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(SLSE Railroad)

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

(Click to send email)
Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Volume 11, Issue 57, August 2011
Under construction, stories being loaded, then photos

(bullet) See table of contents below and click on underlined sample stories
(bullet) Launched on Jan. 1, 2001, now with 700+ stories

(Stump Man)



(click thumbnails
above for story links)

  • More of Glee Davis' memories of his pioneer family and the North Cascades foothills at the turn of the century
  • 1915 UW Graduates who were Skagit movers and shakers: Frank Evans, Sid McIntyre, Art Ward and Herman Anderson
Pioneer biographies:
  • Eugenia Clinchard, child star of silent-movies and her Sedro-Woolley family
  • The final years of Charles J. Wicker, 1884 pioneer and real estate dynamo
  • The often-confused Rowse and Rouse families and mining in the North Cascades
  • "Whatever happend to Lyman Cutler?" Lucille McDonald's history of the Pig War principal
  • George Kyle, 1890s Anacortes boomer and father of the Anacortes Hotel
  • George Arnold, Skiyou farmer and mill owner
  • Forest M. Elwell, sternwheeler builder
  • Frank Bradsberry, the whimsical logger and real estate promoter

Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Volume 11, Issue 56, July 2011
Under construction, stories being loaded, then photos

(Stump Man)



(click thumbnails
above for story links)

James Wardner, silver king and Fairhaven promoter, and his hilarious and 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
George E. Hartson's 1908 history of western Skagit county
J.O. Rudene's 1908 history of county agriculture xx
Violet Burmaster's 1916 history of Skagit County
John Conrad's story of the first settlers of Skagit County
Another Catherine Savage Pulsipher story: The indentured Irish servant girl who came to Skagit County

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)

Menu of Historical Delicacies, Issue 55, May 2011
Our new portal section with links to stories about Harrison Clothier and Edward G. English,
founders of Mount Vernon , in 1877

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 Historical Delicacies,
Issue 54, April 2011, our 11th year

Log of transcribed newspapers
Various 1902 issues, Skagit County Times
June 26, 1902 issue, Skagit County Times
More 1902 issues, Skagit County Times

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-March 2011, our 11th year

(Nina Cook)
Nina Cook,
1886 Sedro diary (click thumbnail
for story)

(Frank Hoehn)
Frank Hoehn

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

Volume 10, Issue 52, March 2010
Subscribers Journal Online

Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Issue 52, Jan.-Feb. 2010, our tenth year

(bullet) The oft-photographed Ball House near Padilla falls to the wind in January 1996
(bullet) Johnny Jacobin performs amazing feats against equally amazing physical odds
(bullet) This issue's in-depth research resulted in an updated section about Blanchard, town and family, with the help of descendant Margaret Toth
(bullet) Profile of Blanchard, town and family
(bullet) Index/portals to Blanchard & Edward R. Murrow
(bullet) Descendants and pioneer memories, including those of native Florence Smith Lowe, 98 in 2010
(bullet) More descendant memories of Blanchard & Edward R. Murrow
(bullet) Our introduction to history of farming the fantastic Skagit County soil
(bullet) The murder/suicide mystery of Garfield Minkler, of Lyman
(bullet) We continue our new Memoirs collection with memories that Les Palmer shares of his childhood in Sedro-Woolley and his connection with the Northern Pacific railroad tracks.
(bullet) We move this original poem from our old domain, where it was posted in 2002. Jon Jech, a schoolmate of the editor and 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.

Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Issue 51, October-December 2009

(Ella Nicholls)
Ella Nicholls
in part 3

(Gar Green family)
Gar Green's family, part 6 (click on those thumbnails for the stories)
We start a year-long process of adding dozens more profiles of pioneers and their descendants and old-timers among us. In this issue, 99 brief profiles of volunteers to the Skagit RSVP corps

Part 1 (18)

Part 2 (18)

Part 3 (18)

Part 4 (14)

Part 5 (15)

Part 6 (16)
Updated history of early Northwest schools
Earliest Skagit and Whatcom Schools, updated
Eloise Ingman Stendal recalls Meadow School
Merry Christmas to all. Read about pioneer Christmas celebrations on the Skagit River.
History of the Eagles Aerie, Sedro-Woolley. Mystery solved; it began in 1902, not 1923. Prepared for the Aerie, reproduced here in an extensive .pdf form, with history of the state and national Eagles, the fraternal lodge that began in Seattle in 1898.
Samuel Shea, Rockport area homesteader & bar and pool owner
We correct the record: Lorenzo Lyman, upriver town founder, was a lawyer, not a doctor.
More Issue 51 stories: Handy new portals
(bullet) 1. Odds and Ends Portal, includes stories that are brief, introductory or are in draft form.
(bullet) 2. Memoirs Portal for finding autobiographies and vignettes.

Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Issue 50, June-September 2009

(Seattle, 1880 Snow)
1880 Snow

(Nellie Coupe)
Nellie Coupe

(Skagit Steelhead)
Howard Miller's steelhead
Clippings from the 1980 Seattle Intelligencer newspaper that report on the Ruby Creek Gold Rush
Part One, January-May
Part Two, May-December
Schools history, Whatcom and Skagit
First schools in Whatcom County and the area that became Skagit County in 1883 — updated with new data
Biography of Nellie Coupe, an educator who made an impact on both Island and Whatcom counties.
Profile of the Seabury family and Lloyd Seabury,
1970s Skagit author
Skiyou pioneer Lloyd Seabury recalls the rampaging 1909 flood
Lloyd Seabury recalls his neighbors, the Van Fleets, and the 1900 Skiyou neighborhood
Ron Strickland's fine 1984 book, River Pigs and Cayuses,
is long out of print. Here are four stories from it.
Look for it in used-book stores.
Mark Gilkey, the Skagit River gambler as a youth.
Ralph Parker of Lyman explains the moonshine business
Howard Miller guides you through the steelhead of the Skagit River
Glee Davis and his family at Cedar Bar
The Truth newsletter about evil liquor, ca. 1900 in Woolley.
Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Issue 49, April-May 2009

(Coon Chicken)
The Coon Chicken Inn near Bothell

(Chief Sealth)
Chief Sealth
Stan Stapp reminds us of the Coon Chicken Inn
and Cotton Club between Seattle and Bothell

Early Sedro and Woolley
Albert G. Mosier recalls platting the three towns
Harry L. Devin recalls how the three railroads formed the town lines
1903 story of the 1898 merger that formed Sedro-Woolley
Junius Brutus Alexander, wealthy Sedro pioneer who pushed for the 1898 merger
Northwestern Skagit County
1932 Obituary of Louisa Ann Conner, namesake of LaConner
Obituary and profile of prominent Padilla pioneer Edgar A. Sisson
Profiles and civil war memories of Northwest County and Padilla-area pioneers Ed Wells, A.G. Tillinghast and R.H. Ball
Indians, Chief Sealth and Dr. Henry A. Smith
Chief Sealth/Seattle's famous 1854 speech, in Dr. Henry A. Smith's words
Dr. Henry A. Smith, Seattle pioneer, famous for recording the Chief's speech. By David M. Buerge
Native Seattle, by Coll Thrush, about Seattle's native population, including Dr. Smith and Chief Sealth.

Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Issue 48, February 2009

Harrison Clothier

(Woolley Saloon)
Woolley Saloon

(Fred Hegg)
Fred Hegg
Harrison Clothier and Edward G. English,
founders of Mount Vernon
Part One, the early years
Part Two, logging, going separate ways
Ed English kidnapped in 1908 and his obituary

The first saloons in Sedro-Woolley,
Skagit County and up the Skagit River

F.A. Hegg and sons, Woolley's most famous grocers
Part One, Fred Hegg from Minnesota to Woolley
Part Two, Fred and sons become leading grocers
Earl "Fuzz" Hegg excels and his Fuzzy Wuzzy Grocery

Gust Gilbertson opens Sedro-Woolley J.C. Penney store, 1915
How J.C. Penney came from Missouri to Number One retailer

Menu of Historical Delicacies,
Double Issue 46 & 47, January 2009

(Logging undercut)

(Bessie Rudene)

(Threshing hay)
Issue 46
Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, 1906
This issue is devoted to our most ambitious project so far, the transcription of chapters from the 1906 book that is the most important resource book for Skagit County historians, authors, genealogists and students. We have transcribed the first two chapters of the Skagit County section, nearly 75 pages in all. But most important, we have annotated each chapter with extensive footnotes that will illuminate pioneers, towns and events and provide links for background reading. This will be a double issue, with one chapter per issue.
Introduction to the Illustrated History, with facts about the book that you may not have learned before, and background on its creators, along with a caveat for readers.
Chapter One of Skagit County settlement. Part One of this chapter introduces you to the first settlers, especially on Fidalgo Island, and the first women to brave the wilderness.
Chapter One of Skagit County settlement. Part Two of this chapter introduces you to more settlers, especially those on the south fork of the Skagit River and the area of the log jams where Mount Vernon would rise.
Issue 47
Chapter Two of Skagit County, 1874-83. Part One of this chapter shares details of settlement, logging and early agriculture, and reviews the process of removing the log jams that shut off the upper stretches of the river from exploration.
Chapter Two of Skagit County, 1874-83. Part Two of this chapter shares details of the first upriver settlement, sternwheeler steamboats and early mining discoveries, including the exciting, if brief, 1880 gold rush to Ruby Creek, settlement, logging and early agriculture, and reviews the process of removing the log jams that shut off the upper stretches of the river from exploration.

Thinking about gifts for reunions, birthdays or other occasions? Due to continued popular demand, in the interest of furthering our "open source" policy, we are assembling a collection of CDs that will include MS Word files of our pioneer profiles and town profiles from years 1-5, so that you can print them individually at your convenience. They will be organized by region: Sedro-Woolley & surrounding area; Upper Skagit River from Utopia to Cascades plus logging, hunting and fishing; Western Skagit County and other counties. See our site with details of what is offered and the prices and ordering information..
Getting lost trying to navigate or find stories on our site?
Read how to sort through our 700-plus stories.
Return to the new-domain home page
Links for portals to subjects and towns
Newest photo features
Search entire site
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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