Site founded Sept. 1, 2000. We passed 2.5 million page views on June 13, 2008
These home pages remain free of any charge. We need donations or subscriptions to continue.
Please pass on this website link to your family, relatives, friends and clients.

(S and N Railroad)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
Free Home Page Stories & Photos
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit

Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan, Snohomish & BC. An evolving history dedicated to 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

(Click to send email)

Rare old photos of Mount Vernon

    We have added more rare historic Mount Vernon photos on this page and we would love your comments or details about them. We have also posted an early version from 1940 of Mount Vernon history from 1870 on. And we have posted a fascinating letter from 1884 by an early settler who gives even further details of the first settlers. We are researching these photos and original documents to present a fresh perspective. Do you have photos or documents you would like to share about your family or the old days here? Please use the email or guestbook below and consider emailing the scans as attachments or use regular mail for copies.

(Riverside bridge)
      For those of you who have been watching closely the construction of the new bridge that spans the Skagit river at Riverside, here is a photo from the opening of the old bridge in 1938. The old bridge looks so lonely now; I know I will miss it. The new bridge is following its predicted schedule and we recommend this website for those who want to know technical details about the plan: Photo courtesy of Betty Osborne Hittson from the Harry Osborne collection.

Click on these thumbnail photos to see the full-sized photos
(Myrtle street, 1890s)
(Gus Davis of T&D Cigar Store)
Far left. Myrtle street in downtown Mount Vernon, looking east. Unknown photographer.
Center: Gus Davis of the T&D Cigar Store on Myrtle street in Mount Vernon, 1924. Photo courtesy of Theron Davis, grandson of Gus. Details below.

      These are two of our favorite photos of old Mount Vernon. First, because we were given a Xeroxed copy of the photo at the upper left a long time ago and we have only recently received information about it. Second, because that photo caught the eye of our newest source of documented information, Theron Davis. We hope that we hear from many more like him.
      The late historian John Conrad left us a hint about the T&D store. He wrote that the "T" was for Ned Thompson and the "D" was for Gus Davis. They were brothers-in-law; Thompson was the son of the famous old Skagit City Doctor William Thompson and Gus married to the doctor's daughter May. May and Ned's mother was the former Mary Gates, the daughter of John Burns Gates, who was the brother of Mount Vernon pioneer Jasper Gates. Mary Gates Thompson was widowed in 1902 when Dr. Thompson accidentally poisoned himself. As Theron explains, the doctor went to bed with a sore throat and when he woke up in the middle of the night, he reached for a bottle of cough medicine and accidentally selected a bottle of carbolic acid by mistake. Gus's full name was Roderick Augustus Davis.
      Theron went on to note that Gus "later worked at Barnett Implement Company — at the original location somewhere near the old Mission Theatre, and then when the moved out to Riverside. He died of TB in 1942." We will soon share many more of Theron's memories in a subsequent story. Barnett Implement reminds me of my mother's best friend, Dixie Latimer, whom she met while my dad and Dixie's first husband were serving at Pearl Harbor just before the 1941 attack. When I was a child, Dixie was the bookkeeper at Barnett's and she used to give me the toy model of each new John Deere tractor. All those models have disappeared over the years but the memories of playing with them are still fresh. I hope that a reader will have more memories of Barnett and the various tractor and implement companies around the county in the old days.
      Update: Serendipity strikes again. As I was perusing obituaries yesterday, I found the answer to the Barnett question. Harold D. Barnett, age 85, died September 5, 2003, in Mount Vernon. According to his obituary, Harold and his brother Ernie Barnett purchased Barnett Implement Company in Mount Vernon from their father and continued the operation for many years, although we don't know the time period. Harold sold out his interest to his brother quite awhile ago.

(Odd Fellows Hall, Mount Vernon, 1890s)
(1st and Montgomery, Mount Vernon)
(Mount Vernon waterfront 1879-81)
Left: This photo is said to be of the Skagit county Republican convention, sometime in the 1890s, at the Mount Vernon hall of the International Order of the Odd Fellows, on First street, about where the Lido theatre later stood. Can anyone give us any details of the lodge, or identify the members? Can anyone give us a complete history of the theaters, both vaudeville and movie, in Mount Vernon and other county towns?
Center: This photo was taken at the corner of First and Montgomery streets, downtown Mount Vernon, circa the turn of the Twentieth century. It is from the Roger Fox collection and is available on a postcard that is for sale at the Skagit County Historical Association museum in LaConner. Printed by Northwest Graphics. Dave Towne tells us that the photographer must have been standing at the corner of First and Pine, looking north. He says that the old Well's Drug store (now Alliance Office/Williams & Nulle) is the building on the left; and the President Hotel is the tall building on the right. Can anyone else give us more details?
Right: This view is of the east side of the Skagit, about where downtown Mount Vernon is now. Various publications indicate either 1879 or 1881; the village of Mount Vernon began in 1877. The photographer was standing about where the west end of the bridge to Mount Vernon and the Memorial highway is now. Note the flag at the left. We know that the scene was after 1877 because that is when pioneer John Lorensey [also spelled Lorenzy in some records] shinnied up that tall cedar to attach and unfurl Old Glory. The tree burned in the famous Mount Vernon fire of 1891. Mr. and Mrs. Lorensey owned the Brooklyn Hotel in early Mount Vernon.
      The late Maxine Meyers of Lyman loaned this photo to be scanned and handwritten notes on the back identify some of the structures. From left to right, you will see the Bonanza Saloon; Clothier & English general store, the first building in town, with Skagit Ned's upstairs; the second hotel in town, owned by Brand and Moran; the first hotel — Ruby House/McNamara Hotel; a floating house on the river; a drug store owned by Dr. D.Y. Deere; and a logging camp. The steamer Glide is on the river. Henry Cooper described this photo as being what Mount Vernon looked like when he and his cousin Henry Cooper Leggett arrived. We know that they arrived in 1879, so that year seems likely for this scene. Can you tell us anything more about this photo?

Links, background reading and sources
      We will share more historic Mount Vernon photos in the near future. Maybe you can help us with copies of your own photos of this or any of the old towns of Skagit county? We don't need originals because scans will work just fine. We would also like to see Xeroxed copies of documents or printed stories.

Story posted in 2001 and updated on May 27, 2004
Please report any broken links so we can update them

Return to the new-domain home page
Links for portals to subjects and towns
Newest photo features
Search entire site
(bullet) See this Journal website for a timeline of local, state, national, international events for years of the pioneer period.
(bullet) Did you enjoy this story? Remember, as with all our features, this story is a draft and will evolve as we discover more information and photos. This process continues until we eventually compile a book about Northwest history. Can you help?
(bullet) Remember; we welcome correction & criticism.
(bullet) Please report any broken links or files that do not open and we will send you the correct link. With more than 550 features, we depend on your report. Thank you.
(bullet) Read about how you can order CDs that include our photo features from the first five years of our Subscribers Edition. Perfect for gifts.

You can click the donation button to contribute to the rising costs of this site. You can also subscribe to our optional Subscribers-Paid Journal magazine online, which has entered its seventh year with exclusive stories, in-depth research and photos that are shared with our subscribers first. You can go here to read the preview edition to see examples of our in-depth research or read how and why to subscribe.

You can read the history websites about our prime sponsors
Would you like information about how to join them?

(bullet) Jones and Solveig Atterberry, NorthWest Properties Aiken & Associates: . . . See our website
Please let us show you residential and commercial property in Sedro-Woolley and Skagit County 2204 Riverside Drive, Mount Vernon, Washington . . . 360 708-8935 . . . 360 708-1729
(bullet) Oliver Hammer Clothes Shop at 817 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley, 86 years.
(bullet) Joy's Sedro-Woolley Bakery-Cafe at 823 Metcalf Street in downtown Sedro-Woolley.
(bullet) Check out Sedro-Woolley First section for links to all stories and reasons to shop here first
or make this your destination on your visit or vacation.
(bullet) Are you looking to buy or sell a historic property, business or residence?
We may be able to assist. Email us for details.
(bullet) 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 drive from Winthrop or Sedro-Woolley

Looking for something special on our site? Enter name, town or subject, then press "Find" Search this site powered by FreeFind
    Did you find what you were seeking? We have helped many people find individual names or places, so email if you have any difficulty.
    Tip: Put quotation marks around a specific name or item of two words or more, and then experiment with different combinations of the words without quote marks. We are currently researching some of the names most recently searched for — check the list here. Maybe you have searched for one of them?
Please sign our guestbook so our readers will know where you found out about us, or share something you know about the Skagit River or your memories or those of your family. Share your reactions or suggestions or comment on our Journal. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit our site.

View My Guestbook
Sign My Guestbook
Email us at:
(Click to send email)
Mail copies/documents to Street address: Skagit River Journal, 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, WA, 98284.