Skagit River Journal
(Clipper Shingle Mill)
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First attempts were made to establish village
in Skagit over 75 years ago

Mount Vernon Daily Herald [1] , Oct. 10, 1931
Transcribed and annotated by Noel V. Bourasaw, Skagit River Journal of History & Folklore, 2013

(LaConner Waterfront)
LaConner waterfront, circa 1895, courtesy of our friend and colleague, Paul Dorpat, who turns 75 this year. Click on the photo for an even larger panorama.

      The settlement and colonization of Skagit county dates back to the early 'sixties, although an effort was made as early as 1855 by the Ebey, Beam and Crockett families of Whidby Island [Whidbey] to establish homes on the north fork of the Skagit river just above the spot where a bridge now spans stream.
      Claims were staked out and preparations begun for the erection of cabins by the Islanders when the Indian war of 1855-56 broke out in the Northwest. The ladies returned to Coupeville in haste after only one night's stay in the valley, being thoroughly frightened by the unfriendly demonstrations of the Indians. Thomas P. Hastie, one of the earliest pioneers of the county who passed on many years ago, was authority for the facts concerning this settlement. He knew the Island people well and there is no doubt of the accuracy of the story.

Earliest attempts at settlement were on Fidalgo island
(Munks Hotel)
The grand-looking but short-lived William Munks Hotel on what became known as March's Point, circa 1890. Photo courtesy of Chechacos All, which has been reprinted and is again available at the Skagit County Historical Society Museum in LaConner.

      Earlier efforts were made unsuccessfully to make a homestead settlement on Fidalgo Island as early as 1853 by Enoch Compton and one John Carr (or Carey). They attempted to locate on what was later the home of the Munks family; built a cabin in a grove and occupied it together, one claiming the land to the north of the cabin, the other that to the south. Mr. Compton raised a crop of potatoes on his land and then he and Carr went to Whatcom to work and Carr died there. Settlement of Fidalgo Island was not really accomplished until 1858-59.
      To make a complete roster of the early settlers of Fidalgo, Guemes and the other islands of Skagit County would be next to impossible but among the earliest were William Munks, Enock Compton [Enoch], Charles W. and Robert K. Beale; H.A. March, credited with the arrival in 1863; James Cavanaugh, Shadrach and Richard Wooten, H.C. Barkhousen, George Ensley and George Cagey, all coming between 1863 and 1867.
      At that time James Mathews and H.P. O'Bryant were living on Guemes Island opposite the side of Anacortes little later, perhaps about 1869, came William Allard, Eldridge Sibley, Samuel McCarty, James Lathrow and John T. Griffin [and his equally important wife, Almina.
      The occupation of most of these early pioneers was farming. From a diary kept by William Munks it appears that in the summer of 1863 he raised oats, corn and wheat, as well as onions, potatoes and other vegetables, also that he made considerable butter and set out apple, cherry and other fruit trees. Munks opened a store in 1870 and served as Fidalgo Island's first postmaster.
      Progress on Fidalgo Island during the early 'seventies was rapid, its lands were surveyed about 1871, and by 1873 practically all the government land was taken, the inhabitants were enjoying semi-weekly communication by steamer with the outside world, while in their own settlement they had two stores, two blacksmith shops, a good public school. It is interesting to note that Miss Carrie M. White states that when she arrived in November 1873, she found only eight white women. The settlement at Guemes Island followed that of Fidalgo very shortly.
      The Skagit river valley did not escape by any means during the settlement of the islands along the coast as has been stated and no doubt the main land received many visits from prospectors during the Fraser river gold excitement in the 'fifties [1858]. The bars of the Skagit river were prospected at this time and quite a number of prospectors from Port Townsend and lower Puget Sound reported finding gold in small quantities. While they found gold widely distributed, it was not in paying quantities.

(Swinomish Slough)
Above is a jetty at the Hole in the Wall entrance to what became known as Swinomish Channel for those en route to LaConner, Pleasant Ridge and flats leading up to Padilla Bay. Courtesy of Honore Wilhelm's Coast Magazine, December 1908.

Calhoun and Sullivan become first permanent farmers near Pleasant Ridge
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      It is not easy to determine who was the first to establish a permanent settlement n the mainland of Skagit County. The honor is generally supposed to belong either to Samuel Calhoun or Michael J. Sullivan, but there are those who think that both of these men may have been antedated by others.
      Mr. Brunswick [actually Samuel Calhoun] has very kindly taken great pains to write out for the compilers an account of his settlement and pioneer experiences. He says that while working as a shipwright at Utsalady, he was seized by a desire to find out what was across the bay in the gap he saw between the hills; so, in the spring of 1863, he hired an Indian to go with him on an exploring expedition. The Indian had been dubbed Sam Gallon on account of his having once stolen a gallon of whiskey and swallowed the same in an incredibly short time. they crossed the bay and ascended Sullivan slough, following the right-hand branch, to the vicinity of Pleasant Ridge, where, in a beautiful red cedar grove, they encamped for the night.
      Next morning Mr. Calhoun sent the Indian with his canoe to the mouth of the north fork, while he himself climbed a tall tree on Pleasant Ridge ad took a view of the surroundings.
      "I was fairly delighted with the prospect," he writes, "I thought it the most beautiful sight that I had ever beheld. 'Here,' I said to myself, 'is a country within range of my vision that will support a million people. Here is my home where I shall spend the remainder of my life.'" He then made his way to the mouth of the river, wading tule swamps and creeks, found his Indian, returned to Utsalady and began preparation for settlement. [EN 2]
      The county appealed to Mr. Calhoun as it would to few others from the fact that he was familiar as a boy with marsh land and had seen considerable diking done. He failed not to note the apparent richness of the soil, the protection from surf which the islands afford, the numerous sloughs and creeks offering facilities for water transportation. All in all he considered those Swinomish tidelands the best body of tide marsh he had ever seen.
      As the site for his home, Mr. Calhoun chose an old Indian encampment close to Sullivan slough, but above the reach of the tides. His claim is now the home of Isaac Dunlap. He was fortunate in finding an excellent garden spot of about three-quarters of an acre, in which he planted potatoes and garden seeds brought from Utsalady. That fall he had all the vegetables he could use and some to give away.
      After planting the garden, he went to Utsalady to work for three or four weeks and it was upon his return from this trip that he first met Michael J. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan had settled on a place nearby. He might easily have been there when Calhoun first came and escaped notice, for had he been a smuggler and hiding away from custom-house officers he would have been comparatively safe in the secluded retreat he then occupied.

LaConner rises on the Swinomish slough
      At the time this settlement was made the Swinomish Indians were in rather bad repute among the whites and quite a number of minor troubles were laid at their door, as might be expected, during the pioneering era of the county. In strong contrast to those irritable times, the Swinomish Indian reservation today presents an encouraging and satisfying picture of Indian progress, contentment and prosperity. Schools, churches, organized government and natural commercial development have done their work remarkably well.
      It was not long before the Swinomish flats began to settle up with rapidity and the first trading post was established in May 1867, upon the present site of LaConner by Alonzo Low. The enterprise failed, however, fourteen months later and Thomas Hayes became the next Swinomish trader in 1868. It was during his time that Swinomish post office was established. J.S. Conner, after whom the town was named, succeeded Hayes and became LaConner's first permanent business man. Michael Sullivan, Samuel Calhoun, E.T. Dodge, Robert White, Harvey Wallace, James Williamson, John Cornelius, James Harrison and W.Y. Deere soon settled back on the flats and farming was started in earnest.
      The year 1871 brought a number of settlers, among whom Isaac Jennings and family. Those settlers Mr. Jennings was able to recall as living on the flats at that time, in addition to the ones already mentioned, were the following: The Manchester family, south of LaConner; William Woodward, a bachelor, north of LaConner; Edward Bellou, a bachelor in the same locality; a bachelor known as "Pink Man"; the Terrace family, Michael Hintz, James O'Laughlin, Charles Miller, C.A. D'Arcy.
      G.W.L. Allen, Isaac Chilbert, a minister named Thompson, who used to preach occasionally at the McCormick farm; Laurin L. Andrews, a young merchant on the reservation and Thomas Calhoun. In addition to those there were Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Wallace, on Beaver march near Pleasant Ridge; Albert and Milton Leamer, brothers of Mrs. Wallace, and John Wallace, Mrs. David Leamer, mother of Albert and Milton and of Mrs. Wallace, settled near Pleasant Ridge in October 1871. Frederick Eyre was also in the country, though not a settler at that time [3]. David Culver came to the flats around 1872; James Gilliland was in charge of the telegraph station at LaConner in 1872 and for many years afterward.

Early crops and finances
      The Swinomish settlement was not without some of the conveniences of civilized life in the late sixties and early seventies. Already two of the [Puget] sound steamers were contending for their trade, the fifty-ton wheeler, Mary Woodruff, John Cosgrove, captain, and the J.B. Libby, John A. Suffern, captain. They plied between Seattle and Whatcom, via the inside route as it was called Swinomish slough — making the round trip every week. At this time the freight was three dollars and a half a ton, but there were instances when the fierce competition between the two forced it down to a dollar or even less. The service, however, was not very satisfactory.
      E.A. Sisson said the Libby often got stuck on the flats, a Hole in the Wall near LaConner at the upper [southern] end of Swinomish slough, and would lie there contentedly for two or three days, charging the passengers a good rate for their board. In the spring of 1868, Mr. Calhoun established a small, flat-bottom schooner, named the Shoo-Fly, suited to transferring logging outfits, lumber, etc., in shallow water.
      The value of the country as a grain-raising district began to be realized very soon after diking commenced in 1864. Mrs. Rudene, then Mrs. John Cornelius, is quoted as saying that when she came from Whidby Island in 1868, Mr. Sullivan showed her a splendid field of oats, which he claimed were the first grown on the Swinomish flats. In the fall of 1869 three men had considerable crops of grain to be threshed, Michael Sullivan, Samuel Calhoun and E.T. Dodge.
      There was no threshing machine on the mainland, so Mr. Calhoun went to Whidby Island and brought men, horses and machine. Sullivan's crop was threshed first, then Calhoun's, then Dodge's. Calhoun got twelve hundred bushels of barley from twenty-one acres, and both the other gentlemen realized much better returns than they had expected, so the scoffers at those establishing farms on the mud flats were effectually silenced. In 1876, Mr. Calhoun brought a steam thresher to the flats, the first that was ever imported into Western Washington, and 1877 Whitney, Sisson & Company imported the second machine.
      The north end of Swinomish flats was not much behind the LaConner country in settlement. The first settler in the vicinity of Padilla Bay was James McClellan, a bachelor from California, who located about the year 1869 on the place now known as the Smith ranch [], but which he named Virgin Cove. For months his only neighbors were a family of Indians, who regarded him as an intruder on their lands, for they claimed by right of inheritance all the country between Indian slough and the Samish river. Several times Mr. McClellan thought these Indians were plotting to harm him but he put on a bold front, showed no tear and was not molested. It is almost certain that no white family would have been so patient with one whom they regarded a trespasser.
      Some time about 1870 or 1871, Michael Sullivan sold for $1,600 at the river bank the crop of barley raised on forty acres of dike land. The story went clear to Pennsylvania. R.E. Whitney, E.A. Sisson and others heard it and soon began planning to migrate to the Skagit. Whitney arrived at Padilla in August 1872, bought out a man named White and became one of Skagit County's leading and influential pioneer farmers. Settlement continued rapidly, river steamers came into common service and real development began.

Steamer Linnie and settlement at The Forks
      The little steamer, Linnie, carrying the first pioneers of Mount Vernon was the first to reach the big jam in the river here, arriving late in 1870 [4]. The first house to be built in the Skagit valley was erected in 1863 on the claim of W.H. Sartwell [5], about five miles blow Mount Vernon, the old Magnus Anderson place. On the south fork the earliest settlers were: Joseph Lisk, William Kayton, George Wilson, John Wilbur, E. McAlpine, L. Sweet, A.G. Kelly, R.E. Kelly and Joseph Wilson.
      On the north fork were John Guinea, William Hayes, William Oughton, Joseph Maddox, William Brown, H.A. Wright, Peter Vander Kuyl, Franklin Buck, Magnus Anderson, J.V. Abbott, David Anderson and a man named Underwood. Thomas P. Haste [actually Hastie] [6] homesteaded near Fir in June 1870 and fund quite a settlement in that community, which had been started by William Brown in 1865 on the slough bearing his name and Maddox about that year also settled on the north fork just above Brown's slough. The first religious service reported was conducted by Charles Washburn and D.E. Kimball [actually David E. Kimble].
      On the Kimble place the first school in Skagit valley was taught by Ida Lanning, a daughter of Isaac Lanning who had located here in 1869. She was followed a year later by G.E. Hartson, well known to all pioneers. Skagit City was the center of operation apparently, most public assemblages and meetings being held at Union Hall.
      In 1870 it was considered impractical to locate above the big jam near the site of the present Mount Vernon and most of the settlers took claims in the dense timber back of the lower river rather than try the regions above which have since become so attractive. The removal of the big jam in the river at Mount Vernon a few years later destroyed the prestige of Skagit City and permitted the rapid development of Mount Vernon.

First election in the valley, sternwheelers and Mount Vernon rises
      In 1871 the first election was held in the Skagit valley country, there being at that time but one precinct with a total vote of 61 in the election of a delegate to Congress. The candidates were Selucius Garfield [7] and J.V. McFadden. In those early days potatoes constituted the chief currency used in the community. Practically the only way of getting out of or into the Skagit valley was by boat.
      The fare at that time from Utsalady to Whatcom was five dollars and it took three days to make the trip. Harrison Clothier and Edward English founded Mount Vernon in 1877, purchasing ten acres of Jasper Gates. Clothier became postmaster in September 1877, mail being carried in a skiff from LaConner to Skagit City, and thence by foot to Mount Vernon. In 1876 the great work of the moving of log junk down the river had been undertaken by settlers and loggers and required two years to open the channel to Mount Vernon.
      The logging business which became so important a factor in the development of the Skagit valley seems to have come into existence as early as 1871. By the year 1875 there were hundreds of men engaged in logging at various points in the Skagit and Samish regions.

Upper Skagit and precious metals
      The settlement of the upper Skagit valley, while partaking of the same general condition which operated in the lower, was in the nature of the case later in time and slower in progress. It was, however, discovered at quite an early day that the upper Skagit valley was rich in the precious metals as well as in coal and iron and possessed also vast stores of the finest timber, while the land once cleared would yield the finest crops of all kinds.
      A.R. Williamson, a hop grower from Puyallup valley is credited with having been the first settler on the upper Skagit above the jam, settlings in 1871 []. The next settler appears to have been Rev. B.N.L. Davis, a Baptist minister. In 1873, Amasa Everett, Orlando Graham and Lafayette S. Stevens discovered coal near Hamilton. In 1875 their company was transporting coal in small quantities down the river in canoes to the head of the big jam.

Samish Delta area
      It is believed that Dan Dingwall started the earliest logging in this county on Samish island in 1867. Two years later Edward Barrington [8] and James Folansbee established a camp on Kayton's slough opposite the present town of Fir. In 1872 Thomas Moore and Alfred Dinsmore located a camp on the Skagit a mile above the junction. The camp of William Gage, a mile and a half below Mount Vernon, was established in 1874.
      Prosperity visited the early farmers on the tide lands and diking and clearing proceeded rapidly. Yields of one hundred bushels of oats to the acre brought money to the community and several farmers secured for their first crop from 3,000 to 5,000 bushels at prices high enough to put them in comparatively comfortable circumstances. The first major setback seems to have been the famous high tide of January 18, 1874, which destroyed several important dikes and dams and considerable property, building implements and stock.
      Daniel Dingwall was the first pioneer merchant of the Samish country having established a store in partnership with Thomas Hayes in the fall of 1869 on Samish island adjoining the Siwash slough. This Siwash slough was so called from the location upon it of 2,000 Siwashes engaged in fishing and hunting. They had a house 1,200 feet long by 75 feet wide. [9]
      The town of Edison was founded in the early 'Seventies upon land originally located by Ben Samson and Edward McTaggart [10]. The diking system was inaugurated by John Muller in 1871 by enclosing sixty acres of tide land. Daniel Sullivan, the same year, reclaimed one hundred sixty acres at a cost of $13,000. Schools were established in 1873 at the [Cutlar] homestead. Among the notable early settlers was Captain J.M. Warner [11].
      Hard times hit the country in 1874. An interesting scale of prices in 1878 shows the following: sugar, 8 pounds for $1.00; flour, $7.00 per barrel; tea, 50 to 60 cents per pound; nails, 7 cents a pound; butter, 73 cents a pound; hay, $14.00 per ton; oats $17.00 to $30.00; potatoes, $13.00 to $20.00; carrots $15.00; salt, one cent per pound; beef, hardly obtainable at any price. Wages for ordinary labor ranged from $40.00 to $75.00.
      In pursuance of this sketch of the various early settlements of the Skagit country we may note the beginnings of the Sedro-Woolley settlement as the work of Joseph Hart and David Batey, both natives of England and the latter ex-president of the Skagit Pioneer association, who established themselves one mile southwest of the present town in August 1878. Mr. Batey's wife, Georgiana Batey, and two sons, John Henry and Bruce, joined him in 1880.

Upper Skagit settlers
      James M. Young, John Duffy, Thomas and Tom Taggary [maybe Taggard or Taggart] became established in the same year a few miles east of Mr. Batey's location, and in the fall of that year also William A. Dunlop and William Woods, former friends of Mr. Batey, took up claims adjoining him on the east. They found the woods at that time swarming with bears, cougars, [illegible] and other wild animals.
      Other settlers of 1878-79 and 1880 in the upper Skagit valley were John Stewart, William Gohlson, John Kelly, Stephen Benson and sons, Jerry and Dan, after whom Benson slough is named [12], [Lyman] Everett, James Cochrane, Dr. Lyman [13]; Emmett Van Fleet, whose family was for a time the only white family on the river between Sterling and Lyman, Frank R. Hamilton, John M. Roach, S.S. Tingley, Michael and John Day and Joseph Zook [14].
      The earliest settler in the vicinity of Birdsview was Charles von Pressentin, who made his location at that point in May 1877. At that time there were five settlers above him on the river and two between him and Mount Vernon, the latter place being his post office. Tiber and brush were so dense upon his place that he was compelled to cut a pathway even to transport a sack of flour to his cabin. Ten million feet of timber were cut from his claim, one of the first to be logged upon the upper river. In 1878 B.D. Minkler built a water power mill on the south side of the river and the first post office in that section was established at Birdsview in 1880, with Mr. Minkler first postmaster.
      The first actual attempt to divide Whatcom county and create Skagit county was made in 1883, when a petition was circulated. LaConner [15] was to be the county seat. The legislature in the fall of 1883 passed the bill creating Skagit county. The bill thus [formally] organizing the county was introduced by James N. Power [16] in the territorial council and Orrin Kincaid in the house and received the approval of William A. Newell, governor of the territory. LaConner was named as the temporary county seat.
      The county seat fight resulting from the creation of Skagit county, as might be supposed, was a hot one. LaConner was opposed by Mount Vernon, Avon, Bayview and Atlanta and the campaign finally became Mount Vernon against the field. The result was that after election, which took place Nov. 4, 1884, Mount Vernon received 250 majority. The great features of the election seemed to be the great strength of the combined river interest and vote and the strong sympathy between the Samish country and river district. . . .
      From the available census returned it appears that the population in 1885 was 2,816; in 1887, 3,386, in 1889, 6,011; in 1889 the census shows 4,408 males and 1,703 females.

First Skagit County Pioneer Picnic
      A most interesting event happened in the spring of 1891 when the Skagit county pioneer association was organized in Mount Vernon. The following is a list of the members enrolled at the first meeting:
      James H. Nash, Thomas P. Hastie, Clara Hastie, William Gage, Henry A. Wright, Charles Villeneuve, Richard Garland, Peter Van Kuyl, Etna Garrett, J.M. Zeilller, Clarinda Gates, Mary J. Fritz, Ida Gulverson, B.A. Villeneuve, G.E. Hartson, Maggie Davis, Laura Hastie, Ella Washburn, Eleanor Jones, Mary A. Jones, Charles W. Jones, Augustus Hartson, Jasper Gates, G.P. Pritchard, Franklyn Buck, Elijah Watkins, Otto Klement, J.V. Abbot,
      Orrin Kincaid, Esther Smith, Sarah Gates, P.B. Watkins, Mahallah Hanson, James Abbott, Emily L. Gage, Mattie Buck, Edward Jones, Thomas J. Jones, Maria Knox, Mary Gates, Matilda Hartson, Harrison Clothier, Kate H. Washburn, Rebecca Hanson, Oliver Tingley, J.R. Dale, James J. Conner, N.P. Christenson, Mathilda Christenson, Robert Christenson, Laura Christenson, William A. Moores, D.E. Kimble; Honorary members: Mollie Klement, C.C. Hansen, William Knox. [17]

1. Harry Averill, Mount Vernon Daily Herald
      The publisher of the Herald at the time of this article was Harry Averill, born in 1881. He began writing for subscription history books at the turn of the 20th century and was one of the main researchers for the Illustrated History of Skagit & Snohomish Counties in 1906. Twenty years later he became the publisher of the Herald and continued in that position for three decades. If you have any history articles by Averill we hope you will share them.[Return]

Calhoun and Sullivan]
      During our collaboration with the late Tom Robinson, the author of a yet-unpublished book about the history of western Skagit county, he shared this important result of his research on the two original farmers.
      Mike [Sullivan] was working at Utsalady at the time of the 1860 census, so Sam [Calhoun] and Mike must have had at least a nodding acquaintance before they ran into one another at Little Sullivan Slough. Remember that we are not absolutely certain which one was on the Flats first, though I suspect that it was Sam. Someone may have preceded them both, though not the New Brunswickers mentioned in the 1906 [Illustrated] History, and that one probably did not. Even if he were, he was not in any way a "settler" before them.
      Sam navigated up to Pleasant Ridge on Sullivan Slough, but he would have found Mike at Little Sullivan Slough, now just another ditch, which feeds into Sullivan Slough. It runs to your left as you drive to La Conner along the La Conner-Whitney Road from the McLean Road.

      No one was a better authority on that area. We still miss him. He passed away in June 2012. See our full Journal profile of Calhoun and Sullivan. Read more about all those early expeditions and settlement in the Skagit valley in this transcribed 1906 Illustrated History chapter. [Return]

3. Fredrick Eyre
      Eyre worked on the telegraph at Swinomish, 1870-71 but did not immediately settle here. After working on Dodge's farm in Dodge Valley, he opened a livery stable in LaConner in 1890. In 1892 he built the first rural telephone line in the county. In 1906 he was elected county assessor and moved to Mount Vernon. The late Anna Harrison, wife of state legislator James Madison Harrison of Skiyou, was a daughter of Frederick Eyre. [Return]

4. Homesteaders on the Linnie
      See this Journal site about the Linnie and search for other stories on the site about these very early settler forays on the Skagit river itself. [Return]

5. Sartwell Cabin
      See these Journal features for photos and background: Sartwell and Magnus Anderson. [Return]

6. Alexander R. Underwood and Thomas Hastie
      Underwood, an 1858 Fraser river gold miner, was the first known settler on the North fork of the Skagit river, in 1865 on a patch of land later owned by longtime pioneer Peter Vander Kuyl. According to an 1891 Puget Sound Mail story, he was acknowledged for having built the first white man's cabin on the Swinomish flats, in 1864 on the east side of what is now Sullivan's slough, a few months before Samuel Calhoun and Michael Sullivan began growing crops on the Flats. He disappeared from the county in 1891. The story about Underwood is at our old domain. It will soon be moved to this domain at this address. We will soon post a complete Hastie series. For now, see this Journal profile and search site for other Hastie stories. [Return]

7. Selucius Garfield
      As of 1870, elections for Delegate to Congress were conducted in odd years. The election mentioned, of Garfield v. McFadden, was staged in 1872. Read our three-part series on Garfield here. He was easily the most colorful politician of Washington Territorial days. [Return]

8. Edward Barrington
      Barrington was, oddly enough, the namesake of the town of Darrington, as we will establish with a profile later in 2014. [Return]

9. Siwash
      Siwash was a derogatory term for Indians, derived from the French word, sauvage, commonly used by French trappers and traders. [Return]

10. Edison
      See our multi-part series on Edison at. That story will soon be moved to this domain. [Return]

11. Cutlar and Warner
      Lloyd Cutlar (often misspelled as Cutler) was the protagonist of what became the "Pig War" on San Juan Island in 1859. Read more about the war. Read two of several Journal profiles of Cutlar here and here.
      Capt. John Warner was the homesteader who opened up the Prairies district north of Sedro and Woolley by building the first primitive road that followed what is now Prairie Road east from Edison and Bow. He was a Great Lakes native who moved cross-country to be a '49er during the same time that Sedro founder Mortimer Cook had a store in the same area. He also lived on the Thompson river when Cook had a ferry there and he likely was Cook's advance scout for settling the town of Sedro on the Skagit river. See our complete Journal profile on Warner and his namesake prairie here. [Return]

12. Benson slough
      "Steamboat Dan" Benson was a sternwheeler captain on the Skagit river and Puget sound and most active in the heyday of the boats, in the 1880s before the railroads. See a Journal profile of the family here. The creek was renamed for the neighboring homesteader, a Mr. Hansen. [Return]

13. Lorenzo Lyman
      This article helps us answer the question of why Lorenzo Lyman was referred to as a country doctor when he lived near the future town of Lyman in 1880 after joining the short-lived gold rush at Ruby Creek. After considerable research we determined that he was not a physician and instead was one of the most important jurists in the early days of Montana. Now we know that the misidentification goes back as 1931. He filled out the paperwork for the new town of Lyman in 1880 but returned to Montana and the village did not grow until Otto Klement and then Birdsey Minkler began attracting business in the mid and late-1880s. See our profile of Lyman here: [Return]

14. Zook
      We only have very flimsy material on the two upriver pioneers, John M. Roach and Joseph Zook. We hope that a descendant or researcher can help us build a record on them. Although we have profiled or briefly noted the rest of the pioneers mentioned here, we welcome more information about them. [Return]

15. LaConner
      We want to note here that in 1931, the style of Herald placed a space between "La" and Conner. The name was spelled both ways since the inception of the town. Unless we are quoting a document, the Journal spells the name, LaConner, in order for easier global searching by readers. [Return]

16. James Power
      James A. Power (1845-1923) was a printer employed in the Federal printing office at Washington City until he moved to Washington Territory in the early 1870s. He began publishing the second newspaper in Whatcom, the Bellingham Bay Mail, on July 5, 1873. After serving as postmaster and judge and other civic offices, the downturn of the local coal mines by 1879 convinced him that he should take the inducements offered by the citizens of LaConner and relocate the newspaper to LaConner, the growing town in the southern half of Whatcom county.
      He moved his printing plant from the old brick courthouse in Whatcom on Aug. 30, 1879 and published the first issue of the renamed Puget Sound Mail in LaConner on September 13. In November 1883, he passed a bill in the Territorial legislature, with the considerable aid of Orrin Kincaid, splitting the county at the Chuckanut range and creating the new Skagit county. After selling the newspaper in 1885, he became a successful farmer in the LaConner area, growing both hops and other crops. He was also a judge in the locality and help other offices. We will profile Power in full in 2014. [Return]

17. 1891 Pioneers meeting
      This is the first full listing of attendees that we know of on the Web. If you see a name you recognize and have background information, please share it with us. [Return]

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Story posted on Sept. 22, 2013
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