Thursday, June 29, 2017

John Kenneth (Bud) McInnis - February 5, 1913-June 27, 2003

John Kenneth (Bud) McInnis - February 5, 1913-June 27, 2003

When you happen to visit the Maritime Gallery at the Harbor History Museum, if you enter from the ground floor level, the first thing you encounter is an Atlas Diesel engine.  The engine itself has an interesting background having first been used to power the “Norman B” owned by Marion Stancic from 1936 until around 1953.
Atlas Imperial 65 Diesel Engine - Maritime Gallery, Harbor History Museum - Donated by Bud McInnis
Bud bought it from Marian Stancic and adapted it for use in his small one man sawmill on his property in  Rosedale, about 5600 block of Ray Nash Boulevard.  Then when Bud retired and closed his sawmill in 1989/90, he loaned it to Bates Technical College, Tacoma for use in some of the mechanical classes.  Several classes worked on the engine learning their trade, and they built a frame to support the engine, as well as adding a new gas tank.  Shortly before his death, he donated it to the Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society, better known as the Harbor History Museum.  

But what else do we know about Bud, and his life in the greater Gig Harbor community?  I have to be honest, until I was asked about him, I knew very little except that his name was familiar.  Fortunately however Bud left behind an oral history or interview with the museum that took place December 7, 2001.  That, coupled with information I discovered on, will help us discover more about Bud and his family.

Bud’s grandfather, John Myles McInnis was born January 4, 1825 in Totescore, Isle of Skye, Inverness, Scotland at a time of great outward migration to the North America.  The McInnis joined their neighbors, the Ross family sometime between 1828 and 1932 and traveled to Prince Edward Island, Canada. John Myles married Isabella (Bell) Ross in 1852.  They had 16 children; Bud’s father Daniel (Donald) Morrison McInnis was the sixth child, born February 19, 1861. 

Probably around the 1880s, Daniel started working his way west on bridges and construction jobs as the railroads, opening up the country, were also being constructed.   By 1890, he had arrived in Tacoma, met and married Sarah Jane (Kittie) Lister.  Their first child was born the following year; their seventh and last child, Bud, was born in 1913 on McNeil Island.   

Daniel worked in sawmills both as a mechanic but also as a planerman for Theodore F. Peterson Millwork Co.  Their equipment was for specialty moldings, stairways, windows, doors and the like.  The stairway in the old County Courthouse is an example of Daniel’s work.

When gold was discovered in Skagway around 1896, Daniel joined 9 or 10 others men with sleds, a portable sawmill and all the related equipment necessary to saw lumber.  According to some information provided by Bud, Daniel and the men went in over Dyea Pass and set up shop at Lake Bennett where they turned out lumber for the prospectors to build boat to travel the Yukon River.  It is possible that T. F. Peterman was behind the operations, but that is not known for sure.  When Daniel return around 1898 he was again working at Peterman in Tacoma.

1910 saw the family move to Meridian on McNeil Island where they bought forty acres for a farm.  Daniel continued to work for Peterman but he, Daniel,  developed problems with his lungs - the doctors called it ‘cedar poisoning’ and he was forced to quit working in the mills. At their farm on McNeil they raised poultry, over 1000 white leghorn chickens. It was after Bud’s dad got seriously ill, that he asked Bud to stay with he and his mother to care for them for the rest of their lives.  And he did, not even marrying until after both parents died.  While living on McNeil, Bud worked at a sawmill There; there was also a box factory “up above” for several years, and enjoyed the work.

In 1936 the Federal Bureau of Prisons bought the entire island and evicted all the non-prison workers.    This is explained more throughly in the previous blog on McNeil Island, and also on Anderson Island.  So the family bought the McGavick farm property, about 100 acres, in Rosedale.
Map of Rosedale-McInnis Property outlined in pink   
Once they were established in Rosedale they decided to raise milk cows starting with Jerseys and Guernsey cows.  No more poultry: the poultry business was grown too large and too commercial; Washington Egg and Poultry Co-Operative was expanding throughout the entire state and let little or no room for the small farmer.  Their decision to have the dairy was quite successful and definitely paid off..  Kitsap Dairy in Bremerton bought all their whole milk for over 20 years until Bud decided to stop working with the cows.

Bud’s three sisters, Ethel (1893-196); Grace (1897-1975) and Mildred (1907-2000), all went to Ellensburg for higher education eventually becoming teachers.  His brother, Albert (1891-1950) enlisted to serve in WWI, serving on a minesweeper.  After the war ended and he was discharged, he made his home in Philadelphia.  Bud doesn’t mention the what either Walter (1900-1963) or Milton (1909-1977) did.

Bud kept his promise to his Dad and stayed on the farm.  However he still wanted to be in the sawmill business; but mills were expensive.  The only other sawmill in the area was the Austin sawmill where the current Beach Basket is located.  It was also much larger than Bud was considering.  He was only thinking of a small one so they could mill the lumber needed for various outbuildings at the farm.   Also it would allow him to help a few of his neighbors and friends, as you can see from this barn built by the Peterson from lumber Bud had milled.  The Peterson’s property was just across Ray Nash Road from Bud’s property.  
Peterson barn built with lumber milled by Bud McInnis (HHM SmugMug)

Bud’s parents, Daniel died in 1943, Sarah died the following year in 1944.  They are buried at Rosedale Cemetery, Gig Harbor.  Suddenly Bud’s life changed.  He had met Alvilde Cristina Harmon, his future wife at a dance held at Victor Dance Hall.  You have to remember dancing was extremely popular in the 1920-40s and the young people would travel all over the peninsula to attend the various dances.  If you went to Victor from Rosedale by today’s roads you would find they are only 17 miles apart.

Bud and Alvilde were married in December 1945.  Bud continued with the dairy business but still dreamed of the sawmill.  He set up the mill in 1948 but it took about ten years as he gradually dropped out of the dairy business and full time into sawmilling.  The majority of his mill work remained local, although there was a small following in Seattle, Tacoma building industries.  In the beginning he had a small two-cylinder Fairbanks Morris diesel.  

A close friend of his, Howard Cox had a machine shop where The Weathered Cottage on Harborview is today.  So he asked Howard to find him a larger engine.  One day, Bud stopped in and they were talking when Howard said “There’s a small 65 down in one of the boats.  Would you be interested?”  Excitedly I went down to see it.  I said “I thought you said small.  That monster is six feet high, ten feet long.”  But he purchased it, and that is the small one described at the beginning of this paper.  Bud used that Atlas well over 30 years that he milled in earnest. 
Norman B, Corregidor, Pacific Raider at Babich Dock (HHM SmugMug)

Bud gives all the credit to his Dad for his skill in tempering, knowing the difference between blades - wood versus steel cutting tools, splicing belts, and repairing.  He used Douglas Fir almost exclusively.

He operated the mill five days a week, his last ten years doing custom sawing only.  He used Saturdays for fencing and other chores.  Sunday was a day of rest.  He lost Alvilde in 1980, and never remarried.   Bud described his life in these words:  “I enjoyed my life very much as I have” and his marriage “We were together 34 1/2 years — a very pleasant marriage”.  

  • Harbor History Museum - Oral History and SmugMug
  • Rosedale by Bob Crandall

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Emmett Hunt's Diary Entry September 12, 1888

Same except small shower in AM  Board the Wassala and go to Tac. then wander around till 3 when I take Fleetwood and return to Olympia.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Emmett Hunt's Diary Entry September 5, 1888

Fine tho cloudy.  Ran on up to Shelton but find our logs stowed in a large boom so we are unable to get them, so we tow a small boom for a swish and then run to Cut Throat in the eve.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Longbranch Washington

Longbranch Washington 

The following history of Longbranch was written by Louise S. Ernst, who first visited the area in 1890.  The article appeared in the Peninsula Gateway and although I do not have the actual date I believe it was sometime in 1950.  

When we learn history it is not always from books but many times, people’s recollections, their pictures, their letters, and, like this, newspapers.

“To quote Mrs. Roosevelt, “This I Remember”, and what I remember is about the Longbranch that started as a summer resort and was named for Long Branch, New Jersey, then in its heyday.  Some time in those early days they changed the spelling to one word to save confusion with Long Beach, Washington.

In 1890, the first summer we spent at Longbranch, there were only a few people on the waterfront around the bay, The William Sipples, Henry Mahnike, who homesteaded in ’86, the Yeazells.  Mr. Yeazell owned all of the west side of the bay and it was he who planned to make it a summer resort.  I have stationary which he had printed stating it was “The Popular Summer Resort of Puget Sound” and adding “Fine Saltwater Bathing, A Good Restaurant, Shady Groves, Beautiful Views, Excellent Drinking Water.”  This was his dream.  But sixty years have passed and no restaurant.  Drinking water, yes, if you dig for it.  But we do have the view and though a good many of the original owners hurriedly sold and left the Northwest after 1893, we have a few families of that generation here.  So it is quite an old settlement for this part of the world.

The geographic name for the bay was Filucy, but in those days it was called Shetlerow Bay, taking its name from an old man who had lived at the head of the bay since the ‘70s.  I don’t remember where he came from but he was supposed to be a regular Bluebeard.  At last he went to California and a popular writer of that day, “Bill Nye”, wrote a story about him.

Transportation in those days was by boat twice a week, Tacoma to North Bay, returning the next day.  It took practically all day to get here as the boat made many stops even at times putting people and goods off in rowboats.  I remember the Monte Cristo, The Susie, the Blue Star and the Messenger.  Then once a month the old side-wheeler Otter came in and anchored for the day.  This was a store boat and it was great fun to go aboard.  It carried everything: hardware, groceries, dry goods, and had a most delicious smell.

Mr. Yeazell organized picnics and had what he called a Rhode Island Clambake ready for the picnickers.  On one such occasion I remember my mother telling us there were twenty-five parcels of land sold and many of these people put up houses of a sort, so it soon became a very lively place in the summer.

There weren’t any roads.  Everything was water travel and on Saturdays when the fathers came from town they came via the Olympia boat, getting off at Johnson’s Point on Anderson Island where they were met by Mr. Yeazell, who owned the “first naphtha launch on the Puget Sound”; a thing as fearful and wonderful as a seaplane now.  It was called “Ripple”.  Saturday was the big day and every camp had visitors, usually a party at one or the other that evening and everyone gathered about a bonfire and as I remember, the entertainment was usually a “taffy pull”.  Then home, the rowboats taking off over the dark water and everyone singing “Good Night Ladies” or “Merrily We Roll Along.”  Once my mother had a colored quartet come out to serenade the bay.

A dance hall was built on Mr. Yeazell’s point.  It was gaily decorated with Japanese lanterns and we children shaved candles on the floor and wore ourselves out skating around on it to make a good dance floor.  Mr. George Myers called the square dances.  Mr. Sipple provided the music and later Mr. Doolittle.

In those early days the Puyallup Indians came each Fall to dig clams and have what we called “Pow Wows”.  They stayed several weeks and we had canoes and paddles sold by them.  Gradually, the waterfront being all taken up, paths became roads and small farms were cleared in the wilderness.  Longbranch wasn’t just a summer resort anymore.  Mr. Shellgren established he first store and post office, this in ’91 or ’92.  Then for about twenty years we had our very best transportation.  Captain Elder with his sturdy launch Eagle, made the trip from Longbranch to Steilacoom twice a day and all we had to do was stand on our floats and his eagle eye spotted us and he stopped for us.  I never knew him to pass up anyone.  When the Ferry was put in service from Steilacoom to Longbranch there weren’t too many cars so we weren’t to excited about it—but how  times have changed.  And how wonderful it would to be to have a new bridge though we have loved the Ferries too.  

A book could be written about the various characters who have lived at Longbranch.  Some mighty interesting:  Big Mose and Little Mose, old man Olson and Whiskey Smith, old man Taylor for who Taylor Bay was named.  He absconded from a British ship in the ‘70s and settled at what is now Taylor’s Bay, building his house and furniture of driftwood.  I knew him as an old man, almost blind.  He gave my mother one of his chairs which I still have.

There was much rivalry between Delano and Longbranch in those days, as between Tacoma and Seattle, but they were entirely different, Mrs. Delano owning the hotel and most of the cottages, while at Longbranch all were home owners.  The distance between seemed great, either you walked or rowed, and there wasn’t  too much  visiting for that reason.  It was an event to make the trip to Delano.  I have never known a child who spent any time at Longbranch who hasn’t longed to come back, and that goes for grownups too.  It is just one of those heavenly spots on Puget Sound on which there are so many.

Editor’s note:  Longbranch has a nonsectarian Community church, Rev. John Smircich, pastor.  The editor of the Gateway has known John since he was a small boy and we consider it a privilege to hold his friendship.

Lovers of the dance are proud of their dance floor, 55 feet x 80 feet, located in their gymnasium, which also has dining accommodations.

Adjacent to the Gym is a 10-acre tract used as baseball grounds, with a grand stand.

To discover a little bit about the individuals, Mrs. Ernst mentions in her article, a quick glance in Colleen A. Slater’s wonderful book, “Peninsula Pioneers” reveals more information.  I definitely recommend Ms. Slater’s book for people on the Key Peninsula.

Our first comment should naturally tell us a little bit about the author of this news article, Louie Sloan Ernst.  Mrs. Ernst’s father was Matthew Sloan, one of the founders of the Tacoma Grocery Store.  Charles E. Hale, President; Matthew M. Sloan, Vice-President; John G. Campbell, Secretary and John S. Baker, Treasurer.  Hale, Sloan and Campbell had all been associated with the Hale-Sloan Grocery Company in Peoria, Ill.  When the Sloan family arrived in Longbranch, their house was built by William Sipple.  The property was referred to as Cedar Grove, and the house Madrona Lodge.  After Mrs. Ernst father died, her mother purchased a French film company and named it Searchlight Moving Pictures, opening a theatre at 744 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma, Washington.  Mrs. Ernst was hired by William Sipple prior to her marriage to type his recollections of Princess Filucy.  She retained ownership of the family home during her lifetime, and in the 1940s operated a gift and antique shop in Longbranch with one room devoted to the local library.  Mrs. Ernst wrote columns, as we see in this blog, for the Peninsula Gateway.  As of 1998 her family descendants, along with Yeazell family, still owned property on the waterfront or shoreline of Filucy Bay.

William Sipple was active in many capacities in the Longbranch community, helping the area to grow.    He owned large land holdings which he also sold.  He was a contractor for homes as well as a boat builder.  He built the original lighthouse for Filucy Bay.  He was also a member of the Board for the Longbranch Cemetery Association.  Simple died in 2015 at age 106 ears old.

Speaking of Sipple’s recollections of Princess Filucy, Pierre Legard, a French Canadian interpreter for Nisqually Company and a trapper for Hudson Bay Company married Princess Filucy.  He had built a cabin on the east side of the bay which later became Sipple’s homestead.  Legard was a highly educated man, but gave it to live in the wild, to hunt and to trap in new lands.  He married the young daughter of a Haida chief and a white woman.  Her name was Filucy:  she was beautiful, kind, smart and it is said that a priest convinced her mother to send Filucy to be educated in a school in San Francisco.  Legard had met Shelterow in 1859 and they formed a partnership for the first logging operation in Longbranch.  But Shelterow proved to be a questionable business person and Legrand terminated the partnership.

The editor’s note mentions the gymnasium, and Peninsula Pioneers tells us that the gym for the grade school was built by the WPA in 1939.  It is now owned by the Longbranch Improvement Club and is still used for community events throughout the year. 

Franz and Henry Mahncke immigrated with their families from Germany and owned considerable land in the Longbranch area.  He was a jeweler, owning his own store along with his sons, William G., and Louis A. Mahncke; Pioneer Jewelers, 914 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma.  

Mose Boudry (I assume Big was the father and Little was a son) was a Canadian logger on floating camps operated by Winchester & Peterson Joint Venture.  I only found one Mose Boudry on and he was naturalized in Washington in 1891.

Rev. John B. Smircich (1918-1991) was born in Gig Harbor to a commercial fishing family.  He worked as an electrician in the Bremerton Naval Shipyard and during WWII.  He also served as a pastor for the community churches in Lakebay and Longbranch.  After leaving the shipyard he continued his work as a pastor while he attended Seattle Pacific College and Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa.  He returned to the Pacific Northwest serving in Tacoma, eastern Washington and finally at Chapel Hill Presbyterian in Gig Harbor.

Bill Nye (when you hear that name it is hard not to immediately think of Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and his children’s science show).  But the Bill Nye Simple mentions is a different person:  Edgar Wilson Nye (1850-1896), an American Humorist as well as the founder and editor of the Laramie Boomerang.  There was an article about him by Lewis O. Saum in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly entitled Bill Nye in the Pacific Northwest.  He wrote several books including “A guest at the Ludlow and other Stories” but I was unable to obtain copies.  Of the list of titles, it is hard to figure out which one would be the one about Shelterow.  The majority of what I found was concentrating on his Laramie days.


© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Emmett Hunt's Diary Entry August 29, 1888

Ditto for weather.  Got a shoe for keel made in morning and waited for the tide which did not get away from us at all, so we are compelled to wait an other day just for Providence.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Emmett Hunt's Diary Entry August 22, 1888

No change.  Nothing in AM - In PM go to Dash Pt and get small driver for fisherman and take T.B. scow as far as Malony mill.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Reid Drive (Formerly Reid Road)

Reid Drive (Formerly Reid Road)

Gladys Para wrote one of her historical pieces in The Peninsula Gateway sometime in the mid-1980s entitled “Now called Reid Drive:  Reid Road named after early settler.”

Perhaps with all the new comes lining Reid Drive we should revisit its name and the Reid history.

This is Gladys’ article:

James S. Reid, Portland, Oregon, native, son of James S. Reid of Scottish birth, is one of those early Gig Harbor settlers whose names have become familiar to local residents through their addresses.

In 1972, in cooperation with the U. S. Post Office, the city council adopted names for streets and roads that had previously been know only by a mail route number, or as The Road to those who lived on them.  With the support and suggestions of local residents, the new names of many old thoroughfares honor early-day individuals whose adjacent property, or long-time association, made them logical.

Reid was receipted for payment by the Commissioner of Public Lands for his 67 acres overlooking the waters of the Narrows south of the Harbor in March, 1914.  He was a ship’s carpenter with his father at Reid and Crawford’s shipyard in old Town, under the shadow of the Asarco plant.  Perhaps there he met Joe Twogood, an Asarco employee before he went to full-time logging.  Twogood had previously homesteaded in the edge of land that lies between today’s SR16 and the Narrows and extends from the bridge north to the old Shore Acres.  When Reid brought his family to live there in a cabin in his own woods, the two men became far neighbors and close working partners.
Narada built at Reid and Crawford - at anchor in Tacoma 1919 for James A. Reid. Named changed to "La Conte" powered by Atlas Imperial Diesel; length 78' Located Wrangell AK 1993 (HHM)

"Norada" owned by Jack Reid Pulling in nets with bow boom. Braililng salmon from an Alaskan fish trap. (HHM)

The neighborhood was beginning to fill with settlers whose most reliable route of travel from one point to another on the Peninsula was by water, for no road connected them with the town of Gig Harbor.  No funds were forthcoming from the County, and in the mid-1920s Reid and Twogood took matters into their own hands.

With easements from all affected landowners, dynamite provided by the county, and Twogood’s white draft horses Ruby and Rocks, the two men set to work to build a road.  They began at “the bottom of 56th,” which is where Hollycroft joins Reid Drive today.  They worked in short spurts, whenever there was time left over from earning a living.  They blew stumps, scraped earth behind the horses, and gradually made a passage through the trees for two and one-half miles to the place where the Narrows Bridge now empties northbound traffic onto SR-16.

Jack Reid lives today in his parents’ house on Reid Drive.  When he recalls the road-building it is with firsthand knowledge, for he worked alongside his dad as powder monkey.  Joe Twogood’s son Jimmy joined them.  Reid Road was built over a period of more than a year by two men, two bots and one team of horses, all of them strong.

While working with his father, young Jack was attending his first year at Stadium High School, bicycling to People’s Dock to ferry both ways each day and studying enroute.  “Some of the Moller boys” rowed to the dock every day, Reid remembers, and they were joined for their trip by Gloria Hunt.

In the times between his father’s work at Skansie’s and his own schoolwork, Jack’s job was to dig with a hand tool called a spoon under a stump, far and deep enough to set the right number of dynamite sticks to move it free.  This meant that sometimes six feet of fuse had to be laid in the hole to reach the surface.  To that Jack added at least another four feet before lighting it, so he had room to run, very fast, “before she blew.”

It was a clean road they made, following section lines and government stakes, and it was used immediately by all the neighbors, but of course it had no surface.  And as it was remote from the community it led to Doris Twogood Quistorff recalls walking lonesome through its mud every day she attended her four years at Gig Harbor’s Union High School until graduation in 1932.  The school bus let her off at “Natucci’s Corner,” where the Natucci store stood on today’s Soundview and the Hunt/64th St. crossing.  From there she walked to her home, now the site of Price Miller’s Town and Country Towing, a distance of two miles.  The day she started a bear, they both took off in different directions, she says.

Many settlers on Reid Road had come there following their disappointment in the Klondike gold rush, including a single lady named Mahan.  When the Millers bought the old Twogood property in the 1950s their nearest neighbor was the Ralph Nixons, who had purchased the old Miss Mahan homestead, now Point Evans Estates.  On the well-used Reid Road where Miss Mahan had regularly driven one of the first Fords in Gig Harbor, the Millers saw a car perhaps once a day.

While Jack Reid’s remaining acreage of the James S. Reid land has a Reid Drive address, the homes of the Price Millers, Jr. and Sr., now face what is called 14th Avenue.  It is, however, a length of the original Reid Road.  Only the waterfront’s Harborview Drive escaped the grid plan’s seeming necessity of changing names with each bend in the road.”

James S. Reid, born in Wick, Scotland 12/21/1841 and died in Tacoma, Washington 1/31/1924.  His wife, Isabelle Budge also burned in Wick in 8/222/1846, died in 12/14/1887 in San Raphael, California.  Their son, James Sinclair Reid was born in Portland, Oregon in 1875, and died 1961 while in Aberdeen, Washington.  He is buried in Gig Harbor.  His wife, Jessie Campbell was born in Iowa 4/3/1877 and died 5/24/1965.  Their only son James Campbell Reid was born 4/18/1901 in Tacoma and died 5/24/1965.
James S. Reid and wife Jessie used this snapshot of their seashore outing, circa 1955, as a Christmas greeting (iPhone phot of picture in The Gateway article - courtesy of Jack Reid)

James C. Twogood born 1840 in Dryden, died 11/5/1905 in Tacoma; New York; married Jeanette Mentzer 12/7/1853 born in Marion Iowa, died 5/1/1907 in Tacoma.  James was a bookkeeper/bank clerk.  Their only son, Joseph Albert Twogood was born 2/7/1878 in Marion, Iowa; died 3/28/1955; Mildred Barnett, his wife, born 12/12/1884 in Davison County, South Dakota and died 2/1/1952.  Joe  was an employee of Asarco as stated in Gladys’ article, and the owned his own shop and was an independent logger.  Joe and Mildred had three children:  Doris Melvina (1910-1993); James C. (1912-1981) and Joseph Albert, Jr. (1923-2000).

Information on Maggie Mahan (1883-1916) was much more difficult to find.  However I discovered that she was first born child of Joseph and Gertrude Thiel, a German couple who had immigrated to the US in 1882, living in Spanaway, Washington.  She married William F. Mahan, (1880-1909), a logger, on January 5, 1903.  They had four children:  Gertrude, William, Rosie, and George.

  • The Peninsula Gateway

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.