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.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
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 ancestry.com 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.
- Tacoma Illustrated Her History, Growth & Resources, A Comprehensive Review of the City of Destiny, Chapter 14
- Early Days of the Key Peninsula by R. T. Arledge (1998)
- WyoHistory.org - Bill Nye, Frontier Humorist
- Bill Nye in the Pacific Northwest
© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
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
Thursday, June 1, 2017
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.