Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

A Little History

 
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Green County, Kentucky
64
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought some of you might enjoy reading a little history, and seeing what homesteaders a hundred years ago and more were doing.  This story was written by my great-great aunt, Loretta Haring Farris.  Her parents homesteaded on the North Fork of the Siuslaw River, Lane County, Oregon, a few miles outside of Florence, back in the 1870's.  Her mother was born in London, England, but the family emigrated when she was ten years old, and somehow they ended up in Coos Bay, where she met Aunt Loretta's father, who was a sailor originally from New Jersey.  Aunt Loretta lived to be one hundred years old, and was a wonderful story-teller.  

THE BARN ON THE HARING FARM (North Fork Siuslaw River, Oregon)
Story by my great-great aunt, Loretta Haring Farris:

Our first barn was built of hand-split cedar and had fifteen cow stanchions, a high haymow and a large covered loafing shed where the cows could rest out of the winter rains.

As our dairy grew, plans were made for a large two story building. There was room for thirty-three cows, seventeen calves, five horse stalls, a large center space for hay, a potato bin for two acres of potatoes, a long work bench and area for farm implements to be repaired, oiled and ready for spring work. Also an area for butchering. In the southeast corner was the threshing floor where we kept a pitchfork, broom, and flail. Beans, peas and wheat were gathered in the fall, dried here, then piled in the center where the flail was used to beat the beans, peas, or grain out and chaff was swept up and taken out. All of this was on the first floor.

On the second floor a large storeroom was built to hold anything we wanted to keep dry and secure from mice and rats as they were a trouble everywhere. The upriver people could bring chittem bark, furs, hides, anything and store them till they were ready to take a load to town. When they brought a load of something back from town it could be stored safely till needed. We always had rope, gunny sacks, hides, sacks of salt, furs and other things in this room. Our salmon net racks were on the second floor, also.

Father had planned to build our barn, however he had offered to work on the Mapleton-Eugene road that was to be built with donated help from men anywhere in the Siuslaw area. He gave one week of work, was home three days, then returned and worked four days of his second week, sleeping in damp blankets. This gave him double pneumonia. He was very ill a long time. Even with the best care mother could give this almost cost him his life.

So, in the spring, a Mr. King from Glenada was hired to build the main structure. Father built stanchions, stalls and the potato bin as his strength permitted. That summer we hired help with the haying and cutting of wood for the winter of 1900-1901.

This building stood for sixty-two years. The Columbus Day wind storm of October 1962 blew our barn and many orchard trees down.

My comments:  The picture is of the original homestead site:  the buildings in the picture were built after the big windstorm.  The river flows up against the far hillside, just the other side of the buildings; it is still tidewater for probably another mile above this location.  The river is a rich source of fish, eels, crawdads, freshwater mussels, and, downstream, soft-shell clams.  The river is the reason why the original buildings were put in this location; there was no road up the North Fork Valley until the 1920's (and then it was dirt for quite a few years), so the homesteaders used the river for most of their transportation.  It was not an ideal location, as the hill behind the buildings blocks nearly all the sun in the winter (which is normally very wet and gloomy on the Oregon Coast, so it's better to build where you can get what winter sun there is).  That location also flooded most winters until it had been built up some, and even into the 1970's and 1980's (when one of my cousins lived there) the driveway would flood and they'd have to go in and out with a boat.  But being near the river for transportation was so beneficial that it outweighed the downsides.

When the original settlers came, all of this was heavily wooded, and some of the trees were enormous.  It took a huge amount of work to clear the land, and eventually, to dike the fields so they didn't flood every winter.  

Site-of-Original-Haring-Barn-North-Fork-Siuslaw-Lane-County-Oregon.jpg
[Thumbnail for Site-of-Original-Haring-Barn-North-Fork-Siuslaw-Lane-County-Oregon.jpg]
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Green County, Kentucky
64
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The 'chittem bark' that my aunt mentioned was the bark of cascara sagrada, which is used to this day as a laxative.  There was a business in Florence (Callison's Brush House) which bought chittum bark, some other wild-crafted plant material, and things like mushrooms, and salal and huckleberry brush, which was used by florists.  

The family used a lot of wild berries themselves, and most of their meat came from hunting and fishing.

 
garden master
Posts: 2705
Location: West Tennessee
803
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for sharing the story Kathleen. I enjoyed it
 
master steward
Posts: 10021
Location: Pacific Northwest
3923
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
This building stood for sixty-two years. The Columbus Day wind storm of October 1962 blew our barn and many orchard trees down.



I was not alive for that storm, but have heard about it over the years. My mom's side of the family has owned land down in Oregon for over 100 years, too, and the elders in the family still tell of which trees fell down and where, and you can see the difference between the old growth trees and the new ones that grew up after that storm. It was a devastating storm! My family was not so near to the coast, so I don't think any houses fell down, but the trees sure did!
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Green County, Kentucky
64
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nicole Alderman wrote:

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
This building stood for sixty-two years. The Columbus Day wind storm of October 1962 blew our barn and many orchard trees down.



I was not alive for that storm, but have heard about it over the years. My mom's side of the family has owned land down in Oregon for over 100 years, too, and the elders in the family still tell of which trees fell down and where, and you can see the difference between the old growth trees and the new ones that grew up after that storm. It was a devastating storm! My family was not so near to the coast, so I don't think any houses fell down, but the trees sure did!



We actually were there for that storm, and I remember it, though I was only five.  We lived in Alaska, but were spending a few months there on the North Fork with my mother's parents.  It was a whole different world for me and my two younger brothers, since we were only familiar with the Interior of Alaska!

Kathleen
 
Posts: 1
Location: Oregon
duck woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So glad I saw this...!! We recently bought 5 acres near Florence on the Suislaw River and absolutely love it here. Very nice to learn some ‘new old stuff’ about the area and see it through your ancestor’s eyes. Thanks so much for sharing! 😎
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Green County, Kentucky
64
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jessica Rankin wrote:So glad I saw this...!! We recently bought 5 acres near Florence on the Suislaw River and absolutely love it here. Very nice to learn some ‘new old stuff’ about the area and see it through your ancestor’s eyes. Thanks so much for sharing! 😎



I'm glad you enjoyed it!  I've thought about posting more -- my mother has been putting up family stories on a couple of Facebook pages dedicated to Oregon History -- but most of it is just family history.  If I find anything else that might be interesting to people here, I'll add it to this thread.

I love the Siuslaw area, and wish we could have stayed there.  But it's gotten very expensive (as I'm sure you know, if you just bought property there), and we still have family there that we can visit once in a while.

Kathleen
 
gardener
Posts: 2749
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
589
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:It was a whole different world for me and my two younger brothers, since we were only familiar with the Interior of Alaska!



Kathleen, I have to ask, because although Sanderson is a common name, the Interior of Alaska in those days was sparsely populated indeed: are you any kind of relation, that you know of, to a man named Charlie Sanderson, who lived in Eagle (on the Yukon, east of Fairbanks by the Canadian border) in the 1970s and possibly into the 1980s?  I believe he moved away when his respiratory disease (what these days we would call COPD, although he called it emphysema) got to be unsustainable in a bush town with no medical support.

He was a colorful character, but since I was just a kid not someone I ever knew well.  I remember him most clearly for his insistence on buying cottonwood from the kids like me who sold firewood for spending money; he called it "air conditioning wood" because, being fast-growing and low-density, it burned cool in his cookstove in the summer when all he wanted to do was make coffee.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Green County, Kentucky
64
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dan Boone wrote:

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:It was a whole different world for me and my two younger brothers, since we were only familiar with the Interior of Alaska!



Kathleen, I have to ask, because although Sanderson is a common name, the Interior of Alaska in those days was sparsely populated indeed: are you any kind of relation, that you know of, to a man named Charlie Sanderson, who lived in Eagle (on the Yukon, east of Fairbanks by the Canadian border) in the 1970s and possibly into the 1980s?  I believe he moved away when his respiratory disease (what these days we would call COPD, although he called it emphysema) got to be unsustainable in a bush town with no medical support.

He was a colorful character, but since I was just a kid not someone I ever knew well.  I remember him most clearly for his insistence on buying cottonwood from the kids like me who sold firewood for spending money; he called it "air conditioning wood" because, being fast-growing and low-density, it burned cool in his cookstove in the summer when all he wanted to do was make coffee.



No, my maiden name was Fales.  I still have family up there -- some Fales, some James's, a couple of Vanderburgs in Valdez.  We lived outside of Delta Junction when I was small (and my aunt and uncle still live there, though I think both of their kids live in Fairbanks); later, after I was married, we moved back up there and lived in Tok for a while.  I don't remember ever hearing anything about Charlie Sanderson.  My (ex) husband worked on the Taylor Highway for two summers (medic for the road construction camp, although he drove a dump truck for them), and I think he would have mentioned it if he'd ever heard the name.

Where did you live?

Kathleen
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 2749
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
589
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I figured it was a long shot but I had to ask.  We moved to Eagle in 1973 and I lived there until I left for college in the late 80s.  My parents lived there until they passed, my mom in the 90s and my Dad about ten years ago.  

There was a real old-timer named Vince James when we moved there, related somehow to the Binkley family in Fairbanks and their small fleet of Discovery tour boats on the Chena/Tanana rivers, whose experience went all the way back to, I believe, cutting firewood for Yukon river steamboats.  He was the only man left in town who knew how to make square-sided logs the old-fashioned way, using hand tools (adzes and such).  Probably just another coincidence of names, though.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Green County, Kentucky
64
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dan Boone wrote:I figured it was a long shot but I had to ask.  We moved to Eagle in 1973 and I lived there until I left for college in the late 80s.  My parents lived there until they passed, my mom in the 90s and my Dad about ten years ago.  

There was a real old-timer named Vince James when we moved there, related somehow to the Binkley family in Fairbanks and their small fleet of Discovery tour boats on the Chena/Tanana rivers, whose experience went all the way back to, I believe, cutting firewood for Yukon river steamboats.  He was the only man left in town who knew how to make square-sided logs the old-fashioned way, using hand tools (adzes and such).  Probably just another coincidence of names, though.



Very likely.  I know my uncle has quite a few brothers and sisters, and most of them are in Alaska, but the name Vince doesn't ring any bells.  I actually never made it all the way to Eagle, though we got pretty close caribou hunting one fall.  That would have been in the late '80's.  

I loved it up there, and wouldn't mind going back to live, but we are probably settled here in Kentucky for good.  I can't keep hauling my autistic daughter around from place to place -- it's too much stress for her.  This is a nice place, though, and good people.

Kathleen
 
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: PNW
97
trees tiny house books food preservation cooking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really enjoyed your post too Kathleen and am happy to read anything about the area that you want to share.

I was at Woahink lake this week and saw a plaque and thought of your post.

I think they abandoned the plan because although there are small trees, they are suffering  (They have been stunted and the same little size for years) from how manicured they keep the grass and they definitely aren't letting natural progression take over. But I still enjoy it there and the plaque was interesting.
20190616_142210.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190616_142210.jpg]
 
Kathleen Sanderson
pollinator
Posts: 1227
Location: Green County, Kentucky
64
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sonja Draven wrote:I really enjoyed your post too Kathleen and am happy to read anything about the area that you want to share.

I was at Woahink lake this week and saw a plaque and thought of your post.

I think they abandoned the plan because although there are small trees, they are suffering  (They have been stunted and the same little size for years) from how manicured they keep the grass and they definitely aren't letting natural progression take over. But I still enjoy it there and the plaque was interesting.



I haven't been to Woahink Lake in a very long time -- we used to go there to swim and picnic once in a while.  I wonder if the soil under those little trees isn't mostly sand, though -- I know that it is mostly sand in much of that area.

Kathleen
 
What are your superhero powers? Go ahead and try them on this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!