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Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
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The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit.

Covers from British Columbia to Puget sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan. An evolving history dedicated to the principle of committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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Abbeys Celebrate Golden Union

Bellingham Herald July 5, 1939
(Fred G. and Abi S. (Hitchcock) Abbey)
Fred G. and Abi S. (Hitchcock) Abbey, 1939

      [Judge Frederic George Abbey and Mrs. Abi Hitchcock Abbey], prominent Anacortes residents and pioneer of the Northwest, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on July 3, holding open house in Plymouth Congregational church, where hundreds of friends called during the afternoon and evening to extend felicitations.
      The church parlors were gay with colorful blooms sent by numerous friends and there also was an array of beautiful gifts, although the Abbeys had specifically stated "no gifts." Assisting with the reception were the three daughters, Mrs. Henry Howard Hattie of Honolulu; Mrs. Francis J. Benefield of Bremerton, and Mrs. Arnold Houle of Anacortes. One son, George Frederick Abbey of eastern Washington, who is doing special work at the Western Washington College of Education, was also here for the celebration.

Abbey came in 1884
(Edward Hitchcock)
Edward Hitchcock, Abi's father, in the family home at Heath Massachusetts. She brought a sense of culture and refinement to the Abbey's frontier home at Lookout. Photo courtesy of this website.

      Judge Abbey, a native of Pelham, Massachusetts, located in Skagit county in March 1884 when Washington was a territory, homesteading a claim on the west fork of the Samish river. He returned to New England for his bride and was married July 3, 1889, to Miss Abi S. Hitchcock, daughter of a prominent New England family, in Heath, Mass.
      They returned to the West where they were the first settlers in the valley where their claim was located. Through their efforts other settlers were [induced] to locate in this valley. A railroad was built in 1890 and the following year a post office was established with Mr. Abbey as postmaster. He named the place, Lookout, and held the office of postmaster as long as he lived there.

Built school
      The Abbeys donated an acre of ground and built a school as soon as there were five children of school age in the settlement. Their home was a refuge for dozens of homesteaders, who soon flocked in to stake claims in the big timber and rich beaver marshes. Judge Abbey at one time held the offices of postmaster, school director, justice of the peace, road supervisor and assessor.
      In 1905 the family moved to Anacortes, where they have been active in social and civic circles. After serving one term as assessor, Judge Abbey was named assistant postmaster, holding the position for sixteen years until retired by the age limit. In 1926 he was elected justice of the peace and police judge, serving four years and being reelected in 1930.
      The Abbeys are charter members of the Skagit County Pioneers' Association. Mr. Abbey served one year as president and has been secretary for 21 years. Both are members of the Washington State Pioneers' Association.
      Mrs. Abbey, an active club woman, was the first woman to serve as a juror in Skagit county and has been identified with Red Cross and W.C.T.U. work, serving as secretary of the county W.C.T.U. for many years.

Stories about the towns of Lookout and Alger and the pioneers
(Abbey family)
The Abbey family on the porch of the Lookout hime in 1902, about the time the town name changed to Alger. From l. to r., Cressa, Fred, Mason, Prudence, Abi, Fannie. Photo courtesy of Skagit Settlers, number 3 in the Skagit County Historical Society series, still for sale at the LaConner Museum.

      This is one of a series of stories about the town of Lookout, which began as a market for nearby settlers and loggers around Lake Samish in the 1880s and then was named Alger at the turn of the century. And we include links about future Judge Fred G. Abbey, one of the most important settlers. Both the books quoted from above are still for sale at the Historical Museum in LaConner.

Story posted on March 2, 2004
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