-Woolley in all 4 directions
(bullet) includes: Prairies, Duke's Hill, Northern State Hospital, Sterling, Skiyou, South of Skagit; Clearlake, Biglake, McMurray
Our monthly and occasional column: the Puget Sound Mail
Upper Skagit River: Utopia to Cascades
(bullet) includes: north of Skagit from Utopia to the dams and Cascades, Sauk River-Illabot Creek area, and the creeks of Skagit's south shore
West Skagit County: Hwy 99 to Sound
(bullet) includes: Mount Vernon to Belfast, west to Fidalgo, south to LaConner/Fir Island/Conway, north to Burlington, Blanchard, Edison, Alger & Samish
(Steam donkey in woods)
Logging Section
(bullet) includes: mills, donkey engines, equipment and logging railroads
(bullet) Washington & other counties
Whatcom, the mother county 'til 1883
County, home of early Skagit pioneers
The trains of the Northwest
(bullet) includes: Fairhaven & Southern; Seattle & Northern; Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern
(bullet) Northern Pacific, Great Northern, Puget Sound & Baker River, and more . . . Interurban

(Railroad trestle)
Skagit County stories that are countywide, that involve more than one town or more than one family and town or that do not fit in any other county portal . . . Transcribed County Histories
Stories about the Skagit River     Floods history     very short stories in Odds and Ends Portal    Memoirs by pioneers & descendants     Puget Sound Mail, our monthly column     Food & Wine . . . Prohibition, liquor
(Covered wagon women)
Frontier Women
(bullet) includes: Territorial Daughters, and biographies of and by pioneer women
Bios and obits, men and women, pioneers and descendants 36 Ray Jordan Yarns stories
(Whidbey Museum)
Suggested reading and museums
(bullet) Library: Recommended reading, bibliography
(bullet) Transcriptions old newspapers
(bullet) Regional Museums

(Atlanta Home Hotel)
That is the Atlanta Home Hotel above, created on Samish Island by former Whatcom Sheriff G.W.L. Allen. Allen is just one of the most important pioneers whom we will profile in depth later this year, along with Mortimer Cook, the founder of Sedro; James A. Power, publisher of the Puget Sound Mail; Michael Padden, of Lake Padden, and several others. All the more reason to subscribe as we complete our 11th year. Want to subscribe now and order subscriptions for friends, family or clients?

      Optional Subscribers Journal online — Click here for a peek at the Issues 53-54: Issue 53:The Journal's exclusive transcription of the first five chapters of Ray Jordan's terrific book, Yarns of the Skagit Country. Only a few hundred copies were printed, chock full of first-hand stories of the history of Sedro-Woolley and the upper river especially. We have gone further and provided more than 100 annotations, endnotes and mini-profiles of pioneers and businesses. Profile of Frank J. Hoehn, Sedro's genuine cowboy from 1889 and he performed with Buffalo Bill. Nina Cook, daughter of Sedro-founder Mortimer Cook, wrote a diary down at the river in their cottage, starting in 1986; story updated and second new section added.
Issue 54: More transcribed newspapers: three sections from various issues of the Skagit County Times (Sedro-Woolley), of the year 1902. Collection of mini-profiles of several Sedro-Woolley pioneers. And these full profiles: B.R. Lewis, owner of the Clear Lake Lumber Co. mega-mill; George Hammer, founding partner of Sedro-Woolley's Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop. Mary Purcell, taught in Sedro-Woolley for 45 years. Nellie Coupe, who married into the famous Whidbey sailing family and became a very important teacher in Whatcom County. Photo tour of downtown Woolley in July 1903, including several photos of the 4th of July parade.
Issue 52: Murder/suicide mystery of Garfield Minkler, of Lyman; Les Palmer's memories of his childhood in Sedro-Woolley and his connection with the Northern Pacific railroad tracks; Jon Jech, a descendant of the Jech family that built the Ford dealership building that is today the Sedro-Woolley museum, writes about Hart's Island, the symbol that it represented for we who spent our childhood in Sedro-Woolley; among many stories; Handy new portals: 1. Odds and Ends Portal, includes stories that are brief; and 2. Memoirs Portal for finding autobiographies and vignettes.

You can read the history websites about our prime sponsors
Would you like information about how to join them in advertising?

(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.
(bullet) Are you looking to buy or sell a historic property, business or residence?
We may be able to assist. Email us for details.

(bullet) See this Journal Timeline website of local, state, national, international events for years of the pioneer period.
(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 until we eventually compile a book about Northwest history. Can you help?
(bullet) Remember; we welcome correction & criticism.
(bullet) Please report any broken links or files that do not open and we will send you the correct link. With more than 700 features, we depend on your report. Thank you.
(bullet) Read about how you can order CDs that include our photo features from the first five years of our Subscribers Edition. Perfect for gifts.

You can click the donation button to contribute to the rising costs of this site. See many examples of how you can aid our project and help us continue for another ten years. You can also subscribe to our optional Subscribers-Paid Journal magazine online, which has entered its 11th year with exclusive stories, in-depth research and photos that are shared with our subscribers first. You can go here to read the preview edition to see examples of our in-depth research or read how and why to subscribe.
Looking for something special on our site? Enter name, town or subject, then press "Find" Search this site powered by FreeFind
    Did you find what you were seeking? We have helped many people find individual names or places, so email if you have any difficulty.
    Tip: Put quotation marks around a specific name or item of two words or more, and then experiment with different combinations of the words without quote marks. We are currently researching some of the names most recently searched for — check the list here. Maybe you have searched for one of them?
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Email us at: skagitriverjournal@gmail.com
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Mail copies/documents to Street address: Skagit River Journal, 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, WA, 98284.