living life, small community life

The HOME and Community…..

When my husband and I were married, we decided that living in a rural community would be a better place to raise children.  We found the farm. (the picture of the white house).  It was a true stick built Victorian.  The house was big, 2200 square feet.  The main floor had a parlor, a huge living room with an ornate pillared divider  between what use to be  the dining room and formal living room. The living room had a corner fireplace with a beautiful  wooden mantel. A picture window had been installed in the front room giving a view of the front yard and circular driveway. The front door (opposite the fireplace) opened to a glassed in porch.  Thru a swinging door, the kitchen, off the kitchen the bathroom and a laundry room. The stairway off the kitchen led to a larder. The larder was cooled by a spring. Out the kitchen was an enclosed porch that housed the refrigerator. On the second floor were three bedrooms. The family before us had 2 teenagers, one in a green room and one in a pink room.  The rooms were large a teenagers dream. To give you an idea how big the bedrooms were, during the rainy season, which was most of the year,  I set up an air  tunnel that measured 10 feet square. One corner of the tunnel was  small castle . The third bedroom view looking out onto the lower field the barn and the huge cherry tree that held the rope swing.

Shortly after settling in and getting to know some people in the community, we started asking people if they knew when the house was built? The answer from several was “The twins were born on fourth of July” . When asked what they meant by that “The twins were born in the house on 4th of July”.   Some time later, we discovered, the cement for the larder, had a date of 1900 on it. Being persistent  we discovered the twins were born 4th of July in the year 1900. We eventually found a woman whose grandfather had built the house. The house had been started in 1898, no date when it was finished. The house was much smaller when built. We moved into it in 1994, ninety-six years later, the house had been enlarged. We soon discovered the house actually sat sideways to the street. So what you see is the side of the house not the front. When Victorian era homes were built, they were built narrow and long. This was to avoid taxation on the front width of the house.  In 1920’s, the house had been moved up the hill away from the creek. It was moved by steam donkey. No roads existed in the  community till the 1930’s. The whole valley had multiple communities, each community separate from the other, the only mode of transportation was boat. The river that flowed thru the valley is the Grays River.


The history of the area dates back to Lewis and Clark, the following  is and excerpt ;From the Lewis and Clark journals

Clark, November 8, 1805 …

A Cloudy morning Some rain, we did not Set out untill 9 oClock [from their campsite near Pillar Rock], haveing Changed our Clothing- proceeded on Close under the Stard. Side, the hills high with Steep assent, Shore boald and rockey Several low Islands [islands of the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge] in a Deep bend or Bay to the Lard Side [Cathlamet Bay], river about 5 or 7 miles wide. three Indians in a Canoe overtook us, with Salmon to Sell, passed 2 old villages on the Stard. Side [passing Altoona] and at 3 miles entered a nitch [Grays Bay. Harrington Point and Pigeon Bluff are the eastern end of Grays Bay where the explorers would first spot the Bay.] of about 6 miles wide and 5 miles deep with Several Creeks [Grays River, Deep River] makeing into the Stard Hills, this nitch [Grays Bay] we found verry Shallow water and Call it the Shallow <nitch> [Grays Bay] we came too at the remains of an old village at the bottom of this nitch and dined [Miller Point], here we Saw great numbers of fowl, Sent out 2 men and they killed a Goose and two Canves back Ducks here we found great numbers of flees which we treated with the greatest caution and distance; after Diner the Indians left us and we took the advantage of a returning tide and proceeded on to the Second point [Portuguese Point, just east of Grays Point, the first point being Rocky Point] on the Std. here we found the Swells or waves So high that we thought it imprudent to proceed; we landed unloaded and drew up our Canoes. Some rain all day at intervales; we are all wet and disagreeable, as we have been for Several days past, and our present Situation a verry disagreeable one in as much; as we have not leavel land Sufficient for an encampment and for our baggage to lie Cleare of the tide, the High hills jutting in So Close and Steep that we cannot retreat back, and the water of the river too Salt to be used, added to this the waves are increasing to Such a hight that we cannot move from this place, in this Situation we are compelled to form our Camp between the hite of the Ebb and flood tides, and rase our baggage on logs- We are not certain as yet if the whites people who trade with those people or from whome they precure ther goods are Stationary at the mouth, or visit this quarter at Stated times for the purpose of trafick &c. I believe the latter to be the most probable conjucture- The Seas roled and tossed the Canoes in Such a manner this evening that Several of our party were Sea Sick.

Pasted from <>

 More detailed history can be read at

There are things that only family members of these communities know. Some of these things I will be telling you as we go along with this blog. Only as it comes to mind. Some things you may find fascinating, some you may find appalling but all of these little tidbits are part of spending time in a small community and interacting with  members of a community that can be seen as a tight knit community or a old community with secrets and dysfunctional families. Even with the idea of dysfunction tidbits of how a community clicks is important to know.

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