HISTORY OF THE WOODLAND COMMUNITY
On the surface, cemeteries would seem to be a dull subject; but, to the reporters here included, the topic calls for no small amount of digression and brings on a wealth of anecdotes.
At this point it may be well to advise the reader that, in several instances, Curtis Gardner and Cliff Bozarth, not to mention several others, have been requested to permit the use of some stories written up years ago for their own records and for the enjoyment of their families. When there is personal reference it is not to be presumed that articles were requested because they included information.
A pleasant observation by even the most casual passerby is that the final resting place of the settler is at last becoming a place of beauty. Emotions evoked by neglect of graves and markers were harnessed at long last, and, as recently as 1954 the burial grounds have been reclaimed and preserved by legislation, to the deep and abiding satisfaction of the survivors.
"CEMETERIES NEAR WOODLAND"
Just south of the Lewis River bridge and the Rhoades residence and Green House on the brow of the hill adjacent to Highway 99 lives an old cemetery established about a hundred years ago. The tombstone of Charles Gilson is dated 1853-1857. 1853 is the year when the Gilson and John families settled on the Lewis River.
This summer the Highway engineers found it necessary to enter this cemetery with grade stakes for widening the Highway to four lanes. These grade stakes were set; but, before excavation could start, it was required by law that the surviving nearest of kin be located and their consent to removal of graves be obtained.
Only three plots fell within the grade stakes; namely, the Buchanans, Gilsons and Johns. No descendants of the Buchanans could be located and it was found that the John's plot would not be disturbed, leaving only the graves of the Gilson family to be removed. These contained the remains of Allen and Elizabeth Gilson and three of their sons. These were reinterred in Hayes Cemetery last August.
The Gilsons came to the Lewis River by covered wagon in 1853 with the John Family, who were parents of Mrs. Gilson. There are a few other graves remaining there: Charley U.O. Springer and Charles Stratton, no kin of our present Woodland pioneer of the same name, and some whose grave markings are too vague to identify.
This cemetery is located on the Charles Fairchild's Donation Land Claim which he took up in 1855. Mr. Fairchild did not remain long in the Woodland area. He sold to George Buchanan, and it was probably from Mr. Buchanan that these lots were obtained and a cemetery platted.
Mr. Buchanan sold the place to Dave Griffith about seventy years ago. The Griffith's raised their family there in a house down on the river.
Eddie still lives on a part of the old place. Eddie, Martha and I went to the Woodland School together. An incident occurred at school one day where Eddie and Lloyd Scott were the culprits. As the result of a scuffle between them, Eddie was stood up before the whole school and given a switching by the teacher, Clarence Ockerman. The boys had been given a choice of taking a licking or being sent home. Lloyd took his books and went home, probably glad of a chance to have a vacation. It seems that some little girls had watched the scuffle and overstated it to the teacher. Professor Ockerman was a gentle and kind man and I think suffered more from the licking than Eddie. Later when I was attending the University of Oregon and a member of the Track Team, our paths crossed. He was Manager of the Washington State Track Team when the two teams met in Eugene.
The last burial in this cemetery was 1921 which was before the old Highway was paved. Caskets had to be carried a long distance by hand, usually from the nearest steamboat landing up the hill. Eddie Griffith recalls having helped carry my grandmother's casket up from the Steamer Mascott's landing in 1913.
Other cemeteries established in the Woodland area were the Odd Fellows Cemetery in 1853, the Frank Abel Cemetery in 1879 or 80, the Page or Matthew Cemetery in 1857, and the Gardner Cemetery at Hayes in 1891. These dates were taken from old headstones. In addition to these public cemeteries, some families had their family graveyards, and the Indians had their burial grounds.
The Burke family had their family graveyard, and there used to be one on the Squire Bozarth place back of the present Dora Clawson place. I can find no one who remembers who was buried in the latter, probably others besides the Bozarth family. Dora Clawson and Lena Hamblen remember the white picket fences around the graves. It was probably after the 1894 flood, which covered this area, that the graves or most of them were moved to the Odd Fellows cemetery on higher ground. This was probably the first cemetery in the district and was abandoned because of flooding conditions.
In driving around in my car looking up these old headstones, I was reminded of the funerals of 60 or more years ago, when the whole neighborhood turned out in their wagons, on horseback and on foot forming a long procession of sympathetic neighbors to pay their last respects to a departed friend. Services were held in the home of the deceased where the body had lain since death in a homemade coffin and again at the graveside. It was so much simpler and cheaper to die in those days, no undertakers, expensive caskets, or hearses.
I think I found the oldest headstone in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. It was that of Squire Bozarth who was born in Kentucky in 1792. He, with his wife, Milly, and nine children, crossed the plains in 1845, living in Oregon five years then settling on the Lewis River in 1850. He died three years later, and his wife died six years later. One of their sons, C.N. Bozarth gave the town of Woodland its name in 1881 when he started his store and established the Woodland Post Office in his store in April, 1888. Another old headstone I found was that of Jacob John born in Tennessee in 1802. He died in 1863. His wife, Rachel Whittaker John, died in 1892. The family with their five children crossed the plains in 1852, wintered in Portland, and in the spring, Mr. John started out to locate the Bozarths whom they had known in Iowa. Finding them on the Lewis River he moved his family there and on March 5, 1853 took up a Donation Land Claim located on the Clark County side about two and a half miles above Woodland. It was all Clark County then as Cowlitz county did not come into existence until several years later. Mr. John's son, Sumner A. (according to the Clark County History published in 1885 by B.F. Alley and J.P. Munro-Fraser) piloted the first steamboat, the Eagle, up the North Fork of the Lewis River to get a load of potatoes in 1858. Other records place the date of the first steamboat to run up the river at 1868.
My guess is that the latter is correct and that the Clark County history mistook a six for a five.
The Bozarth and John families were neighbors and four Bozarth boys married four John girls. Squire married Cynthia in 1857, Chris married Rhoda in 1863, John married Louisa about 1875 and Owen married Betsey in 1873. Betsey John (Gilson) Bozarth was my maternal grandmother. Her daughter, Martha Gilson, married Wells Gardner, my father. Many Lewis River families intermarried and their families were large.
Coming back to cemeteries, as we all do, epitaphs and names and dates on tombstones have great historical value and the stones should be well cared for. Last April, my brother, Floyd, and his wife drove us up into Massachusetts and we located the grave of my Revolutionary ancestor, Andrew Gardner. We found the old cemeteries well kept.
"REPORT ON CEMETERIES OF LEWIS RIVER VALLEY"
YALE CEMETERY....Upon an acre tract of land on the North Slope of Yale Valley is the Yale Cemetery. The land was donated in 1886 by Mr. John Troutla, whose grave is located on a high knoll overlooking the valley and commanding a good view of the forested mountains to the East. This cemetery as a burial place seems to have been the choice of many an old settler who spent his last days in this portion of the Lewis River Valley about 30 miles upstream from Woodland.
A partial list of those buried here follows: Roy Henry Hawkins (first one buried), John Troutla and two sons, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Bevans, Mr. and Mrs. N.P. Graves (Mrs Graves a victim of 1902 fire), Mrs. Hereford, Mrs. Rankin, Mr. Towner, Mr. Newhouse (also met his death in the fire of 1902), Mr. Ike Hannah, William and Amanda Robbins, Ray Branstetter, Hanson and Alice Hannah, Opal Hannah, Jack La Fever, George Snitzler, Nola Beaver, Nora Beaver, Tom Robbins, Mrs. John Beavers, Dave Grant and Joe and William Masters.
ABEL CEMETERY...The Abel Cemetery is located on a stretch of upland about seven miles east of Woodland. Frank Abel, a pioneer settler in the Valley, donated the original tract which consisted of one acre of land. However, in 1957 another acre was purchased adjoining the original tract.
The old portion of this cemetery is nearly filled with graves of not only local residents, but of many from more distant points.
LONE PINE CEMETERY...The Lone Pine Cemetery is one of the smaller burial places of the Valley. It is located on a small tract about 15 miles east of Woodland. Being situated on a rise of land above the Lewis River Highway, it is barely visible from the road.
HAWK CEMETERY...This burial ground is perhaps the oldest public cemetery in the vicinity of Woodland. It is to be found on the brow of a hill just south of the Pacific Highway bridge over the North Fork of the Lewis River.
The graves of Charley Gilson, and his mother, Elizabeth, who died in 1870 and 1913 respectively, are in this cemetery. Other early settler's graves found here are E.A. Davis, 1888; Nancy M., wife of G. Kinder, 1889; Charles W., son of J. W. Copeland, 1872.
A daughter of J. W. Copeland was laid to rest there in 1884, as was Charley U. Springer, 1871 and Charles Stratton 1887.
Several graves including that of the Gilson's were found to be in the way of Pacific Highway construction in 1954 and were moved elsewhere.
GARDNER CEMETERY...This burial tract is to be seen from the road leading up Lewis River on the Clark County side. It is about four miles East of Woodland, on the level ground of the valley floor. It has become the last resting place of many of the early day citizens of the Hayes and surrounding areas, as well as those of more recent times who have contributed steadily to the filling of the tract.
The land consisting of two acres was originally donated by a pioneer settler, Daniel Gardner, in 1900, the donor himself being the first to be buried there. Many members of the Gardner family rest within its sylvan confines.
KERNS (BOZORTH) CEMETERY...This cemetery is the largest and most extensively patronized burial ground in the Lewis River Valley. The fact that it is situated near Woodland, the center of population of the Valley accounts for this. The setting of the cemetery is a picturesque one. On a rise of ground one mile north of Woodland, from its tombstone-studded acres sprinkled with lilac, snowball and holly shrubbery may be obtained a pleasing view of the lower valley, the bottom lands to the west as well as the mountains to the east, where Mt. Adams displays it's snow covered mass.
This cemetery had it's beginning about 1876 when an acre of land was donated by John Shaw Bozorth and set aside for burial purposes. From 1853 to 1876 the burial ground for this vicinity was located on the bottom land somewhat to the southwest of the present tract; but, since the Columbia flood of 1876 put water over the graves there, it was decided the cemetery should be moved to high ground. So it is that some of the stones of the cemetery show dates as early as 1853 and 1856 those of Squire and Milly Bozarth, respectively.
At a date too early for this writer to recall the Odd Fellows Lodge took charge of this cemetery and thereafter purchased two acres adjoining the original tract. This entire area of three acres is all but filled with graves with little possibility of increasing its size.
In times past these cemeteries have been the object of considerable neglect. This is due partly to the absence of an organization with the proper zeal to keep them in presentable condition due to the cost and partly to the fact that many had no one that cared to take on the responsibility of their care, especially in view of the lush annual grown of ferns, perennial sweet pea and wild blackberry bramble which persistently encroached upon and dominated the plots and over ran the tombstones. This was especially the condition of large areas of the Kerns Cemetery. The Able Cemetery was allowed to be overgrown with ferns and brush, while the Yale graves seldom saw the sun in summer, because of the six foot fern growth that characterized this burial place.
Years passed and in spite of the sporadic efforts of some of the interested ones, the unkempt appearance of the cemeteries of the several communities continued to irk the community-minded citizens of the valley.
A turn for the better came however, with the formation of Cowlitz Cemetery District No. 2 in 1954 by popular vote, which district assumed responsibility for the care of Kerns, Abel and Yale cemeteries. The Lone Pine cemetery at Ariel with its own association preferred to remain out of the newly formed Cemetery District. The care of these three cemeteries is now financed out of a half mill tax levy on the valuation of the district.
A sexton was employed who began work on March 15, 1957. Tombstones were straightened and given a cleaning; broken up cement curbs were disposed of; excess brush was removed. The peavine and briar growth as well as much heavy brush was removed the previous summer by donated labor and some areas were worked up by tractor and implements.
All three cemeteries were regularly clipped by power mowers in the summer of 1957, which together with other improvements, brought about a greatly improved appearance to all the burial places involved.
The Abel Cemetery especially felt the benefit of this new arrangement, since an addition of one acre has been purchased adjourning the old portion thus adding needed space to the overcrowded original tract.
CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE ARRIVAL OF SETTLERS
This section is a simple list of names and dates which are as accurate as this committee has been able to determine. In the cases in check, to the committees knowledge, there is even a slight doubt or question, the asterisk so indicated.
To the student of history who may care to use such a list for source material, these ensuing pages are wistfully dedicated.
EARLY SETTLERS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
1845 A. LeLewis
1849 Columbia Lancaster
1850 Squire and Millie Bozarth, Kenzie and Jane Caples, William , Henry Martin
1851 J. Brandt, Hans Kraft, Solomon Strong, Sam Gatton
1852 Gallatin Kinder, Samuel Lishon, H.L. Caples, John Bozarth, James Burke
1853 Wm. Bratton, Frank Jenkins, John Springer, Jacob John, Jefferson Huff, Daniel, W. Gardner, Owen Bozarth, Allen Gilson, Joseph Eaton, William Powell, Irijah Buyers
1854 William Kinder, John Henry Van Bebber, T. Forbister
1855 Charles Fairchild
1862 Geo. and Mary Love, Ennels Claus Davis, William A. Davis, Henry Page*
1864 Mark and Mose Webb*, George Backman, Lewis Miller
1865 F.N. Goerig
1866 Ezra W. and Lucia Ann Stratton, Frank Ables, Nathan Davis
1867 Tom Geiger, Dave Ross, James Ross, Wm. McAfferty, John Robinson
1868 Ben Newkirk
1869 James B. Stone, Henry Houghton, Simon Murray
1870 Geo. W. Maxwell
1871 August Schurman
1872 G.W. Durgin, Wm. Ginder
1873 William Martin
1874 Billy Spurrel, Ad Reid, A.J. Burts, Charley and Henry Spect*
1875 Frank Klager, Carl Tesch, David Parker
1876 Andrew Millard, John Taylor, Emmonds Hamilton, Godfrey Thiels, Frank Greathouse, and Tom Oliver
1877 Columbia Klady, James Stallcop
1878 James Copeland, Mike Lynch, James Barr
1879 Shell Anrys, Henry Ballhorn, John Tooley
1880 Tom Hollingsworth, Henry Robins, Frank and Mary Higgins
1881 James Forbes, John Birt, Luther Davis
1882 Berrick Guilds, Joe Quigley, Lew Matthews, George Ferguson, L.L. Paulsen
1883 Aron Scott, Fredericksons, Lew Wright, Geor. Wyman, Henry Robbins
1884 John H. Fisher, Lish Wright, John Wright,(Joe Wright came later), Miles Allen, and Fletcher Runyan
1885 Tom Wilinson, *Ben Griffith
1886 John & Bill Englert
1887 Henry Bennett
1888 Day Family, C.A. Soney, Runyans, John Hunter, Hawkins
1889 Murks, Eli Homer and Gene Strait, Thede Oliver
1890 Wilson Razeys, Joe Bennett, Franklin L. Sawyer, John Eggans
1891 Frank Bergman
1893 Levi Masons, Dahls, Ole Peterson, Nathan Pea, John Hanson
1894 Harry and Anna Griffith, Alonzo Gant, Lars Lund
1895 Harvey Reiker, John Bogart
1896 William J. Robbins
1902 Jimmy Fern, John Peterson, John Dunn
1903 Charles, Armas and Eliel Fields, Stephs, Niemis, Tikenin, Phillip Blue, E.E. Dale*
1904 Henry Niskonen*
1905 Abel Leinon, a Cape Horn sailor & Marion & Perry Wilkins
1906 Topia and Hadija Laati
1907 C.K. Johnson, Nick Carson, August Johnson
1908 Charles Aho, David Hult, Isaac Tuispu, John Reijonen, Victor Hill, David Hakkinan, Mat Haataja, Jacob Wieri, Jacob Basso
1909 Nick Keisala
1910 Otto Saastrom*, Henry Schei
1911 Fred Suomi*
1912 Nickolas Anderson, L.N. Plamondon
1913 Robert Kuovo
1917 Andrew Walen, Peter Kieri, Eli Huttonen, Carl Insel
1918 David Carson
That the people of Woodland are, and must always have been, a peaceful, church-minded and God-fearing lot, is amply demonstrated in the history of the churches.
First, there is a goodly number of them, fourteen in all, and they are definitely up in attendance year by year. The only one which appears to have had a brief and ephemeral history is the Methodist Church, for which we have just one reference from a 1902 issue of the Woodland News. If there is more to be known about that institution, it has not come to the attention of this committee.
Woodland has followed more or less the national pattern of churches, with increased membership and with the construction of new church buildings within the last year.
Reports on the Churches have varied from the merest of notes to lengthy and detailed records of leaders and their contributions. They have been included exactly as turned in.
ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH
The Woodland Assembly of God church was started in the fall of 1951 by Rev. Goldie Miller. The first years' meetings were held in the Clemen's building across from the Administration building. In April, 1954 the church purchased the old grange building. Rev. Miller left Woodland in the fall of 1954.
The church was officially set in order in March, 1954, and became affiliated with the Assemblies of God on that day. The charter members were: Dwyer Bills, C.B. Pease, A.G. Webb, Charles Matson, James Garlinghouse, Mattie Agee, Isaac Agee, Jacob Agee, Mary Bills, Viola Garlinghouse, Nathan L. Pease, William J. Beebe, Rita Roberts, James Roberts, Maude Newkirk, Harold Chase, Esther Hoyt, Bessie Webb, Charles Stiebritz, Anna Stiebritz, Nila Ford, Myrtle Roane, E.A. Roane, Lee Webb, Nona Miller, Goldie Miller, Lester Barber, Mary Chase.
In October, 1954, Rev. Merle Decker took up the duties of Pastor. After one year Rev. Decker resigned as Pastor. Rev. Stanley Jacobsen accepted the pastorate of the Woodland Assembly of God and came here in October 1955.
The old grange building was sold in April, 1956. The church rented a store building owned by James Van Rosky in which to hold services, located by the bus depot. In January, 1958 the church was made to vacate the store building. Services are held temporarily in the P.U.D. building, while plans are being made to build a new church on newly purchased property on Hansen Lane Road in Woodland.
Growth of the church has been hindered because of inadequate facilities, but the blessing of God has been with the church and God has blessed spiritually.
GREEN MOUNTAIN BAPTIST CHURCH
The date it was dedicated, July 6, 1952 and the name of the minister was Rev. Robert L. Jones. Charter members: Mr. Leon Losey, Mr. Howard Pellham, Mrs. Howard Pellham, Mrs. Harry Laurence, Mrs. Robert Tyrell, Mr. Paul Long, Mrs. Paul Long, Mrs. Wm. Neimi, Mrs. Walter Colf, Mrs. Albert Johnason, Mrs. Edna Scotberg, Mrs. Sophia Scotberg, Joyce Scotberg, Haren Long, Mrs. Joe Sherrer, Mr. Carl Pellham, Mrs. Carl Pellham.
WOODLAND BAPTIST CHURCH
Sometime prior to January 19, 1945, a group of citizens, (among the leaders being the late C.B. Pease, A.G. Webb, and Kenneth McCollister and their families), organized a church calling themselves the Church of God, affiliated with The Church of God denomination in Nashville, Tennessee. On this date a lot was purchased from the late A.H. Imus, being lot 8 block 3 of Central Addition to Woodland. They went up the Hayes Route and purchased an old church-tore it down, brought it to Woodland and built the present building occupied by the First Baptist Church.
About this time a group came down from Kelso, namely Rev. Earl Tomlinson, Earl Bays, Elgin Linden, Charles Jorgensen, W.R. Mason and their families. On February 21, 1945, they voted to withdraw from the Church of God at Nashville and incorporated the Woodland Gospel Tabernacle. On August 29, 1949 this organization voted to change its name to the First Baptist Church of Woodland Washington, Incorporated, and such it is at the present time.
Charles Kuhnhausen, Pastor, Amos O. Buker, Clerk and Helen Sjoberg, Treasurer.
ST. PHILIP'S CATHOLIC CHURCH
The first Catholic service held in the Woodland area was at the F.N. Goerig home in 1872. Father Billet, a French Missionary priest among the Indians of Western Washington, offered Mass at the Goerig home, a mile west of the present city of Woodland. Father Billet traveled from place to place attending to the spiritual needs of the Indians and any white families he found. He lived at the Cowlitz Mission near Toledo, Washington. On the occasion of his visit to the Goerig home he offered Mass and baptized William Goerig, son of F.N. Goerig. A few other Catholic families who lived in the area were also present.
As there was no Catholic Church in Woodland and few Catholics, no regular services were held; but occasionally a priest came out from Fort Vancouver, and offered Mass in private homes. The Catholics of this area frequently went to Church in Pioneer, crossing the Lewis River by boat.
From 1872 to 1879, Father Schram from St. James Cathedral in Fort Vancouver came to the Goerig home and held services for the small congregation. In 1879, Fr. Cesari, a Missionary from Milan, Italy, who attended to the needs of many Catholic Churches in Clark County came to the Goerig home and left there a Missal to be read by Mr. F.N. Goerig on Sundays when no priest was available. For many years the scattered Catholic flock assembled at his home and Mr. Goerig read from this Missal, selections from the Bible, led them in prayer and gave some spiritual reading. Occasionally one of the priests from Vancouver came to offer Mass to baptize and to instruct the children. Father Becker, Fr. Delaunoy and Fr. Verwillgen were three of these priests who came here from Fort Vancouver.
Mrs. F.N. Goerig died in 1903, and her husband, F.N. Goerig, passed away the following year. They were both buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Pioneer. After their death, their home was still used as the Church for the Catholic congregation, though Mass was also said at a Catholic Home on the Lewis River. Members continued to attend Church at Pioneer whenever possible.
In 1909 the Franciscan Fathers of the Province of Santa Barbara, California, were asked by Bishop O'Dea to take care of the entire district in Western Washington from Napavine to Woodland. It was not until 1912, however, that Mass was said with any regularity at Woodland. As there was still no church, Mr. L.N. Plomondon, grandson of old Simon Plomondon, founder of the first Catholic Mission in Washington (at Cowlitz) offered his home for church services. Mass was said in the spacious living room of the Plomondon home. The congregation varied from fifteen to twenty five persons. Father Clement Berberich was the First permanent pastor, though he lived at Kelso.
Need for a church was evident to Father Clement as the congregation was growing. Realizing that it was impossible to raise enough money to build a new church. The Woodland Athletic Club Building was bought for $600.00 and remodeled into the present church. The cost of remodeling was $2,500.00 The first Catholic church was named St. Philip's. The expenses of buying and remodeling the church were paid for by the donations of the parishioners, but the chief donor was Mr. Plomondon without whose generosity, the congregation could not have bought the building. He donated large sums to keep the church in a state of good repair. He also made a substantial loan without interest.
The congregation was about 50 in 1913, when the New Church of St. Philip was dedicated by the Most Rev. Bishop O'Dea of Seattle. The new church had particular reason to be proud of its excellent choir of fifteen members which sang a four voice High Mass every Sunday.
The first marriage in the new church was Bill and Mrs. Goerig in 1914. He was a son of pioneer Woodland resident Mr. F.N. Goerig. The Church of St. Philip was served by the Franciscan Fathers who lived at Kelso until 1940. During these years services were held two Sundays each month and instruction classes for children were held after Mass.
The Rev. William Lee conducted services at St. Philip's from 1940 until 1942. He was succeeded by the Rev. Patrick McNerney and the Rev. Walter Mortek was Pastor from 1945 until 1948. From then until 1950 the Rev. Patrick Lyons of St. Mary's, Kelso had care of this church.
St. Philip's was established as a Parish in 1950, when Rev. Thomas Pitsch was appointed the first Resident Pastor by the Most Rev. Eshop Connolly, Bishop of Seattle. A house, the present Rectory, was bought and remodeled by Fr. Pitsch. During his term as Pastor the parish continued to grow and the church was painted and several improvements made.
Father John Doogan was appointed to succeed Fr. Pitsch in 1952 and when he was made Principal of Blanchett High School in Seattle, the present Pastor Father O'Brien replaced him in July 1954. Church services are held every Sunday and Mass is offered daily in St. Philip's Church. A new program for giving religious instruction to elementary and high school pupils was introduced in 1954 when the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine was established. A new electric organ was bought for the church and a new choir was organized by Mrs. Lee Chester, organist, in 1956.
The Woodland Christian Church was organized in 1913, following a tent meeting held by Reverend Walter Straub, who held a pastorate at Camas at the time. The meeting lasted eight weeks and 22 members were added to the church. George Webb was the singing evangelist and used "The Little Church in the Wildwood" for his theme.
Under the leadership of Reverend Straub, the construction of the church on its present location was started. The property was donated by Mrs. Ida Parents, a member of the Christian Church in Tacoma, who had considerable property here. The land had to be cleared of stumps and also Buckeye Street leading to Goerig Avenue, which was the main street of the town. Some expressed great concern in building the church in its present location "due to the great distance it was from town at that time".
The first donation toward the new building was the blasting powder to clear the stumps, and was given by Mr. Bennett, who was the grandfather of Harry Andrews, a local resident. The present church bell was presented to the church by Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Blue. The building consisted of one main auditorium with two small class rooms across the front and two across the back. It was heated by a large wood stove. First elders were P.A. Blue, John Buskirk, Bruce Hamilton, and Mr. Usher. First Deacons were Ben Franklin, Frank Fields, Joe Swartz, William Vanover, C.A. Barrett, Frank Burnham, and Mr. Graham. Mrs. E.L. McKinney was the first Sunday School Superintendent and her daughter, Clem McKinney, was the first president of the Endeaver Society, as well as church organist. Frank Fields was director of the choir for many years. Mrs. R.E. McNeal headed the Ladies Aid.
Mrs. Jeanette Ble, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Schwartz (Now Mrs. Gordon, husband deceased), and Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Hamilton are charter members of the church and are still active members.
In 1926, a new addition was undertaken and completed the following year. The church then had additional class rooms, a basement, with kitchen, dining room and furnace room, and an annex to be used for an auditorium when necessary.
Most of the early pastors came from the Eugene Bible University and included James Earle Ladd, Errol Sloan and David Cratsh, Parmalee, Wallace Hastings & Fields who filled the pulpit for a number of years, as well as Frank Moon, Bacheldor, Callison, Vanderlin, Fred Orr and Straub, and Don Tegarden, serving at various times. Reverend Cliff Bethune is the present minister.
The Fellowship Tabernacle started the Spring of 1933 by Pastors Herbert and Rose Fidler.
Charter members were Mrs. Charles Ekman, Mrs. Charles Manke, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Breedlove, Mrs. Olive Stennerson, and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Warren.
Gardner's chapel was build in 1889. The church board consisted of Mr. Jensen, the preacher, H.C. Bennett, D. Wells Gardner, my father, and his father, Daniel White Gardner.
The two acre tract on which the church was built was donated by Grandfather Gardner. The work was donated and subscriptions were pledged with which to buy materials.
The foundation girders were of hewn timbers supported by cedar posts well bedded in the ground. The framing lumber, rustic for outside walls and finished floors were obtained from Ad Reed's mill at Cedar Creek and floated down the river in rafts to Salmon Riffle, then hauled to the church site which was at Hayes, five miles from Woodland up the North Fork of the Lewis River on the Clark County side.
Mr. Badger of Kerns, with helpers, did the plastering, Jud Allen the outside painting, and my father rafted the lumber down the river.
The neighbors all pitched in and with the ladies furnishing the noon lunches, built the church which served the community as a place of worship and social gatherings for many years.
It fell into disuse, however, and during World War II, when building materials were scarce, it was dismantled. The only remaining memento is the bell which grandfather donated with the admonition that the ringing of the bell was a call to worship. My wife and I now have it appropriately mounted at our home on the old Donation Land Claim.
As the message of the established Kingdom of God spread throughout the continents and islands of the sea since 1914, slowly and quietly at first, but gaining in ever increasing intensity, it was inevitable that seeds of Kingdom truth would be found taking root in the hearts and minds of some of the residents of the Woodland area.
The first locally organized congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, as the people of this faith are known throughout the inhabited earth, was brought about in March, 1940. The congregation is authorized by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society with world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. All local congregations, including the one at Woodland, are closely joined to the Watchtower Society which has the oversight of the world wide ministry work. However, the oversight of the Woodland group as with all others, is the responsibility of local residents aided by traveling ministers who make periodic visits.
In the decade following this move more and more people became affiliated with or became interested in this faith who lived in the vicinity of Woodland and interested in re-forming a congregation here became more and more evident. So in June, 1956, a new congregation was formed at Woodland with a considerably larger number than originally. a steady growth in number of those actively associated has been experienced by the Woodland group over the last two years. Having outgrown their present private home meeting place they are soon to occupy a new Kingdom Hall located at 7002 Green Mountain Road.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, organized in Woodland the first time May 20, 1857, later disbanded. A Sunday School was organized on May 30, 1948. There were five families here; Supt. Charles Moultri, Kalama, 1st Counselor Ben. B. Marsden, Woodland, 2nd Counselor Roy Moultri, Kalama.
Branch organized October 31, 1948. President Ben Marsden, Woodland; 1st Counselor Clarence Moultri, Kalama.
Relief society February 1949. President Zillah L. Conrad, Woodland; 1st Counselor Bessie Moultri, Kalama. The Relief society, the oldest women's organization in the world, was organized in March 1842 with six members.
Primary for children 4 to 12. Mutual for teenagers.
We are now an independent branch, with Sterling West, President; Ben Marsden, 1st Counselor; Carlton Conrad, 2nd Counselor. Membership of 152.
Rowland Mills has a "Woodland News" dated Dec. 5, 1902 which says: There will be a service at the M.E. Church in this city the second Sunday of each month in the evening at 7:30 PM, prompt and every fourth Sunday morning immediately after Sunday School--Charles Coop.
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST
The early Woodland S.D.A. Church, built in 1896 had a belfry on it then; corner of 1st Ave. S. & 2nd Street. The lumber for building was brought from Reed Bros. Mill at Etna and floated down the Lewis River on a raft.
Names of Charter Members: Mr. & Mrs. Wm. Branstetter, Mr. & Mrs. Jade Cowels, Mrs. Bell Davis, Mrs. Flora Davis, Mr. & Mrs. John Horseman, Mr. & Mrs. John Hanley, Mr. & Mrs. John Hunter, Mr. & Mrs. Elbert Knight, Mr. & Mrs. Langell, Mr. & Mrs. John Wilkerson, Mr. & Mrs. Burrie, Mr. & Mrs. Van Strater. (There may have been other members that Mr. Hanley cannot remember.)
This church must have disbanded at a later date due to members moving away in relation to occupation. Another church was organized in 1951.
The Seventh Day Adventist church people have been in the Lewis River area a good many years. There were probably Adventist families scattered among the hills before 1891, but the earliest accounts that I can get, at present, date from about that time.
There were several Adventist families living in the Ariel Dam area back in the early 1900's. They met at Bumpkin Hollow for Sabbath School and Church services. Some of the families were George Walker, Willis Walker, the Chiltons, Hanleys, Fransers, and probably others of which I have no record.
About the same time there were another group of Adventists meeting at the Cressups' home at the Cressups Ferry, near the Ariel Bridge. The Hanleys often met with this group. They were very faithful in Sabbath School and church attendance and prayer meetings.
Another group met in Woodland in the year 1891 at the Fred Lewis homestead on the Whalen Road. Some of the families attending were the Horsemans, Hunters (parents of Roy Hunter), the Hanleys, Joleez Cowels, (Uncle to Mrs. J. Giles), the Burries, Mr. & Mrs. Van Strater, and Mr. & Mrs. Albert Knight, and Mr. & Mrs. Ed Knight. Mrs. Hulda Klager, although not an Adventist, relates how her whole family attended Sabbath School and Church services a the Fred Lewis homestead and enjoyed the Bible studies in Daniel and Revelation that were given by a Mr. Reed. Mrs. Klager relates that many of these Adventists were farmers and millmen.
This group of Adventists eventually obtained a building down near where our present post office is now located and held services there for many years. I have no record of an organized church there.
In 1898 Cedar Creek folks held Sabbath School at the place where Glen Pellham lives now - on Hayes Star Route. Meetings were held in the school house at Etna.
The Cedar Creek Seventh-Day Adventist Church was organized July 13, 1918 by Elder Conway of the Oregon Conference. The first meeting place was in a small house which stood on the Glen Pellham present ranch. The first elders were Mr. Ira Whitehouse and Mr. C.C. Close. It met later at the F.G. Cochran home, then at Mr. & Mrs. J.O. Culver's home, later in a shake house on the W.E. Craik property. A short while later Mr. L.W. Swanberg donated the land January 11, 1920, where the permanent church was erected. It has been enlarged four times since then.
Charter members as follows: Elmer Whitehouse, Wilbur Whitehouse, Mrs. Ira Whitehouse, Mrs. J.O. Culver, J.O. Culver, Emma Craik, Jennie Cochran, C.C. Close, Mrs. M.C. Close, Jr. R. Peterson, Mrs. A. Hansen, Peter Hansen, Ole Hansen.
Mr. Levi Swanberg and Mr. W. Craik built the church. They couldn't get planed lumber. Rough lumber from a Dayton mill was donated to the church building. So Mr. Craik built a little hand planer and planed the lumber to build the church. Mr. Swanberg was also making good use of his spare time in an upstairs room in his home where he carefully made the church pews. Others helped in the building of the church in as many ways as they could.
Finally the little church was built and the church dedication ceremonies were held June, 1921, at 2:30 PM with Elder Roy Cotterall and Elder Conway present to lead out in the services. Elder Cotterall gave the dedicatory sermon. The Church was on record as being completed, free of debt.
In 1934 a room was built onto the Church for a school room, the beginning of the Church school, however prior to this Mrs. June Lange, a school teacher started a Church school in her home until the Cedar Creek Church School was opened. Mrs. Clara Howland was the first church school teacher. Central Public School was bought August 18, 1945, books and blackboards were given and seats through the kindness of the director's of the Etna school, from the old Etna School.
Again the little white church on the hill was filled to overflowing and plans were made for building a new church.
On February 17, 1957, groundbreaking services were held at the new church site right next door to the old Church at Cedar Creek. Building was started in the summer and with volunteer labor of the church members and following the example of our present Pastor, Estel Richardson, who was a contractor before he was a Pastor, a beautiful new church is almost finished. The main floor seats 180 members. In fact the Cedar Creek Church has been meeting in their new church the last few weeks.
Just as Mr. L.W. Swanberg did so much to help build the first little church--so Grandma Swanberg, his widow, is carrying on the good work of building faith and love and hope. She has cleaned, by herself, 10,000 bricks for the present new church, by no means an easy task.
The present adult membership of the Cedar Creek Church is 98.
Back in the Town of Woodland, Sabbath School and church services continued to be held in private homes.
In 1924 the Adventists met often at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Clark on the Pekin road across from Harry Taylor's.
Mrs. Nick Vipond relates how in 1940 they arrived in this area at the little Kalama Logging camp, where a large group of Adventist families had services each Sabbath. In 1941 the Viponds moved to Woodland where services were held in ------Dickinson's home. Also the Women's Club House around the year 1942.
At Ariel, Washington, the year 1943, Mrs. Edwin Wyman relates that she gave Bible studies, and had meetings at her home there. Around 18 neighbors attended.
The group grew larger in Woodland until finally they decided to meet in the old Grange Hall. Elder Hardin, 1944-45, held evangelistic meetings there. He later went to India as a missionary. Elder Eldon Stratton held evangelistic meetings in the Grange Hall and later at a Hall in North Woodland, where Elder R.J. Thomas of Portland assisted him.
The Presbyterian Church sanctuary was kindly offered to the Seventh-Day Adventist group, where, as a company of believers, they laid the plans for the organization of the Woodland Seventh-Day Adventist Church, and a nominating committee was elected for church and Sunday School officers.
The official organization of the Woodland Seventh-Day Adventist Church was on Sabbath, May 5, 1951, at the Baptist Church, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Elder L.E. Biggs President of the Oregon conference had charge of the service, assisted by Elder P. Burke of Portland and Pastor Eldon Stratton. The first two elders were Paul Linstrom and Edwin Wyman.
Charter members of Woodland S.D.A. Church: Mrs. Ronald Bartlett, Mr. Ronald Barlett, Mrs. Vera Bartlett, Mrs. Josephine Brown, Mrs. Norma Brunson, Mr. Walter Chilton, Mrs. Walter Chilton, Floyd Chilton, Mr. Miles Coila, Mrs. Miles Coila, Mr. Richard Coila, Mrs. Richard Coila, Mr. Clifford L. Davis, Mrs. Bernice Davis, Mrs. Kay Ekman, Mrs. Martha Ferguson, Mr. Paul Lindstrom, Mrs. Jessie Lindstrom, Mr. W.R. Scarborough, Mrs. W. R. Scarborough, Mr. G.C. Thompson, Mrs. G.C. Thompson, Mrs. Ruth L. Vipond, Mr. W.W. Wheeler, Mrs. W.W. Wheeler, Harold Wheeler, Mr. Edwin Wyman, Mr. O.A. Winton, and Mrs. O.A. Winton.
Church adult membership at present is 47 with around 30 children in addition.
The Adventists have been renting the Baptist Church since 1951, however, a new church building was started on the hill across the Lewis River but to date only a foundation has been put in due to lack of funds. Plans are being laid to complete the church as soon as it is possible with God's help.
The local Seventh-Day Adventist Churches help to promote educational, medical and evangelistic activities throughout the world with their schools, churches, and many workers circling the globe.
The First Presbyterian Church of Woodland was the first church in the Lewis River territory and was organized March 18, 1888, just seven years after the town of Woodland was founded. The first services were held in the old school house on Davidson Avenue. It was 15 years before the railroads came through while transportation was limited to steamboats. In fact one member of the congregation was censored by the Church Board for operating his steamboat on Sunday. (Note by Curtis Gardner) This wayward member no doubt was James W. Copeland who was part owner of the Str. Toledo which was put on the Lewis River-Portland run in 1901 as an opposition boat to the Mascot. Regular runs were on weekdays and excursions on Sundays.
The next year the church building was finished on the place now occupied by the Hobby Shop at Bozarth and Park Streets. It was dedicated free of debt on December 22, 1889, with Rev. T.M. Gunn, Synodical Missionary officiated and the Rev. Angus M. Kenzie as the first pastor, and C.L. Klady, James W. Copeland and C.C. Bozarth as the first Ruling Elders.
The ten charter members were: James W. Copeland, Mrs. S.E. Copeland, Frank Copeland, Liendosiz Copeland, C.L. Klady, Mrs. Belle Klady, C.C. Bozarth, Mrs. R.R. Bozarth, Mrs. Ida Bozarth and Mrs. Emma Conrad. Kitty and Charles Dunham were the first couple to be married in the new church.
Columbia Lancaster Klady, father of Mrs. J.J. Guild, a present and active member of the church, was the first Sunday School Superintendent, as well as one of the charter members of the church. Four generations of his descendants have been baptized in the First Presbyterian Church. Three generations of his family are now active in the church.
Following is a list of the 22 ministers who have served this church.
1888-93 Rev. Angus M. Kenzie 1917-18 Rev. Lowry
1893-95 Rev. Angus McLean 1919-25 Rev. J.M. Pamment
1895-96 Rev. W. Van Nuys 1925-27 Rev. Max Cook
1896-04 Rev. A.W. Burholder 1927-38 Rev. James E. Fawcett
1904-06 Rev. Angus M. Kenzie 1938-40 Rev. Norman Simpson
1906-08 Rev. Alfred H. Haines 1940-41 Rev. Wm. H. Blair
1908-11 Rev. Eugene Willson 1941-43 Rev. Oscar Hegg
1911-15 Rev. J.Y. Stewart 1943-44 Rev. William Eason
1915-16 Rev. H. Templeton 1945-46 Rev. J.C. Mergler
1916-17 Rev. S. M. Forsyth 1947-52 Rev. Stanley Tarvis
1917-18 Rev. A.W. Bond 1953-58 Rev. Walter L. Peterson
The second church building was erected at 736 Part St. in 1926 under the ministry of Rev. Max G. Cook and was dedicated June 20, 1926. The Manse on the adjoining lot was built in 1948.
A dramatic testimony to the enterprise and faith of this congregation is the fact that it has survived three major floods (1894, 1933, and 1948) and each time emerged stronger and more effective in its ministry to the community.
The new Presbyterian Church sanctuary which is being dedicated this year of 1958 is the third church to be erected by the congregation. It is built adjacent to the church building which was erected in 1926. the congregation subscribed to most of the cost by a capital funds drive. James D. Larsen of La Center, building contractor, supervised the construction on a cost plus a small percentage fee basis. Church members donated labor whenever feasible. The inspired zeal of the Rev. Walter Peterson had much to do with the building of this church.
The Presbyterian church of Woodland has a continuing membership growth. February 1, 1958, the church records showed a membership of 279. The Sunday School shows a total class enrollment of about 230. Plans for additional buildings as the need develops in the future are already incorporated in the building plan of this new sanctuary.
CLOVER VALLEY COMMUNITY CHURCH
The Clover Valley Community Church was organized in May 1942. For 15 years it was known as the Clover Valley Sunday School then last year the name was changed. It was organized by Rodger R. Irwin of the American Sunday School Union. The charter members were Rev. Rodger R. Irwin and wife, the Terrys, Bob Englerts, Mrs. Jennie Gibson, Donna Gibson, Mrs. Blanche Jones, Dolores and Shirley Jones, and Lilly Robbins. The present pastor is Sam Gupton.
The Woodland Church of the Nazarene was organized September 3, 1950 and incorporated August 28, 1951.
From the time of incorporation in 1951 until December 1957 we met in the present Municipal Library Building. We had our humble beginnings in a meeting sponsored by the Nazarene Young People of the Columbia River Zone. Rev. G. Franklin Alles was evangelist. Since December 1, 1957 we have rented quarters on the first floor of the Woodland Grange Hall.
In December, 1951 we purchased our parsonage at 714 Washington Street from Bruce Hamilton.
December, 1957 witnessed the purchase of a building at 803 Dale Street from Roland Mills. We have set the building on concrete blocks over an 8 ft. deep basement 44' x 36' in dimension.
The program of the Church of the Nazarene is conducted on varied fronts. We have an active Sunday School, Young People's Society, and Foreign Missionary Society plus regular weekly prayer meetings.
R.H. And Eileen Tolbert are the only charter members still in the local church.
Over the years our pastors have been: Rev. Vernon Haines, Rev. Ralph Sprague, Rev. Carl Wilde, Rev. Russel Woodbeck, Rev. William Irwin and Rev. Gary Thompson.
by Joe Majeski
As with the matter of some businesses, some industries, and with all momentous events, dams must be included in every story about the development of Woodland.
With the construction of the Merwin Dam at Ariel has come an entire village of families who have quickly integrated into Woodland area social, business, religious and educational life. Most of them have remained here since coming in the 1930's, and some of their children have known no other schools than those of District #404, where their youngsters have become leaders socially and educationally.
With the construction crews came many people more or less temporary, some of whom stayed here to raise their families. Some local people found employment in both the building and the maintaining of the dams, with what stimulating effect upon the local economy the reader may well imagine.
Besides, a beautiful park was built on the lake to accommodate several hundreds of picnickers and swimmers during the summer months. In addition to providing a well-equipped and maintained recreational area, the settlement around Ariel has been landscaped, and attractive homes have been built for dam personnel.
What is true of Ariel Dam will be equally true of Yale and Swift Creek Dams, the latter of which is now under construction with plans for completion set for December, 1958. At this point there has been a decided influx of students at the Yale School, with several high school youngsters traveling in to the school in town.
One of the big problems of any small town and surrounding area where people have lived for generations on their lands is the need to avoid provincialism. There is no other like a dam in the process of being built to jar us loose from complacency, smugness and self-righteousness.
With the coming of additional people, if only temporarily, the area must experience a few growing pains in the process of improving itself. Housing adequate for the demands, schools large enough for more children, professional services both medical and legal --all these needs challenge the willingness and skill of the community. These people bring new points of view, make contributions to our social and cultural concepts, and often leave us saddened to learn they must depart to accept a new assignment from the company for which they work.
Development of the hydroelectric potential of the Lewis River began with the construction by the Northwestern Electric Company of the Merwin project in 1931. This plant was acquired by Pacific Power & Light Co. and a second generating unit was added in 1949, bringing the total nameplate capacity to 90,000 kilowatts.
The Merwin Dam is located 21 river miles above the mouth of the Lewis River.
A second project known as Yale Dam was constructed in 1953. Yale is approximately 14 1/2 miles above Merwin. It has a capacity of 133,000 kilowatts. Dam height is 323 feet and the reservoir is 9 miles long.
A third project now under construction will be completed in 1958. This is know as Swift Dam and is 13 1/2 miles above Yale Dam. It is the highest earth filled dam, being 510 feet high, reservoir 12 miles long. It will have a generating capacity of 204,000 kilowatts with peak capability of 250,000 kilowatts.
Swift No. 2 Plant under construction by Cowlitz County PUD as a companion development is to be completed in 1958. the power canal is 3 1/2 miles long, carries discharge water from No. 1 power house, and has a generating capacity of 70,000 kilowatts, head 130 feet.
There are two more proposed dam sites---The Muddy and The Meadows.
Lewis River is approximately 110 miles long, starting at Mt. Adams whose peak is 12, 307 feet and several streams from Mt. St. Helens (9,671 feet) empty into the Lewis River.
After the contemplated projects are completed, the Spring runoffs will hardly be noticed.
An interesting incident and a perplexing one to the Company occurred during the construction of the Ariel Dam. Roland Mills relates that Charles Frasier and five or six other men set up a sluice box and began digging for gold along the river bank above the dam when the dam was under course of construction, and brought a suit for one million dollars against the Northwestern Electric Company for damage for flooding the claim. It is not known what, if any, damages were collected.
John Peterson, a company employee, says the mine was called the "Golden Wonder".
Tom Perry, a retired Company employee now living in Portland, says the mine consisted of a tunnel driven into the bank below the present Yale Dam which would be, and was, flooded by the waters of the Ariel Dam.......by Curtis Gardner.
SWIFT CREEK DAM, APRIL 1958
Building of a dam that will rank as the world's highest earth fill structure is moving rapidly ahead on the Lewis River of Southwestern Washington where construction crews are piling more than 40,000 cubic yards of earth a day at the site of Pacific Power & Light Company's 250,000-kilowatt Swift hydroelectric project.
Work on the $51,000,000.00 power development reached the present tempo after refilling of the deep foundation excavation area with more than 2,500,000 cubic yards of material had moved the center of activity to the former stream bed level.
When the Man-made mountain is completed it will rise 510 feet above its foundations and contain approximately 16,000,000 cubic yards of earth and rock. The rolled earth mass will be a third of a mile thick at its base. It will taper upward to a crest 30 feet wide and 2100 feet long.
"This is the largest single project in Pacific Power & Light Company's record-breaking 1957 construction program," Paul B. McKee, President of the company, noted in a report on progress of the work.
"Swift will have a peak output of 250,000 kilowatts and, together with the expansion of our downstream Merwin plant, will increase the output of PP & L generating installations on the Lewis River to 533,000 kilowatts.
"Our new Lewis River installations and the 100,000-kilowatt Dave Johnston steam-electric plant under construction at Glenrock, Wy., will double PP & L's present generating capacity by the end of 1958," McKee added.
The busy scene at Swift site stretches four miles along the narrow Cascade mountain valley with peaks of 9,000-foot high Mt. St. Helens and 12,300-foot high Mt. Adams providing a picturesque backdrop for the activity.
Immediately downstream from the main project, the Cowlitz county, Washington PUD is building a 70,000-kilowatt powerhouse called Swift No. 2. Under a partnership agreement, PP & L has contracted to purchase all of its output until the energy is needed by the PUD system.
Water spilling from the three turbines in PP&L's main project powerhouse will flow by canal to the No. 2 unit and then will flow directly into the reservoir behind PP & L's 133,000-kilowatt Yale project. The Lewis then tumbles into Lake Merwin to operate the pioneer Lewis River powerhouse which the utility is currently expanding to 150,000 kilowatts.
Above the Swift development is the upper Lewis Valley are the sites of two more hydroelectric project proposals in PP & L's comprehensive program to develop the full potential of the hardworking river.
Muddy project, for which a Federal Power Commission license is pending, has a potential of 110,000 kilowatts. It would have a 280-foot high dam with a reservoir eight miles long. On the shoulders of Mt. Adams is the site of the Meadows project, where engineering survey crews have been working this summer under a preliminary FPC permit. Meadows involves collecting the flow of four mountain streams for a spectacular 2,200-foot drop to two powerhouses. These would have a combined power installation of 75,000 to 100,000 kilowatts.
The Lewis River's power output has a high value rating in the operations of the Company's system and of the Northwest Power Pool because the maximum flow of the Lewis is in the winter months when use of electricity is greatest.
DIKES AND FLOODS
It is easy to suppose that diking was not a phenomenon of early Woodland until 1921 when a levee was constructed along the right bank of the Lewis River. However, according to references occasionally made to old grist mills, there must have been some diking and damming of streams on private land. It is well known that the early settlers of the lowlands came to regard the regular flooding of their lands as an acceptable and (not un) benevolent act of nature. They regularly moved their cattle to higher ground and built their houses according to the demands of the elements. There was always a gamble that the big floods of 1867, 1876 and 1894 would not occur oftener than every ten years.
The diking program reclaiming many acres of the richest bottom land in the State of Washington had a marked effect upon the economy of this area, and upon the way the farmer used his land. Ultimately the value of the rich lands increased the wealth and benefited the general economy; but at first many farmers were hard pressed to compensate for the failures of their fellow land owners under a mortgage system which made all equally liable. Largely an agricultural area, Woodland's businesses, schools, bank and social life are conditioned by the status of the farmers among us. Since we share in the prosperity of the farmer, we also share in the general progress and the diking tax. Our farmers are progressive, alert to changing times, and provide a steady base for our economy. Diking protects most of the town of Woodland from high floods, including much of the business district.
OF CONSOLIDATED DIKING & IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT #2, WOODLAND, WASHINGTON
Authorization of the Columbia River and Lewis River dikes as Flood Control works for construction of improvements made in Diking Improvements Districts 5 and 11 in 1937 and 1938 respectively, was given on August 17, 1937, by duly elected officers from both districts signing resolutions. Officers for District 5 were J.H. Rogers, Chairman; E.F. Millard and F.M. Lane. Officers for District 11 were: F.M. Lane, John Wyman and R.T. Stewart, chairman. James Fogarty was chairman for the Board of County Commissioners.
The authorization was passed following an Act of Congress "authorizing the construction of certain Public Works on Rivers and Harbors for Flood control and for other purposes" in the 2nd session of the 74th Congress. Local cooperation in the funds and furnishing of lands, easements and rights of way necessary for work, was agreed by both districts. Both Districts 5 and 11 were political subdivisions respectively under the laws of the State of Washington and were vested with the powers to own property, levy taxes and administer their own affairs. During 1919 and 1920 District 5 of Cowlitz County organized in 1917 and 1921, constructed approximately 41,670 linear feet of levee along the right bank of the Lewis and Columbia Rivers, extending down stream from the Northern Pacific Railroad grade on the Lewis River to high ground about three miles northwest of Woodland. Also constructed at this time were two steam operated pumping plants and two corrugated metal pipe tide boxes. One was a five barrel box, with metal automatic gates at plant #2, and the other a three barrel tide box, with concrete headwalls and wooden gates at Plant #1. This original levee on the Lewis River was constructed of sand placed by bucket dredge, and along the Columbia a drag line was used, using material of clay and sandy silt dredged from the slough and clay soil obtained from an outside borrow pit. This levee had a top width of from 20 to 24 feet, on which a County Road was built and is maintained by the county.
In 1935 bank protection work consisted of toe piling and stone revetment and placing of sand on top of the levee, replacing it to its original grade, and borrow pits outside were filled with sand from the Columbia River. Also, both steam pump houses were replaced with the present structures (in 1935, 1936 and 1937) and electric pumps installed, three in each plant. This work was done with relief funds under the direction of the Federal Government. An additional box was built to take care of the Burris Creek Diversion also, at this time.
Emergency repair work was made along Burk Slough in 1944.
In 1921, District 11 constructed about 30,000 linear feet of levee along the right bank of the Lewis River upstream from the Northern Pacific Railroad grade to high ground about one mile north of Woodland. No pumping plant or tide box was constructed at this time. Drainage from the district passed through culverts under the Railroad grade into District 5. The levee was built to afford protection of the 1876 water, with a two-foot freeboard above the 1876 flood plain. This levee was breached in 1933.
During 1933, with relief funds, bank protection work was done under the direction of the Corps of Engineers, and consisted of toe piling and stone riprapping. In 1936 and 1938 additional rock revetments were placed for some 18,100 feet. In 1936 and 1937 the pump station was constructed and one vertical pump installed and a 20-inch hand operated valve installed. The levee on District 11 was an approximate width of 12 to 20 feet, with small sections of road, used mostly for maintenance.
Both Districts were flooded in the 1948 flood, as a result of breaks in the levees. These breaks were repaired under the direction of the Corps of Engineers, in 1948 and 1949 with the use of emergency funds from the Federal Government. Both levees were raised to an elevation of three feet above the 1948 flood level. In February, 1949, the two districts reorganized and consolidated into Consolidated Diking and Improvement District No. 2 of Cowlitz County, Washington, and assumed all the rights and powers and obligations of the two former Districts. The Consolidated District contains approximately 7370 acres, of which approximately 6300 acres are improved land, 800 acres unimproved and 270 acres in sloughs and drainage canals. The elevation varies from a few feet above sea level to over 25 feet at Woodland.
The original levees constructed for flood prediction in 1919, 1920 and 1921, were improved in 1936 and 1937 with relief funds and in 1937 and 1938 under the 1936 authorization, were rehabilitated by the Federal Government.
The drainage of old District 5 is provided by a system of natural sloughs, with a few improvements to shorten the distance of the flow of water between ditches, recommended by the Corps of Engineers.
During the past few years, with a budget of $20,000 in 1951, $19,000 in 1952, $16,000 in 1953, $12,000 in 1954 and $10,000 in 1955 and 1956, dikes have been cleared of trees and brush and sprayed each year for vine and small tree growth, on the advisement of the Corps of Engineers. With the assistance of state matching funds, new tide gates replaced the original gates at Pump Station #1 in 1951. A sand blanket on the inside of the levee and additional height has much protection to the valuable farm land, as well as the town area. In 1955, high water in December damaged tide gates at Plant #2. The gates were sealed off in the Spring of 1956, under the direction of the Corps of Engineers. Other emergency work in 1956 included a two-foot burr of rock along the Lewis River extending to the Columbia River, using reserve funds of the District. Additional work of sand blanketing the inside toe of the levee was done by the Corps of Engineers using emergency funds. State matching funds were secured to assist with financing the rip-rapping on the Columbia River and Lewis River sides of the levee and for the burr placed on top of the dike.
In the Spring of 1957, the top of the levee was completed with the assistance of State matching funds, making an additional burr of sand and rock, raising the levee to complete work started in 1956.
Plans are being made by the Corps of Engineers to replace tide gates at Pump Station #2 in the summer of 1958. Other repair work as recommended by the Corps of Engineers is done in the District along with routine work.
The District employs one man the year round, for pumping and maintenance, one clerk the year round for preparing vouchers, etc., one attorney for legal work, and one engineer. The two supervisors elected for four-year terms, are paid for their expenses and time consumed in District business.
FLOODS OF THE WOODLAND AREA
by Hilda Bridgefarmer
The earliest record that I have found of a damaging flood occurred in 1867. An old stump was marked by the high water line and was used as a gauge by John Bozarth, grandfather of Linton and Clifford Bozarth.
The Clark County History of 1885 states that during the last few days of 1867 a disastrous flood causing great damage and destruction to property visited the Lewis River area sweeping away fencing by the mile, sacrificing the lives of much valuable stock and destroying produce in large quantities, the principal suffers being Mrs. Page, Messrs. Gardner, Backman, Eaton, Bozarth, Webb, Gilson, John and Lewis.
The 1894 flood---Cynthia Bozarth's was the only house in Woodland that did not have water on the floor. That house is still standing and has recently been remodeled. That flood did great damage, killing all fruit trees and shrubs. Linton Bozarth said he remembers his father telling that it killed practically everything. A cow was swimming down the Main Street in Woodland right past the hotel. The cow was taken right into the hotel lobby. The Str. Egalite plied up and down Davidson Avenue towing barge loads of ballast rock to weight down houses on the bottom lands. This flood lasted several weeks. For many years the rivers would overflow their banks each spring and many families moved their flocks and herds to places on the hills each time the danger threatened.
The 1896 flood was in the winter, and it cut deep ravines in the land and many sloughs froze over and the children skated from Woodland to the Columbia River. This flood washed out the James Forbes General Merchandise Store and Post Office. The safe was found by Kire Englert while fishing in the Lewis River.
The 1917 flood---this flood did great damage to the Joe Swartz place, which was just below the Clark County end of the old Lewis River Bridge. They were advised to move out, but Joe said he knew that their house would not wash away. He knew how deep those piles were and they could go upstairs. If the water endangered the cows in the barn, he would turn them out and they would swim to high ground. They did not move out. Most of the water was from the Lewis River in that flood.
In 1920 the first dike was built. It broke, but in 1921 the dikes held and so the event was celebrated with the first Planters' Day festivities and this custom has been observed each year with the exception of 1948.
The 1933 flood---On December 23 the continued rains caused a natural earth dam at the headwaters of the Lewis River to break. When it gave way, the column of water hit the newly constructed Merwin Dam with such force that there was trouble opening the gates. When they did open them, they could not close them, and the pent up water so suddenly released flooded the town and countryside, causing much loss of livestock, chickens and other damage. It lasted only three days.
The 1948 flood---When excessive snow in the mountains and extremely warm weather brought the snow down so fast and a Chinook wind up in the Rockies helped to melt the snow, too, most of Woodland was under water by noon on May 31, 1948, a date that we who were there remember. The Vanport dike broke on May 30, and Woodland dikes broke May 31, letting both the Columbia and Lewis Rivers free. Most of the residents had moved their belongings to higher ground or upstairs. People on the hills made room for extra herds; some even let friends bring their cows and turned them into their growing fields. We drove down on the bottoms after the water subsided. All the fences were down and the posts sucked out of the ground. Some posts were in the fruit trees and some on the roofs of houses. Many houses were washing from their foundations and some floated away.