Yesterday I watched a good old black and white Gene Autry movie in which he was yodeling in a song. By the way, it was very rudimentary and poorly done. I’ve heard it may have started by people hollering or yodeling as a way of communicating across the hollers in the south. Many years ago I wanted to teach myself how to do it. A guy told me to sing “go old lady, go old lady, go old lady….” to learn the rhythm. After a…Continue
I was going to look at some parts for an old military jeep I’m trying to restore. We came upon a beautiful old restored covered bridge built in 1905. It was initially constructed by farmers to get their goods to market. The covering was designed to protect timbers. It is now in the Natl. Register of Historic Places. There are about thirty others in the State, most built after 1950. But this bridge crossing the Grays River is the oldest one in the State of Washington.
Jeff Smith was discussing something that I have pondered the short time I've been here. What time period was this organization formed to talk about? What's West? And is it geared toward the Southwest or do the Oregon Trail settlers to the Pacific Northwest also get included? Are there any written guidelines to help new members know what is wanted from organization members?
Port Gamble sits near the Entrance of Hood Canal in NW Washington. The entire town is National Historic Landmark. In the mid-1800s industrialist determined that the great expansion of the west, especially California and…Continue
I was buying a used Chevy engine in a salvage yard years ago. The engine I bought was sitting on a blanket that I recognized as a wool Hudson's Bay blanket with four colored stripes of blue, yellow, red and green. It also had the four black points sewn into it. I knew this was valuable, so I told the salvage man I wanted to sit the engine in the bed of my pickup on the blanket and he agreed. This would have been disgarded as a rag otherwise. It turned out to be an authentic four points all…Continue
WHERE’S THE DOG? ITS WASH DAY!!
I just ran across a photo of an unusual device which my grandmother talked about many times. Her mother brought theirs out west on the Oregon Trail in the latter 1800s. It’s a dog-powered clothes washing machine. Wash day was always on Monday. That’s when everyone did the wash. I don’t know why but even later on in my family Monday was always ‘wash day’. The rub was that the dog learned this also. On Sunday…Continue
KEEPING CLEAN ALONG THE WAY
Western Washington settler and journalist Ezra Meeker traveled the Oregon Trail on several occasions prior to 1900. In one of his diaries, he mentioned bringing White brand soap to the state. I found that in 1887 the name was changed to Ivory soap, the first commercially mass-produced soap in the country. I was wondering what other national brands, which are still in existence today, are mentioned in wagon…Continue
A friend told me that if I like the true old west, go to Oatman, Az. Is it worth going out of my way to see?
Billy Gohl (1873-1927) was a union official for the Sailors Union of the Pacific in Aberdeen, Wa. When sailors came into port they’d check in with the agent who would ply information from them about their money and any local ties. If they had money but no local relatives, he would shoot them in the head and drop them in the Wishkah River through a trap door in a saloon where he worked. Nobody missed or cared about them. He was eventually convicted of murder and sent to prison. He was…Continue
COSMOPOLIS – The Largest City in Washington?
In the mid 1800s the state of Washington was well on its way towards being settled. Seattle and Tacoma were growing. But along the Pacific Coast in Grays Harbor, sitting along the Chehalis River was Cosmopolis, my hometown. It sat in the middle of the vast forest lands ever seen, that would produce the best fir lumber in the world. The major lumber barons decided that this place would become the hub…Continue
My friend had a trivia question about what the outer metal ring on a wagon wheel is named. I thought it was a wheel rim, but he said it has a specific name. Help!!!
I read that a wagon train heading west could go about 10-15 miles per day if the weather was good. In a week they could travel the distance that today would take a car about one hour to cover. Is this fairly accurate?
I'm getting a Kindle tablet for Xmas. What are some books about settling the West available on the internet
to put on a tablet, if I can ever figure out how it works. My daughter know how but has the
patience of a drill sgt..
Those westward trips must have been grueling. What type of suspensions did the wagons have?
A familiy couldn't have put EVERYTHING in one wagon. How many did they take?
Could the wagon master be over ruled on decisions?
One Dec. 10th we on the west coast got to see a total lunar eclipse. I wondered if the settlers ever experienced them while traveling westward. And sure enough there are complete records from the 1800s. Visit this site for complete records - eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat5/LE-1899--1800.html…Continue
When out fishing one day, we hiked way back into the forest. We found some very old power poles that had been stripped of their wire. Some were rotted away and several were still standing. On some were glass insulators. In reading about them I learned that the use of insulators began when the telegraph came out. The glass things were non-conducting of electricity and aided in moving the current. The initial…Continue
I was reading up on pre-1900 logging operations before they used locomotives in the woods. The work was done by oxen and many draft horses or work horses. The Belgians, Shires and Clydesdales were the some major breeds. The largest work horse on record was a Shire in 1846 which stood 7’2” and weighed 3,400 lbs. I have never been around these animals, but would like to hear how they fit into the West’s development other than in logging.…Continue
My grandmother’s house was built in the late 1800s and her place had nine apple trees of different varieties on it. Settlers came to coastal Washington needing fruit trees for healthy food. She explained how an orchardist, who had a very respectable job, would transplant wild crabapple trees onto your property and then graft different varieties of domestic apples onto them. Wild crab apple trees grew all over the area. The orchardist would graft a single domestic tree branch onto a…Continue
Indians and Alcohol
Prior to Europeans coming to the Pacific Northwest the native Americans had no exposure to any type of alcohol. Around 1800 when the Hudson Bay Co arrived, the natives were offered alcohol for furs. By the 1850s alcoholism was rampant among the tribes. There are numerous handwritten US Army documents from that time which points out “the Indians are excellent people to deal with as long as they don’t…Continue