(Girl Undercut)

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.
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Western Skagit County portal
Features sorted by town/area

(Jasper Gates and grandson)
Jasper Gates and grandson. Click photo for story.
      We have transferred more than 400 story links over from two old directories to this new Portal Section where we combine both the stories of the pioneers and the capsule history of Skagit Valley towns. We are moving the last couple hundred of our pages over from stumpranchonline, so some links may not connect. Please email us and we will correct them and send you the proper link. These features are about pioneers who made their mark in the part of the county west from a north-south line through Mount Vernon and Burlington, clear out to the islands in Puget sound and Skagit bay. Most of these features are from the archives of our separate Subscribers-Paid online Journal magazine.
    The photo to the left is the inspiration for the statue of the Gateses that stands on First Street at the corner where Gates' cabin once stood in the early 1870s before he moved the family to town from the farm. We again thank historian Dick Fallis for following through, knocking on doors and rattling the tin cup. Jasper was just that kind of guy too.


Portals to cities in western Skagit County
Mount Vernon
Burlington
LaConner area
Anacortes/Fidalgo
Chuckanut/Blanchard/Fravel/Equality Colony
Samish Island/Edison/Bow/Allen
Belfast/Belleville & North on 99
Southwest County/Fir
Bayview/Padilla
Also see Skagit countywide features and history overviews, including the era of steamboats and pioneers who lived in more than one area

Transcripts of 1906 History Book
  • Read our exclusive annotated transcripts of the 1906 book, the Illustrated History of Skagit & Snohomish Counties. See why this is often called the "bible" of historians' collection as you read the first two Skagit County chapters with full annotations and photos about the first two decades of settling Skagit County mainland. Portal home with chapter links. Shared from our separate Subscribers-paid Edition. These first chapters are almost all about the western part of the valley, until part two of the second chapter, as the pioneers cut through the jams.
Mount Vernon
Includes Riverside, Barney Lake, Skagit Valley College
    Any time, any amount, please help build our travel and research fund for what promises to be a very busy 2010, traveling to mine resources from California to Washington and maybe beyond. Depth of research determined by the level of aid from readers. And subscriptions to our optional Subscribers Online Magazine (launched 2001) by donation too. Thank you. Thank you.
  • Our exclusive profile of Harrison Clothier and the birth of Mount Vernon, the town he founded with Edward G. English in 1877 — Part one. Part 2 explains Ed English's growth in strength and control; plus an obit of English and the full story of his famous kidnapping while he was a timber magnate.
  • Three John F. Conrad 1967 obituaries of three charter members of the Daughters of Pioneers of Washington, Skagit county chapter No. 11: Kate Dwelley Maloy, Lillie May Anderson Reay and Mame Anderson Hammack. We are moving all our original "stumpranchonline.com" features like this one to our new domain. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Capt. David Decatur arrived in Mount Vernon in December 1887 and quickly became one of the town's leading citizens. His home was replaced by our beloved Lincoln Theater. His descendants have shared some of the earliest photos of the town ever seen. Decatur built a sawmill and soon sold it to young Ed English, the young town co-founder, thus starting the most famous logging company in Skagit and Snohomish counties. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • William C. Ewing, founder of the Skagit News in Mount Vernon in 1884. And his famous family of jurists, politicians, generals and friends of presidents. And his climb of Mount Rainier. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • E.R. Million, Mount Vernon attorney and capitalist from 1889 to 1906, associate of timberman Ed English and friend of the high and mighty.
  • Dr. Horace Downs, pioneer of LaConner and Mount Vernon and longtime Skagit county auditor. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • W.B. Davis and his family write letters in 1891 and the 20th century about his life in Skagit and Snohomish counties as a school teacher, government official and hardware retailer, from Bayview to Mount Vernon to Stanwood. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Jasper Gates, who homesteaded the land that became present downtown Mount Vernon in 1870. Joseph Dwelley homesteaded adjacent land and David E. Kimble homesteaded what is now southern Mount Vernon. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • A 1940 history of the settlement of the Mount Vernon area from 1870 on and the beginning of the town. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • The Skagit County Courthouse Fight of 1909, when Burlington tried to wrest the courthouse from Mount Vernon.
Log jams
  • Mount Vernon Log Jams Part One. Introduction to the famous Mount Vernon log jams and transcription of eye-witness articles about the work to remove them, dating from the 1870s. Includes the diary of Otto Klement, who arrived in the Skagit Valley in 1873. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Mount Vernon Log Jams Part Two. Rare newspaper issues of Eldridge Morse's Northern Star (Snohomish City) that pegs exactly when work on the log jams near Mount Vernon began and when it was completed; and issues of the Washington Standard newspaper in Olympia from the 1870s that detail the work on the jams. Includes a short history of the Standard and the first newspapers in Washington Territory and Olympia, from 1853 on. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Mike Aiken shares a November 1878 issues of C.B. Bagley's Puget Sound Weekly Courier, and the story of how the Upper Skagit was opened to settlement and logging that year as the log jams were conquered and our most important upriver pioneers staked their claims, including Mike's great-grandfather, Birdsey Minkler. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.

Burlington
Includes Old Hwy 99 south to Riverside Bridge, Olympia Marsh
  • Chapter 1 of the newly discovered 1937 History of Burlington. We are grateful to the Burlington Library for sharing. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us. All 4 stories shared from Subscribers-paid Edition archives.
  • Another history of Burlington presented in a talk by Mrs. Lloyd Hartman on March 16, 1967. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • A 1910 manuscript by George G. Cressey, a very early Burlington pioneer. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • The amazing Dr. Hiram E. Cleveland, pioneer physician of Burlington. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • The amazing Kirkby family, featuring Roland and Verne Kirkby's contributions to Burlington's history and sport legends. An upcoming section will also feature the Kirkby ancestors who left such a mark on Kansas and Washington history. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.

LaConner area
Includes Swinomish, Reservation, LaConner Flats, Pleasant Ridge, Ridgeway, Beaver Marsh
Town of LaConner
  • 1889 profile of the town of LaConner, with photos and a drawing from the period. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Profile of the first (brief) settler of the future LaConner area in 1863, A.R. Underwood, the bona fides that he had settled, however temporarily, in the area of future LaConner in 1865. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Ray Jordan's story of Alonzo Low, who opened the first Skagit valley store at Swinomish in 1967, and our research into the unheralded life of the Low family.
  • Notes on the Dunlap family of LaConner. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • James Cochrane, a volunteer on the logjam-clearing team of 1877-79, Hamilton pioneer and owner of a pool hall in LaConner. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • The story of Carroll Anderson's memories of old LaConner passed away with our original website from 2001. It will be updated and re-posted next year.
Surrounding area
  • We have studied for 12 years the lives of the two men who first settled the area that became mainland Skagit county: Sam Calhoun and Michael Sullivan, who came to the Swinomish flats in 1863, plus the Calhoun brothers, Dr. George, Tom and Rufus. We are updating this major story; can you help?
  • Our exclusive profile of 1869 Pleasant Ridge and Fir island pioneer, Magnus Anderson, his famous cabin and a brief history of the town of Fir and the South fork of the Skagit river. Updated 2011 with a full biography of Anderson and his fellow pioneer, William H. Sartwell.
  • The Cornelius and Rudene families of Pleasant Ridge, and the Wallace, Mounts, Moa and Browning families they were related to. And Ruthinda Mounts Browning Wallace, the matriarch. Part 1 of 3 parts.
  • The introduction of our major continuing genealogy series. Profile of the late John Flood Conrad, memorialist of the Skagit County Historical Society from 1949-73, who wrote obituary notes for the annual Pioneer Picnic, staged annually on the first Thursday in August. And the story of his father, Charles, an orphaned Swedish immigrant who farmed near Pleasant Ridge. The notes were in handwritten form, courtesy of Maurice Erickson, his nephew and you will find links in this intro section to every year as we post them.
  • Peggy Gates recalls growing up in Rexville in western Skagit county during the Depression and becoming a charter member of the Rexville River Rats at the southern end of Pleasant Ridge (updated July 2006). This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.

Anacortes/Fidalgo
Includes March's Point, Summit Park, Gibralter, Dewey, Deception Pass, Rosario, Deception Pass,
Burrows Bay, Guemes & Sinclair Islands, Fidalgo Bay
  • Introduction to Amos Bowman's writing: Before and After — the Anacortes founder publishes an 1879 letter predicting the boom and follows up with an 1890 article answering his own predictions. Includes brief profile and timeline for Amos and his wife, Annie (Curtis), namesake of the town. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Portal to many Anacortes Features
  • Capsule profiles of Anacortes and Fidalgo Island pioneers, businesses and place names, Part 1: A-L. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Capsule profiles of Anacortes and Fidalgo Island pioneers, businesses and place names, Part 2: M-R. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Capsule profiles of Anacortes and Fidalgo Island pioneers, businesses and place names, Part 3: S-Z. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • George F. Kyle's Anacortes Hotel, symbol of the magnificent boom of 1890 and also the bust that followed almost immediately.
  • Anacortes Historic Photos from the files of author Paul Dorpat; publisher Wallie Funk, the old Puget Sound Mail newspaper and other collectors. And details displayed with the Funk photo exhibit at the Anacortes Museum in 2008. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • The birth and boom of Ship Harbor and Anacortes and the Seattle & Northern train that finally chugged into Woolley in April 1890, the second of three rail lines in town. Transcripts from the 1906 Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish counties.
  • Huntoon brothers, John and Isaac D., and their booming and real estate activities in Hamilton, Anacortes and Idaho. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Other upcoming Fidalgo and Anacortes Features: Preparations from the early 1870s-on for a future railroad terminus, and the Oregon Improvement Co . . . .The Seattle & Northern Railroad arrives on Nov. 27, 1890, as the Anacortes boom wanes . . . George F. Kyle and the Anacortes Hotel . . . Bill Lowman and his pioneer family and the beloved Bobo . . . Bill Mitchell's cut-out murals that define and illustrate Anacortes social history . . . William Munks, his ghost hotel and his two wives . . . Carrie White's 1998 essay — "Anacortes Before the Boom." Features will be shared with subscribers first.
  • The Anacortes History Museum and Carnegie Gallery's official site includes photos, history and the context of the Anacortes boom of 1890 and the attempts since then to establish a viable economy through the ups and downs of the ensuring 11 decades. The museum is located in the original Anacortes Carnegie library. We also highly recommend the museum's extensive and well organized research library. If you have questions or want to make an appointment to research, you can email to coa.museum@cityofanacortes.org or write to 1305 8th St., Anacortes, WA 98221 or phone 360-293-1915. Director Steve Oakley, Curator of Collections Judy Hakins and Educator Terry Slotemaker and the knowledgeable staff are very helpful. Slotemaker's research and database are very impressive as are his own writings.

Chuckanut/Blanchard/Colony
Includes Great Northern and Interurban
  • Links to all the Journal features about Edward R. Murrow and the towns of Fravel and Blanchard. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • On Sunday, April 27, 2008, Lynn Lennox of the Blanchard Wedding Chapel hosted a 100th Birthday Party for Egbert "Edward" R. Murrow. See the Murrow Portal Section for all the stories about him and the towns of Blanchard and Fravel.
  • Do you plan on seeing the new Edward R. Murrow movie, Good night and Good Luck? Read our multi-part series on the history of Blanchard, Murrow's home when he was a young man, which includes memories of Murrow when he was then known as Egbert, including first-hand accounts from people now in their 90s. With links to more stories. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Introduction to Stone & Webster Interurban Shared from the Subscribers Edition, a seven-part series on the famous Interurban electric railroad of Whatcom and Skagit counties, 1912-29, with links to more material on Chuckanut Drive, Andy Loft, the Great Northern railroad and the Dollar Way of Sedro-Woolley, the first concrete highway in Skagit County.
  • Read the Journal profile of John Henry Fravel, Whatcom pioneer from the 1858 Fraser river gold rush, lineman for the original Puget sound telegraph line in 1864 and founder of the town of Fravel in 1871. After sharing the names of Fravel and Blanchard and various times, residents chose the name of Blanchard in 1913.
Equality Colony
  • Read Ray Jordan's 1976 story of Equality Colony, located in northwest Skagit county from 1897-1906. [Both stories shared from optional Subscribers Edition]
  • Catherine Savage Pulsipher recalls the mill her father owned at the Equality Colony near Edison in 1898, life at the Colony and her brother's wedding there.

Samish Is/Edison/Bow/Allen
Includes Ladysmith, Field
  • List of four Journal stories about the town of Edison, including names of all the early pioneers. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Our portal site to the town of Bow, Washington, with links to all our photo features and other background sources for further reading. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • R.I.P. Claude Pocock, age 99. Read his obituary and the 2007 interview with his uncle-in-law Homer Alwood.
  • The Bow General Store, only original business building still stands and will stand longer. Photos of the town that time almost forgot, and the story of the Bow History Project. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Read the full review of this fine book, Samish Island, a History, by Sue and Fred Miller, which all Skagit history-lovers will want to read, along with those who want to learn about the geology of the Puget Sound area and the "pre-history" of the Indians of the archipelago before the white settlers arrived. And see the new home of the terrific Samish Island history site.
  • Part One — we explain the mystery of the Allen and Roray, dueling names for the town and the mill the two men opened there, plus a profile of Joy Busha.

Belfast/Belleville
Includes Friday Creek, Jarman's Prairie, Alger
  • Fred Abbey, pioneer in the 1880s of the village named Lookout — now Alger, and later a judge in Anacortes. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Fred and Abi Abbey celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 1939, look back at their pioneer days in Lookout/Alger in 1889 and their life in Anacortes. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Notes on the history of the towns of Lookout and Alger. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Russell A. Alger, logging capitalist, namesake of the Skagit town, governor of Michigan and Secretary of War for President McKinley, an appointment he may have wished he hadn't accepted. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Blanket Bill Jarman, the first settler of Whatcom and Skagit counties and homesteader at Edison [Alice Bay named for his Indian wife] and the prairie that now bears his name. With links to several other Jarman-related stories.
  • The town of Belfast, once an important logging village north of Burlington. A story from Ray Jordan's Yarns of the Skagit County, transcribed by Larry Spurling. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Ray Jordan wrote about his childhood when his father worked on the old Cook Ranch, along with describing the town and school of Belleville.

Southwest County/Fir
Includes Milltown, Conway, Cedardale, Mann's Landing, Skagit City, North Fork, South Fork, Fir Island
  • Where was Skagit City, and why did settlement of the Skagit River region really begin there? And read about the Skagit City Community Club and how they are restoring and protecting the 1902 Skagit City School on Fir Island. Would you like to help preserve the school?
  • Eldridge Morse's first tour of the Skagit river settlements from his The Northern Star newspaper in Snohomish, in the April 29, 1876 issue. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • A subsequent tour from the April 9, 1877 issue, noting the growth of Skagit City, settlement on the north fork of the Skagit and how Mount Vernon was born that year, early LaConner and Fir Island and northern Snohomish County and Hatt's Slough. Links also to our exclusive biography of this great man. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • First Skagit river settlers. In 1884, Mrs. S.C. Washburn wrote a letter to the new Skagit News newspaper, telling her personal experience as one of the first settlers in 1870-71, followed by a letter from pioneer David E. Kimble. Read her letter, other versions of the first settlement that we found while researching, and the famous story of Oliver Tingley, the first settler child born to a river settler family. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • English immigrant Thomas Hastie crossed the plains in 1850 with his family, they settled in the San Juans, and he witnessed the murder of Colonel Isaac Ebey, all before he became a grand farmer on the Skagit delta. In his own words and those of others.
  • John Conrad notes about Nora See Hastie, daughter of pioneer Anacortes brickmaker Capt. John See, who married Walter Hastie, son of Thomas P. Hastie.
  • History of town of Fir and Fir island by settler descendant Mamie Johnson Moen, written in the 1940s. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Updated information on pioneer Ole Borseth, who invested in both western Skagit county and old Woolley, with new information from his descendant, Dorothy Noste Johnson. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • The Wilbur widows, one white, one Indian, sue for control of John T. Wilbur's estate on the south fork of the Skagit river. A sad story of what happened to the Indian wives of white settlers who married a white woman once one was available. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us. This story will be updated soon. We have been unsuccessful so far in finding records of or profiles of John Wilbur, who lived on Fir Island and at a village named Wilburton on Cochreham island. Can you help?
  • See this Journal website of 1884 issues of the Skagit News for the story of Skagit City and Daniel Gage. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • The early history of Conway, its schools and the founders, Thomas P. Jones and Charles Villeneuve Sr., written by historian John Conrad in 1950.
Kimbles, Kimballs and Bozarths
  • David Everett Kimble, first settler to homestead in 1869 near future Mount Vernon. With links to five other stories about him and his family and the settlers of 1869-71, plus we unravel the mystery of the Kimble/Kimball name confusion. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • David Everett Kimble — a collection of documents that profile the man and his family. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Charles Kimball, born a Kimble on the site of Mount Vernon's present bus station, he was the first settler child born in the city. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.
  • Obituary of Ed Kimble, longest-living Mount Vernon pioneer who later lived in Sedro-Woolley.
  • The memoirs and obituary of Clara Ford Kimble Thornton Drown, from 1943. This story will soon be changed to this address. If neither file connects, please email us.

Bayview/Padilla
Includes Fredonia, Whitney

Story posted on April 15, 2003, last updated on Oct. 24, 2011
Please report any broken links so we can update them


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