(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

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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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Features and biographies of Old Sedro by the river
and the first settlement at the site, 1878 to 1897

(Cook's mill)
This is the second stage of Mortimer Cook's mill, which started all the process of forming our town, photographed sometime before it burned in the late 1880s. You can see the drying kiln shed being constructed. Iron Mountain is in the background to the east. Photographer: Arthur Churchill Warner (1864-1943). The photo alas brings with it more questions. The copy we originally scanned from was fairly old, with the barest of notes on the back. If the year of the photo is correctly pegged at 1894 by the University of Washington Special Collections, why did it take six or seven years to replace the original kiln at center left, following the fire of 1888 that leveled Cook's original mill? The kiln looks still unfinished. We know that Warner arrived in Washington Territory in 1886 and Seattle in 1888, so he could have taken the photo around 1890 when the new owners, McDonald & McEwan rebuilt the mill. Warner made headlines himself when he photographed a climb of Mount Rainier by John Muir and others. At that time, Warner photographed Seattle and the Puget sound area for Lowman & Hanford publishers. Read more about him here. Note the stumps still dotting the property and the driftwood from the river. We infer that the well-dressed man is Mr. Churchill, with some sort of timing device or else he might have set up the camera, then stepped in front of it while someone else squeezed the bulb.

      We have organized below for you more than two dozen links to stories about the businesses of old Sedro, biographies of the settlers, the towns of Bug and Sedro and the early exploration and settlement. Old Sedro effectively floated away in the flood of 1897, after being battered in the floods of 1894 and 1896. In the 1920s the original townsite location became the town dump. When I was a kid, we used to go down there and shoot rats. Six decades later, the Rotary Club led an extensive overhaul of the site, and the result is Riverfront Park, a much more fitting monument. The barbecue pits and the open theater, made with local rock and wood timbers, add a sense of permanence. Nina Cook's drawing below of the same scene helps us establish where A.E. Holland's ferry crossed the Skagit and thus where the mill was. if you go to Riverfront Park, you will see the sloped upper session to the east of the barbecue pits. Walk down to the river from there and you will find the spot of the mill. In fact, you will find an ancient cedar tree whose base has grown around a cable nearly a century old, the north end of the gravity cable ferry.

(Nina Cook drawing of mill)
      Nina Cook's drawing of the same scene.

Introduction to old Sedro and the river settlement period
    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.

We recently visited our newest sponsor, Plumeria Bay, which is based in Birdsview, just a short walk away from the Royal family's famous Stumpranch, and is your source for the finest down comforters, pillows, featherbeds & duvet covers and bed linens. Order directly from their website and learn more about this intriguing local business.

Mortimer Cook and family

Early magazine articles about the towns of Sedro

Various Sedro stories and biographies

Settlement of the Skiyou district from 1880 onwards
Bingham family and bank & the families from Marengo, Iowa: Renos, LaPlants and Odlins


Frank Wilkeson, New York Times columnist, lived in Skagit County 1889-1900

Transition to Woolley, miscellaneous

Story posted on Dec. 25, 2010, moved to this domain Nov. 12, 2011 . . . Please report any broken links so we can update them

Getting lost trying to navigate
or find stories on our site?
Read how to sort through our 700-plus stories.

See this Journal Timeline website of local, state, national, international events for years of the pioneer period.
Return to the new-domain home page
Links for portals to subjects and towns
Newest photo features
Search entire site
Our monthly column, Puget Sound Mail (but don't call it a blog)
debuted on Aug. 9, 2009. Check it out.
(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. And do not give up if you find a link that seems to be closed. Just put the subject in the search box below. The story may have been moved to our new domain. Or just ask us and we will guide you to it.
(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 with copies or scans of documents or photos? We never ask for your originals.
(bullet) Read about how you can order CDs that include our photo features from the first ten years of our Subscribers-paid online magazine. Perfect for gifts. Although it was delayed by our illness, it is due for completion in 2012.

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 sponsor, Plumeria Bay, is based in Birdsview, just a short walk away from the Royal family's famous Stumpranch, and is your source for the finest down comforters, pillows, featherbeds andduvet covers and bed linens. Order directly from their website and learn more about this intriguing local business.
(bullet) Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 90 years continually in business.
(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 — for as little as $5 per night — by the Skagit River, just a short drive from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley. Alpine is doubling in capacity for RVs and camping in 2011.
(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.

Looking for something special on our site? Enter name, town or subject, then press "Find" Search this site powered by FreeFind
    Did you find what you were seeking? We have helped many people find individual names or places, so email if you have any difficulty.
    Tip: Put quotation marks around a specific name or item of two words or more, and then experiment with different combinations of the words without quote marks. We are currently researching some of the names most recently searched for — check the list here. Maybe you have searched for one of them?
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