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Home of the Tarheel Stomp Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug
There are tales of the valor and prowess,
Of these knights of the saw and the ax,
Who made through the forest primeval,
The first irretraceable tracks,
There are tales of soul-stirring adventure;
Of bears that were bigger than barns;
Of salmon of whalelike proportions??
But I cannot spin all of these yarns.
And the little town grew so pretentious,
That it no longer fitted its name;
So out of regard for the cedars,
It finally Sedro became
Now, to the northeastward of Sedro,
Rose Woolley; and lo! there began,
A strife that was long and unhappy??
Raging fiercely, as clan against clan
But Woolley kept creeping southeastward,
And Sedro kept creeping northwest
Until it grew plain to all people
That peaceable union was best.
So they formally buried the hatchet
And all was henceforward serene;
For the two became Sedro-Woolley,
With only a hyphen between.
And I sing of a glorious future,
Well worthy the deeds of the past:
Here's 3 cheers for our own Sedro-Woolley,
Long may its prosperity last!
Also, FYI, I'm the person who "discovered" that the poem about SW by Mrs. WT Odlin ("On the banks of the mighty Skagit...") was in the same meter as the song "Acres of Clams". I found it when I was in Junior High and started singing it as part of my folk repertoire. Jerry Sommerseth picked it up and started teaching it in elementary school music, and I think the kids are still singing it now. That's my claim to fame, but nobody remembers it but Jerry and me.Then we received this email from a transplanted county resident and we were happy to connect them. Andrew Jacobsen wrote:
I'm wondering if anybody's ever set the Jessie Odlin poem that starts "On the banks of the mighty Skagit" to music, if so what? My mother spent her childhood on a farm several miles north of town (2 miles, I believe, from Prairie), moved to Seattle in 1934 when her father, Andrew Jacobsen, Sr., died. The poem has been part of our family's oral (and written) tradition as long as I can remember, and probably since they lived there. However, we never had (to my knowledge) the final stanza.And then we explored the connection between Ivar Haglund's wonderful song, "Ivar's Acres of Clams," which he penned in 1940 and which became the theme song for his empire of restaurants and fun times in Seattle from World War II on. Jacobsen reminded us that Ivar's song is sung to the same tune as the old Irish air, "Old Rosin, the Beau," which we had misnamed, as many do, as "Rosin the Bow." As Jacobsen noted, "Rosin's a feller, not a fiddle accessory, though of course the pun is intentional.
I've wandered all over the country,
Prospecting and digging for gold-
I've tunneled, hydraulicked and cradled
, And I had been frequently sold-
For one who gained riches by mining,
So rolling my grub in my blanket,
Arriving flat broke in mid-winter,
As I looked on the prospect so gloomy
The tears trickled over my face
For I felt that my travels had brought me
To the edge of the jumping-off place.
I took up a claim in the forest
I tried to get out of the country,
And now that I'm used to the climate,
No longer the slave of ambition,
By the way, many people ask, what did he mean by "frequently sold?" The consensus answer is that he talking from the point of view of a gold miner who had experienced the many rushes from 1849 California through 1858 Fraser River in British Columbia and was bemoaning being sold out, fleeced, flummoxed and gypped.
Journal reader Marilyn Morrison brought this poem home to us earlier this year when she and I and other descendants of the Kalloch family were researching the series we will also present in this issue about how the Kallochs left quite a mark from Maine to San Francisco to Prairie, the small community north of Sedro-Woolley. One of the most famous members of that family was Amariah Kalloch III, who homesteaded south of Prairie at Cranberry Lake in 1883. He was the namesake of Kalloch road, which is now a short road in the Prairie district, but was originally the trail that eventually became the Skagit county portion of Highway 9.
Kalloch died as the result of an accident at Yesler's Wharf in Seattle in November 1889. He stepped onto a gangplank to board the sternwheeler Cascade, but fell off and struck his head on a nearby piling. Morrison found the Nov. 17, 1889, edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that reported his death and noted that he later died at the relatively new Providence Hospital in Seattle. Printed in that same issue was Henry's "Old Settler" poem. Although Morrision did not see any connection between the items, we read elsewhere that the poem was read at Kalloch's IOOF funeral ceremony at the Bow cemetery.
So, how does help tie all the strings into a semi-tidy ball? Well, Ivar Haglund's original Acre of Clams was located at Pier 54, just a stone's throw north from where Henry Yesler originally built his wharf, the one where Old Settler Kalloch fell. See how much fun we historians have making connections and tying people and events together?
P.S. Mr. Jacobsen is fluent in many languages, not the least of which is Esperanto. He has prepared two special websites regarding the Odlin poem: in English: http://www.geocities.com/lilandr/lbr/anekdote/OdlinPoem.htm and in Esperanto: http://www.geocities.com/lilandr/lbr/anekdote/duurboj.html
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Heirloom Gardens Natural Foods at 805B Metcalf street, the original home of Oliver Hammer
Oliver Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 82 years
Bus Jungquist Furniture at 829 Metcalf street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 36 years
Schooner Tavern/Cocktails at 621 Metcalf street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, across from Hammer Square
Peace and quiet at the Alpine RV Park, just north of Marblemount on Hwy 20
Park your RV or pitch a tent by the Skagit river, just a short driver from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley
DelNagro Masonry Brick, block, stone — See our work at the new Hammer Heritage Square
See our website www.4bricklayers.com
33 years experience — 15 years as a bonded, licensed contractor in the valley
Free estimates, reference, member of Sedro-Woolley Chamber (360) 856-0101
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Mail copies/documents to street address: Skagit River Journal, 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, WA, 98284.