Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Emmett Hunt Diary - Wednesday November 20, 1889

Rainy windy and billowy with hail thrown in PM  Pulled around to clay works this morn at 5 o'c. then steamed to Marble Ark Yard and lay till 1:45pm then towed the Anderson No. 7 with 90 M brick to town.  Bed at 8

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Christian Friedrich Pfundt 26 December 1848-27 May 1936

Christian Friedrich Pfundt
26 December 1848-27 May 1936

In our last blog there was a picture of people picnicking at Friedrich Pfundt property.  In the newspaper article it indicated that Pfundt was a fisherman.  Since the name Pfundt was not familiar to me, and I don’t recall any German fisherman listed in the archives I thought a little search was in order.  The the caption of the photo also mentioned that “Pfundt, his wife and five children lived at the mouth of Wollochet Bay on thew Cromwell side in 1888.  They moved away to Hood Canal very soon after.”

Unfortunately I was unable to find very much information regarding the family.  I did not find him listed on the 1880 or 1900 US census for greater Gig Harbor.  However in 1880 he and his family were living in Lick Mountain, Conway, Arkansas.  1900 the family was living in Dewatto, Mason County, Washington.  His occupation was that of farmer, not fisherman.  He may have fished for the family dinner table, but not, that I could find, commercially.

But, what else I did find follows:

Pfundt was born in Müensingen, Württemberg, Deutschland (Germany) on the day after Christmas, 1848 to Andreas Phillip Pfundt and Anna Maria Pfundt.  He was baptized on the 31st of December, 1848.

He arrived in America in 1866, met and married Katherina Jennie on March 29, 1875 in St. Louis, Missouri.  It appears they had a son and a daughter while living in St. Louis before they moved to Lick Mountain in Arkansas February 23, 1880.  They had two more sons while living in Lick Mountain, then back to Missouri for the birth of another daughter.

According to a Family History on, at age 37 (1885-1889) he was living in Dewatto, Mason County, Washington.  It was there that he homesteaded 160 acres and built a small cabin.  This entry states “Fred rowed the length of the Canal to Elliot Bay, then up the White River to Kent to take a job picking hops.”  

He and Anna had three more daughters while still living in Dewatto.  By the time he was 72, he moved to Holly, in Kitsap County, Washington and it was there he died in May, 1936.

This doesn’t reveal much about the Pfundt family, but definitely more than I knew previously.

But, if we look at Pfundt’s son, Henry born in Lick Mountain, Arkansas in 1880, we discover that he indeed was a fisherman, in fact a Deep Sea Fisherman.  Henry’s record is quite confusing however, because on a Family History it states his death as March 15, 1962, at which time he would have been 82 years of age.  

BUT, The Seattle Times, Friday, March 16, 1962 published a news piece which reads:  Auto in California Kills Blaine Man  MADERA, Calif., March 16 —(U.P.I.)  Henry Pfundt, 31, of Blaine, Wash. was stuck by a car and killed yesterday while walking across U. U. 99, two miles north of here.  The California Highway Patrol said Pfundt was hit by an automobile driven by Walter T. Harris, 77, of Fresno, Officers said Harris was traveling at 60 m.p.h. when his vehicle struck Pfundt.  

It the age shown as 31 a misprint?  Or is it the correct age?  Also, it states he is from Blaine, however he lived in Olalla, Washington.  Why was he in Madera, California?  At 81 years of age, in 1962, he would not have still been fishing commercially.  Vera, Ruby and Cecil, his children all lived in Olalla as well.  

So, is the Seattle Times death article I found on about Christian Friedrich's son, Henry, or an unrelated different Pfundt family?  Hopefully someone will be able to tell us.

The Peninsula Gateway published an Obituary for Fred Henry Pfundt on September 8, 1993.  I believe that would have been Christian Friedrich's grandson, his father being Henry mentioned above.  The obituary reads:  Fred H. Pfundt, who lived in Sedro-Wooley, died August 29 in Bellingham at age of 81.  He was born on August 28, 1912, in Olalla, the son of Henry and Melvina Pfundt. By the time he was graduated from South Kitsap High School, he had already started on what would be his lifelong career as a commercial fisherman.  He owned and skippered boats in Washington and Alaska.  Pfundt married Eva Nielsen on July 23, 1937, on Lopez Island.  He is survived by his wife, Eva; two sons, Niel and Noel of Bellingham; a sister, Vera Culver of Tacoma; a brother, Cecil, of Southworth; and four grandchildren, Susan, Adam, Joel, and Barry of Bellingham.  At his request, a private family service was to be held.
  • The Peninsula Gateway

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Emmett Hunt Diary - Wednesday November 13, 1889

Cloudy and cool.  Arose at 2 A.M. and ran out to the works then came back and towed 14 logs from Robb's to drawbridge - nothing more.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Emmett Hunt Diary - Wednesday November 6, 1889

Fine clear day.  Arose at 7 and pulled the Collyer scow to town against the tide arriving too late to do anything but simply tie up and then wait............................up in the arms of sweet Marphins while the enchanting moonlight is gliding the surrounding scenery.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 8, 2018



Our recent weather which plans on sticking around for a few more weeks makes me, and perhaps you, long for the “picnic days”.   I hope you enjoy picnicking vicariously through this article.
The family and neighbors of Frederick Pfundt gathered for a picnic, 

“Vacation as always!” urged an editorial in Gig Harbor’s Bay Island News during the wartime summer of 1918.  Its writer protested the poor advice of those who told people not to take time off so the nation could continue throwing its entire strength into the War for Liberty.

People of the Peninsula had known from the start that vacation country is just outside their own doors.  So, while envious Tacomans discussed in print how to acquire Gig Harbor’s waterfront beauty for themselves and while the local editorial discussed the patriotic value of going away — to mountain, plain or forest — people around here did what they always had done.  They went on a picnic.
Swimming in the water tank at the Samuelson farm.

A picnic two generations ago was the cheapest thing folks could do.  It promised quick relief from daily labor and it usually turned into even more fun, camping.  Always a special event no matter how often it happened, a picnic and a camping trip often were the same thing.  The best place to go for either was a favorite beach not very far away.

Individuals who recall those days of simple freedom comment now in wonder at how, when they lacked special equipment and transportation was so awkward and slow, people slipped away to enjoy the outdoors far more often than they seem to now.  

A picnic-camping spot was reached by rowboat, horse and wagon, steam boat, Model T or a combination of those means.  Sometimes a rowboat could be rented from a dock store-owner to continue to a nearby island.  Local, water-wise teenagers in groups of boys or girls took the family rowboat out alone to camp, sometimes taking along little brothers or sisters.  No one worried for their safety.  Mom and Grandma might take the kids in a horse and buggy to seek out a quiet sandpit to get away for a night or two from the work that never seemed to get done.  

Entire families, with all the kids, lots of relatives and neighbors, would pay passage on a steam launch to get to a favorite beach for a holiday.  The captains of those launches gave free rides (of course) when the picnic was their own idea.  Visiting, talking with persons one didn’t see every day, was rewarding entertainment.  Someone was sure to bring along a musical instrument.

Some campers took tenting canvas but many preferred the shelter of overhanging boughs.  Nearly everyone avoided awkward, folding Army cots and very few used sleeping bags.  Most campers just rolled up in a blanket and sleep in the sand.  It was part of the novelty.  If there were hazards like rain, sand fleas or jumping mice, no one remembers them.

Anywhere near the water, was the best place to be when the sun was shining.  Folks didn’t wait for the Fourth of July for a picnic, going out as early and as late in the season as they could seize good weather.  Peninsula beaches, even if inhabited, were open to those who wished to enjoy them.  One could trade off with a neighbor for help with the chores, row somewhere for a day and maybe stay for three.  For food to last over, many residents often took a variety of things:  a chocolate cake, fried chicken, a crock of baked beans, coffee and a tin pail to boil it in, potatoes cooked or raw, the makings for ice cream and dill pickles.
Swimming at Warren Dock, Fox Island

Making ice cream on a beach in mid-summer without technological help to keep the ice was simple, if one planned ahead.  When the Joseph Cherry family in Rosedale got together for its annual outing, Grandpa Cherry traveled to Tacoma by steamer to buy 50 pounds of ice.  Carrying it wrapped in newspaper, he brought it back on the boat’s return run, drove 12 miles from the landing by horse and buggy to Cherry Point, where the waiting picnickers had times their gathering for his arrival.  Out of the ice that was left he could get two or three mixes of ice cream, enough for everyone if the kids didn’t take more than their share.

In a day when Gig Harbor’s young adults thought nothing of spending a summer Sunday afternoon rowing across the Narrows to buy an ice cream soda and visit the city, Point Defiance Park frequently was the scene of Sunday School and graduation picnics, as well as the customary Independence Day celebrations.

Horseshoe Lake was closer and immensely popular after its opening on July 4, 1917.  Presently owned by Kitsap County, it originally was opened under the ownership of the Ostrom family.  Its dance pavillon always was crowded even on weekend afternoons.  Its ball park and the boating, bathing, picnicking and fishing it offered, along with Mrs. Ostrom’s home-cooked meals, were attractive to families and clubs of the Peninsula.
The Opening Day at Horseshoe Lake

Handy for those who lived close to town were the Sunrise Beach and Point Richmond areas.  School class picnics frequently were held at Point Fosdick.  A beach called The Maples on Harstine Island was a favorite, as were Raft and Deadman’s (Cutts) Islands, all visited regularly by steamer-loads of excursionists and rowboats full of area residents.

Out-of-towners came to camp with friends and relatives in the Rosedale neighborhood, and one person once stayed a month digging geoducks on the outside shore of Raft Island during exceptionally low tides.

People who lived with wind and tides are accustomed to the unexpected — sometimes their outings became longer than planned.  In August 1917, a Gig Harbor family named Naters, says a dusty newspaper’s front page, “went fishing in their rowboat down the West Passage towards Seattle.”

“A noon they enjoyed a fish fry at the north end of Vashon Island and after dinner they decided to complete their journey around the island.  After rowing until dark, they found the tide and wind too much to row against and camped a few hours on the island until a change of tide.  They arrived home after midnight learning that Vashon Island is much larger than they had imaged.”

Now, are you ready to fix that picnic lunch, or dinner, spread the newspapers down and picnic in your living room?  Or maybe, just maybe, on your porch?  Bon appétit!

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Emmett Hunt Diary - Wednesday October 30, 1889

Fair but windy.  Lay around till noon then took a load of freight out to Wollochet Bay for Lathrop and returned to the corral and tied up.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.