This shot, I believe, is a Weyerhaueser locomotive loaded with timber.
Until the Panama Canalopened on August 15, 1914, shipping Douglas fir to the East Coast had been too costly. Soon, Atlantic Coast retailers were clamoring for this new and exceptional Northwest lumber product.
Here’s an interesting Weyerhaeuser fact. In the 1930s, the company marketed this innovative new product called a Pres-to-Log. It was made from “scrap” shavings and wood fragments.
This letter, presumable drafted by T.C. Van Eaton, makes the argument that Eatonville would be a wonderful spot for a poultry business. It’s definitely a draft, because you can see the scratched out words and edits. I especially like the part about “no cold to freeze wattles and combs”.
For those of you who don’t want to read the blue print, here’s what it says:
“Eatonville and vicinity is an ideal place to raise poultry on account of the climatic conditions, air currents, soil, drainage and the wonderful growth conditions existing in this favored locality. The climate is mild, no cold to freeze wattles and combs, very little snow or hail, nonviolent winds or excessive heat. Because of the splendid drainage there is little mud to contend with hence the yards and runs are dry enough for the comfort of health of the fowls.
The foothills breezes blow away practically all the fog that abounds nearer the salt water and occurs frequently higher up in the hills. The above conditions cause green and lush natural pastures for birds the year round.
Oats, wheat, rye, barley and other cereals grow well here, also kale and other green forage plants. Oats and kale are especially prolific.
Gravel and sharp sand together with shell abound in ample quantities and there is always abundance of pure water. Wild and tame meat are plentiful.
Eatonville is on the great paved road system of the State and also on the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, hence has easy excess to the markets of the world. On account of the vast lumber industry, the mining of coal and other minerals, the water power, Nitrate and Clay plants employing large numbers of men at high wage make local markets exceptionally good.
Lastly, the tourist business is a great consumer of poultry and is always willing to pay the top price.
The ease and cheapness of obtaining so many kinds of food, suitable to the birds, the especially healthy conditions which make for a long life and prime conditions for poultry, the cheapness of lumber, gravel and sand and other building materials make for particularly happy and profitable condition in the Poultry business in this region.”
Roaming animals seem to have been a nuisance for Eatonville residents from the start.
Chickens at Large In March, 1911 Eatonville passed a Chicken Ordinance, keeping folks from letting their chickens roam at large. People must not have taken the ordinance too seriously, because in February, 1913, the Clerk was instructed to publish a notice in the paper telling people when the “ordinance to prevent chcickens running at large would be in force.” In 1947, the issue came up again.
Eatonville also had a “Horse and Cow Ordinance”. In March, 1911 the ordinance was amended to allow cows to roam during the day.
In August 1911, Mr. Rivers was up in arms because many of the cows roaming at night wore bells and were disturbing the sleep of the Eatonville citizens. A resolution was passed making these cows a public nuisance and the town’s Marshall was required to go out and notify the owners of said cows.
Ohop Bobwas an upscale restaurant, banquet hall and motel, all wrapped up in one. Originally built by a cycle club, it was further developed in 1914 by the Washington Automotive Club for their two-day trips from Tacoma to Longmire. (Per Upper Nisqually Valley.)
It was open weekends and during the summer, and visitors had a spectacular view of Ohop Valley. And how could they not? The building was constructed on the hillside and suspended over the valley below.
“When you walked out on the balcony you could feel the building give a little,” says Rosemarie Van Cleve, who waitressed at Ohop Bob in her teens.
One meal The place was famous for its chicken dinners — the only dinner they served.
Sally McKay, who also waitressed as a teenager in the 40s, says, “I remember peeling potatoes and slicing them thin. And when people came we would tell them it would be half an hour because we cooked everything fresh.”
Sharon (Guske) Aguilar, who waitressed a decade later said the meal never changed. “The were very particular. Even the lettuce leaves had to be just so.”
What did change was the hourly wage. Sally and Rosemarie made about 50 cents an hour, and Sharon made 75 cents.
The Owners For most of its years Ohop Bob was run by Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Josselyn. They ran a tight ship and Sally recalls Mr. Joslyn as very staid and tall. “There was a small rose bush out back and he always wore a small bud in his lapel.”
However, all three recall Mrs. Josselyn’s cigarette dangling precariously from her lips while cooking chicken.
Stories A lot happened at Ohop Bob over its 50+ years, and the waitresses remember fun times, like Rosemarie being asked to grab her accordion to entertain guests.
“Once when I was sweeping the front porch this guy came. He had a long beard and rode a bicycle,” says Sally. “His name was Pruner Carlson. He was kind of a strange guy who rode around and pruned trees. He wanted some food and I snuck some out to him. When I went back on the porch he had left me a start of a little plant. I thought that was so nice.”
Rosemarie recalls yodeling from the balcony to get home. The family dairy was on the other side of the valley. “Dad [Louie Metter Sr.] would know when I was done and listen for me.”
Up in Flames In May 1965 the building burned. Arson was suspected. “You could see the glow in the sky from Eatonville,” says Rosemarie. “The old timbers must have gone up like kindling.”
If you were traveling to Mount Rainier and were looking for fine dining, Ohop Bob was the stop.
The restaurant was built around 1914 for the Tacoma Automobile Club.
C.C. Josselyn and his wife purchased it in 1917 and ran it for over 40 years. The floors were selected grain old growth yellow fir and in the dining room hung a large Joseph Barnes painting of the mountain, valued at $1,000 (around $13,500 today).
There was one meal served — friend chicken — and it was prepared when you arrived, along with salad and potatoes. The Josselyns were particular about the food preparation, and women who were teenage waitresses during the restaurant’s run, will tell you similar stories.
Sharon (Guske) Aguilar recalls making the salads, “After VERY carefully pulling the lettuce apart into perfect little cups, it was placed upside down on a towel, drained, then put into big dishtowel lined dishpans, covered over with a damp cloth and put into the fridge to become very crisp (a very handy thing to know for dinner parties).
“All chicken and baking powder biscuits were cooked and baked fresh for each order. People didn’t mind the wait. The flavor was special.
“One of my first tasks on the job was cutting the shortening into the flour for the biscuits. Mrs. Josselyn gave me a big dishpan measured with flour and shortening and two table knives. At 15 years of age . . . I learned a lot.
The view from the balcony was spectacular and visitors could see mountain standing tall over the valley. Sharon had a little different memory of the balconies — cleaning them with mops. “You COULD NOT have any streaks on the gray painted floor of that balcony.”
This brochure is an early one because a second story was put on in around 1922, making it also a hotel for travelers.
I have a personal connection to the place, my aunt, Rosemarie (Mettler) Van Cleve, worked there and would yodel from the balcony to my grandpa — who had a dairy across the valley — when it was time to come pick her up. Also, my folks, Louie and Kathy Mettler, had their wedding reception there in 1961.
Unfortunately, the establishment burned in a few years later in 1965. Rosemarie says you could see the glow of the fire from Eatonville.
** Interesting note. At the bottom of the first panel it reads “Ohop Bob Inn was designed after the famous home of ex-President Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, Virginia. Similar? You be the judge.
The first Eatonville High School graduate was Ed Christensen. The photo says he graduated in 1914 — the same year the first red-green traffic light was used and Edgar Rice Burroughs published Tarzan of the Apes.
On September 12, 1919 Eatonville gave a “Welcome Home” for the men who had returned from service.
Ed was one of the 33 men who “fell into line at the upper end of Mashell Avenue at the command of J. H. Cosper, formerly First Lieutenant of the 7th Infantry, and Red Men’s Hall. A Welcome Home address was given by T. C. Van Eaton after an introduction by Mayor Bridge. R. A. Canty, fomerly of the stated at Camp Lewis, gave the response.” (History of South Eastern Pierce County.)
Just two year later, in June of 1921, Ed would die tragically from electrocution while repairing a motor at Camp Lewis.