The note on the back is unfortunately a sad one: Dear Brother and Family, Ben is much worse and is very helpless. We think he will never get up again and may go soon and may last several days. Your Sister Clara.
Louie Mettler had this picture taken in San Francisco, Calif., after coming over from Switzerland to find work. He was born in 1894, and was the oldest of three brothers. He came to the U.S. when he was young to make money and support his family.
The young man had no idea that he would someday buy his own farm in the Northwest, settle in Ohop Valley, and raise a family there.
I try to image the conditions that would cause a person to leave their country, family and everything they’re familiar with, to travel to a country where they can’t speak the language and set off to find a better life. I don’t know how Louie (my grandfather) did it or all the others before and after him. But I’m thankful they did!
This picture of Eatonville ran in a paper September 1, 1946.
Caption with Picture: Eatonville, named for T. C. Van Eaton, who platted its townsite in 1888, was in early days surrounded by dense, virgin forest. Its location on the line of the old Tacoma Eastern Railroad made it one of Washington’s most important lumber-producing and log-shipping centers. The largest part of the merchantable timber has been logged, off, however, and Eatonville it today largely dependent upon agriculture for revenue and employment, although some logging and lumbering operations still continue to the present.
You can zoom in and really see the details like the school, the mill, Mashell Ave., Washington Ave. etc.
The year 1946 is an important one to my family. My grandparents bought the dairy in Ohop Valley (not pictured) from the John and Lena Malm that year.
Picked up another post card on Ebay of Ohop Valley. This one is from 1948.
As you can see from the note, S. J. was excited about seeing Mount Rainier.
We are going to be able to see Mt. Rainier from the tower— I’m thrilled!
It’s a perfect day – we’re leaving Shelton in a few minutes to go to Hoodsportwhere we stay in a cabin, then go to lookout next Sat. (Unsure about this sentence.) Train trip rough – 7 hours. Late to Tacoma due to freight derailment ahead of us. Took bus to Olympia another to Shelton – arrived here 9:30 pm simply dead. All well now. Scenery grand. Will write letter. Love S. J.”
Got these two RPPCs (real photo post cards) off Ebay of Ohop Valley. They show the early farms and their development. The first one was taken been 1907-1920, then second was a little later (ca. 1930s). The trees have grown in some, and another barn went up.
The RPPCsare a great piece of history — people capturing the pieces of history with their Kodak cameras. On the backs of the cards you came sometimes tell the date based on the printing. Here’s a resource if you’re curious about any of your RPPC dates. Real Photo Guide.
Take a close look at this picture. The detail is incredible.
• The glove tacked under the window
• the Notice to Workers posting
• saws and tools
• a friendly dog
• the sign of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co.
• wood (making for heating or cooking, as there was a cafeteria there) with a miscellaneous boot on top.