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Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
800 total Free Home Page Stories & Photos

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, founder (bullet) Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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Our Wish List & items you searched for

(Townsite stamp, Sedro)
Townsite stamp, Sedro. We discovered this in an 1890 Washington magazine. Have you seen similar documents or photos from the original townsite of your city? Click on the thumbnail for the full document.

Can you help with scans, copies or documents for these planned stories?
      Meanwhile, below are high-priority items and information that we need for upcoming stories. They have not shown up in various histories so far or in photo collections that we have seen. Nearly 200 families have searched through their personal collections and have rewarded us with copies and photo-scans thus far. We hope you readers can help again. Disclaimer note: as we have emphasized from the beginning of this project, we do not request or need your originals. Xeroxed copies, on a machine that has a special button to produce near facsimiles, are sufficient. You can ask for that service at nearly any chain copy shop. And photo-scans should be in .jpg format, if possible, and edited to fit in a space of 750 pixels or less in width, again if possible — in addition to a higher resolution .bmp format scan, if possible.

Sedro-Woolley Documents that
we need
surrounding area
Upriver County-wide

(Hotel Sedro)
      This is the architect's drawing of Hotel Sedro. We do not have an actual photo of it but we hope that a reader will have one in an old scrapbook. The Sedro Land & Improvement Co. partnership headed by Norman Kelley and Junius Brutus Alexander designed it as a 3-story luxury hotel, with gravity flush toilets, possibly the first ones in the county. It was located on the west side of Third street, about where the high school gymnasium stands now. The Pioneer Block of businesses stood across the street where the present high school was built in 1911. That was the nucleus of new-Sedro and businesses such as Bingham Bank and Holland Drugs burned in 1894 when the hotel was nearly destroyed by fire. Alexander donated the former hotel-lots for the site of the Carnegie Library, which opened on Oct. 28, 1915, and was torn down in 1963 for the gymnasium. That decision is still debated in hindsight as being one of the worst in Sedro-Woolley history.
      The hotel was meant to house visitors and investors to the booming town of Sedro. The depot for the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern Railway was located west from the hotel, about where the western end of the high school football field is. There were even plans afoot to compete for the county seat, but hopes were dashed for that in the election of 1892. But the real problem for the hotel was that P.A. Woolley was already building his company town ten blocks northwest and when three trains finally crossed there, both the SLS&E depot and the Hotel Sedro were doomed. The final nail in the coffin of new-Sedro and the hotel came with the nationwide financial panic of 1893, which led to a Depression that greatly reduced production and trade in most of the Northwest for the next three years. Within a year of being built in 1890 the hotel went bankrupt and in 1897 it burned to the ground.
      If you know anyone who has photos or documents of Hotel Sedro, the SLS&E depot or the new-Sedro area of the 1890s, please email us with a scanned attachment or mail copies. See below for details.

Documents that we need
Sedro-Woolley surrounding area
(Opera House)
Mount Vernon Opera House

Names and places for which you have searched

      We have checked the list of all names and subjects entered into the search box for the past six months and these are the ones that we would especially like to follow up. We would like to know why you searched for them and in some cases we include information that we know already. Please email if you were the one searching or if you know anything about anyone or any place on the list.
Upper Skagit River
Upriver General
(Sadie's Hotel)
Sadie's Hotel, Marblemount. Just west of the Pressentin store. Can you decipher the name on the sign? We know that Mama Buller named the village for the "Marble Mount" across the Skagit River, so when was the space taken out of the final name? Behind Sadie's Hotel is the Pressentin store and post office. Do you have more photos of the villages, pioneers and buildings of the area from Rockport to Marblemount to the Cascade River area?

Nearby Sedro-Woolley
Mount Vernon, Southwest Skagit County
Burlington, northwest Skagit County
Anacortes and Fidalgo Island
Whatcom County and miscellaneous
[Ed. note: We appreciate that Candace Wellman corrected what was clearly our mistake. Clara was clearly a prominent Lummi Indian, not a Duwamish, as we originally noted. Candace has conducted extensive research into Northwest History and has conducted many interviews with descendants of members of several tribes. As she explains:
      Her mother was Duwamish. However, she was the daughter of the most influential leader at Lummi — Tsi'liqw. She was the best connected young lady of Lummi when John and she married. Tsi'liqw's descendants and nameholder today would not want to read that her high status Lummi birth was ignored in favor of the out-of-the area designation of Duwamish. It would also be better to refer to her brother by name as he sounds pretty inconsequential the way you have put it. He was "Appointed Chief Henry Kwina." It is Henry's land that the new campus of the NW Indian College is being built upon. At one time he was the oldest Catholic in the state and was honored by the bishop in Seattle with a big ceremonial visit. He also served as a teenager as Capt. Pickett's express man. And he was in the canoe as a 10 year old the day that Roeder and Peabody landed here.
      We appreciate very much her correction. She and I are both trying to correct myths and legends that have found their way into print, along with assumptions and "factoids," which have been accepted as fact. Candace also points out another important thing to remember about Indian culture. They had and have names that they keep secret and do not share people outside their family and culture. Thus the names that you read in historical accounts are usually anglicized versions of the names that Indians chose to be identified by in trading negotiations, treaties, etc. Also, some Indians sometimes chose to take the name of white settlers with whom they were associated or for whom they worked. Finally, white settlers sometimes called Indians by the names of white leaders. For instance, Chetzemoka, the S'Klallam leader who became a trusted friend of Port Townsend settlers, was often called Duke of York. And his brother's son, who later became a tribal leader of the Lummi, was called Thomas Jefferson.

Story posted on June 1, 2001, and last updated June 216
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