Helen Olsen of Tahuya has picked up the pen (computer) where her grandmother left off. This week, her book, “Tales from a Tahuya Log: Second Growth” goes to print.
Officially available this summer, the book serves as a companion volume to the chronicles by Effie DeForest Boyer Knowlton, “Tales from a Tahuya Log” published in 1992. The first book was assembled by Knowlton’s Grandchildren, the Huson family (Donald, Helen, John and his wife Peggy).
The Husons’ sifted through stacks of Effie’s detailed description of people and tales. Knowltons’s charming and sometimes scathing profiles carefully depict as dozen or so pioneering Tahuya families from 1912 through 1947. But her granddaughter Helen’s “Second Growth” spans the turn of the century to the WWII era, covering more socio-economic subject such as timber, schools, poaching, forest fires, and bootlegging.
The expansive geography also compliments the first volume. For Helen’s follow-up, she decided to interview families and long-time Hood Canal residents over a two-year period, collecting histories and famous anecdotes form Hoodsport, Dewatto, Dry Creek, and Bald Point.
Helen’s timing was impeccable. Many of her subjects passed away a short time after their meeting, so she feels privileged to pass on the legacy of Hood Canal History. She credits the King family of Dewatto for their assistance and Art Ross for his vast knowledge.
Among many other topics, her book touches on Walter Scott, Don McKay and the logging industry, and Dalby Fritz’ Water Wheel. “Second Growth” also offers a wealth of photographs – about 150 spread over 180 pages. But Helen kept the book humorous, much in the same flavor as her grandmother has written.
For those not acquainted with the first “Tales” book, Effie was a hairdresser-divorcee with a penchant for heading west. She left her successful salon business in Chicago in 1911 with her tow small children, Frances and Walter Boyer. She visited friends in Seattle and settled into a housekeeping job at a ranch in Tahuya, where she married Verne Knowton. Effie had intended to write a book and kept account after account of Tahuya life, noting its families, visitors and workers. Although she passed away in 1957, the family kept her journals and eventually her grandchildren fulfilled her publishing wish.
Now that Olsen has provided additional information with her companion reader, the two books together illustrate a cohesive glimpse into the settling of the lower Hood Canal region.
For Purchase Information, Contact:
Helen Olsen PO Box 75 Tahuya, Wa. 98588 Phone: (360) 275-3188 firstname.lastname@example.org