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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.

Notes:
  • The Peninsula Gateway
  • ancestry.com

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