Some visitors come and stay and stay and…

Huff Highwater Puddle

We loved seeing the King Tides come galloping into our garden.  Yes!  Galloping!  Usually, those high tides creep along, relentless but fairly slowly.  Not last week’s however.  The 12.7 foot tide on Monday afternoon was scheduled to reach its apex at 1:15, but by eleven that morning it was already noticeably high.  And on and on it came, oh so quietly.  No wave action to speak of.  Just creeping along, through the picket fence on the east side of the yard and halfway up to the house by the time all was said and done.

Reverend J. T. Huff

Although the tide table said there were higher tides last week, it’s the only one that actually came onto the premises — at least that we could ascertain.  But, somehow, it must have been filling up whatever spaces there are underneath the lawn (is that even possible?) and by yesterday there was standing water in a big area of the yard.  Maybe it’s just a gigantic grass puddle (as opposed to a mud puddle) caused by all the rain, but somehow I think of it as visiting tidewater that hasn’t wanted to leave.

I’m calling it the Huff Highwater Puddle after the Reverend J. T.  Huff who came to preach to the Baptist congregation here in Oysterville in 1878.  That was before the Oysterville Baptists had built their church and were meeting each Sunday at the R.H. Espy House.  When they were lucky enough to have a visit from an occasional itinerant preacher, he stayed with the Espys as well.  Pastor Huff must have found the accommodations to his liking for he stayed for eight (my mother said twelve) long  years!

R.H. Espy Family and Rev. Huff c.1895  l to r Top: Susie, Ed, Harry, Dora; Middle: Rev. Huff, Julia (Mrs. R.H.E.), R. H Espy; front: Cecil, Will, Verona.

Huff came back to Oysterville in June 1892 and, as far as is known, stayed with the Espys for another few years, lending his assistance at the church when necessary (as in the months after Josiah Crouch’s sudden departure.)  That has always been the family’s explanation for why the family patriarch, R.H. Espy donated the property and the funds to build the Baptist Church and also purchased the Crellin House right across the street to serve as a parsonage.  Enough, apparently, was enough even for a strong-minded Baptist like my great-grandfather!

Hopefully the visiting Huff Highwater Puddle will not be around quite so long as its namesake!


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