HISTORY OF THE WOODLAND COMMUNITY
FIRST SCHOOLS IN WOODLAND AREA
by Curtis Gardner
The first school was built about 1853 by Solomon Strong, H. L. Caples and John Shaw Bozarth on the A. Lee Lewis place, the present Ed Blum place, according to Abe Bozarth, son of John Shaw Bozarth, in his recollections as written down by his daughter, Leta Rasmussen. This site was one mile south of the present town of Woodland on the Pekin Road. The article follows:
HISTORY ON LEE LEWIS SCHOOL READ AT D.A.R. MEETING MAY 24, 1933
by Leta Rasmussen
Lee Lewis School was built about 1853 near Emil Thiel's residence at what is now called Woodland. The building was made of hewn fir logs and the cracks chinked with mortar. The size of the school was about 26 x 36 feet and just one room. The building was erected by my grandfather, John Shaw Bozarth, Solomon Strong and H. L. Caples.
My father, A.H. Bozarth, attended this school in the '70s. The description of this building as my father gave it to me is as follows: There were seven or eight crudely made benches with desks about eight feet long on each side of the room, about a four-foot aisle between, the boys on one side and the girls on the other side, a stove nearly in center of the room. Teacher's desk was in front of the scholars and two reciting desks on each side of teacher's desk.
My father's first teacher was Mr. O. Waterman. The first teacher who taught in the Lee Lewis School was Sumner Lockwood and the last teacher was my mother's father, James Stallcop. Sam Conrad, one of the pioneers in this valley, also taught in this school. It was customary at that time for the teachers to board and room a week at a time with their scholars' parents during the school term.
I will now give you the names of the scholars who attended this school at the time my father attended: Emma Van Bibber (Conrad), Edith Van Bibber (Merrill), Ida Bozarth (Parent), S. Martin, Henry Portwine, Will Bozarth, Alfred Bozarth, Anna Strong (Ballard), Albert Bozarth (my father), Emma Bozarth, Amelia Bozarth (King), Alice Bozarth, Luella Bozarth, Arthur Bozarth, John Bozarth, Fred Stallcop, Earnest Stallcop, Milton Bozarth, Scott Bozarth, Walter Bolen, George Armstrong, Sarah Morris, Jimmy Morris, Johnny Morris, A. Butts, Billy Davis, Fred M. Gilligan, Cora Gilligan, Lottie Gilligan, Lizzie Goerig (Martin), Frank Bedford, Edith Bedford (Wright), Ed Goerig, Albert Goerig, John Goerig, Lawrence Goerig, Lyle Lee Lewis, Adolphus Lee Lewis, Harry Lee Lewis, Archie Lee Lewis, Rosee Lee Lewis, Mable Lee Lewis, Oliver Gilson, Martha Gilson (Gardner), Sumner Gilson.
Their subjects were as follows: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Spelling, Grammar, Geography and History. The school hours were from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., with one hour for noon lunch and two fifteen-minute recesses. The boys and girls always carried their lunch in tin pails. Their school play ground was divided, the girls played on one side and the boys on the other side. They weren't allowed to play together. In the year 1879 this school was abandoned and a school was built in Woodland on the Goerig place. This was two years before the city of Woodland was named.
The teacher, Sumner Lockwood, was the son of Reuben T. Lockwood who settled above La Center on the East Fork in 1861. Sumner might have taught before the Lockwood family moved here, but more likely he was not the first teacher, or the school was not built until about 1860 or 61.
Teacher James Stallcop, grandfather of Leta Rasmussen, was also the father of Fred Stallcop who at 89 is chipper and plays the fiddle to the delight of us old-timers.
Teacher Sam Conrad, who married Emma Van Bibber and became the son-in-law of Mrs. C.C. Bozarth, was the father of Carlton. I have pleasant memories of Mr. Conrad. He wore a full beard tinged with red and he had a ready smile. Oliver and Sumner Gilson were my uncles and Martha Gilson was my mother.
Abe doesn't say who was teacher when he took this roll call, but whoever he was he had his hands full with 45 pupils...14 of whom were Bozarths, Abe and his eleven cousins and two uncles. Mrs. Hulda Klager and Willard Strong went to school here, also.
The new school Mr. Bozarth mentions was at Davidson Ave. and Pekin Roads. It was a one-room frame building and the increasing enrollment soon made it necessary to build larger quarters. This was done in 1889 when a two-story, four-room building...two up and two down stairs...was erected on the same site, joining the old building. I attended school here two school years, 1899-1900 and 1900 to April 1901. Only the down stairs was finished then, and there were two teachers. The first Mrs. Scott taught primary grades and Amos Willoughby the 6, 7, and 8 grades. The next year Grace Klady taught the primary grades and Clarence Ockerman the 6, 7, and 8 grades.
Neither Willoughby nor Ockerman remained long in the teaching profession. They chose other worlds to conquer and succeeded. Willoughby in real estate up around Tacoma and Ockerman in oil around Los Angeles. I got quite a thrill while a Junior at the University of Oregon in 1907, when the W.S.C. track team came to Eugene for a track meet. While limbering up for the weight events, whom should I see on the W.S. C. team but Clarence Ockerman. He ran the half mile and was manager of the team. We had a good visit, recalling incidents at Woodland School. I believe Clarence at that time was a Junior at W.S.C. and we discoursed on a Clarence-Curtis basis instead of the professor-scholar basis at Woodland.
The upstairs of the building was finished two or three years later, probably while Ockerman was principal. Second story windows were put in and stairways built. Then all four rooms were used. Lizzie Klager (Mills), Miss Chew, Ethel Gerding (Hoffman) and Miss Lee taught here in 1906-07. The first high school class consisting of Claude Bozarth and Clara Goerig, was graduated when the building in which they studied was down by the depot---Class of 1909.
In 1898, the Kerns people formed a school district and erected a school building on the Howard Bozarth place, one and one-half miles up the river from the Woodland School.
Mr. Klady, May Guild's father, employed a unique way to determine which district he was in. He tied a white rag around the buggy wheel and counted the revolutions to Kerns, then to Woodland. He found that he was closer to Woodland, where he preferred to be.
Cliff Bozarth started to school in 1899 at age 5 1/2 years in the upstairs of a store building that stood north of the Y at the present Schurman Machine Shop. Cliff says the Kerns School was built in 1899 and he enrolled that fall.
The Kerns School thrived under the tutelage of teachers Clarence Clemens, Grace Houghton (Gross), Kate Bennett (Barr), Miss Orr, Audrey Wilson, C.A. Soney, Mabel Quinn (Murk), and Daisy Bennett (Hulett) until 1908, when it was merged with the Woodland School. A more modern and commodious school building was erected on the present Woodland school grounds in 1909. The Kerns children went to school in the old building in the fall of 1908 (the new building was not yet completed) and the following fall the new school was occupied and the old building abandoned.
Cliff remembers enrolling in school in the old Woodland school building at the intersection of Davidson Avenue and Pekin Road in 1908 and that Lizzie Klager was teaching there at that time. Cliff says his father, Abe purchased the Kerns school house and moved it over against his barn in 1910 and that both buildings burned in 1915.
To bring the Woodland school history up to date: The high school was built in 1922 and the Junior High and Gymnasium and Agriculture buildings were added in 1937. A three hundred and fifty thousand dollar grade school was built in 1951 and a nine hundred thousand dollar High School with all its trimmings in 1955 and 1956, a pretty good set-up for a town of 1300 population and the surrounding Union School District.
UPPER LEWIS RIVER PIONEER HISTORY
FROM COUGAR TO LITTLE KALAMA ROAD
Mrs. Runyan, a Lewis River Pioneer..
Mrs. Lydia Huffmaster Runyan of Ariel died at her home April 4, 1927 at the age of 73. She was buried at the Ariel cemetery April 16.
Mrs. Runyan was born in Loami, Illinois, August 9, 1854. She married John Fletcher Runyan, December 20, 1876 at Melville, Mo.
They first moved to Portland, Ore. when they came to the coast, later coming to Woodland where Mr. Runyan had a blacksmith shop. Against the advice of their friends they decided to take up a homestead on the North Fork of the Lewis River in the middle of the winter.
With their little family and a few household articles they cam as far as Reno with a team and wagon coming the rest of the way by canoe, arriving December 1, 1884. The new home was a small one room cedar cabin. It had a fire in the center of the room with a hole in the roof for an outlet for the smoke. This cabin was not strongly built and had the wolves tried to get in the family could have done little to save themselves. Mrs. Runyan told how one night they came close to the cabin and howled. She got up and threw some cedar on the fires so the crackling and popping would scare the wolves. After that they were not bothered.
Mrs. Runyan was the first white woman up this far on the Lewis River. She made friends with the Indians and they helped her in many ways besides showing her how to do things. Mrs. Runyan had to "rustle her own wood" part of the time.
The next summer a cabin was built of logs. It was an improvement over the cedar cabin but yet it was not perfect. The only means of lighting was from the fireplace, through the cracks and door ways. In the cold weather a blanket was hung to keep out some of the cold. One winter when there was a heavy snow fall the barn roof caved in on the children killing her little daughter, Clara. Even this did not crush her courageous spirits as she performed her sad duties.
During the big fire in 1902 the Runyan home escaped and this family did much to aid their less fortunate neighbors. In later years Mrs. Runyan kept somewhat of a boarding house. Everyone that stayed with her will never forget the cheery smile of "Mother" Runyan.
Her grandfather, Wm. Huffmaster, was the first white settler near Lick Creek, Sangamon County, Illinois in 1819. Her father David Huffmaster was crossing the plains to California when he was accidentally shot. Pioneer blood ran in her veins for she was a true pioneer. Through all the hardships she never complained, but thought of the good times they had along with the hard. Mr. & Mrs. Runyan had eight children, six whom survive: Guy Runyan of Netarts, Ore., Ada Koschnitzky, Susie Carlson, Iva Paddock of Portland, Ore., Hattie Legnick of Hayes and Orva Runyan of Ariel. There are also 11 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Mr. John Fletcher Runyan died about three years ago.
FUNERAL SERVICE AT ARIEL:
In the passing away of John Fletcher Runyan last week this community lost one of the earliest settlers. Mr. Runyan had been sick for a few months, but apparently had regained his health to the great joy of his family and friends. But recent complications showed themselves and on Friday last he was laid to rest in the family plot in Ariel cemetery.
The Rev. Pamment conducted the service and was accompanied by several Woodland friends and members of the church here. The following is a brief history of the deceased.
John Fletcher Runyan was born April 13th, 1852 at Franklin, Lee County, Iowa. With his parents he moved to Kansas in 1866. He was married to Miss Lydia Huffmaster, Dec. 20, 1876. He moved to Washington where he settled on the North Fork of the Lewis River Dec. 1, 1884, with his family and has since made it his home. Eight children were born to them, six of which are now living: Guy Runyan of Netarts, Oregon, Ada Koschnitzky of Yamhill, Ore., Iva Paddock, Portland, Ore., Susie Carlson of Portland, Hattie Legnick of Hayes, Washington and Orva Runyan still at home.
Mr. Runyan accompanied by A.J. Birt first made the trip up the river in a canoe to homestead property. Their main interest being to hunt. For many years Mr. Runyan operated a blacksmith shop in Woodland, even after his family moved to homestead. He later did blacksmithing at his home.
Died--On March 15, 1897, Mr. Isaac Runyan aged 63 years 4 months 24 days.
He was born in East Tenn. on Oct. 22, 1923. In 1834 his parents moved to Green Castle, Ind. In 1844 he was married to Miss Martha Hall. In 1849 he moved to Davis Co., Iowa. He followed farming until the fall of '62. He enlisted in the U.S. Army under Gen. Steel. On April 30, 1864 he was wounded in the battle of Saline Bottoms near Little Rock, Ark. He was sent to the hospital at Little Rock, in which place he stayed about two months. He was granted a furlough for thirty days at the expiration of which he reported at the hospital at Keokuk, Iowa.
He remained at that place as nurse until the close of the rebellion. In 1866 with his family he moved to Bourbon Co., Kans. near the small village of Fort Scott. After living there for twenty-six years he moved to Clark Co., Wash., on the North Fork of the Lewis River near Etna. He had taken a homestead and had cleared quite a nice little field for an old man. In 1866 the government granted him a small pension of two dollars per month, about a year ago he got an increase of four dollars, making in all six dollars per month. In 1843 he joined the M.E. Church and has always been a devoted member and Christian Funeral services were held. For his text Romans viii:xxviiii, and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The deceased leaves an aged widow and six children. The youngest being thirty years old, also an aged brother who made his home with him.
His remains were peaceably laid to rest in the Highland Valley Cemetery.
Mrs. M. L. Runyan is 95, Woodland, Wash., Woman celebrated birthday with daughter, Woodland, Wash., March 20.
Mrs. Martha Luetta Hall Runyan of Woodland celebrated her 95th birthday here on March 6, at the home of her daughter Mrs. E. C. Swart. Mrs. Runyan was born at Buffalo, N.Y. on March 6, 1825. She moved with her parents to Indiana at the age of 11 years, coming down the Ohio River on a log raft on which there was a fireplace of mud built in a cabin, where the cooking was done. She married to Isaac Runyan at Greencastle, Ind. in 1844 and 11 children were born to them, of whom five are surviving, these being J. Fletcher Runyan of Ariel, Cowlitz County, Washington, Lulu Painter of Pratt, Kans., Emma Higdon of Orchards, Clark County, Wash., Segal Runyan of Garland, Kan., and Hattie Swart of Woodland, Wash. There are 31 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. With her husband and part of the family, Mrs. Runyan arrived on Lewis River 28 years ago and here her husband died in 1898. She has made her home on Lewis River since that time, and until recently lived on the family farm 16 miles from here, now making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Swart. Mrs. Runyan has been in good health until last winter, but is not well at this time. She was well enough on her birthday, however to get outside and have her picture taken.
Pioneer History from Cougar to the Little Kalama Road
Compiled by Ariel Women's Club, - Mrs. Robin A. Runyan, Mrs. Edith Chilton, Mrs. Flossie Davis, Mrs. Jennie Chilton - Committee (Also, Mrs. Dolph Mulkey's research.)
The reason the first pioneers gave for settling in the Lewis River Valley was for LAND. The thought of having 160 acres of free land seemed so wonderful, especially those coming from foreign lands. Some came to escape the hard times of 1894. To own land was so uppermost in the pioneers minds that most overlooked the opportunity to also homestead timber (lands) claims. Some men came to hunt. In fact they did not at first want timber on land as it was too difficult to clear for their farming.
In the beginning they could not file on the land on which they were living because some of it was railroad land. In order to induce railroad companies to build railroad railroads into new country, the government granted the railroad companies every other section on either side of the track, or proposed track, for twenty miles. Consequently many settlers were squatters on railroad land. In lieu of these lands the government gave the railroad "Scrip" for land elsewhere.
In some cases settlers lost their land to unscrupulous men who bought up this railroad scrip and then tried to force settlers from their homes on some pretext or taking possession while settlers were "working out" to earn some cash. Many lawsuits were brought by settlers to win back their land.
In order to locate railroad lands, Mr. H. E. Dart with other pioneers used a field compass and chain then starting from an established section line on the other side of the river (Clark County) made a survey.
Requirements for proving up on a homestead were met without too much critical inspection, as long as basic requirement of 3 months residence were complied for three or four years. They could stay the last night of a month and the first day of the next month. This would take care of two months.
One summer after the death of their father, John and Jim Ferguson in their very early teens, stayed on claim at Yale one summer.
Mrs. Anna Griffith tells of one settler when required to have glass in windows, had glass-bottles in window opening.
Most of the homes before the fire of 1902 were built of logs with cracks chinked up with moss. Even the fireplaces were made of logs. There may have been some of split out boards as was the school house at Shady Nook.
Some even had dirt floors for awhile. At first some were built Indian fashion with a hole in the roof to let out the smoke from fire built in the center of the room. Cooking was over this fire or in fireplaces.
During the first years the pioneers would buy a years' food supply every fall. 2 barrels of flour - 1 sack sugar - 100 pounds of rice - Arbuckle coffee bought green and roasted, ground as it was used.
After the big fire of 1902, George Litzenthauler leased a piece of ground from J.F. Runyan for $2.00 a year for 15 years with privilege to release for the same period. At Runyan's Landing, this store failed. Wholesalers at this time would let stores stock up on consignment. Later this store was operated by Carson (Shorty) Gieger, who had operated a store at Yale for a short period. The Ariel Post Office was now moved to this store, and so Ariel was named. About 1918, Joe Polley bought the store. In 1927 it burned and was rebuild by O.E. Runyan. After the property was purchased by the Northwestern Electric Company, Mr. & Mrs. O.E. Runyan build the present Ariel Store. The Ariel Post Office was moved to the Commissary for the duration of the construction. For a short period it was a Third-Class Post Office. Mrs. O.E. Runyan was appointed Third-Class Postmaster. Later it was moved to the present location, in the Ariel Store building.
There was a store located where the fish hatchery is now located, operated by M.L. Kent. M.L. Kent had the store, Post Office, and dance hall. Levi Mason also operated a small store there before M.L. Kent. He also ran a dance hall at that location in a different building. He operated the Ferry across to William Forbes at Colvin's Landing. Steve Schmidt built a combination store and boarding house and dance hall at the present site at Yale.
Stopping Places -
After the roads were improved, stages (horse and wagon at first) had regular schedules and stopping places to rest horses and eat meals. Some most frequently mentioned were Mrs. Hansen Miller, Mrs. George Dufur's mother at Red Rock Landing, Bob Chilton, Matt Fredrickson, A. J. Birt, J.F. Runyan, Hills or Grandpa Straits, and many more.
After the logging industry started with log drivers on the river, many homes were opened to boarders. Special places would be arranged ahead so that drivers would plan on driving logs various points along river near stopping places.
A Mrs. Axtel ran a rather large boarding house where the Fish Hatchery is now located.
Other Enterprises -
Many of the early settlers were quite enterprising. Elmer Snyder, a German-Swiss, operated a cheese factory on the present Herman Petty place around 1904. Nathen Pea tanned leather and made shoes. J.F. Fletcher Runyan did blacksmithing. Gene Strait had a grist mill where people brought wheat and corn to be ground. At one time there were several hop fields.
The people were very cooperative, helping one another with tasks building homes, barns, farm work - in sickness and death. Many women acted as mid-wives for their neighbors as it was impossible for doctors to reach patient in time if there had been money to pay him. Friends didn't visit often but stayed longer. There were quilting bees, barn raising, and then a Literary Society was organized, where there was singing and dancing. While there was little money to spend everyone shared. When butchering was done, people sent neighbors a piece of meat. Then when neighbors butchered they returned some meat. From stories told by descendants of pioneers, there were few luxuries in their childhood. A piece of store candy lasted a week. Mr. Tom Ellis will long be remembered by the children of yesteryear for his store of candy, oranges, and other treats which he gave to children. They had more responsibility yet they found time to play using blue clay from creek banks for modeling, and other homemade materials. In pioneer days the children would have to wait for 2nd table when there were too many to be served at meal time. Sometimes their food wasn't as plentiful as first table fare.
A story was told by a teacher who had to board at a place where there were surveyors boarding also. She had to sit at the 2nd table. For one thing there was no butter, - she was told by the landlady that if she wanted butter she would have to buy it an then share it with others at the 2nd table. Another story has been told of one boy looking hungrily through the doorway, who exclaimed, "There goes the last piece of chicken."
Children of pioneers trapped and sold skins of animals for needed cash. One eleven year old boy shot a bear. The money for this pelt was used to buy him his first store suit of clothes. Money was too hard to come by to spend foolishly.
In spite of the hard rugged life the pioneers lived, they were very modest in their language, certain words being tabu for ladies to say - "bull" - "boar". A story is told of one lady wanting to borrow some borax, asking for some "he-hog-ax".
Parents of yesteryear struggled hard to provide schools for their children. In those days, the school was a symbol of progress of the community. It was the center of interest and a meeting place for community affairs. However the directors frowned severely at any dancing in a school building.
The School Terms were dependent upon the amount of money appropriated from State, County, and local levies. Teachers were often in their teens having just completed the eighth grade, perhaps going a few months to summer school and taking teacher's examinations.
From November 9, 1949 issue of the Kelsonian Tribune under the heading (30 years ago this item appeared).."The regular teachers' examination will be held at Kalama, November 7, 8, and 9. Morning session to begin at 8 a.m. Application desiring certificates are requested to attend."
Lucia Jenkins, Co. Supt.
Sometimes teachers would be given a temporary certificate until they could take an examination. If they failed to pass the examination they could not finish their school term. Sometimes there would be a three month fall term or a three month spring term. As more people came into the community longer terms were held. Wages were in the beginning $100.00 for three months which by 1910 was $50.00 for six or seven months. The buildings were of split out boards in the beginning with home made desks seating two pupils. Water was supplied with a pail and dipper. Later each child was supposed to have their own tin cup. The first school was held at Johnson Creek (Ben Thomas' place) District 15. From an old school register dated September 6, 1886, teachers whose names appeared were Robert Bonser, M.M. Illman, Lucia A. Jenkins, Ellen Lynch, C.A. Soney, W.A. Morris, E.E. Edmonds, Lizzie Forbes, Jim Ferguson, Lizzie Lynch, I.B. Shoemaker, W.O. Powell, George Modrow (he was 16 when he taught at Etna in 1905), Mrs. Jessie Mitchell, Perry Burchman, Bessie Robinson, Amy Chapman. At one time Clark County was joined with Johnson School District 15. Miss Jenkins tells of being rowed across the river by Jim Forbes. She stayed at his place. His daughter Lizzie also attended the Johnson Creek school. Later school was moved to Etna (Jack Rotschey's place). In 1905 the people, by special election, voted to move school to Marble Creek to save children from walking such a distance. Miss Edith Johnson (Mrs. Jim Ferguson) taught in 1909 for five months for $40.00 per month. The teacher teaching at the Kenyon School (Clover Valley) failed examination so Miss Johnson finished the remaining two months of school, and was rehired for $50.00 per month for 7 months.
She married Jim Ferguson in 1913. The first school in the Ariel Community was built on Old Indian George's place of split out boards. Homemade seats and desks, four to a seat. Blackboard was painted board. Early teachers were: Mrs. Butts, C.A. Soney, Ruth Badger, Mrs. Peck, Mabel Finn, Mae Swart, Grace Houghton, and Lester Holder. While the school was at this location C.A. Soney was logging as well as teaching. At recess and noon he would have the larger boys go down the river bank and push off logs that were hung up on the bank. this was a lark for the boys.
This school was moved up the hill to the present site (Norman Wilson Logging Office) and called Bell School. There was a school, Shady Nook, up the DuBois road, when the logging was at its height. The first Yale School was on the Newt Graves place. It burned in 1895 as did the one built on the Harry Griffith place in the fire of 1902. The school was then built on the Murray place and burned in 1908 or 1909. It was rebuilt and burned again in 1924. School houses were also used as Sunday Schools on Sunday. The first was started by Miss Lizzie Brugger.
Early day teachers at Yale were: Mable Quinn Murk, Mrs. Wilke, Zoa Cresap in 1907 taught two months, Miss Lauback took over, then married Carson Geiger before school was finished. Mary McKay completed the school term. Martha Klager, Mary Alexander, Wilber Ireton, and Lester Holter also taught at Yale.
Since their salaries were small, the early teachers "boarded round". What an experience some teachers had. Sometimes they were put in rather difficult spots if they did not favor the directors children and wanted to be retired. School elections could be quite hot sometimes in those days.
During the later part of this period, eighth graders had to take their eighth grade examination at the county seat or at some other school than their own. What an experience that was for scared children who were never away from home before. The examinations were difficult.
Jim Ferguson and Gus Gabrielson were among those who started the first telephone line into the valley in 1907. In more recent years the line was owned by Joe Polley from the present Frank Brannon place to the old Ariel Store. After he burned out it was owned by O.E. Runyan until purchased by the West Coast Telephone Company during the construction of Merwin Dam.
During the early 1900's there was a hospital across from the Merwin Dam by Robert Chilton's sister and husbands, Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln Logan. It was operated for several years.
Newt Graves owned the first automobile in 1917 and used it to carry the mail.
There are many names standing out in this pioneer history, perhaps one of the most colorful and most publicized being Ole Peterson. His place is obliterate now by Swift Creek Dam. Nathan Davis perhaps the first settler in our community in 1868 became a territorial representative.
In 1887 the Lewis River froze over at the present fish hatchery.
The name of Daddy Rock will be remembered for starting the road side parks when he was Fire Warden, after World War I...the Lava Beds, Swift Creek at Cougar, French's Camp Ground and various other spots. Near the old Ariel Store was an inlet of water that made a natural swimming hole for many years.
One era has past and another era of progress is at hand. Let us hope that with material gain, the old values of our pioneers will not be forgotten.
Indians living on the Lewis River were Indian Joe, Indian George, Lewy Knighton, the Lincolns. George Charlie was one of the best log rollers and all around river man.
SALMON HATCHERIES ON THE LEWIS RIVER
It was in the summer of 1908 that the first salmon hatchery was built on the Lewis River. It was built in the deep canyon at the bottom of Johnson Creek, on the north bank of the Lewis River by George Hoggatt and Ed Close, both of Kalama, where they were neighbors. They were not new to hatchery work even in that early day, both having worked at the Kalama hatchery, which was built in 1895 and was the first in the State of Washington. The materials were brought in by team and wagon, and the road at that time crossed Johnson Creek just above the hatchery at the falls. George Hoggatt brought his wife and three children. His wife was the former Anna Breitsprecher who came to Castle Rock with her parents from Iowa in 1877. George was one of six sons of Andrew Hoggatt who came to Kalama from Kansas in 1888. There were also two adopted sons.
George and Anna were married in 1896 in Kalama. Their three children, all born in Kalama were two boys and a girl, the youngest boy being Bill, or H.O. When they came to the Lewis River country they lived in a log house where the Ben Thomas residence now stands, while the hatchery was being built. Water was drawn from Johnson Creek by a pulley arrangement. When the hatchery was completed living quarters were tacked on at one end. This was an 8 x 16 room with a leanto roof. Three beds, one above the other took up one wall. Anna Hoggatt who still lives in Kalama and who is now 80 years old, recalls that it was very dark and damp in the bottom of the canyon, and that during the bitterly cold winter two wood stoves in the small room failed to dry out, or even thaw out the always damp clothing. The boys walked to the Etna school, which was up the Lewis River perhaps a mile, and which is still standing on the Jack Rotschy property and is now used as a shed or barn. The Post Office address was Etna, across the river and the mail came across by ferry. The only neighbors were the Masons who lived right on the river at the Reno Cut Off, and Indian Louie who lived farther down Johnson Creek. The only time Mrs. Hoggatt remembers being off the place during the year that she lived there was once when she went to a basket social at the Etna School house. The Hoggatt family moved back to Kalama in 1909, where George died three years later in 1912.
When the Pacific Power and Light Company built the Ariel Dam on the Lewis River in 1932, they also built a modern salmon hatchery four miles below the dam just above Johnson Creek. The hatchery was built under the supervision of John Mayhall who also served as the first superintendent at the hatchery. The old hatchery on Johnson Creek was abandoned and forgotten by all but a few. It fell into decay and few traces are to be found today of the hatchery or the bridge across the creek. Many superintendents came and went at the new hatchery, and in 1950, George Hoggatt's youngest son, Bill, who had already been working for the State Fisheries Department for 24 years, came to the Lewis River Hatchery as superintendent. As this is written, in 1958, he is still there.
Submitted by Edna Hoggatt
We find the earliest settlers coming to the Lewis River country on foot and by horseback, such an example as this is, Simon F. Murray, who was the first homesteader in the Yale Valley. The country was so remote at that time that he actually followed Indian Trails to come into the virgin forests there from H. E. Dart and Tom Ellis homestead. As the valley began to settle trails became makeshift roads that were barely possible with team and wagon. Gradual changes came about to make more convenient routes for those using them most. One incidence of this was the changing of the road between the jack Rotschy and Chilton place. The old road here went back behind the mountains by Ben Newkirks place, turning off where Jack Rotschy place now is, and coming in again at Chiltons. In order for children to go to school it was necessary to walk up around the mountain and down to the little school house on Rotschy's place. One day three school girls, Jennie Dahl, Florence Fredrickson, and Lily were filled with an adventuresome spirit and followed an old Indian trail which was located approximately on the present road site. They arrived home so much earlier that it induced John Dahl and Matt Fredrickson to slash out a trail, and this late became the road. sometimes where roads were across pioneer property and there were differences between families, logs would be felled to prevent them being used. In order to improve road conditions, Mr. john Fletcher Runyan took a sample of ore to Portland and put it on display to attract miners to the country. As a result several miners came in and mines were opened at Marble Creek and others at Yale. All this helped to open up the country. People could work out their Poll Tax by helping with road building. The road from the present Ariel Store to the Merwin Hydro Electro plant and park is all of the Nathan Pea road, named in his honor as he was a Road Supervisor.
We find road problems and changes facing the pioneers in the Yale Valley as well. Those crossing the river from the Chelatchie Prairie country and settling the South Yale community, the McKays, Cresaps, Nagels, Brodies, Fraziers, Razeys, Allens, were more or less isolated from the settlers in the main Yale Valley over the hill.
They had their own school always and the Post Office was located there until after the 1902 fire. From that time on it was necessary to go down around the mountains from the Cresap place and cross Spelei near it's mouth, then up to Griffith's for mail. The main Yale Valley residents who depended on crossing the river and going out through Chelatchic Prairie country for supplies and groceries also faced the hardship of using this slow route.
Needless to say it was an occasion for rejoicing when the present road site over the hill came into use. Wilson Razey was road supervisor during the time it was built, and all these old pioneers put in hours of work with grubbing hoe and shovel for which they had no pay but the satisfaction of a job well done and knowing the convenience it brought to those using it.
When the first bridge was put across the Lewis River near the present site, and ferries no longer were necessary the people felt they were indeed fortunate. The old river for which the country is named, the Lewis, played a major part in transportation facilities in the early days. People came in canoe to points further up river and by steam boats to landings on the lower end. The greater part of supplies were brought in this way, by either coming up from Woodland or by crossing the river by ferry from various points. Ferries were located at several points along the river. We find one up river that was run by Jacob Polley at the foot of Geddis - now flooded by the Yale Dam reservoir. This was a handmade cable ferry operated by hand. Farther down river just above the present Yale bridge we find early pioneers crossing the river by ferry at the McKay place. Later this was replaced by another, below the present bridge at the Tom Cresap place. For years this ferry was used by bring supplies to the Yale community. The Hayes Ferry down stream, and the Forbes Ferry both did their part in the community development. We even find a basket ferry up a the old Frazier place.
Due to the road conditions and the hazards of transportation, mail facilities were inadequate. We find the early mail to the Smith Post Office at South Yale being brought in on horseback. At that time it was carried by Abram J. Towner and delivered once a week. On Oct. 3, 1904 this Post Office moved to the Harry Griffith place at Yale. Here delivery was also made one a week by horse and buggy. Later the deliveries increased to twice a week. After the coming of the North Fork Logging they , by petition, had mail deliveries increased to three times per week. A Post Office was later established at Cougar and taken care of by John Beavers, Mrs. Amanda Robbin's brother.
The Etna Post Office was located on the south side of the river across from the present fish hatchery and run by Mr. Forbes, who also had a store. In those days residents had to cross the river on the ferry or by canoe to get mail. The Post Office was later transferred to Kerns on the North side of the river. In 1901 a post office was established by Chitty, on the Homer Strait place, it was named Ariel after his son. This burned in the 1902 fire. After the fire it came down river 2 miles and was run by Carson Geiger, Joe Polley next took it over, then W.W. Kernodle, and O. E. Runyan. A Post Office was established at Reno. M. L. Ken was postmaster - approximate dates just prior and after World War I. The Ariel Post Office as ;moved to Wheatley with Nete Wheatley as Postmaster, then Mrs. Lottie Esminyer was Postmaster. It was then moved.
By the coming of the logging industry into the valley, roads were improved somewhat, but roads were not used in those days for transporting logs as they are today. Here again the river played a large part in the industry. The logs were taken to the river by oxen team, then later by horse team and floated down stream and out to market. Robert Chilton logged by team on the then John Dahl homesteads. (O.E. Runyan place). When c. A. Soney taught at the Shady Nook School he would have the larger boys go along river bank and push the logs from t he bank at recesses and noon. He also logged as well as taught school.
As the logging industry grew the larger companies moved steam donkeys and locomotives in on barges, put in railroads and moved their logs down to the water. Among those taking part in the early logging were Mr. Dart and Mr. Ellis who logged with oxen team in the South Yale community.
The North Fork Logging Co. came in 1904 to the Ben Hannah place and moved in 1906 to Brook's Creek on the Graham place. In 1907 this company put in a mill on the A.J. Towner place on Brook's Creek. The first mill up the river was owned by Mr. Gant and Sons. It was located on the Dart & Ellis homestead, up the hill from the old Ariel school house, and was put in in 1906. The mill later moved down to the Winkinson Place. Others having logging operations were Mr. Sonney, John Peterson, William Tenney, Walt Anrys, Dubois Logging Co., Joe Harvey, Whitbeck, Beehimer's Lewis River Mill, and Andrew Kramer.
The Lewis River country was not fortunate enough to escape disaster which hits all parts of the world at times. The major disaster of the Lewis River Valley was the 1902 fire. This raging demon carried by the winds with such force that it literally engulfed everything in it's path. Both people and animals fled before it and sought refuge near creeks, the river and in a few open spots. Not many homes were saved and several people lost their lives. From past experience the Indians knew that the J. F. Runyans would not be burned out as they were in a cove. They brought their trunks and possessions there and buried them in the Runyan orchard. For weeks afterward many survivors lived there until the could rebuild. The Jonathon West home was another home that did not burn and also the Nathan Pea home. In 1924 there was another serious fire that started on the Irvin Graves place and burned places down to above the Ariel School.
Again the river plays a part in the history of this valley. This time nature is not lending a helping hand, but the swollen ugly waters are boiling and rolling onward, washing away at the banks and sweeping angrily up over them to bring destruction to low land homes. In the year 1894 the river was on an ugly rampage. Waters swollen by heavy rains and snow, washed out the Bill Birt and John Birt places. The neighbors always ready to lend a helping hand, salvaged much of their household goods in boats so they did not lose everything they owned. The river claimed many lives by drowning over the years. In 1911 thirteen loggers were crossing the river in a boat which capsized and 7 men drowned at one time. Thus it has brought disaster and sorrows as well as progress and joy.
At the present time the waters have been harnessed and are being converted into electric power, which is going out from two dams already completed, to be used by mankind. The third dam is in the process of construction. Who can say what the future will hold for this valley that has seen such rapid changes from pioneer days to modern living.
Electricity came to the Lewis River in 1929 when the Pacific Power and Light Co. built the first Hydro-Electric Plant (Merwin Dam). This brought the most change to the Lewis River Valley, and with the change came better roads and an influx of tourists. Hunting and fishing becoming a sport rather than a necessary means of supplying food.
Transportation continued - Many people owned a house in Woodland or stayed overnight with friends when they came to Woodland, as it took a day to go to Woodland and one to come back. There was a settlement across the Lewis River from old Ariel called Bumkin Hollow. The people crossed the river to old Ariel and used a road on the North side of the river as there were no roads on the South side of the river.
April 24 or 25th, 1924 - Fire, carried by a strong east wind, burned all buildings at the Yale school, except the cottage. All buildings and farm machinery at the Murray place except the house. Jack Hannah was living there at the time. The Jobe home over by the South Spelei bridge was destroyed. The barn and chicken house a the old George May place. All buildings and machinery at the North Fork Mill on the mountain were burned and the Wren home where Ed Thraders no live. The barns, chicken house and chickens on the tom Ellis place were lost. All fences in the path of the fire were burned, as well as many cords of wood which had been cut for the following winters use. The fire started on the Irving Graves place, where Dolph Mulkeys now live.
The Englert family came to the Lewis River in 1886 from Wayne, Nebraska. They homesteaded on Johnson creek.
UPPER LEWIS RIVER FAMILIES - 1868
Branham - wife
Land Donation Claims and Homesteads did undoubtedly cause the earliest settlers to come to the Lewis River Area, but of course the reason they settled in this particular spot was the facility of transportation by water. Actually, we are told, the first oxen teams were ferried in here, and when the railroad finally put in its appearance, the train itself was actually transported across the Columbia River by ferryboat.
Sternwheelers plied the river for many years, the last ones, the La Center being abandoned in 1931 and the Woodland, in 1929. The Fashion, a side-wheeler, built in Vancouver, together with the Eagle, a propeller type, must have carried the majority of the Land Donation Claim settlers and their families to the Lewis River Valley, to say nothing of Lee Lewis himself.
The period between 1890 to 1911 saw the height of the steamboat era, when the steamer MASCOT made a daily trip, even though the railroads had a local to Vancouver as early as 1903, and completed a railway through Seattle to points East by 1908.
Highways opened up to Vancouver and Seattle, being paved in both directions in 1922 to usher in the quickening pace and general mobility of the gas-powered car, known in these times as the automobile.
The horse-drawn wagon and the buggy days are dramatized among many local stories, not the least of which is the history of our Woodland physician, Dr. Carl Hoffman, as he traveled on errands of mercy.
STEAMBOAT ERA ON LEWIS RIVER, 1854-1920
by Curtis Gardner
Much history has been written of steamboats on the Columbia, Willamette and Cowlitz Rivers but to my knowledge none has been written on Lewis River steamboats, and this is an area where I as a barefoot boy thrilled a the sight and sound of steamboats coming around the bend. So, with the following sources of information, I set myself to this task realizing that errors will creep in, but in the he main it will be a true account.
Sources of information are: Lewis and Dryden's Marine History of the Pacific Northwest and Clark County History by B. F. Alley and Monroe - Fraser.
Carl Landerholm and Pete Wier of Vancouver, Washington, Pete Moe, Frank Smith and Alvin Bruner of La Center and the following Woodland people: Bert Gillott, Mrs. Klager, Carlton Conrad, Bob Hobert, Gilbert Murk, Lizzie Mills, Cora Clawson, Fred Stallcop, Walter Day, Lena Hamblen, Harry Andrews, Will Forbes, Jake Guild, Mayor Earl Bryant, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Johnson, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Houghton, also my personal recollections.
The FASHION, 1854... The first record I have of steamboats running up Lewis River was that of the FASHION, the Ex-JAMES P. FLINT, a side-wheeler 50 feet long. Mrs. Lena Hamblen has a bill of lading for goods shipped to on the Str. FASHION. A. Lee Lewis at "The Oaks" in 1843. "The Oaks was opposite the Lee Lewis place just below Woodland.
The EAGLE, 1858-68. The Clark County History states the EAGLE, a 40 ton propeller boat, piloted by Sumeral John, in 1858, made a trip up the North Fork to the John place, later the George Backman place, for a load of potatoes. The record shows the EAGLE with Henderson Captain, on the La Center - Pekin - Portland run in 1868.
The COWLITZ, 1866. In 1866 the COWLITZ, a 77 foot stern wheeler, formerly operated on the Cowlitz River, was put on the Lewis River run for awhile. The Vancouver Register of April 7, 1866 states: "The steamer COWLITZ, Captain J.T. Kerns, is now making regular trips between Portland and Lewis River on Mondays and Wednesdays of each week returning to Portland on Tuesdays and Thursdays...."
The CARRIE, 1869-71. The ex-RAINIER built in Rainier in 1867, was put on the Cowlitz-Pekin-Portland run under Capt. James Fisher in 1869, for two years. Her owners, J. G. Kingsley, Fred Harbaugh and J.C. Toner, put her on as an opposition boat to the COWLITZ, (later named WENAT) and RESCUE, which were owned by H. D. Huntington, Henry Winsor and O. Olson.
The SWALLOW, 1870-1874. In 1870 the SWALLOW, a 45 foot stern wheeler, (all steamers mentioned from here on were stern wheelers) plied the East Fort "stopping at each house exchanging dry goods and groceries for cash, butter, eggs and honey.? In 1872 a store at Timmins' Landing in La Center, made this house to house peddling unprofitable and her Portland owners, Arnold and Fayne, after she had been tipped over and sunk by a floating snag, gave up the ghost in 1874. Pete Wier says his father W. G. Wier, was Captain in 1872 when the SWALLOW would run out to meet the Columbia River boats at St. Helens.
The HYDRA, 1876-78. In 1876 the 70 foot HYDRA, so named because she had so many owners, was launched at St. Helens. Certain enterprising La Centerites consisting of W. G. Wier, John Gather, Frank Danzer, Charles Forbes, Mike and Thomas Kane, J.C. Miller, Isaac Thomas, and others, seeing a chance to make a profit in the first growing transportation business, decided to build a boat of their own. "She began running in charge of W. G. Wier and later was Captained by Isaac Thomas". She continued on the Lewis-Lake River-Portland run until 1878 when she was succeeded by the LATONA.
The LATONA, 1878 - 86. The LATONA, a 90 foot boat, built at La Center in 1878, by the same men who built the HYDRA plus Woods and Caples of Pekin, known as the Lewis and Lake River Transportation co. took the HYDRA'S run. She operated on the Lewis - Lake River - Portland run under Captain w. G. Wier, until 1886 when she was put on the Oregon City run by the Grahams where she operated until 1891 when she was condemned and replaced by the ALTONA. W. C. Wier was Master until 1882 when John H. Bonser took charge.
The DEWDROP, 1881-87. The Lewis and Lake River Transportation Co. of which Isaac Thomas was the leading spirit, launched Str. DEWDROP in Portland in 1881. She was a diminutive stern wheeler with a pair of misfit engines of light capacity and was designed to run to the headwaters of the streams mentioned. W. G. Wier was her first Captain succeeded by Isaac Thomas. The DEWDROP acted as a lighter for the LATONA and LUCIA MASON, going up the North Fork as far as Etna and to La Center when the water was low. Pete Wier relates that she had a cedar hull, easily punctured by snags or ice. He says she sand once above Woodland when John Bonser was Captain and sank the last time at the Forks in 1887 when she ran into ice. As a result of this accident she was dismantled. Walter Day recalls her pilot house sticking above water when he passed by in another boat in 1887.
The RESCUE, 1864-78. This boat was built at Monticello in 1864 by H. D. Huntington, Henry Winsor and O. Olson. She was put on the Cowlitz-Lewis River-Portland run and later the Lewis River-Portland run. The Vancouver Independent April 11, 1878 states that "two boats are running on the river connecting with Portland making four round trips a week, The HYDRA and the RESCUE".
The LUCIA MASON, 1883-91. "This boat was launched at St. Helens in 1883 by the Farmers Transportation Co., of Pekin, Washington, of which Isaac Thomas was the leading spirit." The steamer continued on the Lewis River run for about eight years, sinking occasionally but making a great deal of money for her owners. Thomas commanded a greater portion of the time and W.G. Wier was also Master for several years." John H. Bonser was Captain for awhile. Pete Moe recalls that this boat sank at Bratton's Landing. He says, with Olin Hosford in command she came downstream around the bend full speed ahead and the momentum carried her against the rocks. This was in the night time and Pete says the Indians at the point near the Indian Village, seeing the crew standing around waiting for help, rescued the Chinese cook but would not led a hand to the whites. Indians and Chinese were always forced to stay on the lower deck when traveling on steamboats. Charlie Hough..., Jake Guild, Gilbert Murk, Harry Andres, Earl Allen and Bert Gillott say the LUCIA MASON sank just above Kerns where she hit a snag and was never raised. I remember on one of these sinking occasions Mr. Hawk had his season's crop of dried and baled hops aboard. The hops got wet and were taken back to the hop house and dried and baled again. The hop house stood about where Mr. Rhoades Green House now stands just beyond the bridge on highway 99.
The LENA, 1884-95. A light draft 40 foot boat was put on the La Center run by her owner Captain Thomas died in 1893 and the LENA , his only boat on the Lewis River at that time, was sold to .....................................as a lighter for the MASCOT. Pete Wier relates that his father, W.G. Wier, was captain and he would let Pete, as Engineer, and a lad named Barney as Skipper, run the LENA around just for the practice and fun of it.
W.G. Wier began his 18 year career as Captain on the Lewis River Steamboats, on the SWALLOW in 1872. Later he was Captain on the HYDRA, LATONA, DEWDROP, and LUCIA MASON, retiring in 1890 to his La Center home, after the Thomas boats withdrew. His sons Cassius (Cash) and Pete (now living in Vancouver) succeeded him in various capacities on the boats, arising to the coveted office of Captain.
The ISABEL, 1887-90, quoting the Marine History, was launched at Salem in 1882 by A. Prescott. She was commanded by Captain J. L. Smith until 1887 when Captain John H. Bonser, John W. Exon and Matt H. Lane Jr. ran her (presumably on Lewis River). She lapsed into the hands of the Farmers Transportation Co., in 1889 and was operated by Captain Thomas on the Lewis River run for a year and was then sold to the Hosford's and sent to other runs. The Clark County Register, August 30, m1888, says " the steamer ISABEL which was recently refitted and placed on the Lewis River run, ran on a rock in Lewis River last week and tore a hole twelve to fifteen feet in length in her hull. Were it not for the fact that the vessel was supplied with air tight compartments she would have sunk. The steamer was put on the ways for repairs. The ISABEL is owned by I. Thomas." She had at least two other accidents on Lewis River. Mrs. Charles Houghton remembers seeing her stuck on a sand bar across the river from her folks, the Lew Matthew's place, now the Bahnholzer place and I remember one Sunday when coming down the river from Etna the ISABEL ran aground just below the riffle at our old place. She nosed into the beach so hard that it took a couple days to get her off. The Captain said the accident resulted from a bent rudder stock. My brother Archie and I had fun roaming around over her deck while she was stuck. The ISABEL had no regular run. She filled in when one of the other Thomas boats was laid up.
The MASCOT, 1890-1911. Quoting from the Marine History "the stern wheel steamer MASCOT, length 132 feet, beam 24 feet and depth of hold 5 feet and 5 inches with engines 15 x60 inches, was constructed at Portland for the Lewis and Lake River trade where she has been steadily employed since completion. John Bonser was Master until 1893 and was succeeded by Al. W. Gray (Mrs. Carl Johnson's father). For the past few years she has been owned by Jacob Kamm." Another source says that Kamm bought her from Isaac Thomas and Olin Hosford. I, and others I have talked to, th9ought Kamm built her and the fact that a group of Woodland farmers bought the TOLEDO in 1891 and put her on as an opposition boat to Kamm's boat, the MASCOT, shows that Kamm owned and ran the MASCOT on Lew River in 1891. Mrs. Carl Johnson remembers that their family moved to Woodland in 1891 to be near the home port of the MASCOT on which her father was Captain. He was Kamm's brother-in-law and worked on Kamm's boats. With this evidence I will assume that Kamm put the MASCOT on the Lews and Lake runs in 1890.
The MASCOT was the finest boat ever put on the Lewis River run. She was fast, had elegant quarters on the passenger deck and was queen of the Lewis River steamboats. In her 21 years on Lewis River she exerted a great influence on the fortunes of the Lewis River people. She was the first boat to establish a daily, except Sunday, round trip service to Portland, leaving Woodland at 5: a.m. and returning usually about 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. On Sundays when water permitted and when there was freight to move the MASCOT ran to Etna. Carlton Conrad remembers that she made a trip up to Harvey's mill at Shirt Tail Canyon. I remember five of her Captains: Al W. Gray, James Lee, Archie (Scottie) McNiel, William (Billy) A. Davis and John (Johnny) H. Bonser. Burt Moerck, Allen Harrison and Ted Blackmore and Engineers Alf Andrews, Harr's father. The MASCOT sank at Pekin in 1808, was raised and rebuilt 32 feet longer and burned at Pekin three years later. Many a time we Hayes kids would hike down to Woodland to get aboard the MASCOT for a ride up to Etna and back. Mr. Moerck never charged us any fares and we looked ahead to these trips, and many times exciting things happened to and from Etna, such as the time the MASCOT, going up stream, hung up on a hidden bar in the middle of the river. Captain Lee thought that hew could pull the boat on over by taking a hawser ashore in a rowboat and fastening it to a stump ahead. This was done and with four men on the Capstan and the rest of the crew and passengers heaving onanother line fastened to the stump, pulled her free. Then there was the time when the MASCOT heading down stream from Etna with a load of potatoes, stuck her nose into the middle of the Russel Riffle just below the Dufur place. Those riffles were swift and when the stern started swinging around and struck the bank we wondered what would happen and quite a lot did happen. From the crash it made me think the boat was wrecked. The potatoes on starboard side tumbled over on the floor and tilted the boat over to port and she hung here. All I remember after that was that we kids scrabbled over the wheel house to shore and went home, but somehow the MASCOT got free and I believe made her run to Portland the next day. Then there was the time when the MASCOT, knowing there was a load of freight available at Etna, got up steam about midnight and without lights and noise headed for Etna. At that time, 1895 or 96 the steamer H.C. GRADY was running from our place at Hayes, now the Grieger place, to Portland making a one way trip per day, and the MASCOT knew that she too had her eye on the Etna freight. The MASCOT crept quietly by the GRADY which was tied up but the eagle eye of the watchman spotted her and gave the alarm. All hands aroused and they stoked the furnace, got up steam and gave chase. It looked hopeless but luck was with the GRADY. The MASCOT got stuck some place up the river and the GRADY beat her to Etna and got the freight.
The Vancouver "Independent", December 8, 1904 says, "The Kamm Co. (Lewis River Transportation Co.) service has been the poorest that ever ran on this river since the SWALLOW and HYDRA ran on it. If you know what side your bread is buttered on and have any sympathy for your neighbors, patronize the opposition boat LEONA at the foot of Oak Street Portland. If the people don't patronize it they ought to be compelled to walk to Ridgefield to the Railroad if they go at all."
May Earl Bryant came to Woodland from Portland on the MASCOT with his bride of a year, in 1906 to establish a pharmacy which he has operated ever since, and now has a son, Walter, and Walter's daughter, Grace, as assistants. He tells me the UNDINE took over the MASCOT'S run in 1908 when the latter was rebuild into a longer boat and that the LURLINE made excursion trips for several years to Woodland Park just across from the old bridge, during the June high water periods.
Will Forbes tells of a near swamping he and Indian Joe Hollingsworth had on one of these raids between the MASCOT and GRADY for freight at Etna warehouse. The steamers were neck and neck as they reached the mouth of Cedar Creek. The warehouse was around the rock point just above. Will and Indian Joe were crossing the river in their skiff and got caught in between the two steamers. Will was only 13 or 14 and Joe was at the oars. Will yelled "Pull". Joe said "Me no pull". then Will grabbed a paddle and said "You pull or I'll hit you over the head with this paddle". Joe pulled.
Will tells of another time when these same boats were approaching Etna neck and neck. Will's father, Jim Forbes, always maintained a ferry with over head cable with one end attached to a windlass for lowering when steamboats passed. This time the boats were in such a hurry that they didn't give Jim enough time to let the cable down. They ran into it but it didn't snap. They back away so the cable could be lowered and got a good calling down by Jim for their carelessness. One of Bill Englert's barber shop yarns is to the effect that the MASCOT on an errand of mercy over the bottom lands during the 1894 flood, passed through a corn patch. The cook, seeing those luscious roasting ears, reached out over the gunnel and plucked a mess. Other boats helping the farmers out in their plight during the 1894 flood were the LENA, EGALITE, BISMARK and ELWOOD. The EGALITE towed scow loads of rock down Davidson Avenue to farm houses on the low lands to weight them down. Earl Allen says the UNDINE and LURLINE also helped in removing cattle from t he bottoms.
I'm sorry I was unable to contact Earl sooner. He just arrived the other day from California where he spent the winter and I was not aware of his return until the first installment of this article had gone to press. Earl probably knows as much about the steamboats on the Lewis, Willamette and Columbia Rivers as any one else, having worked on them from deck-hand to Captain, for nearly twenty years.
The MASCOTS run was strenuous. She left Woodland at 5:00 A.M., touched at Bratton's Landing if flagged to take on Clark County traffic there was no bridge then and Clark County farmers would meet the boat there. The next stop was at the Forks or Pekin to meet the little LENA or EGALITE with La Center traffic. Then she went up to Ridgefield on Lake River, then a few mud landings, then to Morgan's Landing on Sauvie's Island and on to Portland arriving at 11:00 A.M. She left on her homeward trip at 3:00 P.M. arriving at Woodland nine or ten P.M. and sometimes later. There was only one crew and the deckhands had to catch up on their sleep between stops enroute. When water was too low the MASCOT tied up at Pekin. The passengers were taken on to Woodland by stage driven by Sam Conrad and sometimes by his son Carlton. Sam had a sense of humor and when the passenger list included eligible maidens and bachelors, knowing where the chuck holes were, (he) would speed up the horses when approaching the big ones to get a laugh out of the antics of the girls screeching and grabbing hold of the nearest thing at hand, this story was told me by an old timer.
While attending Portland High School, 1901-1904, I had planned to take the MASCOT to Woodland to spend the Christmas holidays there and at Hayes. As I hurried to the dock at the foot of Taylor Street she was just pulling in the gang plank and was a little to far out to jump aboard. I yelled but the Captain wouldn't come back. Well that meant a lot to me. There was no other way to get to Woodland except by Caples Landing and the LURLINE leaving at seven P.M. would land me there about midnight with no way to get over to Woodland except to walk. By inquiry I found that the MASCOT was to make a landing in Northwest Portland so I hopped a streetcar and go as near the landing place as possible, then struck out with a bag in hand. I spotted the MASCOT already landed with the stern lying along side a raft of logs. I didn't know how long she would remain there so I took the surest if not the conventional way and struck out across the logs and climbed up on the guard rail by the wheel house and trailed along to safety. The Purser thought I had taken too much chance but took my fare and I sat down to read "Lorna Doone", my English Class assignment.
The TOLEDO, 1891. In 1891 some farmers, being dissatisfied with the freight rates charged by Kamm, formed the Woodland Navigation Company and bought the steamer TOLEDO from the Kellogg Co. on the Cowlitz and put her on the same run as the MASCOT'S as an opposition boat with...........................................................Billy Davis as Captain. These men were James Copeland, John Robinson, Charley Specht, Henry Houghton, (Charlie's father) George Bratton, Charley Specht, Henry Houghton, (Charlie's father), George Bratton, C.A. Soney and Barney, a sailor who lived with the Bratton's. The price war was on. Kamm always kept his rates lower than the TOLEDO'S until he was carrying the passengers free of charge. I suppose freight rates were reduced accordingly. The people wanted to patronize the local company's boat but the free fare was a great temptation and they road and shipped on the MASCOT and the local company had to quit. They sold the TOLEDO and lost heavily on the venture. Kamm then put his rates back up high enough that with is other boats the LURLINE, the UNDINE and other boats on the Columbia River runs amassed a fortune.
The EGALITE, 1891-96. In 1891 the EGALITE was built and launched on the bar across from the Woodland dock. It was a gala occasion. Quite a crowd had gathered, kegs of beer were tapped and the hull slid sideways into the river. The crew and onlookers got aboard and poled her over to the dock. She was towed to Portland for the installation of machinery. I don't know where the upper structure was built. Mrs. Hulda Klager relates that the owners were F.N. Goerig, (Ethel's grandfather), Squire Bozarth, (Glen's grandfather) James Copeland, Sol Strong, (Bus's father) and Godfrey Thiel, (Mrs. Klager's father). Quoting from the Marine History, "The Woodland Navigation Co. constructed the small steamer EGALITE, length 76 fee, beam 20 feet, depth of hold 4 feet, to run to the head waters of Lewis and Lake Rivers. She was aftwards purchased by Jacob Kamm." It is supposed that the foregoing names Mrs. Klager mentions were the organizers of the Company. She also relates that Leodocia Copeland, daughter of Mr. Copeland, named the EGALITE. It is a French worked meaning elegant and of all the steam boats I think she was the most inelegant. She was stubby and her cabin sat high so that with her scanty powered she at times was not able to make it over to St. Helens when there was a strong head wind. She was soon sold to Kamm and used to operate up the East Fork to La Center and to Woodland when the low water made it impossible for the MASCOT to operate.
The MESSENGER, 1891-96 was built in Portland. She was a milk boat running from Lewis River points to Vancouver and Portland. On her return trip she came down Willamette Slough to St. Helens then over to the Lewis River. Fred Stallcop worked on her and he tells how the rest of the crew being members of one family shoved most of the work off on him. The MESSENGER had a siren whistle and Pete Wier says that when the Norwegians and farmers heard her whistle they would take down their guns and listen for a cougar. The MESSENGER burned in 1896.
The ELWOOD, 1894-98 was built by Abernathy and Co. Mr. Abernathy was Jacob Kamm's brother-in-law. They married sisters of Captain Al W. Gray. The ELWOOD took the MASCOT'S place in 1896 when the latter was laid up for repairs. She was a slow boat and caused much dissatisfaction. I remember being at my father's house, just above the present Spencer Gravel plant one Sunday when the Elwood tied up there. Mr. Kamm was aboard and the crowd assembled felt honored to have such a distinguished personage in their presence. They were calling "Hello Jake" and "Hello Mr. Kamm". She went on up to Etna and on her way back hung on the Kenyon riffle, with stern fast aground. The bow was close enough to the bank so that the crew shoved a gangplank ashore and trucked sand on to the bow, lowering it so that the stern rose and the ELWOOD went merrily on.
The BISMARK, 1892-98 was built in Woodland on the flat just above the present fire hall, by E. Wagner and Cash Wier, Captain. She made the usual run from Lewis River points to Portland as an opposition to the MASCOT. Gil Murk relates the following incident. Gil's father Frank was operating a ten bull logging camp at the Day place (Walter Day's dad) and chartered the BISMARK to carry a load of feed to his camp. They made it up to the last riffle all right, but this was a bad one and few boats had tackled it and only one to my knowledge had gone over it. Captain Wier refused to try it. Then Mr. murk offered him $5.00 extra but he still refused and backed down and unloaded the feed at the nearest landing place. The Vancouver "Independent" January 2, 1896 says, "the steamer BISMARK got her nose knocked off on Kinder Rock the other day and came near sinking and she is laid up for repairs. The Company has put on the Str. GRADY to run in the place of the BISMARK. The GRADY is a fine boat and we hope that the Company will keep her on this route. We learn that Capt. John Bonser is Captain of the GRADY. As he is well acquainted with the river we feel safe in his hands as he has proved his ability before. We like to see opposition in a business when there is a living for both especially steamboating as it insures better treatment, cheaper rates and but little bullying. So let us patronize both."
The H. C. GRADY, 1895-97. Cohn C. Bonser, Captain, took the BISMARK'S place while the latter was laid up for repairs. A Mr. Rockefeller was the GRADY'S purser. I remember his name through association with that of John D. Rockefeller Sr. (probably no kin) whose name was much in the lime light at that time and whose money was thought to be tainted by certain eleemosynary institutions. Standard Oil's tainted money and eleemosynary institutions were common phrases around the turn of the century. The BISMARK never came back on the run and the GRADY lasted only a year or two. Too much competition from the MASCOT. See article on the MASCOT.
The G.M. WALKER, 1898-1913. Kamm bought the G. M. WALKER, 1898, from G. M. Walker who had run her on the Willamette, to run on the Lewis River as a lighter boat for the MASCOT. Scotty McNeil was Captain. Harry Andrews remembers that the MASCOT took her in tow at Portland, headed for Lewis River. The WALKER had no license to operate on the Willamette or Columbia. When they got beyond the mouth of the Williamette where they were less apt to be overhauled by the harbor mater's patrol boat, the MASCOT cut her loose to go on her own power. The WALKER hadn't gone far when a tiller rope broke and she went out of control. They were in a predicament, knowing they were violating the law, and signaled the MASCOT back to take her in tow. They got the tiller rope spliced and the MASCOT cut her loose again and she arrived on Lewis River on her own power. Harry says he and his mother rode on the WALKER on that trip. His dad, Alf Andrews, was Engineer. John W. Exon bought the G.M. WALKER from Kamm in 1913 and in keeping with the prevailing trend of naming boats for the towns they served named her the WOODLAND. Mr. Henrici of Sauvie's Island, the well known violin maker and player, named his boat running from Ridgefield to Portland, THE CITY OF RIDGEFIELD and the year before Pete Moe and Uriah Brothers christened their boat running from La Center to Portland, the LA CENTER. The LEONA, 1901-12 owned by the Grahams of the Willamette River Transportation Company and Fred Brower of La Center, w3as an opposition boat to the MASCOT. Frank Smith of La Center relates that "Kamm ran her off."
Pear Mason of Ariel remembers that his father, Levi Mason, brought the family down from Portland, where they had been working on the Lewis and Clark Fair Grounds, to Colvina Landing on the LEONA in the fall of 1905. Colvin's Landing was across from the he mouth of Cedar Creek.
After being tied up in Portland harbor for awhile she was bought by a preacher, probably the John W. Exon mentioned above who, according to Alvin Bruner, did preach at times, and brought down to La Center to undergo extensive alterations. In the process of tarring her seams she caught fire and burned down to the hull which could be seen for many years after, along the bank just below the La Center bridge.
The ETNA, 1906-19. A 60 ft. boat of 13 ton capacity, was build in 1906 by Horace Campbell. He operated her a year or two, then sold her to Lurlie Gray. Lurlie operated her on the North Fork going up as far as Speilei Creek, hauling supplies, rails and equipment to the logging and tie camps: C. A. Soney's, Joe Harvey's, Lewis River Lumber Co.'s, Dubois Lumber Co.'s and North Fork Lumber Co.'s. Bert Gillott was in the hauling business with teams, (that was before the trucking ear) and hauled freight from the railway freight yard at Woodland to the boat landing for shipment on the ETNA. The ETNA also carried passengers. Mrs. Will Schurman relates that when her father, Owen Bennett, was sawyer in one of these mills, the family would ride back and forth from Woodland to camp on the ETNA. She says that when the boat couldn't make it over a riffle on her own power, Lurlie would jump overboard with tow line in hand and anchor to a convenient tree up stream. Then with the aid of the Capstan would always make it over the riffle. The ETNA was the last boat to run up the North Fork. In 1919 while tied up to her Woodland dock, she broke loose during high water and drifted down stream on to a snag where she sank and was abandoned. Earl Allen says that Lurlie Gray holds the record for navigation of a steamboat the farthest up the North Fork - even beyond Speilei Creek.
The MODOC, 1911-13. When the MASCOT burned in 1911, Captain J. W. Exon brought the MODOC on the Lewis River - Portland run and kept her there until 1913 when she was sent to Puget Sound. She had been an O.R. & N boat operating on the Willamette and Yamhill Rivers. Gil Murk remembers her as a large shallow draft boat about the size of the MASCOT but able to navigate shallower waters. I remember the MODOC coming up the Yamhill River to Dayton when a bunch of us Hayes and Kerns people were picking hops there about 1895. The Tooly family of Kerns, the Henry Bennett family of Hayes and Archie and I had finished picking hops for McKay at Champoeg and had driven over to Dayton in a wagon to pick at the Dayton yard.
The WOODLAND, 1913-1921? This boat the ex-G. M. WALKER was owned by Captain G. W. Exon. He rebuilt her in 1917. Whether she ran as a freighter and passenger boat after that from Lewis River points to Portland is problematical. Probably she was converted into a cattle and freight boat. Many cattle were being shipped by steamboat fro Lewis River points to the Portland Stock Yards. Charley Houghton made shipments but he doesn't recall on which boat, the LA CENTER or the WOODLAND. The METLAKO, 1913-1921, according to Gilbert Murk, the Caples brothers, Ralph as Captain, Harry as Portland dick agent, Hugh as Engineer and Art as Decker, put this boat on the Lewis River - Portland run as an opposition boat, probably to the WOODLAND. Carlton Conrad says he worked on the METLAKO the winter of 1914-15. She carried passengers, freight and cattle. He remembers one exciting incident when two bulls broke through the barrier while Carlton was on top of the boiler and could not be separated until someone hooked a pike pole in the nose of one of them and pulled them apart. Carlton hauled freight for Bill Martin from Pekin to Woodland in the autumn of 1914 when the METLAKO couldn't make it to Woodland because of low water. Walt Bryant thinks the last boat on the Woodland-Portland run was the METLAKO. He remembers she had a deep whistle. Harry Andrews says a steamboat was operating on the Woodland-Portland run in 1921 when he operated a feed store at that time in Woodland. This fragmentary I will leave to some other old-timer to fill in the gaps and make corrections. Memories of steam boat operations became hazy as Rail and Auto transportation took over about 1909. That is the date through train service was established in Woodland.
The LA CENTER 1912-31, was built and owned by Pete Moe and his father-in-law, Uriah Brothers. She ran from La Center and Woodland to Portland. She was the last boat of the colorful steamboat era to run from La Center to Portland. After 3 or 4 years she was sold to Art Heston of BoDine and Clark Live Stock Commission Co., states that from 1915 or 1916 on for several years, they received shipments of cattle delivered by the Steamer LA CENTER with Art Heston in command, to the Stock Yards at North Portland. Bob Hobert recalls that Art Heston moved Bob's father's family and store good from Scappoose, Ore. to La Center on he Str. LA CENTER in 1915.
Excursions were common on the boats in those days. Charlie Houghton recalls that on Decoration Day, 1880 or 81 the DEWDROP, loaded with excursionists from Woodland, and the LATONA with people from La Center met at the Forks and with the hulls lashed side by side, proceeded on to Vancouver for a big celebration including a sham battle. Vancouver had many soldiers stationed there and they furnished the glamour and excitement for many celebrations. Amelia King, in a letter to her friend, Aunt Mary Oleson, grandmother to Evelyn Clark of Hayes Route, states that "an excursion next Sunday, June 5, 1886, from La Center by way of Woodland, St. Helens, Sauvie's Island, Portland and Milwaukie will be held on the Str. LUCIA MASON."
The Vancouver Independent, May 5, 1883, says, "The excursion to Lewis River on the LUCIA MASON last Sunday was a very pleasant affair from beginning to end and differed much from the usual run of Sunday excursions in being quiet, orderly and free from carousing. Nearly 100 persons went from Vancouver and 20 more from St. Helens. The boat went to La Center, Bratton's Landing and other points and a good time was reported by all who went.
Fred Stallcop remembers an excursion on the MASCOT from Woodland to Vancouver and way points when he was playing the euphinium or baritone horn in the Woodland Band. Through cheering throngs and flying banners they marched up Main Street in Vancouver in their bright blue uniforms to the military band stand in the barracks. Fred doesn't remember what happened after that accept that on the way home the Captain Al Gray, being in a merry mood, found that the MASCOT'S whistle harmonized
with the tune of what the band was playing and kept tooting it, adding to the merriment.
In addition to the 26 boats listed above, there were two boats that operated at intervals: the CHARM and THE SPELEI. The CHARM, a sleek, fast little screw propeller, gas boat, owned by Horace Campbell (he had built the ETNA and later sold her to Lurlie Gray) ran from the other boats and Campbell charged $1.00 fare each way which was twice the fare of the other boats. She did not last long however. The traveling public preferred the half dollar saved and three extra hours of a pleasant boat ride.
THE SPELEI, a stern wheel scow, was build by Smith and McCoy in St. Helens in 1907 to serve in the boom and logging operations on the river. She was rebuilt in 1912 and abandoned in 1940.
Until about 1904 or 1905, all the boats, except the O.R. and N. Boats, which burned coal, burned wood, and cord wood cuttings was an important item in the economy of that time. Each lay-over or home port had a warehouse and wood-loading platform with sloping slip in between leading down to the level of the boat deck at low water. Four deckhands, holding a rope attached to the corner of the 3 1/2 by 16 foot gang plank, slide it out connecting the boat with the slip over which passengers and freight passed. At mud landings the boat used a cleated plank for passengers where there was no freight.
Cordwood was the major fuel used in steam power plants and in heating schools and residences. Every town and city had one or more wood yards. Scow loads of wood from La Center and Woodland were towed to Portland by stern wheelers. Wood cutting was usually an off-season job indulged in the winter when other work was scarce. The going price of 90 cents per cord for cutting, splitting and ricking enabled a man to make a little money when he might otherwise have been idle. Ricks of cordwood around the country, in the woods and on the road side were a common sight. For wood delivered at dock side ready for pitching aboard the steamer was about $2.00 or $3.00 per cord and it took about three or four cords for a boat like the MASCOT to make a round trip to Portland. Sometimes the boats would run out of wood and would have to head for the nearest wood pile. Around 1904 most of the boats began converting over to oil which was cheap (70 cents per bbl.) and required less labor to handle. Alvin Bruner of La Center says he went to work on the MASCOT in 1908 as fireman. She was already converted to oil. In 1911 when the MASCOT burned, Kamm abandoned the Lew River run and the MODOC took over but lasted only a year or two when she was transferred to Puget Sound. Alvin Bruner refused an offer to transfer to the MODOC, J. W. Exon, Capt. because she was still burning wood and he quit and sent to work on the Shaver boats on the Columbia River towing log rafts.
This completes the list of Lewis River boats and now I'll tie up the old steamboat - it's too slow - and hop in my car, head for the airport, board the plane and fly away. What marvels have been wrought in transportation in my time!
End of page 130 in original book.The next portion of ....Fields of Flowers and Forests of Firs....
A history of The Woodland Community 1850 - 1958
Printed in FTM under LRValley...... April 25, 1999
I would like say thank you to J. Swain, webmaster at Lewisriver.com for the wonderful presentation of the ....Fields of Flowers and Forests of Firs... A History of The Woodland Community 1850 - 1958. It was a great adventure to work with him on this project and I appreciate his long hours of dedication on his part to bring this project to fruition.
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