Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jenny Berry Pierce Fuller (1870-1948)

Jennie Berry Pierce Fuller was one of the leaders  Gig Harbor decided to honor with a named street; this street is located in the Finholm District of downtown Gig Harbor.  It is one street below Harbor Ridge Middle School (formerly Goodman Middle School). 

One of the many ways cities and counties honor their citizens is to name streets and/or roads after those citizens.  Gig Harbor has such a program and it is spelled out in the City’s Municipal code.  The Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society plays a major partnership role in this program.  The criteria is stated as:

Chapter 12.12

K. All proposed names for new or existing ways-of-travel and private roads must be reviewed and approved by the Gig Harbor city council; however, private driveways are exempted. All proposed names within the “historical name area” as designated by the official map shall come from a list submitted by the Gig Harbor Historical Society or from other lists as approved by the Gig Harbor city council. All proposed names outside the “historical name area” as designated on the official map shall conform to the current Pierce County addressing grid numbering system. Ways‑of‑travel which extend beyond the historical name district may be designated by the historical name if approved by the Gig Harbor city council.

Below you will find a brief glimpse into Jennie’s life.

Jennie was born in 1870 to Scottish parents, Thomas and Christina Berry in Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri.  We don’t know too much of her early life but in 1905 she married George S. Pierce (1857-1913) on January 25th.  There is a little confusion as to when they arrived in Pierce County, but in the 1910 census, they are shown as living on Fox Island.  I was unable to find the 1900 census.

But what l did find and was able to confirm is still most interesting.  

In 1904 at Sylvan Glen a dock and store were built by Charles Johnson 50 yards south of the Fox Island Congregational Church.  A year later, Mr. Johnson sold the store to George and Jennie.  Caroline Perish told the story in her book “Fox Island, Pioneer Life on the Southern Puget Sound”    on page 131 was that Johnson “. . . sold the store to Mr. and Mrs. Pierce, also from St. Louis, Missouri.  The Pierces had come west to visit their newly settled friends, the Wines, and decided to move to the island as well. ‘We see no signs of their regretting the move, wrote Lucy Herrick (Lucy Herrick, History of the Sylvan Historical Society), for the year ending February 22, 1906, FIHM..  George Pierce also purchased the delivery boat *Fernacre* used by the earlier store owner, Mr. Johnson to deliver groceries. . . .”  The Pierces added a small warehouse and they delivered groceries to families all around Sylvan Bay and Hales Passage.  Their delivery service was so popular that they had to add a second boat “Fernacre II”.  The post office housed in the Bixby home and in the Macklin community were then consolidated into the new store at Sylvan Glen and Jennie became the postmistress.  

We run into a bit of confusion as to the length of time the Pierces owned and operated to store.  Don Edgers in his book “Fox Island” (Images of America) published in 2008 (page 16) he writes “. . . The Pierces profitably ran the business for another 13 years.  When they sold the business, they moved to Fox Point at the eastern end of Fox Island.”  But, George S. Pierce died on January 10, 1913.  

And, in Jennie B. (Pierce) Fuller’s obituary it states “She and her first husband operated a grocery store at Sylvan, Fox Island and later operated a telephone company at Burton on Vashon Island.  Once again because the incomplete supporting background on this part of the biographical information I have contact the Vashon-Maury Historical Society to see if they have any information or can verify when and for how long the Pierces were involved with their telephone company.  

What I did discover about the telephone service on Vashon Island was:

  • 1891 - Vashon Island’s telephone service was one mile long and was similar to the tin-can telephone service you might have used as a child if you grew up before the 1950s
  • 1904 - Farmers Mutual Telephone Company installed the first telephone on the island; in June that year the service was connected to Seattle; and in July, service was connected to Tacoma
  • 1908 - 80 of the 125 subscribers signed a petition to quit service until the cable to the mainline was established as promised.
  • 1911 - Telephone service was extended to the North end of the island (Vashon Heights)

In 1915, following George’s death, Jennie moved to Gig Harbor and assisting in installing a telephone system on the Peninsula.  She was employed as the manager.  (In 1925 Leander Finholm purchased the telephone company with his son, Hugo.)  Then, in 1919, she married Cassius D. Fuller (1854-1923) and they installed a water system for North Gig Harbor (not to be confused with the shopping center now called North Gig Harbor).  

Jennie was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church and donated land on a hill above the harbor for the proposed new church to be built in Gig Harbor in 1948.  Right Reverend Stephen Bayne broke ground for the construction of a log cabin church on the property that same year.  The logs had been donated by a Presbyterian, John Galbraith.  The church was completed in 1951; in 1953, Reverend H. Frederick McLauchlan became the first full-time vicar at St. John’s.  Prior to that, St. Johns was served by part-time pastors.
St. John Episcopal Church Groundbreaking, 3/14/1948
St. John's Episcopal Church, a log cabin church, 11/12/1955 

Jennie was president for two years of the Gig Harbor Improvement Club, and about that time, donated the land for a club house which, after constructed was later turned over to the Fortnightly Club of which she was also a member.  Jennie was a charter member of the Amateur Garden Club and the Tacoma Manuscript Museum, as well as allowing the Fortnightly Club to maintain their library in her home.   

Jenny’s obituary goes on to explain that although Jenny was a private person she was very active in community efforts and exerted ‘substantial force’ for the good of the community.  

  Note:  Lucy Herrick, History of the Sylvan Historical Society, for the year ending February 22, 1906, FIHM.
  Note:  Fox Island, Pioneer Life on the Southern Puget Sound, Caroline Perish
  Note:Van Olinda’s History of Vachon-Maury Island by Roland Carey, AB Co.
  Note:  Images of America, Fox Island, Don Edgers


© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Emmett Hunt's Diary entry for Wednesday, April 9, 1884

Nice & calm till night when rain begins to fall copiously.  Tinkered away the day helping to get ready for fun tonight.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

David Day (1838-1912)

You’re standing in line at the grocery stores and while waiting, you can’t help but glance at the rack of sensational gossip magazines, or as I call them outlets for creative writing.  The more juicy articles are highlighted on the cover; things like 

When you read today’s blog, you might think it was excerpted from one of the magazines.  But no, it was.  It arrived in my email with a message that “it’s interesting to read a little about the old pioneer”.  Now, come on, doesn’t that catch your interest?  Sure got me intrigued, and of course I had to share it.

But before we started on the newspaper articles let me give you a little background on David Day, if you don’t already know it.

David Day and his family were one of the original pioneers who settled on Henderson Bay around the turn of the 20th century, and it was those pioneers who named the new settlement Rosedale.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding David’s birthdate with some documents saying 1840-1841 or 1838.  I am going to assume that the correct date is the one on his headstone: 1838.   Although both David’s parents were born in New York, he was born in Canada, and immigrated to the US in 1867 according to  David married Candace Moore (1839-1906) in Michigan in 1870; they had three children that survived.  Addie Isidore (1875-1934), Eugene (1877-) and Elmer Burton (1879-1964) all of which were born in Sanilac, Michigan.  By 1887, the family had moved to Tacoma, and in December 3, 1891, he received Homestead Certificate 4415, Application 7846 signed by President Benjamin Harrison.  His property was listed as:  Lot 3, the North 1/2 of Southwest 1/4 and Southeast 1/4 of Northwest 1/4 of Section 35, Township 2162 75/100 acres. (Rosedale” by Bob Crandall 1991).   
iPhone photo
iPhone photo "Rosedale" by Bob Crandall 1981

In 1908, Pierce County established a public County road in the Rosedale area, and David and his neighbors all donated a portion of their property to the County for said road.  The road was to be known as the Extension David Day Co. Road.  This road went north from the old Rosedale School and joined the Rosedale Purdy Road at Booster Hill.  (Rosedale” by Bob Crandall 1991).

iPhone photo of map from "Rosedale" by Bob Crandall 1981

All of the following information comes from three articles which appeared on June 10, 13 and 14, 1911 in The Seattle Daily Times. 

“When Cupid Wings Aged Man, Lands Go To Bow-Wows.  Veteran Gig Harbor Rancher, Although “Advised by Shade of His Wife, Meets Reversal in Lovemaking.  Now Suing Widow to Recover “Ranch.  

“Tacoma, Saturday, June 10 - Though advised from time to time by the shade of his deceased wife, David Day, an aged Gig Harbor rancher, has a poor business head.  He is a bad judge of horse flesh and falls down on some other tests, but when it comes to lovemaking, David, in spite of his years, his chin whiskers and bald spot on the crown of his head, has a way all his own.

Have I got your interest?  Shall I go on?  

“David avers (to formally assert; prove or justify [plea] - my note) he gave Mrs Waite the ranch on the condition she marry him, but that she failed to keep her agreement.  Mrs. Waite, who formally lived in Tacoma where she has the respect of a large number of friends, asserts that David gave her the ranch on condition she and her family look after him in his declining years.  David is a little thin man with an apologetic expression, while Mrs. Waite, who is middle-aged, is tall and of rather stately dimensions.

“Witnesses for the rancher testified that they saw him sitting on a sofa with Mrs. Waite, holding hands.  This was at a Christmas party.  David was so happy that he “teetered’ according to the testimony.  In other words, he bobbed up and down on the sofa’s springs as he sat holding the lady’s hand.  Thus he expressed his adoration.  David took the stand in his own behalf, and while not admitting that he ‘teetered’, told the court that he had a few drinks of whiskey that evening and might have been a ‘little bit along’.

“About a score of ranchers and ranchers’ wives are attending the trial as witnesses for one side or the other.  Associated with the aged rancher in the suit are his daughter, Addie Mardicott, and his nephew, James W. Anderson.  These relatives recently had a guardian appointed for him.  Associated with Mrs. Waite as defendants are her own two daughters, both young women.  The aged rancher charges that, in spite of the fact she has not married him, Mrs. Waite, with several of her nieces, nephews and other relatives, has taken possession of the ranch.

Day says he turned the ranch over to Mrs. Waite three years ago in a prenuptial agreement, but that she has always persisted in postponing the date of their wedding.  When he made the agreement he states he thought she would learn to love him, but she didn’t.

“The rancher’s heirs are seeking to show that he was incompetent at the time he gave the deed to Mrs. Waite.

“T. J. Fuller, an aged man who has known Day for fifty years, testified for the rancher.

“What do you know of Mr. Day’s business ability?” he was asked.
“Very poor.”
“Ever have any business dealings with him?”
“Well, not exactly, but he one time wanted to trade horses with me and I could have beat him out of $200 on the trade.  He was my friend and I did’t like to do it.  He got mad because I wouldn’t trade.”
“When did this happen?”
“Thirty-five years ago,” replied Fuller simply, and he added, “No gentlemen of the jury, he’s got poor business ability.  He’s no judge of horseflesh.”
“He was acting queer several years ago,” continued Fuller, “he told me his dead wife’s spirit visited him and advised him.  I reckon he was sort of foolish.  He told me once that he was feeding her favorite horse one day when her spirit appeared.  The horse stopped eating until the spirit went away.  That was funny.  Physically he looked all out of commission at that time.”

In testifying to his wooing, Day when he took the stand near the close of the session, giggled at the memory of some of his own exploits as a devotee of Cupid.”

Judge C. M. Easterly, Department 2, Pierce County Superior Court, gave the the jury a long list of question the next day, June 13, 1911, to be answered by them.  The jury was unable to agree, and some of their answers were contradictory.

“(The jury) It finds that Mrs. Waite did not agree to marry Day but allowed him to believe she would become his wife.  It also finds that at the time he deeded the ranch to her, Day understood she would not marry him, and that he knew he was giving her the property in return for caring for him.  In addition to all this, the jury finds that Mrs. Waite did not provide for him in a suitable manner. “

And on June 14, 1911, the newspaper “The Seattle Daily Times” continues to wonder how the suit will be decided.  Will David Day and his daughter and nephew be returned to them and the deed invalidated?  Or will the judge decide in favor of Mrs. Alfretta Waite,  J. E.R. Caldwell and her supporters?

It looks like Judge C. M. Easterday’s decision will remain a mystery.  Neither I or the staff at the Northwest Room, Tacoma Public Library, could find anything regarding his decision. As a last resource, I have contacted the Pierce County Superior Court Records Officer and asked if they have the ruling in their archives.  If they do, and advise me as to the outcome, I will add the information at that time.

However David Day died September 19, 1912 in Centralia and was buried at the Rosedale Cemetery on September 24, 191 next to his wife, Candace Moore Day.

See comment from Anonymous and here is the map:

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Emmett Hunt's Diary entry for Wednesday, April 2, 1884

Rainy all day & at times coming down copiously.  Up the Bay 3 miles then back down to Smith Byrd's & from there to Lakebay where we again rest our weary bones.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Borghild Jensen Anderson (10/2/1907 - 12/20/1998)

It’s always interesting on how and what might stimulate someone’s interest in a certain topic, person or place.  What is it about Borghild Jensen Anderson that caught my attention?

I guess it was the following statement which was part of a talk entitled “Missions in the USA” at Morgantown Christian & Missionary Alliance Church for the Women’s Missionary Prayer Fellowship on March 21, 1991.

“As a Christian missionary, she spent eight years in Seward, Alaska at the Jesse Lee Home orphanage when a young bride, then two years teaching school in Llanito, Columbia, S.A. in her middle years when a widow sending the child of her 40s to college, and finally, six years in her retirement teaching for Hawaiian Christian Missions on Maui.  . . .Her body is wrinkled and short and rather unnoticeable until you realize you are in the presence of a totally unselfconscious, unselfish dynamo, of a person overflowing with love.  (Did I mention that she is eighty-three and legally blind and a widow of many years and my mother? ”

Now does’t that sound as someone who should be celebrated for International Women’s Day (March 8, 2015) even if no one will read this until March 12th?

Borghild’s father, Anders, emigrated  from the island of Donna, Helgeland, Norway just below the Arctic Circle in 1905.  He had spent his mandatory year in the Norwegian military and had completed his education in shipbuilding.  Once he arrived in Minneapolis he attended St. Olaf’s College to learn the English language as St. Olaf’s had a special language class for immigrants.  A year later he returned to Donna to marry Johanna Maria Mork on May 30, 1906.  Two weeks later they left for the United States, this time to live in Balfour, North Dakota. It was there that Borghild was born.   They remained in Balfour for another year and half before moving on to Seattle, Washington where her brother Arvid was born.   The family’s last move was to Rosedale, Washington where they bought 33 acres.  In order to get to work, Anders would walk to Gig Harbor to catch the ferry and at the end of the day, reverse the process by walking from Gig Harbor to Rosedale.  Once home, he continued his work day by working on their ‘big house’ so the family could move into it and the current long house turned into their chicken coop.
The Jensens
Borghild attending the Rosedale School for grades 1 - 8 (1913/’21) and the ninth grade which was held in the Gig Harbor Community Hall while awaiting completion of Union High School (now Harbor Ridge Middle School).  When she graduated in 1925 she attended the College of Puget Sound (UPS) for a year before transferring to Western Washington Normal School (WWU) earning her teaching certificate in 1927.  

Her first teaching assignment was teaching the sixth grade in Castle Rock, Washington, for $20 per month.  Borghild taught at Castle Rock for three years and it was there that she met the love of her life, a tall curly haired Swede named Albert Sigfred Anderson.  They married June 30, 1930, in the Rosedale Union Church, and five days later sailed for Seward, Alaska.

For the next seven years they were employed as the dean and matron of the Jesse Lee Home orphanage for boys.  Their first child in 1933 was not their own biological child but 4-month old Ernest Berestoff.  (Because Ernest was found to have only 10% of his hearing and the Bureau of Indian Affairs would pay for his schooling they were not allowed to legally adopt him.)  A year later their daughter Joan Marie Anderson was born, soon to be followed by Ellen Amanda Anderson.  In 1937 the moved back to Rosedale in time for the birth of David Noel Anderson.  Albert turned to carpentry to support his growing family, but remained active in the Rosedale Union Church and the youth work at the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Gig Harbor.  Borghild was church pianist and taught piano lessons.  

An important facet of their family was that it was comprised not only of their biological children but also foster children to whom Albert and Borghild were true parents in heart, “Mom and Dad” for life, giving all their children security and value and love in a deeply Christian home.  After David came Diana Thompson in 1943.  Later Joel Albert Anderson was born to them and then Dorothy White and her sister Mary Ann came only to be followed by Jimmy Ross in 1955 and finally Sharon Hatcher.  Unfortunately, David Noel Anderson died in 1954 of leukemia.

As the children grew up and when to college, Borghild went back to teaching in 1958.  First at Vaughn and then at Artondale, while she herself attended the University of Puget Sound earning her BS in Education in 1961.  Shortly thereafter, Albert was diagnosed with cancer and died in March, 1962.

When Joel the youngest was about to leave for college Borghild took a leave of absence from her 4th grade class at Artondale to teach in Llanito, Colombia, S.A.  Later, after retiring from Artondale at age 65, she went to Paia, Maui, Hawaii where she taught at her own expense for the Hawaiian Christian Missions for another 6 years before finally returning to Rosedale.
1959-60 Artondale School 4th Grade Class, Borghild Jensen Anderson, teacher

And I think we should end this remarkable life with Lois Stone’s recounting of a story about Borghild’s sharing her Christian love.

“One fall evening Borghild had retired early after a busy day playing the piano for the nursing home folk.  She awoke late in the evening and heard someone prowling around her bedroom.  When she asked “Who’s there?” a man’s voice answered, “Don’t worry, lady.  I just need some money.  I’m not gonna hurt you.  I have to get back to town.  My friends took my boots and my coat and dumped me out of the car.  I knocked on your door but no one answered so I came on in.”   You see, my friend trusted everyone so she never locked her doors.  What was to follow is the mark of a true believer.  As Borghild was getting out of her bed and putting on her robe she said to the intruder, “Now you listen to me.  There’s a chair over there in that corner.  I want you to sit down and I’m going to pray for you.”  Who knows whether God was watching over her or if the voice of this elderly lady so stunned the intruder that he had no choice but to obey her command.  I believe God was taking good care of her and I know this is what she believed.

“At any rate, Borghild prayed and then she said to the man, “Now,  I’m going to make you some hot coffee to warm you up - you look very cold.”  She went to the kitchen and could hear the intruder in her bedroom opening drawers still looking for money.  Fortunately, Borghild’s son lived right behind her on the hill and she was able to use the kitchen phone to alert him to what was going on.  He immediately put a call in to the police.  When the intruder came into the kitchen and saw another man there, he instantly tried to run away.  He was immediately met at the door by two police officers who just happened to be in the neighborhood.  After the police had taken the man away, Borghild turned to her son and said “Tomorrow I want you to take me to the jail to see that man.  I’ve got a lot of witnessing for the Lord to do there.”

It was shortly thereafter that Borghild passed away.

To read more about Borghild Jensen Anderson you might want to make an appointment to stop in for a visit at the Harbor History Museum’s Research Room.  

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Emmett Hunt's Diary entry for Wednesday, March 26, 1884

Quite pleasant day tho not distressingly so.  Today crossed the Peninsula to Henderson Bay canvassed a good portion and at bedtime find myself at Mr. Fuller's ranch.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Julianne Johnson Ewings (1938 - )

I know, it seems almost every blog starts out with something that was discovered in the Harbor History Museum Research Room.  But you have to understand, outside of people’s memories and personal documents, the Harbor History Museum through its archives, exhibits and research room has the largest collection of documented history from and of our community. 

The research room is basically where the individual blogs are born; although , and people’s questions and comments play a part too.  When more information is needed or leads to further research, it is trips to the Northwest Room at the Tacoma Public Library or our own Gig Harbor Peninsula Pierce County Library.  But let’s not forget the internet, or the older residents of our community.

But today’s blog originates from notes that Julianne Johnson Ewing made in anticipation of recording her oral history, as well as the recorded oral history which expands her notes.

So sit back, make yourself comfortable, grab that cup of tea, or coffee, and enjoy Julianne’s family history which is also Gig Harbor’s history recorded in July, 2010.

The interviewer:  Pat Carter (PC); Interviewee: Julianne Johnson Ewings (JJE)

“ PC:  Julianne, could you tell us about your very beginnings.  Let’s start with your parents and their beginnings as far back as you can trace it in early Gig Harbor.

JJE:  Well I think basically I’ll go way back because I’ve always been proud of the fact that my great, great grandfather settled here I think in 1867 or so.  So basically he I think rode into the harbor while fishing with some friends, and they liked it so he decided he would move his family here. …

PC:  And what was the name?

JJE:  Samuel Jerisich and his wife, Annie.  I believe her last name was Willits and she was a Native American that I think he met when he was basically exploring the area.  I think he started fishing.  He’d come around the horn probably three times.  It is my understanding he sailed out of Kotor on the Dalmation coast.  The third time around he ventured beyond north of San Francisco and went to the area of Vancouver Island where I think he fished.  There he met Annie.  I believe by the time he rode into the harbor in 1867, they had a daughter.  I believe her name was Caroline.  So that’s where it all began. {Note: Annie Willet was a member of the Penelakut Tribe from Thetis Island in B.C according to} 
Samuel Jerisich & Anna WIllits Jerisich and family
JJE:  [JJE Notes:  Initially they were near the sand spit, but later moved near what I remember as Maury’s boathouse.  I always thought they were rather adventurous and am amazed at the energy it must have taken to get through each day, although that is true of all of the early settlers in this country.]

After that I believe Annie and Sam were among the first settlers in Gig Harbor.  They were soon joined by others One of them was Joe Dorotich.  Joe ended up marrying Annie and Sam’s oldest daughter, Caroline.  They in turn had several children one of which turned out to be my grandmother.  Her name was Ann Dorotich.  . . . .  Anyway, it’s interesting to note that eventually they - quite a few of them married into the Skansie family.  [JJE Notes: Caroline and Joe Dorotich children:  I’m not sure about the birth order.  I know John must have died before I was born:  John, Martha, Anne, Amanda, Cathering, Jack {Jacob is referenced in Caroline’s will, but I only remember Jack}, George, Marie. ]  These (Skansie) were brothers that came here from - I think it was a town called Sumatran - an island off the Dalmatian coast.  So there were four of those brothers.  Joe Skansie - I think the first Skansie to come here was Peter - his brother Peter.  Then Andrew and Mitchell came so they were sort of key members of the Gig Harbor community as far as I could tell.  My grandfather, Joe married Ann Dorotich.  His brother Mitchell married Amanda Dorotich.  Let’s see - Mattie or Martha actually married another Skansie.  He was really a cousin of the four brothers.  Basically it was interesting how I guess it was sort of a limited social situation.  There were all these pretty girls and four brothers and they all got connected somehow or other.  Anyway, so great, great grandparents, Annie Willet and Sam Jerisich; great grandparents, Caroline and Joe Dorotich; and my grandparents were Ann Dorotich Skansie and Joe Skansie.  Of course, that’s the family I know most about.  

[JJE Notes:  I also have extensive memories of Catherine Dorotich and Marie Dorotich Gustafson, and saw a lot of Grand Uncle George Dorotich and Jack Dorotich.  George used to come to our house and listen to Seattle Rainiers’ baseball games.  Jack liked electronics.  He was the first in the family to make home movies and actually have a projector so we could see the films.  He also made a TV set from some sort of kit.  It seemed that whenever I went to Catherine Dorotich’s house (formerly my Great Grandmother Caroline’s house), we would watch TV.]

[JJE Notes:  I remember going to Uddenberg’s store when very young when it was across from Doctor Ryan’s office.  There was deep sawdust on the floor in the meat’s cutting area.  I also recall renting freezer space at Finholm’s store before home freezers became available.  And there was the dy the electric range was installed. . . . {Note:  At this time, JJE lived in Grandpa Joe Skansie’s house, later became Herring Bait Store and now Threshold Group}
Walking from People's Wharf from Westside Grocery to Skansie Shipyard, Joseph Skansie house on left side behind people
. . .Once “Galloping Gertie” was replaced with the second Narrows Bridge, my parents considered more choices for high school.  The father of one of our Harbor Intermediate classmates, commuted to Tacoma to work everyday.   . . . A few parents got together and decided we would attend Aquinas Academy in Tacoma instead of Peninsula High.  My mother had boarded at Aquinas when it also included elementary school.  Herb Duren dropped us off at Aquinas in the morning; after school one of our moms would pick us up for the trip home to GH.  . . .
Jane Stanich Dempsey, Mary Ellen Jerovich and Irene Stanich
{Note:  JJE schools were Grades 1, 2 & 4 - Lincoln School now the LDS Church; Grade 3 - Crescent Valley School Vernhardshon & 96th St near City Park; Grades 5 through 8 - Harbor Intermediate School} {Note:  Irene Stanich, Tony Stanich’s daughter and Jane Stanch Dempsey, John & Pauline Castelan Stanich’s daughter were JJE’s closest friends}
1948 Crescent Valley School with fire escapes west side (Frank Owen Shaw) HHM Collection
 . . . My dad was Julius Peder Johnson, eldest son of Peder and Christine Johnson who settled in Wollochet Bay after first living in Tacoma where Julius was born.  My Johnson uncles and aunt were Arthur, Ralph and Alice.  Grandfather Johnson fished, not in Puget Sound, but the Skagit River.  My Grandmother Christine died when I was about 5 years old so I don’t remember her at all. . . .

. . .My Uncle Arthur worked on the railroads before entering the US Army during WWII.  Later on he was a crew member on ferries, then moved to Vancouver, WA.  Uncle Ralph owned a car dealership and garage at the end of the harbor.  Ralph married Betty Merry.  They had a son Jim, and daughter Janice.  Aunt Alice married Paul Polman.  They had a son, John, and daughter, Bonnie, and resided in Tacoma.  Alice died in a car accident in about 1953. . . .

. . .Mostly, I socialized with my cousins.  Paul Gustafson (who I think was really a great uncle but the same age as JJE) and first cousins Joe, Dave, Chuck and George Uhlman, grandsons of Joe Skansie.  Their mom was Caroline Skansie Uhlman.  They lived in Fircrest, near Tacoma. . . .

. . . Paul’s dad Carl Gustafson was the town’s heating fuel dealer and he had an extra truck bed by his garage.  It was a generic background for many adventures. . . . Occasionally I would visit some of Paul’s Gustafson and Uddenberg cousins.  Of course I was also close to other cousins, sons of Amanda Skansie Pendergast (Jim) and Clarice Skansie Richardson (Michael and Richard).  I did not connect much with children of Bill or Mitchie Skansie.  I often visited my next door neighbors Mike and Sophie Jerisich a lot.  (I think Mike was a cousin also.)  . . .

. . . My Grandpa Johnson sold the home in the mid-1950s and moved to University {Place} to reside with daughter Alice Johnson Pohlman. 

The Johnson’s lived across the road from the Uhlman’s in Wollochet Bay.  They may have participated in some mischief together. . . .  Later on, George Uhlman, a Catholic, convinced my dad, a non-church goer, to participate in a play at St. Nicholas Church in Gig Harbor.  He did and as a result met my mother who was also on the program as a member of the Skansie band along with her sister Caroline and cousins Amanda and Tina Skansie (Mitchell’s daughters).  The standing joke is that my dad liked the way my mother puckered while playing her clarinet.

I hope this brief glimpse into Julianne’s history has whetted your curiosity, and left you with the desire to learn so much more about Julianne’s extended family relationships.  There is much more revealed in Julianne Johnson Ewing’s Oral history and her accompanying notes, and just another reason to visit the Harbor History Museum and its Research Room and pursue the records kept therein.
© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Emmett Hunt's Diary entry for Wednesday, March 19, 1884

Thin clouds & cool.  Arose early & by constant & patient work got our boat launched & painted and bud plate put in, wheel & shaft hung likewise rudder.  Now bed at 11:30 PM

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.