Site founded Sept. 1, 2000. We passed 4.5 million page views on Nov. 29, 2010
The home pages remain free of any charge. We need donations or subscriptions to continue.
Please pass on this website link to your family, relatives, friends and clients.

(SLSE Railroad)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
Subscribers Edition, where 450 of 700 stories originate
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)

Skagit County Times, issues from 1902
Part One: transcribed various issues from that year

We continue our transcription of early Skagit County newspapers.
Masthead information with publishing information

      Masthead information (only available from June 26, 1902 issue): The Times Printing Company. Entered at the post office at Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Office at corner of State and Third streets. Subscription rates: One year, in advance, $1.50. Advertising rates $1.50 per inch per month, subject to reduction for time and space. Official paper of Sedro-Woolley.
      [Journal ed. note: no publisher or editor noted. Very frustrating.]

Find below and at links
Profile of the Times . . . Early 1902 issues
almost-full June 26, 1902 issue . . . later 1902 issues

(Metcalf Street)
This 1907 photo is of a slightly later scene but this is how Metcalf Street looked while Seneca G. Ketchum lived and edited here. We are looking south, with the large Osterman House Hotel and Donnelly's Building dominating the left (east) and Morris Schneider's building on the west. The Grand Central Hotel is at the southern end where Metcalf dead-ended up against State Street (until 1965). Photo courtesy of Mike Aiken postcard collection. We hope that readers will have in their family collections any photos of downtown Woolley or Sedro in the early days. We especially seek any photos from before 1900. And we always like to read copies of Skagit County Times issues that Seneca edited from 1898-1902. Facsimile copies or scans are fine; we never ask for your originals.

Profile of the Times
      We apologize for our many contradictory notes about the Times in several Journal articles over the past ten years. The reason for the confusion is that so many records provide so much contradictory information and claims that were difficult to correct without additional research. The main problem is that almost all issues of the Times published before the Teen years burned in various fires. Some annual volumes are missing altogether; others have only one or a few issues. So we have had to assemble the jig-saw puzzle with only a few of the pieces, and few of those connect. We try again, after more hours of research because the Skagit County Times is the second most-important source of facts for our early history; only the Illustrated History of Skagit & Snohomish Counties, of 1906 (hereafter 1906 History), is more important.
      To review, the Times launched on Saturday, Jan. 24, 1891. That issue is long gone. The first issue we have is from May 2, 1896, which is numbered Volume 6, number 15. We had to laboriously count back to discover that original date. Even the 1906 History was wrong on that matter, and it was also wrong about the first publisher. We discovered a hint of the actual publisher in the Dec. 5, 1891, and then triangulated, with the help of a family descendant to discover that Ambrose B. Ernst, a Kansas native, was at the helm. He went on to be lauded as the "father of Seattle playgrounds." By November, Fred L. Henshaw, a fellow Kansan, was publisher and Henshaw soon took on another Kansan partner, Jake E. Kulp.
      The Times was actually the second newspaper in town, following the Sedro Press, which was launched by Publisher George W. Hopp on April 18, 1890. We know very little about the Press, except a pioneer memory of it in that summer and that it continued through the "early '90s" under Editor Ed Palmer. It may have discontinued publication after being consumed in one of those early fires. In fact, we have never seen a copy of it. The only way anyone knew about it in modern decades is because pioneer Ethel Van Fleet Harris showed the only surviving copy of it to Courier-Times publisher Frank Evans in 1953.

(Carnegie Library)
Junius Brutus Alexander and his family from Staten Island, New York, used connections to seek Andrew Carnegie's personal donation for a library. They succeeded and our Carnegie Library opened in 1915 at the southern end of what is now the footprint for the high school gymnasium. The building was razed in 1964-65 in favor of the gym. Such a travesty when they could have been planned side by side.

      We do not know how long Henshaw remained in charge; we have no solid information until 1896. All we do know is that the paper was apparently on rocky financial footing and that in 1892 it was taken over by Junius B. Alexander, who apparently moved it down to new Sedro, near the present high school location. Alexander was the young capitalist from Staten Island, New York, who would be the leader of the Twin Cities Business League, which worked throughout the 1890s to effect a merger of the two towns. He would later be the conduit for philanthropist Andrew Carnegie's personal investment in the town library, which opened in October 1915. Unfortunately we do not know whom Alexander set up as publisher in those early days.
      Our next firm information is from the issue of May 2, 1896, and that masthead lists the Gillis brothers as editors and publishers. Alexander recruited Walter and Albert Gillis, who were also connected with Snohomish County, to run the day-to-day operations of the Times and they eventually bought into the company. We do not know how long they were in charge before that issue date. The Gillis brothers were also known for their thespian roles in county plays, including productions at the Bowery Square or Opera House, which stood just across the alley from behind the present Jungquist Furniture. The brothers were also partners with some of their other brothers in a local construction firm.

    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 and duvet covers and bed linens. Order directly from their website and learn more about this intriguing local business.

      The Times was moved from an undisclosed location to the present location of the Mission Market building, at the southeast corner of State and Third streets, sometime in 1899. By then our most fully documented pioneer publisher — and a classic Western editor character — Seneca G. Ketchum, had taken over. What a wild ride he had at the helm. The descendant of a family of religious clerics and businessmen in New York and Ontario, He had spent the late 1880s and most of the 1890s as a "tramp editor," mainly in British Columbia and for awhile in Spokane. That meant he hit the bottle pretty hard and when he was no longer welcome at one newspaper or town, he flopped onto a freight car and moved along to where another town needed a printer or editor so badly that they didn't worry about his resume.
      Ketchum came to Sedro-Woolley in the summer of 1898, not so much the tramp at that point in time, because he brought his new wife with him and she gave birth to Seneca Jr. here that August. For once Ketchum's timing was dead-on perfect. Alexander, still the financial angel for the paper, was assembling the final pieces for the towns' merger and he wanted someone forceful to sing that tune to the choir, not only here on the upper Skagit, but at the county courthouse and the state legislature, where the legalities needed to be settled. Our only disappointment is that not a single issue from those wild pre-merger days of 1898 exists (unless, of course, a reader has a copy in a family scrapbook — be still, our foolish heart). We also cannot peg who really owned the newspaper in those days. One source says that Alexander still owned the whole operation and just leased it to both the Gillis brothers and to Ketchum. But both of those publishers insisted they were the owners. Maybe the sale was never completed to either one.
      From the start, other editors all over the Northwest remarked what a boon Ketchum was for Woolley, most agreeing with the assessment of the editor who insisted he was both a "wit and a poet," the latter mostly in honor of his reworking of a favorite poem of the day. He earned hundreds of rounds of whiskey for his brilliant rendition of "Wandering Willie Waterhouse from Walla Walla Wash," when he had actually stolen the kernel of it from the original author before applying his Ketchum full-court press. Frontier headline-news, including town-booming and mergers and such, sold a lot of papers so people all over the state followed the merger with great interest, and if there was any doubt as to the outcome of the fevered betting on the planned vote, Alexander figured he had his glorious ace in the hole. His timing was excellent also because he arrived at nearly the moment in time when Sedro-Woolley climbed out of the crushing nationwide Depression, which had drug on for nearly five years, and became a fat, rich marketplace. Besides the gold dust that came back in the pockets of local boys, local farmers, especially, brought in much-needed cash from the produce, meat, butter and other products that the Klondike miners craved and demanded. For the next roughly 14 years, Sedro-Woolley was the place to make money — and soon Skagit County in general — and Seneca was finally garnering all that applause — even from the bourgeois capitalists, and a decent salary, both of which had escaped him in the past.
      By 1902, the year of these transcripts, the actual editor or publisher is not apparent because the masthead does not list the name of either, an odd lapse. One source claimed Ketchum was out of the picture by 1901. But we knew that was wrong when we found the April 2, 1903, Times issue, with Ketchum obviously the publisher. After seeing his mercurial relationships with owners of other newspapers where he edited, however, we concede it is possible that Ketchum was fired or suspended, maybe by the real owner Alexander, maybe more than once. What we know for sure is that he died Aug. 20, 1903, age 39, of a severe case of bottles of John Barleycorn to the mid-section. He may have cleaned up his act by Woolley time, but the damage of two decades imbibing a lake full of booze was too much, even for his constitution.
      His successors as Times publishers are just as confusing, time-wise, because of contradictory records. These are the candidates. The 1906 History claims that to A. C. Edwards bought the paper in 1901 and in turn sold it in December 1902 to "W.H. Pilcher, a Kansan, who is the present publisher and editor." The Feb. 7, 1901 Times masthead lists Seneca G. Ketchum & Gus B. Leach as co-publishers, the same masthead as Feb. 22, 1900, yet we find no other record of Leach in the area. We bet our money safely on Pilcher as the immediate successor because the 1905-06 Polk Directory recorded Wallace H. Pilcher, editor and publisher, with George Ragsdale, partner. Pilcher faded away from mention very quickly, but we do not know why and we wonder why his wife, Annie, continued here as a photographer for nearly another decade. Wallace died in Chicago in 1916. In the March 22, 1906, Times issue we found George B. Ragsdale as the publisher — "recently secured control of the Times," with J.B. Stowers as editor. Although Ragsdale stayed here for at least another decade, a 1949 Courier-Times commemorative issue noted that John B. Stowers died here in 1920 after editing the Times for 13 years, from 1907 onwards. Frank Evans bought the Times on Jan. 31, 1918, (his family then owned it for six more decades) and then merged it with the Skagit County Courier on May 20, 1920, to launch the Courier-Times brand, which still exists in name only in 2011.
      That leads to the last important note. Yes, there was a competing newspaper in town. Nearly every Western, market town of 1,000 population or more had competing newspapers as a rule back then, one Republican, one Democrat. Back in 1901, the rising local Republican kingmaker, David Donnelly, backed the Courier secretly, so well masked that even old-timers were shocked when they read Catherine McClintock's 1935 Courier-Times profile of Donnelly and discovered the details of the arrangement. For the rest of their existence, both papers were located in Woolley, just three blocks apart. New Sedro had disappeared by then, due to fire or the business owners packing up and moving to Woolley. Even though Junius B. Alexander was very much of the moneyed class, he was a loyal Democrat — and the Times stood that way, because his family originally hailed from Virginia, back many generations, and they were enmeshed with the Democratic regime. The Courier seems to have been less prominent and profitable than the Times, but again we are not sure because not a single volume of Couriers survives. Indeed, we do not know if Evans even received them.

March 6, 1902
Headline stories
Train service on B.B&E.R.R.
      The Bellingham Bay & Eastern railroad is rushing final preparations for the inauguration of passenger and freight service, which will occur on Thursday, March 6th. For the first thirty days or so the train service will consist of two mixed passenger and freight train between Fairhaven and Wickersham. The train will remain overnight at Wickersham, running down to the Bay in the morning. Upon arriving here it will turn around and go back, leaving Fairhaven for Wickersham between 11 and 12 a.m. It will again run down to the Bay and leave Fairhaven for Wickersham on the last trip at 3:30 or 4 p.m.
      Some time between the 1st and 15th of April a solid Northern Pacific train will be put on, running through from Seattle to Fairhaven. The company has 200 men at work doing the finishing work for putting the line in operation. J.R. Wayland, of Wickersham, has a force of men building fences and cattle guards. A.L. McCoy, with 60 men, a work train and a steam shovel, with headquarters at Park, is ballasting the road in first-class shape.
      Andrew Ecklund has a force of men near Idlewild [unknown location] trimming the slopes of cuts, removing all trees and rocks that could possibly roll down upon the track and cause accidents. Peter Bremmer, of Fairhaven, has a force of men putting in new switches between Fairhaven and Lake Whatcom.
      The new road will open and make tributary to the Bay cities a conservable new territory. It also brings us into touch with Sedro-Woolley, McMurray and other thriving communities on the Seattle & International; which we have hitherto had no relations because of the round-about way of reaching them. The opening of this road marks an important event in the commercial and business progress of the Bay cities. -- Fairhaven Herald

(Swastika Building)
      The Coddington store was in the center rooms of the Swastika Building, which still stands at the southeast corner of Metcalf and Ferry streets. built in the months following the Great Woolley Fire of 1911 of July 1911, it was named and decorated for an ancient Hindu good-luck symbol.

Coddington & McGowan
(bullet) The attention of our readers this week is called to the advertisement of Messrs. Coddington & McGowan, proprietors of the new store in the Woolley building, at the corner of Metcalf and Woodworth streets. They expect to have their store open for business by the 125th of this month. Mr. Coddington expects to make his home here and will move his family from LaConner as soon as he can find a vacant house. [Journal ed. note: we note that the spelling style for the town was LaConner throughout the Times.]

Green Shingle Co.
(bullet) The Green Shingle Company has about completed its new mill at the junction of the Cokedale spur with the Great Northern railway and will begin the manufacture of shingles within the next two weeks. Both the mill and the kiln are built upon the latest plans and new up-to-date machinery has been installed. Mr. W.W. Caskey, a member of the company, has personally supervised the erection of the plant, which, when completed, will be equal to any its size in the state.

City and county News
    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.
(bullet) Albert G. Mosier goes to look after his mining interests in the Northwest. Mrs. C.E. Bingham and Mrs. W.T. Odlin [banker and his cashier] accompanied them as far as Seattle, returning to this city Sunday. C.E. Bingham made a business trip to Arlington Tuesday [opening Arlington State Bank] Miss Holbrooke, of Portland [daughter of Bingham's partner, Merritt Holbrook, in the original 1890 in old Sedro] lectured at the Presbyterian church, Monday evening, to the Christian Endeavor Society. Q.P. Reno, cahier for C.E. Gingham & Co., visited friends in Mount Vernon on Sunday.
(bullet) Remember Lot, late of Gomorrah? He was made of clay. So are our lots, made of dirt, and dirt cheap. Job lots of lots for sale all over town. Come in and help yourself from samples on our bargain counters. Ketchum the real estate man, Donnelly block. Don't be lotless longer.
(bullet) A collision between the work train and a freight engine occurred in the Northern Pacific yards just north of the depot early Monday morning. One of the engines lost is cowcatcher, while a box car that was between the two engines was pretty badly smashed. No one was injured.
(bullet) David M. Donnelly was a Seattle visitor the first of the week.
(bullet) Charley Chapman, the night hostler, is in Seattle this week.

(bullet) Attorneys Charles Gable and Seabury were Mount Vernon visitors Tuesday and Wednesday
(bullet) [Attorney] J. Henry Smith was in Olympia last week on legal business.
(bullet) Prosecuting Attorney M.P. Hurd was a visitor in this city Sunday, on a return trip from various points along the upper Skagit.
(bullet) Dr. Boutzka, who has recently located in McMurray for the practice of his profession, has been very ill in this city the past week.
(bullet) Miss Lena Soules visited her parents in Mount Vernon last Sunday. [Journal ed. note: her father was Thomas W. Soules, the man who platted Burlington in memory of his home area of Burlington, Vermont.]
(bullet) Joseph M. Hoyt, the Prairie manufacturer of Washington red cedar shingles, was a pleasant caller at the Times office last week.
(bullet) J.A. Clark, of the bottling works, was in Mount Vernon and Milltown the first of the week [Journal ed. note: could have been the principal of Sedro Ice, which also iced the Northern Pacific rail cars before refrigerated cars appeared about two decades later]
(bullet) Landlord Charles E. Villeneuve], of the [Hotel] Royal, is a Mount Vernon visitor today. [Journal ed. note: Villeneuve, who was building the new St. Charles Hotel a block to the west on Ferry Street, was selling the Royal to Frank Bergeron of Clear Lake.] Also: We understand the empty storeroom in the Hotel Royal has been rented to parties who will occupy it with a hardware store. [[Journal ed. note: this is most intriguing because it would have been a hardware contender with Fritsch Bros., which was very established diagonally at the opposite corner of the 700 block of Metcalf Street. As we learn from reading a subsequent report in another issue (see above), this business was Lamont Hardware
(bullet) The Eagles have changed their meetings to Friday nights, instead of Sunday afternoon.
(bullet) R.T. Smith, of Tacoma, has purchased two lots on Nelson Street and will build a residence.
(bullet) J.T. Davis will shortly move his barber shop into a portion of the building occupied by R.K. Dunham as a tailor shop.
(bullet) "What insurance did for Melvina" will be given by local talent of Sedro-Woolley at Hamilton on Saturday evening, the 15th.
(bullet) Parties having horses for sale should see Ratchford & McCabe, the blacksmiths, as they have numerous inquiries for the same. For George Ratchford, see: this profile.
(bullet) Samuel E. Shea [saloon owner], George Rogers and ex-county commissioner A.H. Rogers, of Clear Lake, were business visitors in this city yesterday.
(bullet) Just arrived! A bi shipment of Dress Skirts, in the new weaves and of the latest styles. Don't fail to ask to get them. M. Schneider.

Clear Lake items
(bullet) W.O. Beddall [general store owner] and Frank Bradsberry [lumber man] were in Seattle on business intent during the past week.
(bullet) J.D. Campbell, who rec3ntly purchased a ranch just across the border, has been in this town during the past week looking after business interests.
(bullet) The resumption of work by the shingle mill the other day seemed to have a disquieting effect upon the nerves of the knot sawyers, and a temporary lull in that industry again ensued, as a result of which a new crew has been engaged.
(bullet) A turn in real estate was effected a few days since whereby Abram Smith now owns and is living in the neat little cottage previously owned and occupied by J.H. McLaughlan. The latter has removed to his residence recently purchased of O. Gunderson. It is also reported that Mr. McLaughlan has purchased the substantial dwelling of A.H. Rogers [politician].
(bullet) A deal has been effected whereby H.J. Schwinn takes over the balance of Bryan & Kennedy's stock of merchandise, consisting of about $2,000 worth of groceries, dry goods, boots and shoes, in their establishment at Marysville. The above goods are entirely new and in first -class condition and purchased under such favorable terms that as soon as Mr. Schwinn can secure their transfer to Clear Lake, where they will be included in his already large stock, some good bargains may be expected.
(bullet) Mrs. Dinwiddie, of Seattle, is visiting her daughter, Mrs. Wellman, of this town.

Morris Schneider
(bullet) Our Millinery opening with be March 15th. A grand display of Spring Millinery — Morris Schneider [original building on the bowling alley lots on Metcalf Street]. Mrs. A.J. Steier will have her spring opening of millinery Friday and Saturday, March 14th and 15th, and wishes to announce that she will have a complete line of new up-to-date millinery. Every one is cordially invited to call and inspect her goods and get her prices.
(bullet) Fritsch Brothers, dealers in hardware. Stoves and all kinds of cooking utensils, crockery & Glassware. Windows and doors, paints and oils, firearms & Ammunition.
(bullet) C.E. Bingham & Co. Bankers, established 1890, Insurance, banking, real estate. Foreign and domestic exchange bought and sold. Money loaned on approved securities. Fire, life and accident insurance. Highest price paid for marketable warrants.
(bullet) J.F. Mott & Co., Ph.O. [see: the Ray Jordan transcripts in this issue] If it isn't an Eastman it isn't a Kodak. We are sole agents for the Eastman Kodak Co. From $1 to $100. The Brownie $1.00 camera is a perfect instrument, taking a picture 2 1/4x2 1/4 inches. Films, papers, plates, developing trays, printing frames, mounts , tripods, print rollers, toning and developing solutions. Also appears in all sizes: Solio, Dekko, Veloz W.D. Platium, Aristo Platine and Blue Prints.
(bullet) Horace Condy, Jeweler and optician, Sedro-Woolley. Hamilton watches are high grade. They are made in 18 and 16 sizes only and 17 jewels adjusted is the lowest grade. There is no better American watch made — few as good.
(bullet) Phillips, Carstens & Co. Woolley meat market. Wholesale Butchers and packers, Live Stock bought and sold. Fresh and cured meats to markets and shops. [Journal ed. note: successor to the Donnelly brothers].
(bullet) People's Market, William Todd, prop. Fresh and Cured meats, Sedro-Woolley [he married Lizzie Warner, daughter of Prairie pioneer John M. Warner].
(bullet) See my watches, prices from $2, a written guarantee with every watch I sell. Horace Condy, jewelry, graduate gifts.

Advertised letter list
      The following letters remained uncalled for at the Sedro-Woolley postoffice on March 1, 1902, and if not called for within two weeks will be sent to the dead letter office at Washington, D.C.
      Dan Ames [Anes?]; Miss Jennie Brooks; Hon. T.H. Brown; Edward Burns; Jackson Cotter; Mary F. Haight [a prominent Bellingham columnist]; Miss Gertie Mosher; Oliver McConnell; John O'Hara; Thomas Robinson; C.J. Roberts; Stoddard Shaffer; Miss Eva Wambolt. Parties calling for any of the above will please say "advertised" and give date of this list.--Ira J. Stiles, Postmaster

April 10, 1902
Headline stories
Goes up in smoke
      Monday morning, at about 9 o'clock, fire broke out in one of the sporting houses on State Street, near the N.P. tracks and when discovered was beyond control. A number of the inmates were in bed when the fire started and those in the upper rooms had to jump to save their lives. Two of them were badly hurt, one having a limb broken and received a glass cut, and is in a very serious condition. the fire was so far advanced when discovered that it was impossible to save any of the contents. An adjoining building on the west end of the same character, was also destroyed, although the furniture was saved.
      The houses were owned by Mollie Mitchell and Francis Way, and the property was valued at $2,000 each. The former carried an insurance of $1,000, while the latter was not insured. There are several stories as to how the fire started, but the correct one will probably never be known. It was very fortunate that the buildings were isolate from any others, or a curious conflagration might have resulted.
      A.W. Thornton, special agent and adjuster of the Niagara Fire Insurance Company, of New York, was in town yesterday adjusting the fire loss on the building of Millie Mitchell.

City and county News
(bullet) Q.P. Reno, cashier for C.E. Gingham & Company, is in Arlington this week in charge of the Arlington State Bank.
(bullet) Nine members of the degree team of the local lodge MWA [Modern Workmen of America, still exists 2011], journeyed to Hamilton last Thursday night where they initiated the members of the newly organized camp at that place into the mysteries of woodcraft. Those who made the trip speak very highly of Hamilton hospitality.
(bullet) F.O. Week, a Hamiltonite, was in the city last Friday and Saturday on business.
(bullet) William Sloan, who has been a patient at the hospital [St. Elizabeth's] for the past six months, was discharged last Saturday. Joe Halverson, an employee of Daniel Dillard's Baker River Shingle company, was brought to the hospital Tuesday, suffering with a fractured bone in his right leg, caused by a shingle bolt falling on him while at work in the mill. On Easter Sunday six or seven young ladies, members of the "Y" society, paid a visit to the St. Elizabeth hospital where they were shown over the buildings. they brought generous contributions of oranges, bananas, canned fruits, honey and Easter cards. Their visit was greatly appreciated by the superintendent and patients. Frank Chapman, an employe of the O.M. Robertson Shingle Co., of Lyman, fell from a flume on which he was working Saturday and sustained internal injuries. Mr. Chapman was brought to the hospital Saturday, where he is now resting easy. Dr. Mattice is the attending physician.
(bullet) The school board held a meeting on Monday evening and accepted the resignation of G.T. Walstedt, which took effect as of that date. The seventh grade, formerly in charge of Prof. Walstedt, will be transferred Prof. J.C. Roe's room.
(bullet) Supt. Byram, of the Great Northern, and Roadmaster Traer, of the Seattle & Northern, passed through the city last Friday on a tour of inspection of the wagon road between Hamilton and Sauk. They were accompanied by commissioners [David] Donnelly, Henry and Curtis.
(bullet) Messrs. Berry and Dwelley, and Miss Jarvis and Williams, of Mount Vernon, were Sunday visitors to the city.
(bullet) U.E. Foster, editor of the Skagit County Courier, made a hurried business trip to Seattle Tuesday. He admirably performed the duties of errand boy while en route.
(bullet) Walter Gillis and wife returned from Everett, Monday, where the former has been engaged tin carpenter work for the past two months. [Journal ed. note: Walter and his brother, Albert, published the Skagit County Times from 1896-99 and then sold it to Seneca G. Ketchum.]
(bullet) [First paragraph cut off, story continues:] It is to be a four-stall building, with cement pits and will be located just north of the pump house. The necessary track had already been surveyed and ordered laid.
      The first of the week a party of engineers of the company came up on the noon passenger [train], getting off at the bridge across the Skagit, and took the necessary measurements, etc. for the new spans of the steel bridge that will soon replace the old wooden one. This will furnish employment for quite a number of men, who will make Sedro-Woolley their headquarters. The above improvements remove all doubts as to the permanency of the division at this point and will add greatly to the city's rapid growth.

(Trestle bridge)
This Northern Pacific Trestle Bridge across the Skagit River south of stand still stands, 123 years after it was constructed for the original Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern West Coast Line, which connected with the Canadian Pacific Railroad terminus in British Columbia. It was originally a swing span. NP trains last ran across it in the very early 1970s. Both approaches have been torn down.

      [Journal ed. note: this truly is a puzzling story. The only bridge across the Skagit at that time was the railroad trestle that was erected for the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern railroad, the name for which had been changed to the Seattle & International by this quoted time. The odd part of the story is that we have never heard of it originally being constructed of wood. We hope a reader will have information that will aid in our local rail research.]
(Slough Bridge)
This bridge was originally built over the Batey Slough in the 1880s. It was replaced much later by a more elaborate wooden bridge for the new automobiles that traversed Third Street south from Woolley to the river and the bridge to Clear Lake.

      To rent: two story frame building, with boiler and engine, suitable for manufacturing purpose. Shrewsbury & McLain mill.
(bullet) J.F. Mott went to Seattle on business Sunday, and returned Tuesday. Mr. W.D. Crofoot was in charge of the store of J.F. Motto & Co. [drug store] during Mr. Mott's absence.
(bullet) The baseball boys are practicing and will probably organize a team Sunday. There is talk of organizing a stock company to secure suitable grounds for a ball park. [Journal ed. note: the park was on the south side of State Street, where the Tinman auto restoration business stands in 2011.]
(bullet) On the 19th of this month the Shingle Weavers promise a good time to all who attend their second annual ball. Music will be furnished by the Mount Vernon orchestra.

Mount Vernon news
(bullet) Capt. [David F.] Decatur was a passenger to Seattle Tuesday morning.
      [Journal ed. note: Decatur was one of the most important Mount Vernon business owners from the time arrived by ship from Boston in 1888. His Skagit Saw-mill and Manufacturing Co. near the present revetment provided a steady payroll. His spacious house stood on the present site of the Lincoln Theater, which was built in 1926 by Decatur's grandson, Elden D. Pollock. Can anyone remember the names of all the theaters in Mount Vernon? Longtime Journal reader John G. Kamb Jr. can and he has photos of most of them.]
(bullet) Mr. J.C. LaPlant [of Sedro-Woolley] had business in Mount Vernon Thursday.
(bullet) The large new hotel near the [railroad] depot [name unknown at this time] is now open to the public.
(bullet) [Joseph] E. Dwelley, of LaConner, was in Mount Vernon a few days last week [1860s pioneer, owned furniture store].
(bullet) [John] E. Bratnober had business with the county commissioners last Thursday [mill owner at Clear Lake].
(bullet) A new jail will soon be erected on the lot adjoining the court house on the east. [Journal ed. note: that original courthouse was at the southeast corner of First and Pine streets and it is now named the Matheson building [Capt. John A. Matheson, ship captain and fisherman, of Anacortes]. The jail area can still be viewed.
(bullet) On the 2d of April a marriage license was granted to [Harry Cary] and Cora Wilson, both of Hamilton, and on the 7th one to R.L. Richardson and Minnie Seigfried, of LaConner

(Northern Pacific)
The Northern Pacific rail line became the hub of the city in the first two decades of the 20th century. The Great Northern, which ran on a parallel, north and south, five miles west, carried more passengers but tne NP's freight was a boon to local businesses. Click on the photo above to see part of a panorama photo taken by Frank LaRoche, circa 1915. Click on the resulting photo again for its full size.

(bullet) Fri and cedar wood $1.25 per load, delivered. Shrewsbury & McLain
(bullet) Beautiful wash silks, 42 1/2 cents per yard. This price will be good for one week. Coddington & McGowan
(bullet) "The Gordon," the new restaurant on State Street, was opened Monday, the building not being ready for the opening as previously announced. It is one of the swellest eating places in town and will make a specialty of catering to dances and other gatherings.
(bullet) Owing to the short notice of the date of the Barlow Bros. minstrel show at the opera house last Thursday evening [rest cut off].

See the links above for other 1902 Times transcriptions

Links, background reading and sources

Story posted on March 3, 2011
Please report any broken links so we can update them
This article originally appeared in Issue 53 of our Subscribers-paid Journal online magazine

Getting lost trying to navigate or find stories on our site?
Read how to sort through our 700-plus stories.
Return to the new-domain home page
Links for portals to subjects and towns
Newest photo features
Search entire site
Our new weekly column, Puget Sound Mail (but don't call it a blog)
debuted on Aug. 9, 2009. Check it out.
(bullet) See this Journal Timeline website of local, state, national, international events for years of the pioneer period.
(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?
(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.
(bullet) Read about how you can order CDs that include our photo features from the first five years of our Subscribers Edition. Perfect for gifts.

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 2011 sponsor: Plumeria Bay, based in Birdsview, your source for the finest down comforters, pillows, featherbeds & duvet covers and bed linens. Order directly from their website and learn more.
(bullet) Oliver-Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 89 years.
(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 by the Skagit River, just a short drive from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley
(bullet) Joy's Sedro-Woolley Bakery-Cafe at 823 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley.
(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?
Please sign our guestbook so our readers will know where you found out about us, or share something you know about the Skagit River or your memories or those of your family. Share your reactions or suggestions or comment on our Journal. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit our site.

View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook
Email us at:
(Click to send email)
Mail copies/documents to Street address: Skagit River Journal, 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, WA, 98284.