These two postcards are an early look at the building (in 1922 a second story was added). The first photo shows a brand new building and the spectacular view of Mount Rainieracross Ohop Valley.
The second postcard is a more unique shot. Instead of a shot of Mount Rainier, it shows the view from the restaurant looking down the other direction of the valley. At the far left, Torger Perterson’s house is visible and you can see hay stacked, ready to come in (before the introduction of bailing hay).
“On the top (the oldest) is Theodore Peterson. Helen Peterson is on his right and Carleton Peterson is on his left. Pearl Peterson is the girl in the center and the baby is Alice Peterson, my mother,” says Linda Lewis.
Linda says her mother was born January 20, 1917.
Pete is the son of pioneer Torger Perterson and was raised on Ohop Valley.
Torger Peterson, a pioneer from Norway, came to Ohop Valley in 1887. He built a farm, but road building may have been a bigger passion. These are the words from his autobiography.
“After we had cleared up some land, the main thing was to get a road, and the County helped us in this way; for every day we worked gratis, they would give us $2.00 a day for the following day, and this is the way the first road was built into the Ohop Valley and beyond.
It was always a puzzle to me how Norway, a poor country, had such splendid roads, and a country as rich in natural resources as our State of Washington, could get along with such poor roads, no better than a cow trail, and it was my chief object to see if I could not interest the people in getting good roads built so that the farmers could get their product to the markets at a reasonable cost.
In October, 1888, I went in company with Indian Henry and some other Indians up to Mount Tacoma. We went on horseback through brush over logs and finally landed in what is now known as Indian Henry’s Hunting Grounds. It was a clear day and the sun was just setting when we reached the Mountain, and I will never as long as I live forget that sight; such a park surrounded with flowers of all colors and descriptions. And right then I made up my mind to do all in my power to get a road to that Mountain so that the people could see that wonderland and inhale that invigorating Mountain air.
For twenty years I attended every County Convention. At first the people thought I was crazy when I mentioned a road to Mount Tacoma, but as years went by I had more and more followers. The Commissioners all promised to help, but each time failed me, so at last I decided to run for Commissioner myself, and was elected and the road was completed.”
Pictures are of the building of the Canyon Road, ca. 1919.
Sandy Seaman Rash (deceased) at her parent’s house in the 35th and K Street area of Tacoma at Easter along with Linda Lewis (right). They two look practically like twins as they carefully carry their Easter eggs.
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.
Here’s a shot of his farm in Ohop Valley. The farm house has since burned downed and the site is now owned by the Nisqually Land Trust, who are ironically trying to restore the valley back to what it looked like when Torger arrived.
Here’s a brief bit of the company’s history, which is still going strong today:
“In 1898 a group of Enumclaw, Wash., residents got together to create the Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company. The articles of incorporation stated that the purpose of the organization was “to insure farm and village buildings and personal property against loss by fire and lightning.” Funding was provided by assessment of the members to restore property after catastrophic loss.
During the next 45 years, the company slowly expanded its insurance writings. In 1943, extended coverage perils were added to the fire and lightning coverage previously provided. In 1947 the company began to write non-farm properties. A year later casualty insurance was added to the portfolio of offerings putting Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company on an equal footing with other companies for the first time.
In 1952 the states of Oregon and Idaho were added to the service area. At this point the company was writing approximately $2 million in premiums. Ten years later Farmers’ Mutual merged with the Butteville Insurance Company of Woodburn, Ore., which brought total writings to $5 million. The company also began writing commercial insurance in 1963.
On May 1, 1966, the name of the company was changed to Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company.
Growth continued through the years and in the summer of 2002, the company expanded to Utah.”
Enumclaw Property and Casualty Insurance Company was launched in Washington in December 2002 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company. The new company was established to facilitate new marketing opportunities in both personal and commercial lines of insurance. As of December 31, 2009, Enumclaw Property and Casualty had more than $20 million in written premiums while Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Company’s written premiums totaled more than $315 million.”
It appears Torger Peterson paid his 1899 Road Poll Tax of $4.00 versus working on the roads.
In 1899 every male 21 years or older had to pay the road poll tax or pay by labor of $4/day ($4 equivalent to $105 today) or 2 days of labor. Each man had to provide his own tool (axe, shovel or pick) as directed by the supervisor when the supervisor needed them out for work. (Per Enumclaw Heritage.)
It’s an interesting way to keep your roads in shape.