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Diary by Nina Cook,
Part 2, Beginning June 30, 1886,
Sedro, Washington Territory

June 30, 1886, continued from part one
    Any time, any amount, please help build our travel and research fund for what promises to be a very busy 2010-11, 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.
      Ah-oo-um. I do feel so good and jolly tonight. I have worn the last corset! I feel like myself again. I never wore a kill-good-health before in my life until about two months ago when for various reasons I decided to wear them for a while any ways. I have grown more and more and more disgusted from the day I put the things on and this evening my disgust has reached its climax and they have come off, never to return to desecrate the body of Nina Cook again.
      I just feel like my own self again. It seems somehow as if I had seen someone that I knew in Santa Barbara or something. I can't explain the feeling but I haven't felt so gay for a long time. I have worn out three kill-good-healths in the time I have been wearing them. I can't help, some way, from bending and snapping the front boardings right in two.
      I do feel so good, being able to double up. I don't know as you sympathize, old journal, but you are a nice person to talk to anyway. Fairie is quite appreciative, but then she wears them herself and that is a partial destroyer of confidence. I must stop now for it is too dark to see without a lamp, and besides I have sung and whistled myself into a headache this afternoon. Adios.
      Journal ed. note: this note popped off the page for us because we know that Nina suffered from terrible migraine headaches in her final years and then died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

July 3, 1886
      Today is the day for the pic-nic, the fourth being on a Sunday. We have baked a delicate [illegible] Parker House rolls and [erased] some cheese and coffee. We will go up pretty soon. I feel more like staying at home to-day. I am afraid I am going to have a headache today. I always do on Fourth of July. Fairie wants me to fix her hair from catching on her buttons now. 8 p.m.: came from picnic.
July 15, 1886
      Can't find my pencil so will have to write with ink and stub pen. It has been a long time since I wrote last and something interrupted me there and I did not write about the pic-nic. Now it is so late that I don't want to. We had a nice canoe ride however up to the Sulphur Springs. Cushman Wicker [Charles J. Wicker's older brother] paddled us up and I asked Fannie Calleck [actually Kalloch] to go along. She is a quite nice girl from the Samish [River district north of Sedro].
      We have been ironing today and I just this minute got through and what time do you suppose it is? 6:30. The reason we are so late is because we spent most of the morning chasing Mr. Dunlop's pigs, for they were in the garden. We did have such a time for they would run back in the garden all the time. Carmix helped us and did a great deal of good!. I think he is such a smart dog. He has learned to open the gate. The mail came today and got a letter from Grigzy [or Grizzy?]. I am making the most beautiful shoebox that you ever saw.
      The boat came up last night and we went down to the landing. We are having the loveliest moonlight.
      I guess I won't write any more now. Even if I did have any thing to say for I am hair worked very hard. Cleaned up the sitting room and mama's bedroom and Fairie's.
      There is a new clerk at the store — Albert Holland, I think. I guess he will be pretty good though is most wonderfully independent. [See the Holland story].
      — From Nina Hannah Dayton Quincy Cook

July 17, 1886
      I have just received a letter from Rosa Packard. She writes really nice letters but they are very uninteresting. It is most dreadfully warm this afternoon. [Illegible] The fires which are burning in Ball's Camp adding to it Journal ed. note: located on the west side of Hart's Island, northeast of Ball's Landing and Sterling].
      Did I tell you about Leota? I think she is engaged to a Mr. Mackie who works at the mill. She has a [illegible] and goes with him a great deal. I was going for the milk one evening when I saw them sitting on the beaches where we had the picnic. They were sitting very close together as if they enjoyed each other's company. I felt sort of peculiar, as the third party in such cases always does. I said,
      "Are you trying to celebrate the real Fourth of July?" She looked really solemn but Mr. Mackie grinned fit to kill. I don't know what Leota will do if papa charges Mr. Mackie as he thinks of doing, for their [erased]. I suppose he will have to go away. Guess I will go away & study now.
      Papa has been sick for the last three weeks. That seems queer don't it for he never gets sick, but this time he was ill, worn out.
      I commenced to draw today a picture of the cloister in [Walter] Scott's Marmion [1806, story of Scotland's defeat at Flodden Field in 1513]. It is a very pretty picture.

July 18, 1886
Mortimer is ill
      This is Sunday. The Gazelle [sternwheeler] just now went past. It stops there [Cook's Wharf], so I guess papa has freight on board.
      Papa was feeling worse this morning, so I went up to Mr. Woods' about six o'clock and got him some new milk. There was a dance last night at Sterling. Some of the men from the camp went down. I guess Leota did not row. Fairie & I were out this morning and we got just a few blackberries. They are my favorite berry.
      Fairie had out my journal and reading just a little while ago. I dislike to have that done. I think she is a horrid girl. I just hate her. (This is for her benefit I hope she will see it.)

July 27, 1886
Mill business problems & Cook family illness
      Things look very black in our family now. Papa is sick, and Fairie fainted this morning. She was entirely conscious, and I was so frightened. The worst, however, is this: it is the business. Mr. Howe [??] came for work today and papa was awfully cross to him & would not take him. That made me feel very bad for I think he is a very nice, good little man would work well. But papa can't be blamed. He is so sick and can't think what to do. Besides, so many men turn out bad and he is discouraged. I do hate to have people's feelings hurt, especially often they have done nothing wrong to us, like Fred Howe. But that can't be helped & people must not feel too bad over things.
Aug. 1, 1886
      This is Sunday night. Mr. Lohr is here to be ready in the morning to start for the claim Fairie is going to take as a preemption. It is about 20 miles away and they will have to take two or three days to do it. I will be left alone, you see, but the Cleaves will be here and will come over nights. Papa is now again at Seattle. We have been out at the hammock all this afternoon. Had church service here this morning. Mr. Hawkins preached and very well.
Aug. 2, 1886
      Have just come home from picking berries, in a canoe with Mr. Van Fleet. I am all alone now as Fairie & Mama started [for the claim this] morning.
Temperance Lodge launched
      The Lodge (Temperance) meets for the first time tonight. I am not going to join. Can't give up drinking.
      The Cleaves stay with us at night, and Claude is here now as Mr. & Mrs. Cleaves have gone to the lodge.
      Mrs. Van Fleet and Eva will come down tomorrow and stay all night.

Aug. 5, 1886
Louisa Anderson, the future Mrs. Joseph Hart, arrives from Sweden
      Mama and Fairie have not come home yet. Papa came on the steamer Cascade today and started out with a Mr. Smith on a cruise over [his crossed out] our land. Niles Anderson's (the camp cook's) sister came today. She was of course very glad to see him. She came clear out from Sweden. Can't speak a word of English.
      Leota came down this afternoon to borrow my riding habit skirt. She is going down to Mt. Vernon tomorrow and it is my private opinion publicly expressed that she will come home Mrs. Mackie. She seems very gay today and consequently I suppose looks forward to it with great joy. I hope, most certainly, it will be fulfilled.
      Mr. Batey killed a deer Monday. He sent us up by Bruce [Batey, David's son] a piece and I roasted it today for dinner. I think I am getting to be a scrumcious cook, don't you? And will not disgrace the name of Cook. Fairy saw a wild cat this week. It, no doubt, is the one taking our chickens.
      Evening. Mama is home now. I feel so good and happy.

Aug. 7, 1886
      We all went out huckle berries this morning. Louisa (Niles Anderson, the cook's, sister), also. Altogether we got I guess about six quarts. Louisa is so queer, but really nice. She can't speak a word of English. Papa is home also. I took Mr. Woods' gun along but did not see anything.
Sunday, Aug. 8, 1886
      Been reading all day. Commenced the continued story by Frank R. Stickton, "The Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine" [Journal ed. note: 1886, two middle-aged women on a sea voyage to Japan who become castaways on a deserted island]. Went out the evening to watch for wild cat. I am going to go out early tomorrow morning before breakfast and hunt. Oh, I do want a gun, so. We are going for the milk now, at Woods.
Aug. 11, 1886
      Washing today. So warm! Bird boy who is working for papa hurt his arm yesterday. More scared than anything else, I guess though.
Aug. 26, 1886 [Page 32]
      I have got back from the Samish. Have been visiting Mrs. Thorne, whose husband works in the mill. I have had a splendid time most all the time I was there.
      We were over at Mr. Hall's one day and there we had lots of fun. They have a real nice little cabin and are very nice people, I think, and well educated. We had a nice dinner (cranberry sauce too) and after dinner Fred Hall and his father and I shot with a rifle at a target. At first I did the best until Fred Hall gave one very good shot and beat us all. We went down to look at their clearing and new house and then went out to the lake to fish.
      On the way I killed a squirrel for bait. He was away up in a high tree almost perpendicular and the gun kicked so I nearly fell over. But I would have fallen clear down to have killed it. I kept his ear as a souvenir. We rowed on the lake in the little hollowed out log but did not catch any fish that day though we did one day after.
      When I caught about a [illegible] I had them for my supper though they seemed too good to eat.
      I rowed out on the lake alone but that is nothing, it is so still, though Mrs. Thorne thinks it is.
      We were over at the Warners too. I beat the boys, Charlie and Bob, in shooting at a mark with a rifle, and of course feel very proud over it. The Warners are very nice, especially for half-breeds.
      There was quite a crowd of us voming home. Five, Mr. Hall, Mr. Ewing, Mr. Ritterhoff and Charlie Warner and myself; and then at one place we met Denis O'Keefe, and as we all sat down and rested, there were six there in the woods where not so many had ever been together before, probably. The night before I left Mrs. Thorne's we had a splendid time until 12 o'clock. Mr. Ritterhoff and Mr. Ewing stopped right there and we played Heart Whist. Mr. Ritterhoff who is the Seattle Candy Manufacturing man, treated us there to some of his splendid candy and some soda water and we had a real nice time.
      Papa and Mama are in Seattle. Will be home in an hour or two I expect. I guess I did not tell you about my killing the blue jay, the first game I ever killed or ever shot at. You know I said I was going out to shoot early in the morning and so I did. Well I shot a blue-jay and brought it home.
      I want a gun more than ever since I have been to Samish.

Aug. 30, 1886
      I am sixteen years old yet but it won't be very long until I am seventeen. Just three more days. Mrs. Fred Cleaves is here staying here now with the Cleaves. She has a real cute little boy; she herself reminds me of Mr. Heblertwaithe [sp??] of Santa Barbara so you will know from that my opinion of her whether it be good or bad. Papa just now started down to Seattle. We are going up to Lyman tomorrow, if nothing happens, in the little Gleamer [sternwheeler].
Sept. 1, 1886
      This is the last day of my sixteenth year. Tomorrow I will be seventeen. I would give a good deal if it were only ten. That is if I knew I do now, not other way. We may dance tonight but [??]. Fairie will be apt to be tired if she does, for the walk she and Louisa have to take tomorrow out to Fairie's claim.
      We went up yesterday to Lyman with Capt. [Henry H.] McDonald on the Gleamer. We had a real nice time and Lyman is real pretty. It was real dark coming back or it was very foggy on the river besides being quite late. We sang coming down the river and it did not seem to take any time to come home though it took all afternoon to go up. Well, adios. the next time I see you I will be seventeen.
      Your loving Nina Cook
      This is Mama's 57th birthday. I gave her a pin cushion.

Sept. 2, 1886
      I must tell you what I have done on my birthday. First of all, just a little while after I got up mother gave me a beautiful Shakespeare Complete [illegible]. Oh, it is so beautifully bound and so nicely illustrated. It is the nicest book I have. I am very proud of it.
      Papa and Fairie (she started this morning to her claim with Louisa), both being away, Mama and I thought it would be altogether lonely to eat dinne alone so she said I might invite Mr. Woods and Mr. Hart to take dinner at six and spend the evening. Mama made me a beautiful birthday cake and we had a splendid dinner. Mama and I read some "Their Pilgrimage" this afternoon in Harper's magazine. Now I have fairly begun my new year. Good night. It has rained all day.

Endnotes, continued from part one

William Woods
      William Woods, one of the four original British bachelors of 1878 who personally homesteaded the land north of the river and east of Township Road. We know so little of him except for his cashing in a very valuable chunk of his property when the Fairhaven Land Co. came along in 1888 with a scheme for making Sedro the initial southern terminus of the Fairhaven & Southern Railroad. He served as an officer of the Sedro Company, which marketed the lots for Mortimer Cook and Nelson Bennett in the lead-up to the boom of 1889-92 for the town of old Sedro. Starting in 1893, the nationwide Depression and then the monster trio of floods of 1894, 1896 and 1897 literally floated much of the old town away, so that businesses moved up the slope to new Sedro, or Kelleyville, where the high school stands today. [Return]

Fairie's timber claim
      This is an excerpt from the full story of Fairie's claim and her adventures in future Alger with future judge Fred Abbey. The complete story also includes the harrowing adventures in a snowstorm on the claim, with her mother along, in 1887. This part is a quote from June Burn's "Puget Soundings" column in the Bellingham Herald in the early 1930s.
      Do you remember Mortimer Cook — the courageous, picturesque, good, cantankerous, adventurous old fellow who named Sedro-Woolley, who made and lost a fortune there, and who at last died in the Philippines? Well, he had two daughters. One of them lives now and writes occasionally to Mr. Brosseau, who once worked for her father in his store at Sedro-Woolley. [Journal ed. note: the daughter she mentions here is Nina, the youngest Cook daughter, who was then living in Rockford, Illinois. Mr. Brosseau was Dwight Brosseau, whose pioneer parents lived between Sterling and Sedro. His mother's lasting legacy was that she sewed the flag that waved from the top of a 200-foot fir on July 4, 1890, in Sedro as the two villages held dueling celebrations.]
      The other one, Fairy, may or may not be living — I don't know. [Journal ed. note: Fairie Cook Litchfield died on Aug. 15, 1926 at her sister's home in Rockford. She was a widow.] But that she resembled her father in courage and love of adventure is proved by a story which Mr. Abbey tells of her. When she was 21, she took up a claim as was her right. All tidewater and river bottom claims were taken long since, I suppose. Anyhow she chose one up in the hills, which sounds like what her father might have chosen in his young days
      A deputy surveyor of Skagit county was "sweet" on her. He helped her to locate her claim and built a shake shack for her up there. One day Fairie and a girl friend set out to go to Fairie's claim alone. Fairie had learned the way of her surveyor friend. They found the blazes again and tied bits of rag and string along occasionally to make sure they would find it again on the return, for the telegraph blazes had confused the way until there were so many trail blazes it was easy to lose the way. [Journal ed. note: the girl was Louisa Anderson, a Swedish immigrant whose brother worked at Cook's shingle mill. She later married Joseph Hart, one of the four British bachelors who settled future Sedro.]
      On the return, the girls did get off between sections 7 and 12, where the blazes were especially numerous. They got onto a footlog across Samish river and dared go no further for the forest lay about, terrifying to them. And so there they stayed the night through, the Swedish girl with her head in Fairie's lap, the brave daughter of Mortimer Cook singing and beating on a tin cup all night with her button hook to keep the bears away! [Journal ed. note: the sections she refers to are in Township 36 North, Range 4 East. The town of Alger was in section 7, with the west fork of the Samish flowing nearby; the east fork flows through the east part of the township from section 12 down through Warner's Prairie. We suspect that Fairie found the claim with the help of Charles Warner, who logged Cook's timberlands.]
      Next day the trail difficulties resolved themselves and the girls got home. But I feel pretty sure that Fairie didn't tell her mother what had happened for it wasn't long afterwards that the girl and her mother essayed the same trip together to fail into the same disaster, only more so! [Return]

Rev. Hawkins
      This humorous description of Rev. "Daddy" Hawkins is excerpted from our review of early itinerant ministers who traveled the northwestern circuit and held services in small towns all around Puget Sound ().
      Many amusing incidents concerning these early visitors are recalled by local pioneers, notably Rev. Pickles' harrowing night spent in a hollow cedar stump, with a storm raging and wild animals howling, and the service in the Van Fleet school house when "Daddy" Hawkins announced that he had to leave early. Mrs. Cook, Sunday school superintendent, said, "we will now start the service by singing 'I'm Going Home Tomorrow'," and Rev. Hawkins, who was slightly deaf, shouted, "Oh no, I've got to go right away." — Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times, March 4, 1937
      Among the pioneer families who attended the services in the Van Fleet school house were [Plin] V. McFadden, Van Fleets, Jamisons [actually Jameson], Robert Young, Mrs. Mortimer Cook and daughters, George Wicker, Cushman and Charles Wicker, George Benson and "Grandma" Wicker, mother of George, Charlie and Cushman, along with the Ira Brown family.


      The Good Templars was affiliated with the Methodist church. The first lodge was located in Avon, a temperance town that A.H. Skaling platted at the bend of the Skagit River just north of Mount Vernon, on the west shore. Skaling set up the first general store at Avon on Oct. 27, 1883. He originally moved his family from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to southern California in 1878 and then moved up to the Skagit Valley. [Return]

Eva Van Fleet
      Eva came to nearby Sterling in her parents' arms, as an infant in May 1880. Emmett and Eliza Van Fleet lived about two miles northeast of Mortimer's store, in the district known as Skiyou. Eva was seven when the diary started. Read an extensive collections about the Van Fleets here (http://www.skagitriverjournal.com/NearbyS-W/Skiyou/VanFleet/VanFleet02-ElizaDAR1928.html). [Return]

Louisa Anderson, wife of Joseph Hart
      Louisa Anderson, the sister of the camp cook, married Sedro pioneer Joseph Hart on Dec. 20, 1887, while Mr. Hart lived in Seattle. They returned to Sedro in 1890 when Mr. Hart opened a mill with David Batey at the southern (river) end of what is now Third Street. [Return]

Mrs. Thorne
      The village of Thornwood, mainly the Thornwood Hotel, was located west of present-Highway 9. When driving north, just before the Samish school, when you come down the hill, you will see Thornwood Place on your left at about Milepost 62. West of the highway and a quarter of a mile north of the lane, Woodbury J. Thorne filed a homestead on a quarter section in the middle 1880s. He started his namesake village sometime after these diary items in 1886, with John Warner and family his neighbors to the north and Lyman S. Hall and Amariah Kalloch III to the south near Cranberry Lake, and Joseph Hoyt just a half mile north and east.
      According to the 1906 Illustrated History of Skagit & Snohomish Counties book Thorne was born on May 6, 1851, in Lewiston, Maine, and was apprenticed as a bricklayer at age 18. He emigrated to san Francisco in the early '80s, where he continued his trade and opened a fruit and produce store.
      We do not know why he moved north, but he cleared a small space and built a house by the time of Nina's diary. We do not find any signs of him settling permanently until about 1893, perhaps resulting from business losses as the Depression spread nationwide. He proved up on his homestead that year. In an unknown year he married Adelia M. Lathrop of Vermont, whose family dated back to Mary, Queen of Scots. She was the postmaster of their village here. We do not know when or where they married, but she had taught 20 years in Wisconsin, South Dakota and Washington. She was a devoted worker in the Good Templars' Lodge and was active in the Congregational church.
      Addie became the postmaster for the village and surrounding area when a post office was granted in 1900 under the name Thorne; we have records of her in the position as late as 1907. But a few years before that, the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern railroad line established a stop at Thornwood in the 1890s and Northern Pacific continued it until an unknown year. Addie may have also managed the Thornwood roadhouse that he built as an overnight stop for travelers. By 1906, he had 50 acres in crops and pasture on a 121-acre parcel, and owned a small dairy with Jersey cattle.
      A small country school served Thornwood as District 84 and functioned until it consolidated with Prairie District 78 on June 3, 1913. The present Samish School, which forks northwest from Prairie School serves all those districts, including the old town of Prairie, just north, and Warner's Prairie. Mr. Thorne was a Baptist, a Mason, a Republican in politics and a member of the Skagit County Pioneer Associations. We hope that a reader can help us flesh out the picture of both the Thornes and their village and hotel. So far, we do not have a death date for Mr. Thorne, but we know that Mrs. Thorne died in 1916. We do have one reference to the Thornes's son.

New restaurant is started here Sedro-Woolley Courier-Times, Feb. 14, 1924
      Mr. and Mrs. L.S. Thorne have opened a new restaurant in the building on Ferry street, just west of Metcalf, occupied for the past few years by Ricker's cleaning shop. Mr. Ricker disposed of the cleaning business. Mr. and Mrs. Thorne have had considerable experience in restaurant work, it is said. They lived at Prairie recently.
      We think that the building to which that story referred was half of what later became the Four Aces Tavern and now is the Overflow Tavern, but maybe a reader will know for sure. The 1926 Metsker's map shows no ownership of the area by any Thorne, but rather the property had been split into three or four parts. [Return]

Woodbury and Fred Hall
      This is a family that keeps on giving, their legacy, that is, and so much of it on paper. We will barely scratch the surface here. We plan to profile them soon and their rapscallion preacher and politician relative, Isaac S. Kalloch, who served as mayor of San Francisco, even after being assassinated, and then died in Sehome (party of early Bellingham). This is a family of disparate talents, and different applications of intelligence, as to be expected from the relatives of the late Glenn Hall, our beloved teacher from Sedro-Woolley High School.
      Amariah Kalloch III (1837-89) was Isaac's half brother. Also a native of Maine, he accompanied the family to the '49er gold fields when he was 12, he later had a wild career in Kansas before marrying Mary Elizabeth Heck there in 1869. To cut it short, he decided to try his luck at homesteading in the new Skagit County in 1883. The sons of his brother, Ezekiel — Fred and Woodbury K. Hall, soon joined the extended family here and homesteaded in the Prairie district, where they became key pioneers. They are also relatives of the Kallochs, for whom the road is named, the one near their homesteads that has been truncated in modern times; it was originally dug out by Amariah. The editor saw several affectionate letters in the Cook family collection from Fred Hall to Fairie Cook while she attended Wellesley College. She wound up, however, marrying the father of her college roommate.
      Just two details that you might want to read about in 2011. Amariah died at the tragically young age of 52, in November 1889, when he stepped from a dock to the steamer Cascade, missed the landing and drowned in the waters of Elliott Bay in Seattle. And who eventually married his widow 20 years later? Woodbury K. Hall and thus he married his aunt. We told you it would be worth waiting for, in our Subscribers Edition. Read about Amariah Kalloch III and his family. [Return]

Warner Family
      John Warner, the prairie's namesake, was Mortimer's companion in the California gold fields, the 1858 Fraser River Gold rush and at Cook's Ferry in British Columbia. After Mortimer returned to his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio, to marry Nan Pollock in 1864, Warner married Ellen Thompson, a member of the Cook's Ferry band of the Thompson Indian tribe. She was rumored to be the daughter or sister of the chief of the tribe. Warner moved down to Edison in the late 1860s after helping construct the coal mines in Bellingham. In 1882 he and his family homesteaded pasture land in the middle of the forest, five miles north of future Sedro. It soon took the name of Warner's Prairie.
      After logging off parts of the Cook old growth for five years , Charles Warner became a partner with William Todd, in August 1890, in a new saloon at the corner of Bennett and 7th streets in new Sedro. He committed suicide in Sedro in 1907. Lottie Warner McGinnis's given name was Charlotte. Both were born in Edison when the family lived there before homesteading at what is now known as Warner's Prairie. [Return]

Mr. Ewing and Ritterhoff
      This is a most interesting name because the only Ewing we know of on the Skagit River at that time was William Cox Ewing, who launched the Skagit News newspaper in Mount Vernon in 1884. He was descended from one of America's most noted military and political families. We cannot find a reference to a candy maker named Ritterhof from that time. [Return]

Capt. Henry H. McDonald (1857-1924) and the Gleamer
      A native of Nova Scotia, McDonald came to the Puget Sound in about 1886 and with his sternwheelers and steamboats like the Gleamer and the Skagit Chief, he fought a 15-year successful battle with Great Northern's James J. Hill to compete for freight shipped to and from the Skagit River. His daughter Anna G. Grimison later became president of McDonald's Skagit River Navigation & Trading Co. and gained fame as a steamboat captain in the Tugboat Annie mold.[Return]

Return to part 1 of the diary
and background notes and more links about the Kalloch family.

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