Irving, Ghost town in Eugene Oregon

Irving, Ghost town in Eugene Oregon

Once it’s own town, it was one of several small communities in what was known as the River Road Neighborhood. Now part of the Santa Clara neighborhood in Eugene, the town lives on only in name.

Platted by the Oregon and California Railroad in 1870, on the donation land claim of Jame Peck, the town appears to have been home to early railroad workers. It was situated such that workers were isolated from Eugene. (Eugene’s Historic River Road, November 2005)

The plat ran south from lrvington Road along Peck Street, which is now Prairie Road. The area
between the five blocks of building lots and the rail lines was identified as “depot grounds”. An later undated “Plat of Irving” map shows an additional three blocks across Peck Street.

The Post Office established on January 24th, 1876 was misspelled “Irvine”. This mistake was corrected though, on October 17th of the same year.

The town was substantial enough that by March 1889 the Morning Register newspaper included “Irving Items” in its coverage of surrounding communities. Like many small town papers, this was mostly local news such as birthdays, residential comings and goings and bulletin type news.

Again, trusty Ralph Friedman captures a glimpse of early Irving in “In Search of Western Oregon”

“Irvington Rd. Turn L. 0.1 mile on R, Irving Christian Church, built 1853, moved here from site of Irving. (Ed, interestingly, from what I can tell another historic church building appears to have been moved to this exact same spot in 2013) Return to jct. Cross road 0.1 m, site of Irving. In 1915 in had pop. 100, stores, HS, PS, three churches, Grange. Now there is nothing to indicate existence of town.”

Unfortunately the town’s post office was closed on May 31, 1919.

Town or no, the area was good crop land. Originally wheat, it was diversified into fruit and vegetable production that was shipped out on the rail. The Allen Orchard Company and later Chambers Orchard Company both operated east of the depot decades.

Today, nothing exists of Irving from those days. As pointed out above a historic Church building looks to be on or very near the site of the first church, but it is a totally different building.

The Wikipedia Article for Irving brings up some interesting, and contradictory, additional information.

“Irving was a station on the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Valley Line between Eugene and Junction City, first named “Halletts” when the line was built in 1872. J. L. Hallett had built the first 100 miles of the line and supervised the construction of the rest of the line to Roseburg. In 1876, the name of the station was changed to Irving, probably for William Irving, who was a settler in the area.”

“Irving Christian Church (now known as the Sonrise Christian Church) was moved from the Clear Lake area, two miles east of Fern Ridge Reservoir, in 1899.”

Note that the Southern Pacific took over the Oregon and California Railroad sometime between 1884 and 1887, over a decade after the original town plat was filed. Additionally, I can find no information or knowledge of “Hallett” outside of Lewis McArthur’s incredibly useful “Oregon Geographic Names.” Especially in any information about either railroad’s history.

If you know anything more about Irving or Hallett, please comment below!

Sprague Cemetery – Clackamas County, Oregon

Sprague Cemetery – Clackamas County, Oregon

The Sprague Cemetery is one of those frustratingly hard to research cemeteries. Like many small, family cemeteries created in the early days of settlement, information is hard to find. Even worse, lack of care has made the cemetery itself hard to find.

This cemetery is on the Alfred Sprague’s Donation Land Claim (OC #4985). Alfred Sprague arrived in Oregon in Sept of 1852 and settled his claim on Feb. 14, 1853.

The cemetery is on private property, hidden in bushes on South Lyons Road in Clackamas County. Only one grave marker remains, and even that is obviously a newer replacement one and its information is incomplete.

Interments

A complete list of burials in Sprague Family Cemetery is supposed to be in the 1937 copy of “Oregon Cemetery and Burial Records, Clackamas County” (two volumes.) It is out of print, and only one copy seems to exist at the Oregon City Library. If you have a copy of this book and can provide a link to this page, please comment below!

Sprague, Alfred Lloyd Born: 1822, Died: March 11, 1907, 85 yrs.
Sprague, Alfred Lloyd Jr.(L.S.) Born: 1874, Died: March 1, 1895, 20 yrs. 10 mos.
Sprague, Arthur Clyde Died: March 23, 1942, 65 yrs.
Sprague, Bertram Floyd Died: Jan 21, 1942, 71 yrs
Sprague, Clyde Arthur Born: May 5, 1876, Died: Mar 23, 1942
Sprague, Floyd Bert Died: Jan. 1942, 72 yrs.
Sprague, John L. Died: Jan. 10, 1867, 10 yrs. 4 mos. 4 das.
Sprague, Infant son of Frank and Anna Sprague Died: Bet. 1905-1911, Stillborn
Sprague, Mark D., Died: Oct. 13, 1924, 69 yrs.
Sprague, Mark G., Died: Nov 13, 1924, 65 yrs 4 mos 5 das
Sprague, Sanford E., Died: May 12, 1895, 43 yrs. 8 mos.
Sprague, (Goff) Statira, Born: 1822(?), Died: Dec. 7, 1905, 75 yrs. (Wife of Alfred; Born Ohio)
Wallenstein, S., 55 yrs.
Wallenstein, Archie Died: 1942, 10 mos.
Wallenstein, (Sprague) Hallie May Died: March 7, 1893, 13 yrs. 8 mos. 22 das.

Ghost Town of Airlie Oregon

Ghost Town of Airlie Oregon

Airlie was the southern-most station of the narrow gauge railroad owned by the Oregon Railway Company, LTD. It was named for the Earl of Airlie of Scotland, who was president of the company. The railroad reached Airlie in September 1881 but financial difficulties with the company kept it from expanding further.

An post office headed by Joseph A. Dalton was established here on September 5th, 1882. The first iteration of it lasted just under a year and a half. The office was closed on February 11th, 1884. A new location was found for it and it reopened on September 14th, 1885.

The Oregon Railway Company was acquired by Southern Pacific in 1890 and soon after the railroad was converted to standard gauge tracks. Small amounts of wheat and passengers were its main exports.

The 1908 version of Polk’s Oregon & Washington Gazetteer listed the businesses in Airlie. They were two general merchandise stores, a meat market, Hoffman & Jamieson’s Warehouse, and Norton, Wiley & Son, Hop growers. The 1915 version doesn’t even mention those businesses, merely a daily “stage” to Wren for 50 cents. Even the railroad station was slow enough that it was also the Wells, Fargo & Company’s express service and the Postal Telegraph office. The Station Master even ran all three.

By the 1900s even that traffic was so small that the railroad’s business consisted of a single gas powered self propelled rail car. It was a custom built car by the Independence & Monmouth Railroad who held the contract to provide service along the line. It made twice daily trips to Monmouth and Dalles. There is no mention if this is the “daily” stage mentioned in the Gazetteer though.

Airlie-Railroad-Station-1909

Mennonite Farmers moved to the area in 1913 and built a church in 1914. Ten years later it was closed. The Mennonites had moved on due to “poor soil conditions.” The railroad line was abandoned in 1927 and almost completely torn out by 1929.

In “In Search of Wester Oregon“, Ralph Friedman writes of “Airlie, in land at ease with nature. Named for the Scottish Earl of Airlie, town was S terminus of narrow gauge line of Oregonian Railway Co., Ltd., of which Earl was president. Later, tracks acquired by SP RR but no rails now. In 1915 Airlie was a right lively burg, with HS and PS, Grange, several lodges, church, businesses, pop.100. All gone.”

Main Street in Airlie Oregon

Evangelical church in Airlie, Polk County, Oregon, 1941

Evangelical church in Airlie, Polk County, Oregon, 1941

Another view of J.F. Wienert's General Store in 1942

Another view of J.F. Wienert’s General Store in 1942

For those interested, the Cole Brother’s Circus apparently still exists as the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros Circus

Camp Adair was established in 1941. From what I can tell, it looks like the main road through town was the western edge of the Camp’s land. This spared the nearby cemetery and the general store, but appears to have taken out all the buildings on the east side of the road. (An fate that nearby Tampico did not share) The Post Office was closed on June 15th, 1943 and never reopened. Even after the Camp was disbanded in 1946 and the farm land reclaimed.

Airlie General Store and Gas Station - 1963

Airlie General Store and Gas Station – 1963

The above picture in 1963 is the last evidence of the General Store and Gas Station. I believe it was located on the corner of Airlie Road Maxfield Creek Road, but there isn’t much visually to confirm that. If you know for sure, or know when it was torn down, please comment below.

Despite it’s history, Airlie is still a step above many other ghost towns here. The town name is remembered in two local businesses, the Airlie Winery and the Airlie Farm Bed and Breakfast.

If you know any more history about Airlie, or have recollections of living there. Please comment below!

Margaret Windsor Iman’s autobiography

This is the second of two versions of Margaret Windsor Iman’s autobiography. This one was updated and published in 1954 by the Skamania Historical Society.

Read the first version here on Felix G. Iman’s page

From left: Bill Cluer, bartender Bill Ellsworth, Monte Foster, Sam Thompson Bro., owner Lewis Iman, Ellis Totten holding a rifle, Oscar Bevans, D. D. Foster, and Conrad Lundy.

My maiden name was Margaret Windsor. I was born in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in the early forties. My father moved to DeKalb Couunty, Missouri, when I was about the age of eight or nine years. My mother, who was Martha Compton, had died and my father had married a second time to Mrs. Louisa Short, hence we had a stepmother who ruled over us. She was all but a kind mother to me, so I told father one day I was going to Oregon. He laughed at me and said, “You won’t go when the time comes.” There was a company of emigrants who were now getting ready to start west. I knew some of them (Ed, the Wilson Family) and when they came by I went out and started on my long trip to the west. We were six months on the trip with ox teams and it was a long and tiresome one too. On our trip, I think I am safe in saying, I carried a little motherless babe 500 miles, whose mother had died, and when we would go from camp to camp in search of some good, kind, motherly woman to let it nurse no one ever refused when I presented it to them.

We landed in The Dalles in the year 1852 and came down the river on a raft to what is known as Sheppard’s Point, where Stevenson, the county seat of Skamania County, now stands. At the latter end of the trip I had come down with what was then called “Mountain fever” became unconscious and did not know anything. I was then moved down to the head of Cascade rapids near the supposed Bridge of the Gods. Mr. Isaac H. Bush had erected a hospital there for the benefit of the sick and I was soon an inmate of that institution and was placed under the care of Dr. Belford. He being a good doctor, as well as a good, kind man, I was soon on my way to recovery. Mr. Bush also owned a hotel and when well I went to work for him waiting table; but while I lay sick in bed I heard the cries of an infant babe in some part of the building. I asked for it to be brought to me and my bidding was granted. I took it in my arms and tried to play with it, but was so weak and worn I could not. This was the first babe I had in my arms after landing at the Cascades in 1852. This little babe was C. M. Williams, (Ed, AKA Sully) who was born at the Cascades and who was a half-brother to J. F. and J. W. Atwell of Stevenson, Washington, and who was stopping at my house in later years when he died in Stevenson at the age of some sixty odd years. He always loved me as his mother. He rests in the little cemetery above Stevenson, on the bank of the lordly Columbia.

While I was still employed by Mr. Bush I formed the acquaintance of Felix G. Iman, who had been sent up from Portland to work on the construction of a steamboat called the Cosmopolite, to ply the river between the Cascades and the Dalles. He being a skilled workman, as well as a good man, I married him a little later. Portland at this time had but few houses and those were all on donation claims. We had in all sixteen children; nine boys, of whom six are living: T. C. Iman of Napavine, Wash., A.C. Iman of Castle Rock, Wash., George Iman, L. F. Iman and C. N. Iman of Stevenson, Wash., and John W. Iman of Cascades, Wash.;seven girls, of whom four are dead and three living; Mrs. Flora Foster of Stevenson, Mrs. M. L. MacKinnon of Beaverton, Ore., and Mrs. Rosa J. Jones of Satsop, Wash. I have thirty-six grandchildren now living and thirty-seven great-grandchildren.

In 1854 my husband built the steamer Wasco, owned by him and Captain McFarland. She plied on the river between the Cascades and The Dalles. She was the third steamer that ran on those waters between the Cascades and The Dalles. The iron hull propellers; Allen, the first, Mary, the second, and the steamer Wasco the third.

Now the Indians were getting somewhat numerous and were much on the warpath, so my husband sold out his interest in the Wasco to Captain McFarland and put up a saloon at the boat landing. There were three saloons a little later on — one owned by Isaac H. Bush, one by Thomas McNatt and one by my husband. My husband did not like the saloon business, so he sold out to Flech Murphy.

In those early fifties money was plentiful but clothing and provisions were high. The coins ranged from the silver half-dime to the fifty dollar slug, and I will include the copper cent. I well recall an instance of the paper money, those days — the common greenback. My husband had fifteen hundred dollars worth of them and had to let them go at forty cents on the dollar, and in ten days time they were full face value, and, I want to tell you, he never loved a greenback after that. No one would sell a pound of flour or other provisions to his neighbor, but would loan him a quantity of it, to be returned when he would be able to purchase.

I will relate to you a fact regarding high prices. My husband and Mr. Sheppard, who owned the donation claim where this little town now stands, went in together to purchase a pound of onion seed, each to bear equally on the expense, and when the seed arrived they were “only” eight dollars for the pound. A fifty pound sack of flour that my husband purchased at the Lower Cascades, as it was then called, or rather at the end of the little portage line, cost fifty dollars and it was carried home in the snow, the distance of the lines being six and seven-eighths miles long.

The Indians were getting more hostile and far enough along to assure us of battle, so my husband decided he would move up on our donation claim about a mile distant. We had hewn logs and put up a house on what is yet known as Powder Island slough. We had decided to stay and try to fight off the warriors. We had carried in lots of wood and water and cut portholes through the walls of our house, making it a kind of fort. We afterwards abandoned this idea as there was a large pile of shavings from the shingles that lay against the house under the shed and on account of the underbrush which was close to the house, this would have been an easy mark for them and have thrown firebrands into and have cremated us while sleeping.

While we were pondering over the situation, two hostiles put in an appearance about one hundred and fifty yards distant. They were huge and looking fierce and wild. A man named Carter, who was stopping at our house, asked my husband if he had any guns and he said “yes” and went out and brought two.

Mr. Carter took one and my husband the other, each one of the men to name the warrior he was to shoot at. Mr. Carter gave the signal to fire after good aim had been taken, but when the word was given my husband’s gun made a “long fire” and he did not get his game, though Mr. Carter took his man square in the stomach. The others ran like elk, and as far as we know, escaped unharmed.

They had fox skins filled with arrows and as they stood with the bows on end they were almost as tall as the warriors, who were close to six feet. Mr. Carter got the huge bow and the arrows, so after shooting the man they decided to cross the river to the Oregon shore.

I was sick in bed with a small baby at the time of the massacre on March 26, 1856. In the excitement I was carried from my bed up the river about a mile to where was supposed to be a skiff. The skiff had been taken over to the other side of the slough by a man named Herman, who died in The Dalles later; so Mr. Simeon Geil, who was at our place, ran the skiff over to where we were. As I was being carried into the boat, it was discovered that my little boy, two years old, had been left asleep in the bed. Mr. Geil, who was young and good on foot, ran back and got him. So you can see a part only of what I went through in those early days.

I think that day was the worst I ever witnessed on the old Columbia and there have been many, taking it all in all. I don’t care to see any more of them — the roar of the small cannon at the blockhouse, the firing of guns; the dead and wounded; the war cries of the warriors in their war paint; the burning of buildings, with my house among them, the fleeing of the people, and I being all but well; the splashing waters and bounding skiff did not add to a speedy recovery for me; but we landed on the Oregon shore safe and took the steamer Mary for the Dalles.

Later, when we returned, I hardly knew the place. There were fourteen of the Indians captured and hanged on a tree about one mile from where we lived. Some of them, when asked to talk, shook their heads and put the noose around their own necks. Others laughed at those who were hanging.

There were fourteen of the Indians captured and hanged on a tree about one mile from where we lived. (Ed; It’s possible only nine of these Indian prisoners were executed) Some of them, when asked to talk, shook their heads and put the noose on their own necks. Others laughed at those who were hanging. The device of hanging was one end of a rope tied to a limb, the other to the neck. A whiskey barrel stood on end and one end of a rope about twenty feet in length drawn through the bung hole of the barrel with a knot tied on the inner end, which served to jerk the barrel from under the condemned man. One among them was Jim Tassalo — he insisted he had not been in the battle. My husband, some few days before their capture, while on his way to The Dalles, had met Jim and told him the Indians already had been killing the whites at the Cascades, so he turned his skiff and sailed for the point from where he had come. He wanted those who held him in captivity to hold him, unharmed, till Felix, my husband, came from The Dalles and if he said he was in the battle, he was willing to be hanged. This they refused to do and so hanged him and asked Mr. Iman afterwards; hence a life was taken from one for the crime he had not committed, for my husband said; “Men, you have done wrong, for Jim, I know was not in the battle.”

There seemed to be two tribes of the Indians. Chenoweth was called the chief on the Washington side of the river, and Bannaha on the Oregon side. They were not friendly — the two chiefs — as each wanted to rule both sides of the river. There is some dispute as to the hanging of Chief Chenoweth, but there need be none, for I know he was hanged among the fourteen on an elm tree. The other chief, Bannaha, died a natural death at what was called Greenleaf. Chenoweth told the executors they could not hang him; saying he would yell out for help and that five hundred Indians would dome to his rescue in just a few moments; but his yelling did no good, for he was hanged just as easy as the rest of the savages. After the death of Bannaha, Alex Telo, who married the chief’s daughter, called himself chief, but as far as I know he was not recognized by any tribe as chief.

The horrors I went through during those early fifties would be unendurable to the women of today. The Indian trail passed close enough to my house that the stirrups of the warriors would drag on the rough board wall all night long. The trail was pretty much hidden by the wild rose bushes and buck thrust and other small vegetation as well. Many times I have witnessed this when all alone at night, while my husband would be out late on some kind of business and would be detained. I tell you it was all but pleasant during those olden days of the early fifties.

After the war was over and the Indians were getting somewhat friendly with the whites, they would often congratulate my husband and tell him he was the Boston Chief and Bannaha the Indian Chief, and if a dispute arose among them they would call on him to settle it for them, and in nine cases out of ten, they were willing to abide by his decision. He had learned to understand their language and could speak it fairly well and I afterwards learned to speak it pretty well, but can’t speak much of it now. It disappeared, as did the red man also.

I will relate a comical occurrence, as well as a painful one, that took place between my husband and the Jim I have mentioned who was hanged. My husband owed him fifty cents and he lived on the Oregon side of the river, here my husband and I had gone for a visit at the Chipman home. After I was there for a day or two I took sick and my husband had brought home for me a pint of whiskey to use as medicine. The Chipman house is the section house at Cascade Locks today, and was built in 1855, if memory serves me right, and a pretty good house today.

It happened that Jim heard we were there and came to get the money, and as he entered the house, he spied the pint of whiskey and my husband offered him the money. He said, “No, give me the whiskey and keep the money.” My husband said: “No. Jim, I can’t for it is unlawful to sell and Indian whiskey and I have got it for medicine.” Whereupon the Indian became very angry, saying, “I will go and get my gun and kill you if you don’t give me the whiskey.” My husband said: “Go and get it if you like. I am not afraid and will take a chance with you.” He ran out of the house and jumped on his cayuse; ran to Mr. Chipman’s fence, threw it down and regardless of his field of oats, ran through it, threw the fence down on the other side and ran out. He had not been gone but a few minutes till Mr. Chipman called Mr. Iman to dinner and it so happened that my husband was facing the door. They had no more than got seated when in ran the copper colored Jim, gun in hand and ready for action. He spoke in English: “I am going to kill you; I told you I would.” But my husband, who was a fast man and afraid of nothing, sprang from the table, tore the gun from him, walked to the door facing the river and fired both barrels and threw it fifty feet away, breaking it so that it did not look much like a gun. Then he grabbed the unlucky Jim, who towered above him, and before anyone could pull him loose he had beat the copper colored man most unmercifully and threw him out of the house. At last he was able to drag himself to his wigwam. After two or three days had passed, Jim sent for my husband to come and see him and continued to send for him for about ten days. So on Monday morning Jim sent for Mr. Iman and Mr. Chipman said “Felix, I would go and see what he wants, but don’t go without being armed.” So my husband put Mr. Chipman’s six-shooter in his pocket and went blue. He entered the house saying: “Jim, I have heard you want to see me; now what do you want?” “I don’t want any more trouble,” said Jim. “But you have made me blind, and I don’t think I will ever see again, and I want you to pay me for it. If I am blind my wife and children will starve to death, so pay me.” My husband said: “Jim, you made your own trouble and I will only pay you the same kind of pay if you care for it.” Not long afterwards Jim was up and around and the first place he went for was our house. My husband gave him the fifty cents and they often talked about it and laughed. Jim worked for my husband hoeing potatoes many times.

Another instance that took place between another Indian and my husband was at the time he started to build the steamer Wasco. He had gone one day in a skiff across to the Oregon side near the locks to get a large crook he had hewn out to be used as a bow-stem for the steamer Wasco. It was pretty large and also heavy and it’s shape made it pretty long. Some way he got it into the small boat with the aid of Mr. Chipman, or perhaps someone else and proceeded toward the Washington side. He made his way to what is called the chute, where N. Fields once lived. He then had to tumble out of the skiff, as the boat had grounded on the bottom and he could not land. So he tugged at it and lifted every pound that was in him but it stood upon the two points he could no push it over. Perhaps one more pound would have overbalanced it an turned it out on dry land. An Indian now appeared opon the sand and walked right up in front of the crook as my husband held it upon the two ends. He was in arms length of it and my husband said: Pull it over – in the Indian’s own tongue. He replied to Mr. Iman: “How much will you pay me?” My husband got angry at this — let the heavy missile fall back into the water and ran out after him down the river past a local place and down through the lands to the mouth of the creek, a distance of about a mile and a half. He gained the time on the dark man when he came to the bank which was perhaps twenty feet above water, and as the Indian sprang from the bank to the flat on the other side, my husband bested the jump to the other shore by a good foot. This ended the race, and the Indian won as my husband did not continue it. Both were tired by the long chase. I’m under the impression that it was lucky for the Indian that he wasn’t caught!

Felix G. Iman – Stevenson Washington

Felix G. Iman – Stevenson Washington

Traveling through Skamania County Recently, and stopping at the excellent Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, revealed a number of interesting local history connections. One of the primary ones being Felix G. Iman who’s life story is quite interesting in conjunction with his contributions to the growth of Stevenson Washington and settlement of the Columbia River Gorge area.

His gravestone is located next to his wife’s at the family plot in what is now the Stevenson Iman Cemetery. It was established in 1901 before his death on the banks of Rock Creek which was the northern border of his land claim.

Felix Grundy Iman Gravestone

It reads;
“Felix Grundy Iman – 11/24/1828 – 7/17/1902
Born Dekalb Co MO
Arrived at Cascades by Ox Team in 1852
Married Margaret Windsor 1853
1854 Built & Owned Steamer “Wasco”
1855 Donation Land Claim of 323 Acres
1856 Worked on Upper Cascades Blockhouse
Built & Owned 2 Sawmills
Built 1st School For short time Saloon Owner”

His wife, Margaret, has an equally informative gravestone.

Margaret Windsor Iman Gravestone

“Margaret Windsor Iman
1834 – 7/28/1924
Born at Tippecanoe Co. Ind
1852 Missouri to The Dalles on horse back
Carried motherless babe 500 miles
Took raft down river to Cascades
1853 met and married Felix G. Iman
Survived Indian War of Mar 26, 1856
Indians Burned Home
Had 16 Children, 9 boys, 7 girls”

Note that Felix’s grave stone is incorrect, he was not born in Dekalb County, that is where the wagon trains Margaret joined started from.

Interestingly, neither Felix or Margaret show up on the 1852 Emigrants List compiled by the amazing Stephenie Flora. It is reported on the Iman family history website that Felix arrived in a train of 37 Ox-driven carts. An newspaper article states that Felix joined up with a California bound train, which would explain why he wasn’t on the original list.

The same site reports that Margaret’s mother died when she was only two years old, and her step-mother kept her locked up. She escaped and joined the Wilson Family, where she presumably carried the above mentioned motherless baby, before falling sick her self and being left at the hospital built by Isaac H. Bush in the town of Cascades. (Located where North Bonneville is now.) There is a Jane Wilson on the 1852 list, with no daughter or son of listing, nor any children of her own. I speculate that Jane and Margaret could have easily been the same person, but that will take a bit more research. If you know anything about that, please comment below!

The couple also raised two other children, Cassius Marcellus Sully “Celly” Williams and Christopher Fields. Sully was born in August 1852, two weeks after his mother Mary arrived. Her husband, John Williams had died on the trail and she married Roger Gerald Attwell six months later. They all lived together until 1865, when Attwell traveled to Texas and likely died there. His mother had several other children and was running a hotel to make ends meet so Sully ended up living with the Iman family. In her fever, Margaret had heard Sully’s cries in the hospital and had asked to hold the baby, leading to their life long friendship.

One source says that Sully was the baby that Margaret carried the last 500 miles. It is recorded that the baby she actually did carry was taken to live with relatives near what is now Lake Oswego, so it it possible that in her fever she mistook Sully for that baby and wanted to take care of it.

Christopher Fields came to live with the Imans when he was five years old. He was born in Linn County, Oregon and likely was orphaned when both his parents died.

Felix G Iman (about 1900) Felix Iman was a carpenter and mechanic. In those days it made him an perfect person to build the steam boats that would soon be plying the waterways of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, and their tributaries. He originally settled in Portland but a month later was sent up the river by the Oregon Steamship Navigation company to build the Cosmopolite meant to ferry more immigrants from The Dalles to Portland. He didn’t enjoy the saloon business much, but his grandson would later own a saloon in town himself.

Margaret wrote an autobiography titled “My Arrival in Washington in 1852” that was printed in “Told by The Pioneers Reminiscences of pioneer life in Washington Volume 1” that was printed in 1937. An massively updated version was reprinted in 1952. For comparison, the first versions is below and the second is on the next page.

My Arrival in Washington in 1852 – by Margaret Windsor Iman (1937)

We landed in The Dalles in the year 1852 and came down the river on a raft to what is known as Shepard’s Point, where Stevenson, the county seat of Skamania County, now stands.

I had come down with mountain fever (Ed, a generic name used in the 19th Century for one of several diseases formally known as typho-malaria. Microbiology would later separate these two diseases even further, but the name was also used for what would become Lyme Disease) during the trip and was taken to the hospital, which Mr. Isaac H. Bush had erected at the head of the Cascade Rapids. (Ed, now underwater due to the Bonneville Dam. The rapids extended from present day Cascade Locks to Hamilton Island) He also owned a hotel and I went to work for him as soon as I was able.

There I met and married Felix G. Iman, who had been sent up from Portland to work on the construction of a steamboat called the Cosmopolite, to ply on between the Cascades and The Dalles. In 1854 my husband built the steamer Wasco (Ed, the second of two steamers he would build), owned by him and Captain McFarland. She plied on the river between the Cascades and The Dalles. She was their steamer that ran on these waters between these two points. The iron hull propellers; Allen the first, Mary the second, and the steamer Wasco the third.

Now the Indians were getting somewhat numerous and were much on the warpath, so my husband sold his interest in the Wasco to Captain McFarland and put up a saloon at the boat landing. There were three saloons a little later on-one owned by Isaac H. Bush, one by Thomas McNatt, and one by my husband. My husband did not like the saloon business, so he sold out to Flech Murphy.

In those early days money was plentiful but clothing and provisions were high. The coins ranged from the silver half-dime to the fifty-dollar slug and I will include the copper cent. I well recall an instance of the paper money, those days –the common greenback. My husband had fifteen hundred dollars worth of them and had to let them go at forty cents on the dollar, and in ten days time they were full face value, and I want to tell you, he never loved a greenback after that. (Ed, Greenbacks were issued by the Union to help finance the Civil War and were subject to heavily inflation.)

I will relate to you a fact regarding high prices. My husband and Mr. Shepard who owned the Donation Claim where this little town (Ed, Stevenson Washington) now stands, went in together to purchase a pound of onion seed, each to bear equally on the expense and when the seed arrived they were “only” eight dollars for the pound. (Ed, $266 in 2019 money)

A fifty pound sack of flour that my husband purchased at the Lower Cascades, as it was then called, or rather at the end of the little portage line, cost fifty dollars and it was carried home in the snow, the distance of the lines being six and seven-eights miles long.

The Indians were getting more hostile and far enough along to assure us of a battle, so my husband decided he would move up on our Donation Claim about a mile distant. We had hewn logs and put up a house on what is yet known ad Powder Island Slough. We had decided to stay and try to fight off the warriors.

We had carried in lots of wood and water and cut portholes through the walls of our house. Making it a kind of fort. We afterwards abandoned this idea as there was a large pile of shavings from the shingles that lay against the house, this would have been an easy mark for them and have thrown firebrands into and cremated us while sleeping.

While we were pondering over the situation, two hostiles put in an appearance about one hundred and fifty yards distant. They were huge and looking fierce and wild. A man named Carter, who was stopping at our house, asked my husband if he had and guns and he said yes, and went out and brought two.

Mr. Carter took one and my husband the other, each one of the mean to name the warrior he was to shoot at, and Mr Carter have the signal to fire after good aim had been taken, but when the word was given my husband’s gun made a “long fire” and he did not get his game, but Mr. Carter took his man square in the stomach. The others ran like elk, and, as far as we know, escaped unharmed.

They had fox skins filled with arrows and as they stood with the bows on end they were almost as tall as the warriors, who were close to six feet. Mr. Carter go the huge bow and the arrows, so after shooting the man they decided to cross the river to the Oregon shore.

I was sick in bed with a small baby, at the time of the massacre, March 26, 1856. In the excitement I was carried from my bed up the river about a mile to where was supposed to be a skiff. The skiff had been taken over to the other side by a man named Herman, who died in The Dalles later; so Mr. Simeon Geil, who was at our place, ran the skiff over to where we were.

As I was being carried into the boat, it was discovered that my little boy, two years old, had been left asleep in the bed. Mr. Geil, who was young and good on foot, ran back and got him. So you can see a part only of what I went through in those early days.

I think that day was the worst I ever witnessed on the old Columbia and there have been many, taking it all in all. I don’t care to see any more of them-the roar of the small cannon at the blockhouse, the firing of guns; the dead and wounded; the war cries of the warriors in their war pain; the burning of buildings, with my house among them, the fleeing of the people, and I being all but well; the smashing waters and bounding skiff did not add to a speedy recovery for me; but we landed on the Oregon shore safe and took the steamer Mary for The Dalles.

Later, when we returned, I hardly knew the place. There were fourteen of the Indian captured and hanged on a tree about one mile from where we lived. Some of them asked to talk, shook their heads and put the noose around their own necks.

Others laughed at those who were hanging. The horrors I went through during those early fifties would be unendurable to the women of today. The Indian trail passed close enough to my house that the stirrups of the warriors would drag on the rough board wall all night. The trail was pretty much hidden by the wild rose bushes and buck brush and other small vegetation as well. Many times I have witnessed this when all alone at night, while my husband would out late on some kind of business and would be detained. I’ll tell you it was all but pleasant during those olden days of the early fifties.

Read the 1952 version here (Next page)