One of the Pleasures…

Oct 27, 2015 | 1 comment

Ruth Dixon

Ruth Dixon

I’ve sung the praises of the Sou’wester many times over the years. When I’m getting background information on almost any aspect of Pacific County history, I search its pages first. Begun in 1966 by Ruth Dixon, the magazine was, for many years, published quarterly (now semi-annually) and is one of the membership perks for joining the Pacific County Historical Society. Current and back issues are also available at the PCHS Museum in South Bend.

Besides being a fabulous source for local history, the Sou’wester is just flat out fun to read. Pick up any issue, the older the better, and you are in for an hour or more of fun. One of my favorite parts, particularly of the early magazines, are the “fillers” – those little bits of (often) unrelated information that filled in a blank space here or there. I give you just a taste here.

In the Spring 1967 issue: With Her Flag At Half Mast and Cannon Ball Ballast – The sloop MARY HOBSON rushed news of Lincoln’s assassination from Astoria to Oysterville. Built in 1861 at Cape Disappointment, she was also known as the MARY H. Transportation of goods and passengers being her usual duty, she was ballasted for this trip with pig iron bearing the stamp of the Oregon Iron Works of Oswego, and with cannon balls. The ballast was put overboard and the sloop loaded with oysters for the return trip.                                                                                                                            -Charles Nelson.

Sou'wester Reprocuction of Postbox Advertisement

Sou’wester Reproduction of Postbox Advertisement

In an article about the Chinook post office, the Summer/Autumn issue ran a copy of this old advertisement from a Baltimore newspaper: SADLER PUB. CO., BALTIMORE, MD. IMPORTANT TO POSTMASTERS. The rental from boxes in Post-offices where the salary is less than $1,000 belongs to the Postmaster. They can, therefore, increase their income very materially by having their offices fitted up in an attractive manner. The money received from rentals alone will pay for a Cabinet in a few months. With this in view we would call attention to the line of POST-OFFICE CABINETS AND CASES shown on the following pages. These Cabinets are made of best material, finely finished and are furnished to Postmasters at very low prices either on cash or installment plan.

One of my all-time favorite is this bit from the Spring 1966 issue: TIDELAND CHICKENS – Rev. Wolfe of the Raymond Methodist Church has solved the problem of raising chickens on the tidelands. He has just completed a floating house for his chickens which insures a safe, dry place for them when the tide is high, while at low water they can feed outside. Rev. Wolfe did not say whether or not he had supplied his flock with tide tables.                                 -Raymond newspaper in 1908.


From McKenney’s Pacific Coast Directory 1883-1884

In the Spring 1984 issue of the Sou’wester is an excerpt from McKenny’s Directory (L .M. McKenny and Company, San Francisco) for 1886 showing that the population of Oysterville was 100 people and its leading citizens were: Alf D. Bowen – join councilman; A.M. Brown – postmaster; W .A. Carruthers – furrier and general merchandise; F.C. Davis – tannery and county treasurer; R.H. Espy – justice of the peace; Joseph A. Gill – publisher and agent for Wells Fargo Bank; M .S. Griswold – justice of the peace; P. Henselman – coroner; Mrs. Ada Hicklin – school superintendent; Benj. Hutton – county commissioner; I.S. Jones – general merchandise; W.C . Lupton – blacksmith; S.D. Stratton – proprietor of Pacific House; J.P. Pall – carpenter; N.S. Porter – district attorney; L.M. Preston – county commissioner; C.A. Reed – notary public; J.H. Turner – sheriff and assessor; J.S .M . Van Cleave – county judge; Jos. A. Whealdon – county surveyor; Geo. W. Wilson – county commissioner; A. Wirt – hotel proprietor; E.B. Wood – county recorder and auditor.

Great stuff! I highly recommend putting these wonderful magazines at the top of your reading list. Many are online or at our local Timberland Libraries.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    A floating coop! What an idea! Better get Nyel building the ark!


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