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Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
Subscribers Edition, where 450 of 700 stories originate
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

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Newspaper logs from pioneer days
of the Pacific Northwest and Skagit County

      One of the sad things you quickly learn when you begin researching Skagit County history is that well more than half of the early newspapers before 1911 have been burned in various fires. In addition, many volumes of early newspapers have either been thrown away or have disappeared when early papers changed hands. If you have any such newspapers, you have a keepsake and we would love to see a copy.
      Almost all the early volumes of the Skagit County Courier of Sedro-Woolley disappeared long before 1960. Several volumes of the Skagit County Times of Sedro-Woolley have also disappeared at unknown times. Many of the early volumes probably burned in the July 1911 downtown-Woolley fire. And all the volumes of the Sedro Press, the first newspaper in town from 1890-95, burned in an 1895 fire in the original plant.. The cruelest fire occurred at the Puget Sound Mail in LaConner on June 24, 1944, when the paper was temporarily housed at the LaConner Motor Co. The Mail began on Bellingham Bay in 1873 and was the oldest continuously published weekly in the state. All that is left of the first 30 years or so is microfilmed copies of partial pages that were rescued from the blaze.
      So we were overjoyed when Clear Lake Historian Deanna Ammons told us this summer that a local man found some long-lost copies of the Skagit County Times in the walls of a house that he was remodeling. They range in time from various years during 1891-1909 and they hold stories that were mostly unknown. The most spectacular issue is the one from Dec. 5, 1891, when the town of Woolley was preparing for its first full election in the company town that P.A. Woolley built. We have now combed through about two thirds of the papers, line by line. This research comes at the tail end of a four-year project during which we have researched other volumes on microfilm all over the state. Unless you have tried this yourself, you have no idea what fatigue you feel after spending eight hours hunched over the flickering pages of microfilm, trying to read the small type and either take notes by hand or make barely legible copies on primitive printers.
      This section will build over the months as we share with you the nuggets we have discovered in our panning of newspapers all over Skagit County, plus Snohomish and Whatcom. We will also start a list of places where you can read microfilmed copies and we will eventually list what copies are available in each place. They are literally worth their weight in gold. As you read our transcriptions, keep in mind how important it is for our readers to share photo copies of any old newspapers that they have in their family collections, especially those before Please email if you can help. When you see information in [ ], we have either corrected spelling or provided more information about the person, company or place mentioned, from the extensive research we have conducted for more than ten years. Most of these stories are shared from the archives of our optional Subscribers Edition

Sedro-Woolley Newspapers we have transcribed so far
    Any time, any amount, please help build our travel and research fund for what promises to be a very busy 2011, traveling to mine resources from California to Washington and maybe beyond. Depth of research determined by the level of aid from readers. Because of our recent illness, our research fund is completely bare. See many examples of how you can aid our project and help us continue for another ten years. And subscriptions to our optional Subscribers Online Magazine (launched 2000) by donation too. Thank you.
Sedro-Woolley editors and publishers
Sedro-Woolley's Skagit Steel & Iron Works in Washington Magazine

Mount Vernon newspapers
Skagit News

Early Mount Vernon newspapers

Early newspapers, various Skagit County cities
Northwest Skagit Advocate, Bow, Washington

Sebring's Skagit County Illustrated

LaConner newspapers

Profiles of early Skagit County editors and publishers

Upriver Skagit river newspapers and articles

Snohomish County newspapers covering Skagit River

More newspapers that we seek

Story posted Dec. 21, 2003, last updated March 28, 2011
Please report any broken links so we can update them

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Our new weekly column, Puget Sound Mail (but don't call it a blog)
debuted on Aug. 9, 2009. Check it out.
(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 celebrated its tenth anniversary in September 2010, 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.

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

(bullet) Our newest 2011 sponsor: Plumeria Bay, based in Birdsview, your source for the finest down comforters, pillows, featherbeds & duvet covers and bed linens. Order directly from their website and learn more.
(bullet) Our newest sponsor: Gallery Cygnus, 109 Commercial St., half-block uphill from Main Street, LaConner. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 5 p.m., featuring new monthly shows with many artists, many local. Across the street from Maple Hall, 1886 Bank Building and Marcus Anderson's 1969 historic cabin. Their new website.
(bullet) Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 89 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) Joy's Sedro-Woolley Bakery-Cafe at 823 Metcalf Street in downtown 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.

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