Torger Peterson

Ohop Bob and Ohop Valley (ca. 1914)

Ohop Bob around 1914 when it was first built
Ohop Bob around 1914 when it was first built

Ohop Bob was built in 1914 by the Tacoma Auto Club. It was operating as a restaurant, serving a wonderful chicken dinner, until the early 1960s.

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 Rainier across Ohop Valley.

Ohop Valley and Torger Peterson's home
Ohop Valley and Torger Peterson’s home

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).

Photos courtesy of Diane Mettler.

Click on images to enlarge.

 

Pete Peterson’s Children (ca. 1917)

Pete Peterson's children
Pete Peterson’s children

Meet Pete Peterson‘s children . . . and Torger Peterson’s grandchildren.

“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. 

Image courtesy of Linda Lewis.

Click on image to enlarge.

 

Torger Wants a Road to Mount Rainier

Man Behind the Canyon Road - Torger Peterson, center
Man Behind the Canyon Road – Torger Peterson, center

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.

Robert Mc Gilvery and team building the Canyon Road
Robert Mc Gilvery and team building the Canyon Road

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.

Building on the Canyon Rd.
Building on the Canyon Rd.

 

Little Girls (ca. 1950)

Landy Seaman and Linda Lewis
Landy Seaman and Linda Lewis

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.

Linda Lewis lived out at the Torger Peterson’s (her great grandfather) farm.

Photo courtesy of Linda Lewis.

Click on image to enlarge.

 

Out on the Lawn at Peterson’s Place (1946)

Out at the Peterson Farm - 1946
Out at the Peterson Farm – 1946

Parents have been lining up their kids and taking pictures  since the dawn of the camera. Here’s a shot taken outside the originalTorger Peterson’s place around 1946.

Front, left to right: Linda Lewis, Sandy Seaman, Elaine Peterson, Marty Peterson

Back, left to right: Lillian Peterson, Helen Peterson, Alice Lewis, Carl Peterson, Pop [Pete?] Peterson, Al Lewis

Photo courtesy of Linda Lewis.

Click on image to enlarge.

Canyon Road Construction – Torger Peterson and LOTS more

Man Behind the Canyon Road - Torger Peterson, center
Man Behind the Canyon Road – Torger Peterson, center

The Canyon Road (a piece of Highway 7) was quite an operation — basically chiseled (or should I say blown away with dynamite) from a cliff wall.

In the center is Ohop Valley pioneer, Torger Peterson, who was one of the men instrumental in the construction.

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.

Thank you Linda Lewis for sharing.

Click on image to enlarge.

Torger Peterson’s Farm (ca. 1920)

 

Torger Peterson Home & Farm in Ohop Valley
Torger Peterson Home & Farm in Ohop Valley

Torger Peterson was one of the first pioneers of Ohop Valley and was instrumental in the building of the Canyon Road.

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.

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

The Farmer’s Mutual Insurance Company, 1906

 

Torger's Farmer's Insurance membership - 1906
Torger's Farmer's Insurance membership - 1906

Torger Peterson purchased membership to The Farmer’s Mutual Insurance Company in 1906 for $2.00 (around $50 today).

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.”

Photo courtesy of Linda Lewis.

Click on image to enlarge.

 

Torger Peterson’s Road Poll Tax – 1899

Road Poll Tax 1899-1
Road Poll Tax 1899-1

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.

Road Tax Notice 1899
Road Tax Notice 1899

Images courtesy of Linda Lewis.

Click on images to enlarge.