...Fields of Flowers and Forests of Firs...

1850 ~ 1958





The list of persons who took out Donation Land Claims in the Lewis River area was lifted in toto from a report written by Curtis Gardner, placed under the heading of "Interesting Events", and entered simply as "Woodland". In that place it fits the chronological story as he presented it, but the Committee repeats it under a separate heading for ready reference and accessibility.

One of the suggested research questions for the Historical Committee was: When, why, by whom, how, and under what conditions was Woodland settled? Surely the offer of land claims explains why the first twenty-some settlers arrived and why they stayed on those claims for many years. In 1855, when the donations were no longer made, people came for a great many different reasons; but they remained for a few better reasons, as the course of this history reveals.


D.L.C. 1845 or 6 Adolphus Lewis and Fred Lewis

1849 Columbia Lancaster

1850 Wm. H. Martin, McKenzie and Jane Caples, Squire and Milly Bozarth

1851 J. Brandt, Hans Kraft, Solomon Strong

1852 Gallatan Kinder, Samuel Lishon, H.L. Caples, James Burk

1853 Wm. Bratton, John Springer, Jacob John, Jefferson Huff, Daniel W. Gardner, Allen Gilson, Owen Bozarth, John Shaw Bozarth, Joseph Eaton, Wm. Powell, Iriigh Byers

1854 Wm. and Samuel Kinder, T. Forbisher, Stephen Butts

1855 Charles Fairchild

The above mentioned donation land claims covered all the bottom land on both sides of the river up to and including the present (1958) Roy Sellers place, which was then the property of I. Byers.

The address of settlers arriving before April, 1853, was Lewis River, Vancouver, Oregon Territory. For those coming after 1853, up to 1861, the address was Pekin, or Lewis River, Clark County, Washington. After 1861 the north side of the Lewis River became Cowlitz County.

Before the regular Lewis River-Portland Steamboat was established in 1866, others settling around Pekin, even before Woodland existed, were the Maxwells, Davises, Fishers and Quinns.



Names of the individual Finnish families are recorded under the section "early families and their Genealogy": listed in alphabetical order. It is the hope of this committee that no family arriving before 1918 will be in any way slighted or omitted. We have depended on a few helpful persons in gathering this data and trust that it has lost nothing in the handling.

Woodland has a rich heritage in the example and precept the Finnish people have contributed to our history and our culture. For one thing, cleanliness and hard work have been almost a fetish with the majority of Finns. Although many of them have remained on their lands, the later generations have mingled and married local non-Finnish mates and raised families here.

In our schools Finnish children have been among the brightest, and have demonstrated a natural leadership. Years of hard work have made the Finnish people a sturdy race and outstanding in physical endurance. Who does not recall the famous runner, Pavlo Nurmi, or the Astoria High School basketball team that won the state championship?

Woodland people of Finnish extraction are proud of their old world ancestry and, through it, have transmitted much from their culture to the social and intellectual life of this area.


Most of the early Finnish residents of Woodland settled in the Little Kalama and Butte Hill districts, including the vast area of foothills between these two roads. The Finnish settlers, as a rule, did not arrive in Woodland directly from the old country. Most of the farmers had first worked in coal, iron, gold and copper mines or logging camps prior to digging their livelihood from the tree infested hillsides of Woodland at the turn of the century. With old country fortitude the Finns applied themselves to the difficult task of clearing the lands suitable for farming. Before the farms could become self-sufficient, many of them worked at intervals in the logging camps and mines in order to acquire cash.

Regardless of the wide variety of convictions and beliefs of the Finnish people, they found it necessary to work together democratically in order to have some sort of social life in which they could be active participants. The first Finnish Hall was started in 1912 or 1913 but it burned down completely in the spring of 1914. The hall was located approximately one-fourth of a mile northeast from the location of the present Finnish Hall. The new building was constructed in 1916 by the Finnish Literature Society, open to anyone who cared to join for a twenty-five cent annual fee.

Not only dances were held in the building but many well-directed, full-length plays have been presented on the stage. Stage scenery, including the painting on the drop-curtain, was made by local Finnish talent. The hall has been the scene of other events in years past, such as funerals, athletic club activities, programs put on by visiting Finnish organizations, as well as hundreds of wedding dances honoring newly married couples in the area.

Some thirty-five years ago a Sunday School was conducted for awhile in the hall to teach Finnish to the children who were not learning their parents' tongue. The effort was given up as fruitless as the children preferred to speak the language learned at school. Many youngsters refused to speak Finnish at home because of the complex acquired from being teased and "looked down at" as foreigners.

The "melting pot" period often generated conflicting emotions between parents and children.

During the summer of 1928 a six-week Pacific Coast Summer School (under the sponsorship of pre-communist West Coast groups), was held in the Finnish Community Hall. The Finns by no means accepted this event with unanimity; hard feelings and hot tempers flared for years after the school was held. One of the teachers at the school was Frank Waldron (also known as Eugene Dennis) who at present is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Communist Party of the United States. Two of the other instructors, Gray and Carlson, were expelled from the Communist Party a few years after serving as instructors in Woodland. Classes at the school were held in U.S. History, Marxian Economics, History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Evolution, Sociology and Public Speaking.

Charles Palo, a Finnish merchant, operated a store at the present location of the Recreation Center. His business and store were purchased by a group of co-op minded people (mostly Finnish) and later moved to the present location at the corner of Davidson and Park. The Farmers' Cooperative Trading Company was incorporated July 7, 1917, and articles were signed by Abel Steph, C.K. Johnson and Armas J. Fields. The By-Laws were signed by Carl Insel and T. Laati, who were the first President and Secretary, respectively, of the Board of Directors serving the store. Finnish men not only considered it a distinct responsibility, but thought of it as a privilege and an honor to be chosen as one of the nine directors of the store. Heated election campaigns took place at the annual and semiannual meetings which were held at the Finnish Community Hall until about a dozen years ago.

Last year the stockholders voted to suspend operations of the Farmers' Cooperative Trading Company after forty years of service in the community. The store is now in the process of liquidation with Armas J. Fields, Albert Torppa and Ira Fields as Trustees.

Roads were built in Little Kalama and Butte Hill largely due to the willingness of the Finns to donate a good part of their labor because county finances always seemed short of stretching into the hill country.

Most first generation Finns had a great deal of faith in cooperatives; hence, they were quick to join cooperative berry and dairy marketing concerns.



The subject of hop raising has been treated briefly elsewhere in this report other than under the heading above. In his article on "Business in Woodland", entitled Business, Roland Mills refers to the harvesting of hops as a family venture.

In the following account, Curtis Gardner gives it his usual colorful touch and digresses just enough to make the reader feel a part of the epic of industry in those early times.


There were six hop yards along the banks of Lewis River in the '90s, each with its typical hop house...Kulper's, Hawk's, Lish Wright's, Bill Oliver's, Tom Oliver's and Fred Lewis'.

Picking hops, as it was done then, was a delightful outing. Whole families would go and camp out on the premises where potatoes and apples could be had for the digging and picking, and usually the boys could sleep in the hay mow.

Upon entering the field in the morning, each family would be assigned one or two rows depending on the size of the family, and be given a box to fill. Then the hop pole man would pull a pole and let the top end rest in a crotch held by the picker. The going price for picking was $1.00 per 100-pound box, and when the box was filled level full the picker would call out "ticket". These tickets were redeemed at the end of the season or sooner if requested. The picking season usually lasted ten days or two weeks and each night the families would gather round a big bonfire for a good time, story telling, singing, playing games and wrestling by the boys. We left camp only long enough to go to town for groceries or home to do the chores. Charley Houghton tells of a wrestling match he had when he was hop pole man at Oliver's yard in '95 or '96. A young stalwart from Oregon came into the yard one day and announced that he could throw anybody in the yard. Well, Henry Powell happened to be picking that day and, of course, with his background of wrestling, running and boxing, he couldn't let such a challenge go unanswered. So they wrestled and Henry threw him, and to make the defeat more stinging he said "Hell, Houghton could throw you". Charley says he hated to hear Henry say that. He didn't want to wrestle but when the talk got around, he figured he either had to wrestle the fellow or eat crow. So they went at it. Charley got the first fall after the other fellow's shirt was about torn off. They went at it again, but neither could throw the other till the other lad said "Let's quit". Charley said "Will you give the fall?" He wouldn't, so they went at it again. After the other fellow's third request to call it quits, Charley says he caught him off guard and tripped him down.

Our family picked at Hawk's yard, now the Hillis and Rhoades places. I remember my father and Mr. Henry Bennet were the ticket men. In addition to issuing the tickets, they inspected the picking to see that no leaves larger than a two-bit piece and no stems went into the boxes. Each box had a number, and I remember the family was called up to the hop house to pick over a box. Besides the oversized leaves, vines were found in the bottom. But that did not often occur. The gossip gets around and puts a deterrent on temptation.

Barney, a big broad-shouldered, red-whiskered sailor, was hop pole man at Hawk's yard, and all you had to do to get a fresh pole let down was to call, "Hop pole, Barney". Of course Barney wasn't always busy pulling poles and such periods found him picking for the girls.

Practically the whole neighborhood turned out for hop picking. After the hops were ripe, there was a rush to get them picked before the rains and the growers made special efforts to keep everybody happy.

Drying the hops was an around-the-clock job; and any time, day or night, we kids could go into the lower room where the sulfur pans were giving off blue flames and not-unpleasant fumes, unless you got too close, but the smell I liked best and the one I am always reminded of when around hops was when I peeked into the upper room where hops about two feet thick lay on a burlap mat supported by wooden lattice work, were being dried.

There was, and still is, a chalk bank just upstream from Mr. Rhoades' house and green house, where we kids used to climb up and get chunks of the stuff. Later I found it to be a diatomaceous earth. I remember one time when the teacher of the Hayes School ran out of chalk, Archie or I took some of this to school. It wasn't pure white, but it served the propose till a new supply arrived. Our family picked hops at Lish Wright's one year, also; and I remember a family altercation between Frank Bergman and Beret Backman. Frank was giving his little daughter, Martha, a spanking and she was responding with the usual howls when Beret came over to protest. The other pickers got into the act and a general confab ensued but no blows were struck and the picking went on with arguments back and forth as to who was right, Frank in spanking his child or Beret in interfering.

But hop picking had its bad side, too, as when I borrowed Owen Bennet's boat to cross over to Woodland for groceries. I was only about ten or eleven years old and didn't take the precaution of taking the oars out of the row locks when I tied the boat, and upon returning from Woodland found one oar was missing. I felt terrible. I knew I had to tell Owen about it, which I didn't, and we paddled down stream and found it lodged against the bank. Owen was a good scout. All he said was, "Don't take the boat again." Then one noon when our family was eating lunch on the river bank, Amos Willoughby came along with a big, black and tan hound; and the hound, spotting something down at the water's edge, leaped across our tablecloth spread out on the ground, and stepped in the pan of applesauce.

It sometimes rained at hop picking time. One morning, when Father, Archie and I were sleeping together, we awakened to find pools of water between us, but the tarp kept our bedding dry. Uncle Dave Kenyon burned the soles of his shoes one night while drying them before the camp fire, and Mr. Hawk's baled hops were soaked one year when the Str. Lucia Mason, on which he was shipping them, sank. The hops had to brought back and redried and rebaled.

But hop picking was a joyous occasion. Whenever I hear crickets I think of Hawk's hop yard. That is where I remember them while sleeping out in the open, silent night.



The articles included under this section were submitted by Edith Majeski (Mrs. Joe Majeski). It represents the limit of our information locally available on the subject of Indians; but there is a reference to a special Indian elsewhere in this report under the section entitled "Interesting Events" entitled "Woodland".

The reference was to Indian Zack, as he was called, and recounts the story of his friendliness to the white settlers. Woodland people have kept alive the story, and not long ago the Woodland Chapter of D.A.R. Dedicated a fountain in Horsehoe Lake park to his memory. A plaque in commemoration is there where all can read the tribute to his loyalty.

The poem, "Death Song of Chief Umtux" is about a local chieftain who actually dwelt in the valley of the Lewis River. It is replete with Indian names and allusions to local places.

It is regrettable that we know so little about the early Indians in this area. Much of the knowledge regarding them lies buried in the eternity of the past. Lewis and Clark estimated there were 16,000 Chinook Indians along the Columbia, in 1855 there were 112, now there are none.

The Cowlitz Indians were a small race, short, and had small hands and feet. Their short legs were bowed from sitting in canoes. They did not have horses because of the heavy timber, so practically all of their traveling was by boat. They were also known as the "Flatheads". A thin compress was placed from the nose to the top of a baby's head. This binder was left on for a year or more. This was supposed to be a badge of high cast. It also made it possible to carry heavy loads on their head.

They had strange ways of burying their dead. A chief, a chief's son or a high cast person was placed in his canoe high above the ground--sometimes on platforms or against trees. The paddles were put in place, with his beads and personal belongings at his feet, his body was then covered with robes of fur and he was prepared for this trip to the "Happy Hunting Grounds". The Burial Canoes were always placed with their prows toward the west.

Later, the Indians began burying their dead in graves. They dug a very deep pit, where the first of the family to die was buried, and as other members of the family died they were placed in the same grave until the pit was filled.

There were quite a few Indians up and down the Lewis River in the 1890's. There was an Indian Village at the lower point of Horseshoe Lake. Indian Joe lived on the Joe Hollingsworth place. John No-Hi and his wife, Mary, lived in a log cabin along the river and had a "sweat shack" where the sick Indians took the "Kill or Cure" treatment. They poured water over hot rocks in the shack; then, when the patient got up a good sweat, he would run and jump in the river.

Up river lived Indian Lincoln, Indian Louie and their families. There were also the sort of vagrant type like Indian George, John Wesley, Old Jack and The Salmonman. Julie, the tattooed papoose, became the wife of Bill Miller, who ran a hop yard. Old Indian George used to come to shop, with a sack of nuggets from his gold mine at the headwaters of the Lewis River, at Jim Forbes' store at Etna.

Some of the Indian bucks of the Lewis River country before the Indian War were Zack, Stubbs, Lemei, Louie, Umtats, Wa-Wa-lux, Paul Trepady, Jim Charley, Waptatla, Luee, Si-guin, Dick and Johnson. These, with their large families, constituted the largest portion of the Indian residents at that time. During the years 1855 and 1856 this colony of Indians were frequently enlarged by the addition of renegade Indians from Yakima who came over the Cascade Mountains, thence down the Lewis River to the white settlement. They tried to get the resident Indians to join them in an attack on the white settlement; but the whites had treated them fairly and they not only refused to join their red brethren, but warned the settlers to beware of the Yakima Indians as they were possessed of a "Kultus Tum-tum" or bad heart.

The settlers constructed a building early in 1855, in which their families could congregate for safety should an outbreak occur. This building was later known as the Block House.

Herbert Bancroft, writing in 1875, said, "We need not pause now to look back through the dark vistas of unwritten history and speculate who and what they are, nor for how many thousands of years they have been going and coming, counting the moons, the winters and the sleeps, chasing the wild game, basking in the sunshine, pursuing and being pursued, killing and being killed. All knowledge regarding them lies buried in an eternity of the past. We came upon them unaware, unbidden, and while we gazed they melted away."

From records of the fur trader we have been able to learn something of the Indians' religious beliefs, myths and superstitions. We know the Indians believed that practically everything--trees, rocks, mountains and rivers--possessed spirits, both good and evil. He believed in a future life and heard the voice of his God in the winds and in the thunder and lightning.

Indian Louie also known as Louie Knighton, lived on the Lewis River about 8 miles from Woodland and was the last survivor of the original American's in this section. He was a very shrewd man and a skilled boatman. His father was Squemhum, his grandfather Tu-ee-si-quin, a Chief. Tu-ee-si-quin owned all the land north of the Lewis to the Cowlitz, while his younger brother, Umtux, also a Chief, owned all that south. The Columbia River Indians sometimes invaded their territory to hunt and were wasteful of the game. This led to trouble. Louis had received no particular name when his mother took him to Vancouver where a priest christened him "Louis". Louie's children were Jake, Sam, Phene, Ione and Jim.

Indian George was the North Fork Chief. George Charley drove logs with John Taylor. The boys called him the smoked Irishman. He could out-burl any of the boys on a log.

Jim Charley was George's father, and when he got drunk on Auer's prune brandy, was uncontrollable. He was a big, powerful Indian and fought anybody in his way.



At eventide dusky Indian Maids
Chanting the Klickitats' sad serenades,
Gather that hillside grave around,
Mingling moans and wails over their chieftain's mound;
With bodies swaying in mystic grace,
They dance the weird death-song of their race.

"Gone is Umtux, gone forever!
No more down broad Wauna River.
Where he oft the wild deer slew,
Shall he dash in light canoe;
He now rides his fleet cayuse
On hunting-grounds of Memaloose.

"Farewell Umtux. Farewell forever!
You have crossed death's darkened river;
No more to fight in battle for us,
Nor sound with us dread war-whoop chorus;
You leave lone squaw and loved papoose,
For happy Isle of Memaloose!

"Down Wauna's stream, who'll lead the way,
To fishing-grounds of Skamokawa?
Who'll hunt the bear through brush and brake?
On the shores of lovely Lackamas Lake?
Who'll guard council-fire and wigwam-tree,
Of our sweet Washougal Illahee?

"Where Cathlapoolya flows along,
Who'll lead in sounding the wild warsong?
Who'll chase the deer from Speeleeyi's fountain,
By serpent Lake and Tum-Tum Mountain?
In fair Chelatchie's sunlit vale,
Who'll list to your maidens' sweet love tale?

"Oh, come, brave Umtux, come forever!
Return across the darkened river;
Lead again in war's fierce race,
Lead in the merry hunting chase;
Come to lone squaw and loved papoose,
From meadowed vale of Memaloose!"

As the maidens wail o'er that lonely mound,
The canyons the weird death-chant resound;
The coyotes' sad cry, the echoes awake,
From Yacolt Hill to Shillippo Lake.
First rose the requiem loud and shrill.
Chanted on vale and lonely hill;

Its closing cadence of deep woe,
Sank to a murmur, soft and low,
The music, borne by passing gale,
Sounds faint and sweet, adorn the dale.


"Wauna River" was the ancient Indian name for the Columbia River. "Memaloose" signifies death, or the "Abode of the Dead". "Cathlapoodle" or "Cathlapoolya" was the Indian name for the Lewis River.




It is a pleasure to note that, in the history of Woodland, everything deemed worthy of note under the heading of "Interesting Features and Events" is not merely catastrophic in nature.

To be sure, the Woodland area has survived the ravages of fire, volcanic eruption, and a series of floods, but both Curtis Gardner and Cliff Bozarth note much that is constructively beautiful and good about the country side they love. Mr. Christensen recalls early fairs, and Cliff in his poem perceives the startling beauty of the landscape. Such special events as horseracing and sports, Fourth of July celebrations, debating societies and the like, seem to capture and hold the imagination of all who have seen and have remembered.

Melody of the Mountains
by Cliff Bozarth

I stood upon Mt. St. Helens crest.
A climb quite worthy of the best.
And cast about my vision far,
And saw a sight no man could mar.

Some miles below and all round,
A virgin forest clothed the ground.
And spired peaks and lakes of blue,
Came hazily within the view.

Far to the north against the sky
The mounts Rainier and Baker lie.
Volcanic piles of lava flow
Of molten matter from below.

Look toward the east and there it forms
A guard for Cascades' flank adorns
Mt. Adams' hulk in grandeur rests
A monument to natured zest.

Southward beyond Columbia's tide,
Mts. Hood and Jefferson reside
Their slopes bedecked in winter snow
The summer reigns on lands below.

Cast now your eyes above the ground,
And feast upon the skies around,
Fantastic shapes the clouds assume
In furrowed ranks and masses bloom.

With lowered gaze I look aghast
At broken rock o'er which I passed.
At hardened snow and glaciers steep
And boulders poised as if to leap.

Upon the top at craters rim,
I see a hole filled to the brim,
With snows from many winters past,
Built inch on inch by snowy blast.

These snowfields filling nook and draw,
And subject all to Nature's law,
Yield up their treasure year by year
And furnish depth for rivers clear.

Their rushing waters then provide
The kilowatts for networks wide.
And dirt filled dams for storage makes,
A string of sparkling mountain lakes.

Volcanic peaks which dot the range,
Resistant as they are to change.
Will long send forth their challenge bold.
For men to scale both young and old.

A point of vantage such as this,
No one for sure would want to miss.
A mountain's view of landscape fair
Jehovah's handiwork to share.

Beware, oh man, 'tis better said,
To those who on these slopes would tread.
Your grip may fail, your foot may slide.
You could slip into crevasses wide.

In winter season do not try,
To climb upon these slopes so high.
For snow lies deep some thirty feet
And howling gales encase with sleet.

Remember too the climbers few,
Who lost their lives, but thought they knew,
The mountain's secrets well enough,
To hazard life on land so rough.

Today encircled round her base,
The trucks on timber roads do race,
To salvage timber from decay
And chermes infestation stay.

Come down from off the highest place,
And rest in camp beside the base.
Where shadows lengthen, night birds call,
And darkness settles over all.

Lift now your gaze to mountain's height,
Where sun yet tints the snow field's light.
Now moon beams o'er the landscape rose,
And Helen's hulk rests in repose.

These cones which highlight Cascade's range,
Possess one feature without change.
Wide upon meadow's grace their feet,
Just like some rugs laid down so neat.

Enriching all around the scene,
Great fields of bloom on slopes so green.
Stand out in pleasing contrast too,
The rugged crags against the blue.

Here mountain lilies nod their heads,
Where summer breezes brush their beds.
Here blooms of red and blooms of white,
Accentuate and please the sight.

Scrub pine and heather here and there.
Small pools like gems in setting fair,
Lend such enchantment that I'm sure,
Will dwell in mind and there endure.

Ages before the human race,
On this mundane sphere God did place,
These peaks of lava pushed so high,
Their summits all but pierce the sky.

Empires have come and didn't last.
These works of men fill history's past,
But men in ages yet to be,
Will wonder when these peaks they see.

Vacation land this Cascade chain,
Where men may go to ease the strain.
Preserved we hope to ages far,
May men this fair land not demar.



By Curtis Gardner

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill was built by A.C. Reid for George W. Woodham in 1876, to be ready to grind the settlers grain that fall.

Lumber for the mill came from Mr. Woodham's "Black Bird" mill or from the Perkins mill which Mr. Reid acquired.

In 1879 George Woodham sold the mill to Mr. Ortwell who later sold to Mike Lynch who in 1905 sold to Victor Roslund.

Gustav Utter was the operator of the mill. He probably leased from Ortweel. He and his sons ground wheat, oats, & barley for the Lewis River farmers. Grinding wheat into bran, shorts, middlings, and white flour.

When the Roslund family purchased the mill all the machinery had been removed. Since then it has been variously used as a feed mill, shingle mill and machine shop.

Victor Roslund lived on the second floor of the venerable structure and welcomed visitors in the history of his home. One of his anecdotes harkens back to the early days when the building doubled as a dance hall. Families coming from miles around, put the children to bed in the grain bins overhead and danced until dawn with music by any one who could play anything. Curious Indians stood on the side lines to watch.

June Roslund Gravengaand whose grandfather bought the mill property in 1905 says she grew up practically next door to the mill and learned to swim in water impounded by the dam there. An amateur artist she once sat under the overhanging shed roof at the mill and painted the falls at the dam.

Many present day Woodland, Hayes and Etna people--kids then--remember the parents hauling grist to the Cedar Creek Grist Mill. Ed Jones says Lew Powell hauled his own and the Jones grain to and from the mill fording the river at Salmon Riffle at A.E. Maynards.

Lena Hamblen remembers her grandfather Sam Gatton taking grain to the mill.

Sarah Bennett Forbes says one year the wheat turned dark due to the weather and their flour came back more brown than white.

Mrs. J.J. Guild says her mother didn't like the local ground flour as well as "store boughten"-- She said it was too sticky and Curtis Gardner still remembers the middlings for breakfast with cream and sugar.

by W.F. Christensen

As far as we know, Woodland started the first fairs in Cowlitz County by Dan Whitlow with some help from me. It was about 1920 and in a vacant store building that stood where the co-op store is now. We solicited the village for what we could get for prizes for the children. The next year we moved into a two room store building toward the depot and the third year we were in the old school building across the street.

The exhibits grew so fast that it became impossible to get the needed room in Woodland. As more and more exhibits were displayed at each year's fair just for the pleasure of help filling the tables, it was suggested to move the fair to the city of LaCenter.

But then the County Commissioners looked it over and saw the interest taken by the Woodland and the north end of Clark County Communities. Their greatest objection was that it was not near the center of the County. But we tried to bring out to them if the fair were at Woodland it could be possible that it could become a two-county fair.

It was started, and much money was spent for buildings, including a suitable floor for dancing which was enjoyed. One year the Longview Band, seven of them, played a few numbers for $35.00 a day, hoping it would draw a few from Longview; but they could not find Woodland.

The main support came from the farmers of Sunnyside, Kalama and Woodland Granges. They all had Booths and they were good. All came from the farm. Kalama always did her part and still does.

But Woodland lost the fair. No support. The fair struggled in pain on three different sites with some rest time between. On this present place the Fair Board and the County Commissioners have tried hard to build up a fair that would be of interest and be a credit to the County.

Fairs are like any other business. It must have food to live and they cannot live on bread and water alone. That $.50 paid at the gate is painful to part with, even though we stay on the fair grounds from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM; and that is the most the fair gets to live on.

Fairs have done much to build up a Community and state and also helped to improve the quality of stock and crops; so let us give the community fair our full support.


Entertainment in the Woodland area before the phonograph, moving pictures, radio and television consisted, besides school and church activities, of Lyceums or debating societies, patent medicine and Magic Lantern shows, traveling vaudeville troops, parties and dances.

In the debating societies such questions as "Which is preferable, a married or single life", or "Should we allow chinese immigration." See old newspaper clipping pages for colorful data.

The Patent Medicine man was a hypnotist, in addition to selling medicine he demonstrated his ability to hypnotize almost anyone into doing unheard of things such as supporting a 500 lb. wt. on his chest, while being supported on a chain at heal and head, and by sticking a needle full length in the body without flinching.

Magic Lantern Shows were held in school houses and for 10 cents the patrons, mostly children, would see the magic pictures flashed on the screen and could hear music behind a screen, sounds like a brass band when there was only one man doing it.

Vaudeville troupes occasionally came through Woodland according to the old news paper clippings. One such troupe consisted of three negroes, Dock, Dick and Johnie. With the bones, tambourine and banjo they put on such shows as "The Ghost and His Struggles".

House parties for the youngsters and dances for the grown-ups are recounted in the old news paper clippings.

by Curtis Gardner

A big celebration was held in Woodland. It was in 1895, 6, 7, or 8. My older brother, Archie, and younger sister, Lillian, and I wanted to go. Our father was away and mother stayed home with our younger brothers, Floyd and Oliver. So the three of us struck out on foot. We found, or made, a raft at the present Bonholzer place, and poled and paddled across the river. There was no bridge at that time. The bridge wasn't built until 1913. I don't remember how we got back home; probably caught a ride with neighbors. Lillian was to ride on the Liberty Wagon, representing one of the states.

This was a big celebration. A procession formed downtown on Davidson Avenue, headed by the Woodland band. The band dressed in natty blue uniforms with gold braid consisted of Bill Englert, uncle of our friendly barber by the same name, as leader; George Boyer played clarinet; Maud and Mable Englert, daughters of Bill, coronet; Joe Quigley, snare drum; Bill Bozorth, base tuba; Fred Stalcup, baritone horn; Albert Hank and Edward Gardner, coronet; Webster Kenyon and Laurence Goerig, and Sam Conrad, slide trombone; Emil Thiel, base drum; Turman Scott and Frank Vanbiber, alto horn. (Fred Stalcup is the only survivor of the band).

The Liberty Wagon followed, drawn by four prancing Grays bedecked with flags, with Phil Jones, Bert Gillott, or Ralph Caples at the reins. Edith Gillot was Goddess of Liberty, and the 44 or 45 states were represented by that many girls, each holding a flag and draped with a sash showing the name of the state she represented, while high up on her throne, with crown and scepter, sat Queen Edith ruling in her majestic splendor.

Behind the Liberty Wagon trailed the farm wagons, hacks, and carriages; the horses decorated with flags fastened to their bridles, prancing and shying at exploding firecrackers. On past Gilroy's Blacksmith Shop where anvils were being exploded, they marched. Can't you imagine what a thrilling sight that must have been, with flags flying and band playing, marching down past the old schoolhouse over the railroad grade and past the original site of the Squire and Millie Bozorth house on into the Oak Grove where the house now stands.

Here the procession disbanded. The band marched on to the stand where a mixed quartet and the dignitaries were seated. The band played America, The Star Spangled Banner, and Stars and Stripes Forever. The invocation was given. Prof. Allen Harrison, School Principal, or Columbia Klady, read the Declaration of Independence, and the quartet sang America, then the National Anthem, with Minnie Jackson at the organ. Then the ladies prepared the picnic dinner, after which everybody preceded to have fun. There was a horse propelled Merry-Go-Round, and the usual horse and foot races; but the race I particularly remember was between Forrest Smithson of Kalama and Cloudy Bozorth. Cloudy seemed to be the best runner Woodland had at that time, anyway the best available one. So after a rub down, Cloudy got on the mark. At the signal they were off. Cloudy did his best but Smithson just kept ahead of him grinning back at Cloudy as they ran. Cloudy got much applause for a good try.

About four o'clock the crowds began to disperse. There was about as much milk produced around Woodland then as now, and the cows had to be milked on time. After the chores were done, many of the middle-aged folk came back to the dance. This was held in the hall over Uncle Chris Bozorth's store, and to the tunes of Tom and Charley Stratton's fiddles they danced 'till dawn. The Orchestra was sometimes augmented by a base viola played by John Stratton and a cornet by Earnie Stalcup.

The blacksmith shop was an important part of the community in those horse and buggy days, shoeing horses, hammering our plowshares, shrinking tires on wooden wagon wheels, welding links in chains, and doing many other jobs on his forge and anvil. Gilroy was the first blacksmith I remember, and Bill Lawyer was the next. The boys would hang around the blacksmith shop and watch the sparks fly as Gilroy hammered the white hot irons just out of the forge. Occasionally a boy would take a turn at pumping the hand bellows while Gilroy wiped his brow.

Gilroy may have had a family and a first name, but I never heard of either. To my knowledge he never mixed in Woodland society. He was always at his forge. It was probably he who conceived the idea of placing one anvil on top of the other with a charge of black powder in between, to be exploded by a long rod heated at one end. Louis Oliver bore powder burns on his face for many years from being too close when one charge went off.

Darkness brought the celebration to a close for us young fry. I don't remember that there were any fireworks in those days. We had had a great day. Spent all our money, and shot all our firecrackers so we headed homeward, nursing wounds from holding firecrackers too long after lighting the fuse before throwing them as high as we could to make a louder noise.


Wreaked vengeance on Lewis River area. Early settlers told of seeing burnt stumps, logs & snags here when they first came. Some accounts say the Indians set the fires to clear out the under brush from the forests to make easier hunting; others says the Indians were careful not to start fires and that the fires were caused by lightning or other natural causes.

The Catholic Missionary Bolduc records in history that while at a Cowlitz Prairie Mission in December 1842 he saw smoke and flames pouring out of the south slope of Mt. St. Helens. Methodist missionaries at the Jason Lee Mission near present Salem recorded the same eruption describing it in more ominous terms. One of them thought the whole top of the mountain was blown off. It probably looked so because of a ball of black smoke hanging over the mountain.


Horse racing in the early days was done on straight-a-ways, usually a straight stretch of road & indulged in by the younger set, while sulky or trotting races were run on circular tracks. There were several such tracks on the Woodland bottoms. George Maxwell at Pekin had one as did Alured Davidson on his farm at Caples Landing and Berrick Guilds on his farm. "Lured" raised the Hameltoman breed of horse and trained on his track. Berrick Guild kept his trotting stock well trained to be ready to meet any challenge.

George Maxwell's track was on the south forty, adjacent to his home and to Pekin store. He kept a well trained stable of trotting horses and was often seen on his sulky with feet encompassing the rear end of the horse--his gray beard blowing--training his hopefuls to the proper stride.

A few years ago Jake Guild told how his father trained his horse for a race with Maxwells. He said there was some money up and his father trained his horse and he did win the race. See old newspaper clippings for more on racing.

by Roland Mills, grandson

Man has long recognized and admired the subtle intricities of Nature's beauty. A few, through painstaking effort, have attempted to enlarge and improve on Nature's effort using the tools already provided by her. This unlocking of Nature's beauty secrets to delight and enrapture mankind is, perhaps, just a little closer to an understanding of what Heaven must be like. Hulda Klager's has been a generous key.

Hulda Klager, nee Thiel, came to Woodland in 1877, married Frank Klager while in her mid-teens and settled down to raise a family of four children; Elizabeth, Idelia, Martha and Fred. Her husband was a dairy farmer and she, of course, a busy farmer's wife. This left little time for avocations until about 1900 when Hulda happened to start reading Luther Burbank's pioneering as a horticulturist. She became intensely interested in hybrid and cross-pollination. Flowers, especially the ancient Chinese flowering shrub, the lilac, were her halls of learning. She read many books, corresponded with other horticulturists and during every spare moment worked with her flowers. Endless records, painstaking research and seven years of patient waiting for each new variety to bloom were but a part of the picture of her unceasing and objective efforts to produce more beauty for the world around us. The blooming of the new "Creations" averaged about one per cent successful. Thousands of inferior bushes have literally "gone over the fence" since her first hybrids had their bloom showing shyly to the sky.

The years that followed were filled with new and breathtakingly beautiful lilacs unfolding for the first time on the modest five acres where Hulda Klager lived and labored. Her constant progress enlisted the aid of her children and many others to carry on the increasing beauty of her flower garden. People from close and afar came to visit her garden during the blooming season and it soon became an annual event called "Lilac Day". Woodland townsfolk participated in making this the success it deserved to be. The commercial aspects always took second place to the beauty which was free for all to see. Later years saw a small unobtrusive box for voluntary contributions to help defray the cost of keeping the garden free of the interlopers, the weed family.

Hulda Klager says that it is perhaps a family trait to love flowers and animals. She always has a dog and several house cats as pets. She tells the following story of her mother, Mrs. Thiel, when she lived in Germany. One fall day in the mid 1850's, Mrs. Thiel went out to her farmyard in Germany to feed her pet geese. To her dismay they were lying on the ground apparently dead. Shedding a few tears but still the practical farmer's wife, she carried the geese into her big warm kitchen and proceeded to pluck off their feathers. While plucking the last one, to her astonishment the geese started to get up and stagger around the kitchen. Eventually all the geese were running around in the house sans feathers and quite a spectacle. Mrs. Thiel was so happy to see her pets alive again that she couldn't chop off their heads. "What to do with naked geese?", she thought. Winter was close at hand and they would surely freeze. The family trait of originality popped up and she made red flannel underwear for the whole flock, thereby solving the problem until nature had replenished the plucked feathers with a new set of natural clothes for Mrs. Thiel's pets. Mrs. Thiel later discovered that her geese had eaten some cider mash which had fermented. They had become thoroughly intoxicated and were in a "drunken stupor" when she picked them up for dead.

Hulda Klager's constant search for perfection in her flower gardens certainly was no "bed of roses". Before the dikes were built many times she built rafts and put her precious plants on them to protect them from the annual flooding of the Columbia. Her husband and one after another of her children died. Her daughter Elizabeth, who died in 1956 was also a lover of flowers and a great help to Hulda Klager for many years. Irvina Van Eaton, her granddaughter died in 1857. Irvina lived with Grandma Klager for many years and was a wonderful help and companion for her. The tremendous Columbia River flood of 1948 inundated the Lilac Gardens and killed almost all the lilacs. She replanted new ones and Hulda Klager's lilacs bloom beautifully today (1958), not in the profusion of earlier years but proudly saying that her is a grand lady whose heart has been broken many times but whose courage and vision have never faltered. The people of Woodland have honored Hulda Klager with the title "Lilac Lady". Her work has carried a distinctive beauty to many parts of the world. Her efforts today are not for long on any day. When the weather is warm, Hulda goes to her garden and once again enjoys the companionship of her flowers.

There are a few people in the world who perhaps would not understand Hulda Klager's contribution to mankind. One who would not was a lady who wrote a Garden Editor to inquire whether it was necessary to plant two seeds together in order to get plants. Some who have understood and have recognized Hulda are as follows:

The American Magazine, July, 1927. One page article on Hulda Klager and her Lilac Garden. Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, October, 1928. Two page article on Hulda Klager and the Lilac Garden by Ruth Graham Case.

June 18, 1947 Hulda Klager received a citation for distinguished achievement in Horticulture by Oregon Federation of Garden Clubs. This was the only one given this year to a living horticulturist. The record of the citation is permanently kept by the Oregon Historical Society, The Oregon State Library and the Portland Oregon Library. It is declared to be a part of the History of the Oregon Country--a permanent record. Hulda Klager retains the original citation.

The Farm Journal, May 1950, has an article on Hulda Klager by Paul Friggen.

May 10, 1958, Hulda Klager will celebrate her ninety fifth birthday. Her lilacs this year show early promise of later lovely bouquet and beauty. The Lilac Lady has given to us nature's beauty through a magnifying glass of her own design. Her's is a gift unique and precious in the History of Woodland.


(Editorial) LILAC DAY HAS BIG ATTENDANCE...400 cars in one hour establishes new record at Lilac Garden.

Lilac Day at Mrs. Hulda Klager's lilac garden brought the largest number of people that have yet attended these events. In the afternoon a count showed 400 cars parked there in an hour, the road being lined for almost a quarter of a mile. It is estimated that at least 2500 people were there for the day, coming from points all the way from Salem to Seattle. In addition there were several hundred cars during the week to avoid the rush.

Mrs. Klager's lilac experiments date from a sick bed 25 years ago when she read one of Burbanks books. Experts say that she has some of the finest lilacs in the world. A hundred of her creations were in bloom for the annual event. The Commercial Club of Longview has selected one of Mrs. Klager's newer lilacs to be named the "Longview", being the first city so far as known to do this.

Good delegations came from Kelso and Vancouver, the Columbian following the visit with more than a third of a column of editorial comments on the subject. It was noted also that Woodland people turned out in greater numbers than ever before to see the flowers. The blossoms were not at their best because cool weather, and it is believed that they will be still better next Sunday.

These 100 varieties of lilacs and the fame of their producer are an example of what one person may do in a chosen line if followed with persistence and intelligence long enough. The 25 years spent may seem like a long time in prospect but it is only a fraction of a lifetime that must be lived anyhow, and whose time will be spent some way that would not be so productive of satisfactions in the end.

With all her experiments Mrs. Klager has of course thrown away undesirable ones, but the desirable varieties have placed her among the lilac leaders of the world, as is shown by the comments of those who have been fortunate enough to see the best of others who have experimented with them.

Many types have been developed, varying from faint yellow to white and on to exceedingly dark ones. Among them she has names of her family and others, names being Fred Klager; Mrs. Morgan, Mrs. Klager's Choice, Mrs. Lizzie Mills, Clara, Irvin, Mr. Weddle and R.W. Mills.

Mrs. Klager has always been a lover of flowers, even when a busy housewife on a dairy farm. When she and her husband decided to quit farming, her mother, herself a lover of flowers, urged her to buy the five acres that is now her home. There she has fulfilled her mother's dream of beauty by having a house whose spacious grounds are filled with many hundreds of dollars worth of trees, shrubs and flowers that are the attraction alike of novice and flower expert.

Many were her disappointments, when, after those first eager experiments, many of the new plants were no better than their ancestors, just like a lot of us humans. Now, she says, she knows it is all in the game, and if she gets one in 500 worth saving she feels repaid. If new plants are not satisfactory, over the fence they go and a new start is made.

And they go for various reasons. Maybe it is sunburn, if it does not get uniform results, if it is not vigorous, if it will not grow tall or if the color is not attractive each must go the way of all the earth. Once, when her husband was living she had dozens of white lilacs blooming, but which were too small to suit. Her husband loaded them on a wheelbarrow and took them to the road, placing a sign on them for people to help themselves. They got rid of several such loads.

When the first experiments were made and so many limbs were tied up in paper bags many people stooped to see what it was all about. At first she tried to explain, but her husband finally found the answer. He told them that they could not understand and that they had better step on the gas. That produced results.

Mr. Klager could not understand how she could find so much time to do so much "foolish puttering" out of doors, but when Mrs. Klager sold some of her new plants for money he began to think her work was wonderful.

Many nurserymen have been after Mrs. Klager to raise lilacs for them, but she says it is no fun to raise them, and send them off to town. Her fun is in having people come so she can see who is buying her creations and sell them at a reasonable price. For several years she has had lilac day, often sending out invitations to her friends and customers. She says that she does the perspiring so why shouldn't she have the fun the contacts give her through her methods.

LEWIS RIVER FIRE OF 1902 (Yacolt Burn)
by Clifford Bozarth

The Pacific Northwest is endowed by nature with some of the most stately forests in the world. The Lewis River Valley, situated in the very midst of this forest area, at one time boasted a continuous expanse of giant Douglas Firs, Western Hemlock and Western Red Cedar stretching from its head waters to the confluence with the Columbia. Today (1958), however, after something more than a hundred years, only a remnant of original tall timber remains on the lower reaches of the valley. True, much of this timber has been cut and converted into lumber and found its way into the markets of the world and enriched the economy of the region, but it is also true that thousands of acres of the valley's best stands have in times past been destroyed by fire. Since the coming of white men to the Lewis River country three such fires have occurred, with the flames traveling through the canyons hurried along by strong, dry east winds.

The most recent of these holocausts occurred on September 11, 12, 1902. It was this writer's experience to have a nearby view of the inferno which enveloped the area occupied by Yale, Cougar and points west as well as the Sasine country east of Yale.

About the first of September that year the family of A.H. (Ab) Bozarth went on an outing which, after a two day trip by wagon from Kerns, was spent at the home of Doc and Hattie Lobe near the mouth of Cougar Creek as well as at Lake Merrily about three miles north of Cougar. My father remained home on the farm for a time, coming along later arriving at the Lake where we were at the time, the day before the fire broke out.

The 11th of September dawned with an east wind which increased with intensity as the day wore along. Even in the deep tree lined depressions of the lake this wind made it impossible for row boats to be used there. As night drew on it became evident that a fire was somewhere in the country. An ominous glow could be seen to the East.

At the age of eight years one doesn't sense the potentialities inherent in a combination of conditions present at that time, namely mountain slopes of highly combustible material, a high wind, bringing fire in our direction and only a tortuous mountain trail upon which to make a getaway and that leading toward the oncoming blaze. So it was that the writer and the Trout Lake campers in general retired that night to their beds amidst the tall firs without too much concern for the immediate future.

At three A.M. the next morning, however, the lake campers were astir, having been aroused by the roar of the fire which had moved into the Cougar and Yale districts some miles distant. This incessant rout of burning forest and the solid crimson aspect of the skies made this a night of unforgettable anxiety. Without any panic, the men, women and children of this party of vacationers could do nothing but wait and wonder if it would reach the lake.

It was the plan of this party to use some row boats available to get out to the islands in the lake of which there are two. It never became necessary though, as the fire did not reach the lake shore.

This group, consisted of about 18 people, were reluctant to leave the lake even though the wind had abated and the fire seemed to have died down by day break so all the following day we remained at the lake. The margin of the lake that day was lined with heaps of fir needles and ashes which fell upon its surface the previous night and wafted to the shore by the waves.

Night came on and the party was preparing to retire again for the night when at 8:00 o'clock two footmen, Andy Kramer and L.M. Chitty of Ariel, arrived in camp each with a lantern in hand. This was the first contact with settlements on the river and the news was one of horror. People, homes, livestock had been burned and vast countryside timber destroyed.

Should we break up camp in the dead of night and feel our way in the darkness for miles along a narrow path to Lewis River or remain at the lake and face a possible new flare-up of the fire? Upon the advice of Chitty and Kramer we decided to leave.

After a hurried scramble in near darkness to gather up our effects we soon struck out along the lake shore toward the wooded ridge that lay between Lewis River and Trout Lake.

From 8:00 P.M. to 12:00 P.M. this party of vacationers at Trout Lake felt their way along the winding timber trail, lighted only by two lanterns, one at each end of a single file of 18 persons. My brother Linton, as the youngest member of the column rode piggy back on top of a pack carried by my father. I remember being near the head of the column coaxed along by my mother. My sister Leta, just turned ten, seemed to be able to make it on her own.

As this group neared the vicinity of present day Cougar and got into the area of the burning timber the going became much more difficult and hazardous, due to downed timber and falling snags which were still burning.

Finally arriving at our destination, the dwelling of Cooney (Conray Polychick) which somehow escaped the flames while all around was blackened, this tired party of campers found temporary haven in the midst of a burned out wilderness. A team of horses left at the lake were brought out the next day by A. Bozarth, their owner, and Ed Wilke.

I particularly remember the fine stand of mature firs along the old wagon road surrounding Speelei Prairie and on to the vicinity of Cougar. In most places these trees grew up through an undergrowth of tangled vine maple and other shade tolerant species, making it very hard to travel on the forest floor. I remember too the solid stands of timber clothing the mountains on both sides of Lewis River from Cougar to Ariel. This was true on September 10, 1902. On September 12 the green woods had been replaced by a countryside of blackened tree trunks. Scattered throughout this area were homes of settlers, few of which survived the fire and a number of the settlers themselves were overtaken by the fiery gale.

As a result of the wind and fire the road was rendered impassable for miles from Cougar to Ariel. Some two to three weeks of road clearing was necessary before the writer's family was able to make the 35 mile trip home by wagon team. This first conflagration which was one of the fiercest forest fires to ever take place in this county came with such explosive suddenness and traveled at such speed that little time was allowed for the people to get to the few places of safety. The duration of the fire was probably less than a full day. It covered in that short time about 25,000 acres in Cowlitz County and a similar area in Clark and Skamania County.

Probably never in the annals of forest fires has so much stumpage of standing timber been destroyed in so short a time.

But there is an adage "Tis an ill wind that blows nobody good". It is true in this case because the clean sweep of the fire made the region more open to settlement, though the good in this direction would come far short of compensation for the evil done.

Nature has been quick to heal the scar of the great fire. Where subsequent fires have not run over the hills new forests have sprung up and in many cases have already yielded up their wealth to power saw and logging truck.

The names of the persons who made the night trip from Trout Lake (as many as I remember) follows: A. Bozarth, Gertie Bozarth, Leta Bozarth, Cliff Bozarth, Linton Bozarth from Kerns; Hattie and John Lobe from Cougar; Dave and Dora Wallace from Woodland; Charlie Spencer from La Center; Mr. Hosteter, Ocea Hansen, Reno, Ed Wilke, from Woodland and L.M. Chitty and Andy Kramer, Ariel.

by Curtis Gardner

Every time I go by this colonial type old building on the Ariel Highway I wonder when, why and by whom it was built.

On the caravan last week to Cougar, promoting the new Highway to Yakima, while lunching at Cougar I met Ben Robbins who has lived there 60 years. He and Fred Blum said this building was erected by a man named Schmidt who cooked in a logging camp at Murray's prairie, later known as Speelei Prairie. Schmidt put up this building as a lodging and boarding house for loggers at a time when the logging industry began flourishing on Lewis River, around 1900 to 1920. I was up as far as Cougar in 1895 and again in 1897 and no such building existed then. There was no need for one. Logging was then on a small scale. A fire damaged the original building. It was then moved from the prairie to its present location along the new highway on higher ground. Those were the rip roaring days when loggers came to town Saturday nights in shagged overalls and caulked boots to have a spree in the five saloons that decorated the streets of Kerns and Woodland.

Lurley Gray ran the sternwheeler "Etna" to and through Shirttail Canyon from 1906 to '19 charging, I suppose first, second and third class fares going upstream and all first class going downstream. The reason for the second and third class fares would be that the former had to help pole and pull over riffles and the latter had to jump out and wade and pull.

Fred Blum tells me the hull of the "Etna" now lies under the drifting sand back of the Woodland fire hall.

The Schmidt house, if painted, grounds landscaped and seeded in green lawn, would make a pretty setting among the second growth firs where it now stands.

by Curtis Gardner

My favorite day of the year in the Gay Nineties was the Fourth of July. These celebrations had certain events, common to all: firecrackers, foot races, reading the Declaration of Independence and the large picnic table where everyone was welcome to help himself.

I know this was my favorite day because I remember them so well. I left the Woodland area in 1901 not to return long enough to celebrate the Fourth again until forty-five years later in 1946 when things had changed so that the Fourth was only a minor affair.

I don't remember the order when these Fourth of Julys came, but probably the first one was at the old Hayes School House under the maples by the creek on the present Eckstein place. The first order of the day there was the raising of the flag. Uncle Eddie Gardner was there with the flag and we kids were shooting off firecrackers.

When he got the flag tied on to the ropes he bared his head and pulled the flag to the top of the pole. Then he stepped off to one side facing the flag and told us boys to salute the flag. He led the salute by exclaiming "Hip! Hip! Hip! Hurray!" three times. We boys didn't join in loud enough to suit him and he said "What's the matter? Aren't you patriotic?" so we did it over again, better I guess. Of course we were patriotic but a little backward. At this celebration something happened to me which I have never forgotten. There was to be a boat race on the river. Milo Allen and his partner, I don't recall who, were to race me in their double end skiff while I was to use a neat little canvas canoe belonging to Mr. Gant. All preparations were made for the race. It was announced, then I got cold feet and backed out. Of course I was ribbed unmercifully, and so I resolved never again to start anything I couldn't finish, or at least try to.

Probably the next celebration was held in my father's maple grove by the warehouse by the river bank on the present Spencer property near the rock crusher. My brother Archie and I were down early that morning helping with things and shooting off firecrackers when someone hollered across the river. They wanted across, so Archie, Milton Fairchild and I set them across for which they gave us two dollars. That was a lot of money for three kids in those days but there was quite a large family, I think it was the Bonebrake family and it took two trips to get them across.

There was a lemonade, candy, tobacco and fireworks stand. The lemonade was in a fifty gallon wooden barrel and it was free. The man behind the counter filled the glasses with a tin dipper and he was kept busy. My father was Justice of the Peace and Notary Public at that time and he read the Declaration Independence, and the quartette sang appropriate music. The Hayes district had some good singers in those days. Mr. Winseet, a music teacher, had held singing classes in the Hayes church. Classes were held in the day time so that whole families could attend, some bringing their lunch baskets. The grownups were grouped in their respective parts. The sopranos were Joella Mathews, Rachel Backman, Katie Bennett, my mother, Alice and Mabel Jones and Bessie Eaton. The altos were Mrs. Evans, Laura Eggers, Grace Houghton and Aunt Lida Gardner. The basses were Jesse Houghton, Owen Bennett, Mr. Eggers and my father. The tenors were Charlie Houghton, Aron Evons and Webster Kenyon. We younger ones competed with the grownups in learning the notes and singing. I remember sometimes Professor Winsett would brag on us telling us that we could read notes better than the grownups.

Webster Kenyon was going with Bessie Eaton then and he was showing off by buying the biggest bombs he could find and tying them up high on the branches where they exploded with a deafening noise.

Then there was the Fourth of July at Park Grove School house near Robinsons' Bend about where Jesse Jones now lives. The special feature of the day was the tight wire walking, the first I had seen. He did the usual blood curdling stunts thirty feet up in the air. Then there was the men's foot race. The main contenders were Henry Powell and a man named Devault, I think from Portland. They were both good athletes and there was much talk around the country as to who was the best man. Other runners were Johnny and Sherm Littler and I think Windy Smith, George Powell and Cloudy Bozarth. I don't remember who won but I do remember that they ran bare-footed and in their long underwear. Then there was a horse race and C.A. Soney's horse Baldy ridden by Cloudy Bozarth won. To make Baldy light footed and run faster they took him over to John Robinson's blacksmith shop and took off his shoes. They took him out to the track and Cloudy with a leap swung his long legs over Baldy and flailing his whip from side to side pushed him on to victory.

Then there was the Fourth of July celebration on Tom Powell or John Eaton place, one half mile above the Clover Valley school house. The special features that day were the baseball game between Woodland and Hayes and a foot race between Windy Smith who lived a little way on up the river and a Portland boy. The Portland boy, a relative of the Bozarths', stripped to modern track or gym suit. The men folks made a circle around him for modesty sake when he stripped. Such scanty garb in those days out in the country was considered immodest. The city boy won in spite of the vigorous alcohol rub down administered to Windy.

At the Pine Grove or Ridge celebration adjoining Robert Lund's place the special feature was a high swing. They had high climbers in those days as well as now and a couple of timber jacks scaled two adjoining trees and fastened the line about forty feet up from the ground and we all took turns having a swing, two at a time.

At the Ridgefield celebration the special features were a bicycle race on a circular track made for the purpose, a boy's foot race and a horse race. Milo Allen, Archie and I walked from Hayes over to LaCenter to pick up Ben and Frank Brooks then on to Ridgefield. The boy's foot race was won by a little lad who lived near Ridgefield with Milo Allen second. After the race a big buxom blonde yelled "Yes and you can do it again, can't you (giving his name)?" Her rudeness stuck in my mind. Ed Jones entered his tall bay in the horse race. He had quite a time having the horse entered, it was so much taller than the other, but he did, and at the starting signal his horse refused to budge, wouldn't even trot for awhile. Needless to say he lost the race and also the five dollar entrance fee.

Then there was the celebration at LaCenter. The thing that made it possible for Archie and me to attend this celebration was the fact that we obtained the job of leading a cow from Hayes to La Center, for which we received $2.50 and the fact that we had relatives in La Center where we could stay over night. Our relatives, the Bazers, was a large family consisting of two boys and nine girls. The two boys played in the La Center band. Ed played the bass tuba and Henry, the French horn. Henry later played in the Shrine band in Portland. Some of the Banzer girls took part in the program that day. About the middle of the afternoon Archie and I struck for home and I think that I have never been more lonely than I was the afternoon walking home. The event we had been looking forward to for so long had come and gone.

by Curtis Gardner

In the fall of 1899 before the opening of school, Milo Allen and I made a trip to Portland in a row boat. From Frank Bedford we borrowed the boat, a neat small sized Columbia River fishing boat made of cedar with center board and sail sockets for sailing. We didn't take the sail with us because we planned to hook on to the end of a log raft and get a tow up to Portland. In those days you could look up or down the Columbia River almost any day or night and see a steamer towing a long raft of logs trailing several hundred feet behind the boat.

Milo and I had grown up together at Hayes. We were both sixteen and knocked around together a lot, swimming in the same swimming hole on the Grieger place, "rasseling" and running and staying at each others homes "all night" and the summer before we, with Clark Wright, had climbed Mt. St. Helens.

Well, Milo and I started out from Bedfords Landing just above the Strong's Moorage, in our boat headed for Portland. We rowed along the Washington side and caught up with a raft of logs being towed by the "No Wonder". The steamer had tied up along the bank probably to take on a cord of wood for fuel. We rowed up along the side of the steamer and the captain invited us to tie our boat alongside and come aboard, and travel in luxury where it was warm. We gladly accepted and were on our way. It was then mid-afternoon and by ten o'clock that night we were steaming up the Willamette River through the west channel, that is along the west bank of Swan Island in the area of North Portland and Linnton. Swan Island has since been dredged out to fill in Guild's Lake after the 1905 World's Fair. This is now an industrial area.

There was a row of piling along the bank and for some unexplained reason the steamer and log raft drifted over against the piling and caught our row boat head on, one end against a pile and the other against the hull of the "No Wonder". The inevitable happened, the bow of our boat was broken off and we were in a pretty mess, but the Captain was very kind and sympathetic and helped us pull the boat aboard. After considering our plight they said we could stay aboard until we reached the mouth of the Lewis River where he would put us adrift on his return trip. It was reasoned that if we sat in the stern and paddled the front end would be high enough to prevent sinking.

As I remember, we stayed alongside the piling until daylight when the crew freed the steamer and log raft and headed up stream through the Portland harbor, whistling one long and one short for the Steel Bridge, one long and two short for the Burnside Bridge, one long and three short for the Morrison and one long and four short for the Madison or Hawthorne Bridge, at last tieing up at the Inman Paulson Lumber Co. Mill. There was no Broadway, St. John's railroad or suspension bridges and no Ross Island Bridge at that time.

Milo and I hadn't taken our misfortune too hard. We slept in a nice warm spot on top of the boiler the previous night and we must have gotten our meals from the Chinese cook. We stayed aboard the boat for fear we might be left behind and didn't have a chance to run around town. If it hadn't been for the owner of the "No Wonder", Captain Jones, coming aboard, we would have fared fairly well, but when he saw two strange sixteen year olds and a broken nosed boat aboard he blew his top. The old man in squeaky voiced outrage wanted to know what we were doing there and was for kicking us off post haste, but before he was able to carry out his dire purposes his attention was directed elsewhere and we remained aboard.

That evening the "No Wonder" steamed out of the harbor with boom sticks in tow, down the Columbia River for another log raft. It was dark when we reached a point opposite the mouth of Lewis River, but our boat was put afloat and Milo and I with all bravery we could muster, got in the stern and paddled away.

We made it up to Bedfords Landing without incident and went up to the house to report. Frank did not get riled up but his mother did. If Captain Jones blew his top I'd say Mrs. Bedford blew hers higher. We promised to pay for repairing the boat and went home--Oh, yes, Frank garnisheed my wages just to be sure. I was then working for Columbia Klady and it took one month's pay. Frank was a good man and boat builder. He and his father, then dead, built many of the Columbia River fishing boats of that sailboat era.


The first parks around Woodland were: The Oak Grove Park, around where the C.C. Bozarth house built in 1854 now stands (now owned by Glen Bozarth) this was the favorite place for Fourth of July celebrations; the Park Grove school grounds was the scene of picnics and Fourth of July celebrations; Brattons Park was just above Bratton's landing, many steamboat excursions came here to celebrate May Day or any day when a sufficient number of people wanted a steam boat ride and a place to spread their lunch out on the grass under the shade of the trees; Martins Bluff Park stood on the point in a grove of firs where a dance hall was built, a foot-race track was graded and graveled and Fourth of July celebrations were held. Old newspaper clippings tell of Portland steam boats sometimes lashed side-by-side, coming to Martin's Bluff for celebrating. A city owned park across from the county bridge was the scene of steam-boat excursions from Portland on the Strs. Undine and Lurline. The Woodland band was always on hand to furnish glamour and excitement with patriotic tunes such as Stars and Stripes Forever and popular tunes like Terra Boom Do Ray, and Mandelay.

These were the parks around Woodland until Ariel dam was built a third of a century later in 1930. Then Woodland and Ariel park became and are still popular picnic grounds. The two Woodland city parks are well publicized elsewhere.


The Dempsey non-peril Dave Campbell prize fight on the Lewis River, November 2, 1885

Quoting from the Oregonian, "It must have been quite an occasion, Prize fighting was illegal in Oregon but four steamers from the city, the Salem, Fleetwood, New York, and Calliope, each carrying its full load, took fans to the spot picked for the bout on the South bank of the Lewis River near the farm house of J. Specht. Another steamer, the Clara Parker, brought others from Astoria, about 1000 in all, attended.

After a half-hour's rain storm it developed that no one had remembered to bring sawdust. Consequently the ring was very slippery. Captain James Carroll was referee. James Gearghant & B. Fitzgerald, timekeepers, at close of the second round, Dempsey was heard telling his second, "I'll finish him up in the next round", and he did.

Campbell, eager to press matters, struck a terrific blow which fell short and he slipped a little. The next instant Campbell lay prostrate on his back, having fallen as if shot through the heart. It was a great surprise to everybody---subsequent inquiry elicited the information that when Campbell was recovering from his slip, Dempsey landed a swinging blow with the left on Campbell's chest, then instantly planted one with the right on the side of Campbell's nose---this was the only real blow Campbell (took) in the fight "This fight was talked about in Woodland pool halls and barber shops for years. The local fans had placed their bets on Campbell and lost.

by C.C. Bozarth

President Theo. Roosevelt, in one of his speaking tours around the country paid the northwest a visit in the spring of 1904. Kalama was as near to Woodland as the Northern Pacific passenger service extended at the time. It would have been unwise to route so precious a cargo as the U.S. Chief of State and his entourage over the rails that then passed Woodland and extended on to Vancouver. The only chance then for people in the Woodland area to see the popular Teddy was to journey to the town where rail and water met and which was at the time, the county seat.

Whether a special train was arranged for, we do not know, but, at any rate, a train pulled out of Woodland one morning about June 1, northbound for Kalama with a group of local citizens.

This trip down the somewhat curvy tracks was a unique experience for us youngsters, as we rumbled along the right-of-way it seemed we were afforded a different view of our local scenery than we were accustomed to. Bottom lands here and hills there passed in view at what seemed like considerable speed.

At first the windows of the coaches could be opened so that one could stick his head out, if he wished to and this we did. Then the conductor came along and put an end to this particular diversion which wasn't supposed to be among the privileges accorded the passengers. "You can get clinkers in your eyes", he informed.

After a short wait on the tracks at the Kalama depot the Presidential train backing in from Kelso, came to a halt before a large crowd of "fellow citizens" whom the President was "delighted to meet".

The substance of Roosevelt's talk failed to make a lasting impression on the mind of the writer, who, at the age of 10 years was innocent of any political inclinations or ambitions that might affect the minds of the more mature; but we do recall the then customary adornment of the upper lip and the rimless glasses with gold chain attached. The thing that impressed the writer most was the fact of seeing in actual life the person of an American President.

After a short speech, the train bearing the Presidential party began to pull out of the station and soon disappeared in the distance, leaving a crowd that was treated to a baseball game later in the day, between Kalama and a neighboring town.

After a disappointingly late start for the home journey by the south bound special, the Woodland dairymen and others returned to normal life again and another episode in the early history of Woodland came to a close.

by Curtis Gardner

Sixty years ago this summer (1955), my father, Grant Wills (Earl and Joey Will's father), my brother, Archie, and I rolled our blankets and camp outfit including rifle and fishing tackle, and headed up river overland to Mt. St. Helens via Trout Lake. To Archie and me, 13 and 12 year old barefoot boys, this was a big adventure. One of Grant's hobbies was trout fishing and he wanted to try his luck on Trout Lake, so named because of its abundance of trout. (The lake is now called Merrill Lake.) My father and Grant were both interested in prospecting for gold and after climbing the mountain they wanted to go on around into the Spirit Lake country.

We loaded our outfit into our skiff at our landing at Hayes and rowed and polled up river past Indian Louis' and Jim Forges' and through Shirt Tail Canyon, now Ariel Dam, to the Homer Strait place where we stayed over night. We secured the services of Alvin Strait as guide and his ox as pack animal and started over land the next morning for Trout Lake, our next stop that night. We had a little trouble with our ox. He evidently didn't like being made a pack animal and, after a couple hours of docilely following up the trail, struck out in a trot through the timber scraping off his pack as he went. But we caught him and reloaded the pack and led him on a leash the rest of the way without further incident. We arrived at the Cooney place, near present Cougar, about two o'clock P.M. where we rested. It was a hot afternoon and the grasshoppers were thick. Father and Grant wanted grasshoppers for bait so Archie and I were delegated to catch a can full. This we did and then we all headed over the hill on a side trail to the lake some six miles away. When we came in sight of the lake, Grant said "Where are the grasshoppers?" Then we kids looked sheepish and admitted that we had left them at Cooney's--forgot to pick up the can. Father didn't scold and of course Grant couldn't--we weren't his kids, but I remember the remark he made then and many times after about "Papa's little canary birds." We skirted the right shore of the lake and the ox got stuck in the mud so deep that he couldn't get out and we had to unpack him. Then by pulling and pushing and yelling we got him on firm ground and sent him back home. We shouldered the packs and went a little farther where we came to a well-kept deserted camp. Earl Allen says that it was the camp of Jim McBride and Berrick Guild. Here we stayed over night. I expect Grant did some fishing. I don't know what he used for bait and I don't remember with what results. But the next morning we struck out for Butte Camp, twelve miles away at the foot of St. Helens. I remember the best pork and beans I ever ate was at lunch time on that day's trip. We arrived at Butte Camp before sun down and found a beautiful camp site was well named. Flowers were in bloom and a crystal clear stream flowed nearby. The "Mazamas", a mountain climbing organization, had been formed in Portland a year or two before and they had camped here before we came and had left things neat and clean. This camp was also the headquarters for troops from Vancouver Barracks who would come there on their annual outing and practice target shooting. I remember each summer two or three wagon loads of soldiers and camp equipment, each pulled by three teams of big black sleek, well groomed mules, would drive through our place at Hayes to ford the river at Salmon Riffle. The wagon road petered out above the Strait place; so I suppose they resorted to pack mules and men to carry the outfit on up to Butte Camp.

After camping overnight and nearly freezing in our crib bunks, we started up the mountain. Archie and I carried our shoes. We hadn't used them yet as we preferred going barefoot, but when we came to the lava beds we put them on. It was a beautiful morning, clear blue sky, and flowers in patches dotted the hill side even above timber line. Whistlers, sometimes called groundhogs or gophers, were thick, sitting on their haunches, whistling their alarm at our intrusion. The top of the mountain looked only a little distance away but after an hours hike it didn't seem any closer. But we gained on it and after three hours reached the top. It was early afternoon, and the sun was shining and little pools of melted snow stood around. After quenching our thirst and resting we went over to the anchored copper register box, opened the lid, took out the register and signed. There are two peaks about 100 yards apart. We walked over to the other peak where we had a good view of Spirit Lake. I remember there was a white rim around the lake, giving a strange appearance. The Indians would not go to the lake, "hiu cultus ilihee (much bad country)." They thought spirits were there somewhere. History tells us that smoke was seen coming out of the mountain by the early settlers so no wonder the Indians gave the mountain and the lake where the spirits probably lived a wide berth.

We made it back to camp in quick time, sliding down the snow fields with a long stick as a brake. One man went ahead to watch for crevasses in the snow that couldn't be seen until one was almost on them, and the rest of us followed at a safe distance. We had been cautioned about these crevasses. Webster Kenyon, a cousin, had fallen into one a year or two before and had to be rescued by letting a man down head first, held by a couple of others above holding his feet. The suspended man grasped Webster under the arms and pulled him out. Archie and I came on home with another outfit after staying over night at Butte Camp, and the three men went around the north side of the mountain to Spirit Lake. There was no road or real trail in there then. The men blazed trees along the way to guide them on their return.

Two or three years later, Milo Allen, Clark Wright and I made the descent with two couples from Kalama or Kelso. The boys were Kirby and Metcalf and one of the girls was a sister of one of the boys--Kirby, I think. The poor girls got sick about three fourths of the way up and wanted to turn back but the boys urged them on and fastened tow ropes around their waists and we helped pull them to the top where we signed the register. The girls got over their sickness and we made a hilarious descent sliding over the snow fields.

I vowed, though, that I never wanted to climb another snow peak and have kept that vow except for some glacier and mountain climbing in Alaska many years later at the head of Portland Canal.


Woodland was put on the map in 1881 when in December of that year C.C. Bozarth built his store on the bank of Lewis River and called the place "Woodland" after his farm called Woodland Farm. In April 1882, Woodland was made a Post Office and Mr. Bozarth was commissioned Postmaster.

Woodland was not the first trading center on the Lewis River bottoms. Pekin deserves that credit. The Pekin store and Post Office was established in 1867 or 68 by James Woods and F.H. Marsh. Pekin continued as the trading center until the Woodland store and Post Office was established. Woodland was more centrally located and on higher ground. Rarely did the June floods cover the streets of Woodland, but Pekin, built on stilts, nearly every June was flooded.

When the boundary question was settled in 1846 settlers headed north of the Columbia (until then the Hudson Bay Company frowned on any settlers going north of the Columbia hoping the river would be made the boundary between Great Britain and the United States) and by 1853 all the bottom land was settled.

The first settler was Adolphus LeLewis, a retired Hudson Bay employee, who took up his claim at and below the junction of the Pekin and Whalen roads in 1846. His half brother soon joined him and Adolphus, finding his claim in U.S. Territory, by the terms of the treaty of '46, so the story goes, skipped out for British soil, refusing to be under any other rule. He did.

Pekin and the Oaks were the first stores on the Lewis River. Quoting from B. F. Allen and J.P. Munro-Fraser's Clarke County History of 1885, "Dr. Jefferson Huff (the first representative in the Territorial Legislature) established a Post Office and Store on the Lewis River in 1853 and continued both until 1855."

The National Archives and Records Service confirms this and further states that Pekin was the name of the Post Office. The Post Office was discontinued in 1855 and re-established August 27, 1861 with Wm. Ginder as Postmaster. Since then the Pekin Post Office remained open until 1886 with the following postmasters listed in chronological order: Wm. Bratton, Gustav Grieve, Patrick Quinn, F. H. Marsh, F. Lees Lewis, John W. Caples, Charles Miller, Andrew F. Millard, Thomas S. Colvin, C.C. Byuth, Christopher C. Bozarth, Melissa L. Taylor, Lawrence V. Maxwell, G. A. McElhany, James A. Rosenfield.

In the spring of 1851 A. Lee Lewis and his half brother Fred Lee Lewis, received an invoice of goods from their father John Lee Lewis, at Hudson Bay Company at Vancouver and with this merchandise opened the first store on the Lewis River. This they conducted three years. This place became known as The Oaks, located one mile below present Woodland on the river bank. Mrs. Lena Hamblen of Woodland has a bill-of-lading for goods shipped from a Portland firm on the Str. Fashion to A. Lee Lewis at the Oaks in 1854.

I find no record of any store being operated any place on the Lewis River from 1854 or 1855 until 1867/68 when Woods and Marsh began their Pekin Store. Apparently the Pekin Post Office was passed around from house to house as the postmasters named would indicate: Wm. Bratton, Gus Grieve and Pat Quinn until F.H. Marsh of Woods & Marsh took over in 1872 as Postmaster. Even then Mr. Marsh operated the Post Office only 8 months when it was passed on to other well-known settlers in the Lewis River area. Covering the 24 years existence of the Post Office were 17 postmasters. It is curious what caused the rapid turnover. Lee Lewis attained considerable honor in his short stay by having the river, which flowed by his place formerly called the Cathlapoothe, named the Lewis River.

The next settler was Columbia Lancaster in 1849. The 1850 settlers were: Wm. H. Martin, Mc Kenjie and Jane Caples, Squire and Milly Bozarth.

The 1851 settlers were: J. Brandt, Hans Kraft, Solomon Strong. The 1852 settlers were: Gallatan Kinder, Samuel Lishon, H.L. Caples, James Burk. The 1853 settlers were: W. Bratton, John Springer, Jacob John, Jefferson Huff, Daniel W. Gardner, Allen Gilson, Owen Bozarth, John Shaw Bozarth, Joseph Eaton, Wm. Powell, Irigh Byers. The 1854 settlers were: Wm & Samuel Kinder, T. Forbisher, Stephen Butts. The 1855 settler was Chas. Fairchild.

These 27 Donation Land Claims cover all the Lewis River bottom land on both sides of the river up to and including the Roy Settler place 7 miles above Woodland.

Before regular Lewis River-Portland steam boat was established in 1866, some of the early settlers did their trading in St. Helens, Vancouver and Portland. They would flag a Columbia River Steamer at Caples Landing or Martins Bluff for a mud landing, (a mud landing is where the steamer noses into the bank hard enough to hold her there till the transfer of freight or/and passengers is made) either get aboard or hand an order to the purser for supplies to be brought down next trip or they could get in their row boat (every settler had one) and row to these trading points. Disposing of their farm products was handled in a similar manner.

The Oaks store on the bank of the Lewis River at the LeLewis place in 1854 and the store at Cedarville at the mouth of the East Fork in 1866 were short lived and a prelude for things to come. Then came Pekin, lasting from 1867/68 to 1886, then Woodland in 1881.

In 1866 the Str. Cowlitz, a 77 foot sternwheeler, Captain J. T. Kerns made regular trips between Portland and the Lewis River on Mondays and Wednesdays of each week returning to Portland on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Str. Carrie began the Cowlitz-Pekin-Portland run in 1867. The Str. Hydran was put on the Lewis-Lake River-Portland in 1876 and replaced by the Str. Latona in 1878. None of these boats made regular trips up the North Fork to Woodland. In 1881 the Str. Dewdrop was put on the Lewis River run as a feeder boat for the Latons and Lucia Mason going up the North Fork, as far as Etna when water permitted.

In 1883 the Lucia Mason began her schedule of three round trips per week from Woodland to Portland, continuing eight years. Then in 1890 the Str. Mascot began a daily round trip service from Woodland to Portland lasting to 1911 when she burned to the water level at Pekin Landing. By then the railroad had been running through Woodland eight years and it and the gas cars and trucks spelled the death-knell of the steamboat age on the Lewis River.

On March 26, 1856 the settlers were warned by Indian Zack that the Yakima Indians were coming down from Chelatchie Prairie to murder and drive the whites out of their lands. The alarm was spread and all night long the settlers gathered their immediate belongings in their boats and headed for the clock house at St. Helens, Oregon.

The story as told by Henry (Kenzie B.) Caples to Grant Burk was that, after warning settlers on his way to Mr. Caples, on the bank of the Columbia, he got in the boat with the Caples family and rowed over to Columbia City directly across on the Oregon side. The next morning Zack and Mr. Caples went to a high point and looked across the river to the Caples, where they saw a band of hostile Indians making frantic gestures for an hour or so, then retreating back up the Lewis River back home to Yakima.

Very soon a company of volunteers called the Lewis River Rangers headed by Wm Bratton (George's father) was sworn in. Col. Geo Wright of Vancouver barracks was placed at the command of the regulars and volunteers and a vigorous campaign was begun to prevent further Indian raids. This ended Indian trouble west of the Cascades. Though the Lewis River volunteers remained on the alert till the settlers were back on their farms.

No one was killed. The settlers stayed in and around the St. Helens block house three months---the men folks crossing the river to their farms in the daytime to plant their crops, always having a gun handy.

According to my sources of information, B.F. Allen & J. P. Munro Fraser's Clarke County History, Mrs. Hulda Klager, and Mrs. J.J. Guild. The first settlers after the DLC law expired in 1855 were as follows: George and Mary Love settled on the Northern portion of the Kerzie and Jane Capes DLC in 1862. Mark and Moses Webb and their mother, probably Lydia Webb, settled probably, on the strip between the A. Lee Lewis and Kraft places in 1864. The F.N. Goerig family came from St. Helens where they had taken up a DLC in 1853, and settled west of the present depot, in 1865 at future Woodland. Henry Page and sons, Fred, John and Charley, settled probably on the Fred Page place above the Clark County side of the old Woodland bridge, sometime before 1867. Then Charley and Henry Sphects came in 1876. The Ben Griffiths came about 1876.

Mr. & Mrs. Godfrey Thiel and children, Hulda (Mrs. Frank Klager) was born May 10, 1864 make her 95 years old now and she remembers her early days were where she arrived at the age of 13. She relates that she and sister Amelia had a double wedding. She with Frank Klager and Amelia with Saul Strong. Her sister Bertha married Charles Thiel and her brother Emil Thiel married the Endmay girl.

Mrs. J.J. Guild says her parents Columbia and Belle Klady, came by Str. from Portland to Pekin in 1877. She figures the Bedfords, Frank and Edith's parents, came about 1880 or before. She remembers Mr. Bedford fed her popcorn when she was a little girl.

The Derrick Guild family came to Woodland in 1882, settling on the northern portion of the Kerzie and Jane Caples DLC. They came from Portland where Mr. Guild's father had taken up a DLC in 1847 at what became known as Guild's Lake. Andrew Millard came to Lewis River before 1876 and married Martha Gatton in 1879 and settled in the northern part of the valley at Burris flat near the Green Mountain road. The Millard place will still be remembered by old timers. The Millard's daughter, Lena Hamblin gave me this information and also the record of her grandparents, the Sam Gattons. James B. Stone, father of Judge Stone of Kelso, in 1869 settled for a few years on what later became the Ferguson place. It was a portion of the Wm. Powell DLC.

The Kulpers, Smiths and Ben Griffiths settled on portions of Gallatan Kinder, Charles Fairchild and Samuel Lishon DLC's on the Clark County side of the river extending from the Forks (Eddie Rock) up to the Hawk place. The Hawk place included the present Hillis place plus a strip along the river from the Griffiths to the present Rhodes green house at the new highway bridge.

Continuing up the Clark County side of the river settlers coming within the 1880's were Guss Grieve family, Leander Mathews family, Henry Bennett family in 1887, George Backman on Jacob John DLC mentioned before, Thomas Hollingsworth family, Indian Joe, India Nohi and wife Mary, George Colville, Joe Wright, Elisha Wright family----Robins and family, James Ban and family, Jud Allen and F. Miles Allen and F. Lew Wright and F. Frank Burgman and F. Pat Harmon, Scofield, Daniel W. Gardner DLC, D. Wells Gardner, Bill Miller the squaw man and Julie; Randolph and family; August Schurman and family in 1871, Joe Hall, Goodman and family; James Russel and family; Gattis and family; Indian Lincoln and family; James Forbes and family at Cedar Creek (Etna); John Taylor's parents and family; Sawyer and family; Spurrel and family; Hamilton and family; Utter and family ran the Cedar Creek Grist Mill, still standing.




Nothing in the history of the Woodland area has drawn people here in the great numbers that the logging industry has. Free land certainly played a timely role, and so have the construction of dams and the lure of good ground for agricultural pursuits; but over the years the large stands of virgin timber have attracted the most people in the steadiest numbers. Substantial fortunes have been made in logging the Lewis River timberlands, and the economy of the whole area has responded to the sound of the axe and the roar of the hauling trucks.

In the ensuing article the emphasis is placed on early-day methods of logging, but the industry is still a going concern and vast stands of timber are yet to be opened up on the slopes of Mt. St. Helens.


The first mill of record was at the mouth of the East Fork, then called Kinder Rock or Cedarville. This was a shingle mill. The owner also ran a store there. Two or three years later, Allen Gilson started a logging camp and saw mill, some sources say on his home place at Pekin, others say on Jenny Creek near LaCenter, which began cutting lumber in 1871.

Mr. Perkins had a water power mill just below Cedar Creek on the river bank, which he sold to A. C. Reid in 1874. Mr. Reid moved the mill to Cedar Creek, where he operated it until about 1900, when he sold out to his boys. He later formed a company consisting of himself, his two sons, Frank and Harry, and Shell Anrys and another man. They operated this mill two years and sold out to the Harveys who were to become extensive logging and mill operators.

The common mode of getting lumber to the down-river settlers was by rafting and floating it down stream. Two men with sweeps (large oars) steered the raft to its destination where it was tied to the bank and the lumber hauled to the building site by horse and wagon. The Reid mill furnished lumber for many of the buildings and around Hayes and Woodland.

Fostus and Charley Beebe came to Woodland in 1889. They built a mill the next year in Woodland. They did their own logging, using skid roads and bull teams (three yoke of bulls and one of steers as leaders). Fostus and Charley's sons, Spud, Harry, Jeff and Burt, did the bull punching. Their mill ceased operations about 1900.

According to old newspaper clippings, logging in a big way started on the Lewis River in 1890. By 1903, reports Gilbert Murk, the following logging and mill operations were in full swing: Frank Murk and son Gilbert had just sold their steam donkey, rigging and line horse and 80 acres of timber to John Peterson. (Up to this time logging was done with ox teams.) Joe Bramhill, Wilson, McKeen, C.A. Soney, Clark and Towner and Joe Harvey were logging in 1903. In 1906 the North Fork Logging Co. put in a mill at Rock Creek. They cut ties and put the best logs in the river, to be driven down the river to the Smith and McCoy boom at the mouth of the river, where they were rafted and towed to Portland mills by stern wheelers such as the Vulcan, Sarah Dixon, No Wonder and Maria.

The Lewis River Tie Co. had a mill above Ariel. Tie mills then were as common as 8 ft mills today. Railroad construction was on the boom and many mills were rigged to cut ties seldom bothering with the side cut except for 1 x 6's for farmers' fences.

In 1904, Cloudy Bozarth and Charley Frost logged on the Frost place with two donkeys. There was the Gant mill which was washed out by a breaking dam. Bill Eaton (Edna Eaton Griffith's father) logged on the John Birt and Quail places.

In 1907, George Dufur and his father logged the Webb place near the Abel cemetery with two donkeys.

John Peterson had a tie and cant mill at Marble Creek. He squared up the logs for lumber into cants, floating the cants down river with the ties and cutting the cants into lumber in his Woodland mill, which was located back of Steph's Garage.

Andy Cramer in 1916-17 or 18 logged this side of the Strait place (Woodland Park) with two donkeys. The Dayton mill at this time was operating across the river above Cedar Creek.

Jim Robinson (no kin to John Robinson, prominent early settler) had a mill just below Little Rock, back of Steph's Garage, which was washed out in the flood of 1896.

Up until the building of the Ariel Dam in 1929-31, the only way to get logs, lumber and ties to market was floating them down the river, and they didn't float far before hanging up on a bar or snag. There were various ways of getting the logs loose, like kids pushing them out into the stream, then climbing aboard for a ride; but mostly by crew of a dozen or so spike-booted, stagged-britches, pike pole and peavy wielding young men. There were good wages and lots of excitement. Before the boom was in operations at the mouth of the river, logs had to be rolled off the skid ways into the river and driven in the spring to prevent losing them in a freshet. After the boom was built, log driving could be done any season.

The drivers would assemble at the head of the drive with boats, peavies and pike poles, bedding and a cook. The drives were the thrill and excitement of the young men. Each bar and riffle lodged enough logs to keep a crew busy for a day so the cook would set up camp at a likely bar and the boys would bring the bedding and supplies ashore. Everybody slept out in the open around the camp fire. Hours were long, and at 6 o'clock in the morning breakfast was ready. After beans, bacon, bread and coffee were consumed to last until noon, and a pipe or a chew, the driver was ready for his plunge waist deep into the river. This was a regular ordeal. It made the water seem warmer after the first plunge. Driving was a hazardous operation and several drownings occurred through the years of log driving. Elmer Murk, Gilbert's brother, with six others, was drowned at the mouth of Speelei Creek when the boat they were in capsized as the bow nosed into the swift current. Will Powell was drowned on a log drive not far from his home. Later, horses were used to pull logs off the bars and a drowned horse was often seen lying on the beach, feet up in the air.

Later, a steam donkey was put aboard a log raft at the head of the drive with lines to reach out and pull the logs free. Still later, in 1907, the Str. Speelei was built by Smith and McCoy, the boom men. This was a scow-shaped stern wheeler built at St. Helens to serve the logging and boom operations on the river. This boat had cooking and sleeping quarters and a pilot house and ample deck space. She burned about 1912 and was rebuilt with a spoon-shaped bow and remained in operations until 1940.

When the dam was built, a good road was built to the site to deliver equipment and supplies. The dam closed the river route to logging, but the builders furnished a hard-surfaced road for truck logging. Thus the building of the dam marked the transition of transporting logs from river to truck.

Ted and Jess Wall, veteran loggers, joined forces in instituting the trucking of logs to market. Their first trucking of logs on the North Fork (1929-31) according to Ted Wall, was from this side of the dam on a solid-tired Standard truck. The Wall Brothers had previously done truck logging on the Washougal River. After the dam was completed and the reservoir filled, Wall Brothers used the lake to float logs down to the lower end, where they were picked up and loaded on to the trucks and hauled to the Wall Boom log dump.

Mr. Wall's logging experience dates back to 1902, the year of the big fire, when he logged on the Washougal, getting out burned over timber. In 1911, he came over on the North Fork with DuBois Bros. and joined up with the Harveys in a logging operation above Cedar Creek, which involved a railroad and mill.

In 1923 the Wall Bros. built and operated a mill on the Clark County side, below the present dam, cutting ties and cants, floating them down the river to their Woodland mill (built in 1924) where the cants were re-cut into lumber for the local and off-shore market. The bulk of the lumber was trucked to Kalama for shipment. This was not a profitable operation and the mill closed after three years' operation.

Since trucks were first used in log hauling, the industry has grown year by year and will continue as long as logs and wood products are needed. With reseeding and selective logging, the timber supply will last indefinitely.

An adjunct to logging was getting out trap poles. In the 1919's, when traps were used to catch Chinook Salmon in Baker's Bay near the mouth of the Columbia, poles varying in size from six inches to twelve inches at the top, and from 25 to 50 feet long, sharpened at the butt and driven butt-end down, were used to support nets for trapping the salmon.

These poles were of second growth fir and were cut and peeled when the sap was up for easy peeling. They were sharpened and a one and one-half inch hole bored in the butt. The poles were snaked to a roll way, and when a sufficient number was accumulated, a gang of three or four men would bind them together by running a chain through the hole in the butt, threading the chain one at a time as each pole was rolled in. When the last pole was threaded in and the chain cinched up tight, a "swifter" pole, long enough to reach across the raft, was placed across the top ends, and then to each pole by a half or three-quarter inch manilla line.

These rafts, running as large as fifty feet square, were floated down to the mouth of the river, where they were fastened together and towed in a long string of rafts to their destination. Peeling trap poles developed into an exhibition of speed and skill. A long handled spade was used and a six-foot strip of bark could be peeled off with a single stroke of the spade. Charley Houghton claimed the championship for the Hayes area.

previous page

next page

page 1 2 4 5

WoodlandApe CaveArtsBirdsBusinessesCampingCatsChurchesCitiesCitizens
Day TripsDogsEast ForkExperience WAThe FallsFishingGarden
Gifford PinchotGrist MillHistoryHorsesHuntingLelooskaLilacsLinks
Merrill LakeMotorcyclesMt. AdamsMt. St. Helens
NewsPresentationsRecreationSummer VacationSW WA EventsTourismTreesTulips



Web site owned by NWNature.com Inc. Inquiries to Noel Johnson.

Area Businesses

Site maintained by Farnell Web Design