Written in 1937
Note: The Palmquist property is where The Lost Resort is now located.
I was born Jan. 1, 1864 in Norway Just north of the Dovre Mountains.
My parents were ambitious and worked hard, but the pay was so poor, and there were 6 of us children.
When I was eleven years old I had to go to others to work. That was the rule those days. I did not see my home and parents for 2½ years. Then I got so homesick, that I was sent home.
On Apr. 25, 1882 my oldest brother left for the United States. About 3 years later this brother Ole Boe sent the fare for my brother, sister and myself so we arrived in Canton S. Dakota Aug 20, 1885.
During those years there was a very large migration from Norway to the United States.
In 1887 my parents and another brother left Norway, so now our whole family was over here.
I went to work in Sioux City Iowa and in Sioux Falls S. Dakota.
My brothers bought land near Canton, but a few years were very dry and poor crops there was no wood for fuel and poor water so they all were very dissatisfied. The awful winters and hot summers were not very comfortable for any of us.
Many had already left for the West Coast, so we too began to plan to go. So the family land was sold and in April 1890 my oldest brother Ole Boe, again was the first to leave. Fall 1890 my parents 2 brothers and myself left for Seattle.
Times were poor, and they hesitated to buy land there. They looked around for homestead land and found some in the NW part of Clallam Co. Then Ole Boe by chance met a man who had been out to this place in Clallam Co. He’d taken up a homestead there on July 15, 1890. So Ole was encouraged to go with him out there.
There was not yet any dock or boat landing at Clallam Bay so boats went on to Neah Bay. So Ole, and Mr. & Mrs. M. P. Andrews, his mother-in-lay and a cousin, and the Isaacsens and also another young man all left together to go to where Mr. Andrews had found land free. Andrews took along a great deal of supplies of all kinds he’d need. At Neah Bay they hired Indians to carry them and their provisions down the coast from Neah Bay to the mouth of the Ozette River some miles, and made it safely.
Then they cleared out Ozette River so they could take the canoes up the river to Ozette Lake and over it. Then Mr. Andrews put up his tent so the party could visit there til they got enough of a trail cut thru the deep woods so they could proceed. It was 7 miles from where they landed on lake to where Mr. Andrews had staked out his claim. It was in the area of Big River Bridge at Royal (later the Ole H Boe ranch for many years (now the property of Emil Person.) There in a tent the Andrews’ had their first child to be born there in the deep untrod wilderness. When all supplies were packed up from Ozette Lake (on men’s backs) they started to wonder if there weren’t an easier way out of there. So Ole Boe and 3 others took their compass and set out thru the woods. They knew the direction where the Straits lay. After a few miles they struck the Hoko River so they followed that downstream for several miles finally found a land clearing. There a man named George Lamb was homesteading. (He was a future Clallam Co. Commissioner.) He told them the Indians called the River Hoko. Now they were just 2 or 3 miles from Clallam. So the men found a way out. Left for home blazing the unmarked path thru woods as they went and ever since till the road came in 1924. This blazed trail was followed pretty close by the heavy traffic that came later.
So Ole staked out his homestead near the others and went back to Seattle. He wasn’t enthused about it but he had to find something. Later he again met Mr. Andrews in Seattle. He told of a co. that had come to Clallam Bay and started a tanning factory using hemlock. Andrews was enthused – said there was a P. O. at Clallam Bay and the boat landed there now and the county had promised a road to Ozette Lake. (It was 1924 before that promise was fulfilled.) So now Ole thot that made it ideal – this was 1890. If he had known of that long wait, he’d never have gone back but something he had to do so he and his brothers decided to try it. It was hard to get work and they had to live. The first winter there Mr. Andrews found he’d selected the wrong place. It was low and got flooded and he got scared and moved to higher ground about 4 miles closer towards Clallam (later Klaboe’s home). Then later a Mr. Johns took the land Andrews had vacated but he had several children and found it impossible to provide for them out there. So he made a bargain with Ole H. Boe to give him the land if he would help him with money to get out of that wilderness - he and his whole family.
I worked in Seattle until 1892. Then I wanted to come to Royal to see how my brothers had it.
There was a freight boat left Seattle at night. On one end were a few wooden benches to sit or lay on for passengers. I became sea sick so used a bench for a bed. Now 1892, there was a hotel of sorts in Clallam Bay and by now there was considerable traffic in the area. So next day it was to climb over or around logs and skirt mud holes, but I got thru the 16 miles I intended to travel. The family had built a house on my father Hans Boe’s land first (not so far from the former Damilon School) and the whole family was there. The men cleared land, packed food from Clallam Bay and other equipment they needed. Hans Boe had come in 1891. My mother said her job was to bake bread, cook beans and dry wet clothes. But she also said here we have wood and water which we didn’t have in S. D. and we don’t have that awful wind that chilled one so.
In Feb. 1893 I had my clothes packed and to go back to Seattle but strong winds and snowstorms changed my plans. I couldn’t think of walking those 16 miles in such weather and it turned out to be one of the biggest snow storms they ever had out there. It was sometime before the trail was safe to get to Clallam Bay.
My brother Ole H. Boe was working hard on his homestead near Big River Bridge so I stayed and helped him for 2 years.
My name was Anbjor in Norway, so I changed it to Annie - easier to use.
I liked it at Royal – I helped clear land, planted a garden and then we got cattle.
There were many travelers those days coming and going. Some went out to earn a few dollars. They could not be gone more than 6months. There were no hotels of course nearby and brother Ole lived right near the road and many wet travelers that came in to stop over night. Many had to sleep on the floor. At least it was dry and warm.
There were no theaters or entertainment, but we kept busy. The first calf to be born at Ole H. Boe’s was quite exciting. Now we had cream for our coffee.
It was quite a task to bring cattle out here. Thru trails or wilderness forest.
One day Ole H. came from Clallam. He had a little pig in a box he carried on his back. Now the calf got company and they lay together and ate from the same dish and were the best of friends. It was fun to watch them. (This was the first lively pig that lived at Royal.)
One day in the fall as usual the calf and the little pig stayed close to me as I took care of stuff from the garden. A man and his sister came up to me. They were on their way to Clallam from the Lake. They had never used this route as they had always taken the trail for Neah Bay. They looked at us. I guess they thot we were an odd 3 some. When this man came back from Clallam he stopped and bought a drink of milk.
Later, he often came by on his way to or on way back from Clallam and at last it turned into romance and I said yes. So we were married May 16 1895. Rev. Fletcher and KO Erickson walked 30 miles from for our wedding. My husband had the Post Office at Ozette and he had cattle too. One night then I got so ill and my husband had to go several miles out on the lake in a canoe for help. I was alone from 10 pm to 2 am. There were no close neighbors to go to for help. But I survived.
In 1895 – 1896 there were a good many people around the lake clearing land and building homes. Many children were born out there in the wilderness. There was even a preacher and his family for 2 years so there were church services. People in the woods carried the children on their backs. All were in good spirits and full of hope for the future.
There were 2 post offices at the Lake in the south end, and Ozette at the north end. But the big trouble was no outlet. The county surveyed for the road but never got around to building it. Then comes President Cleveland and his followers and puts this area in the forest reserve. This was a bomb that destroyed everything. How the people lost hope and almost all of this multitudes of people begin to leave. Left everything behind. Their homes, clearings and most of their possessions. Only a few stayed who felt they had worked so hard they couldn’t leave.
The families that chose to stay at the lake were Henry Borseths Seven Bay and Hylunds and Palmquists at the north end. Up at Royal on Big River those that chose to stay were Peter Deppuise, Oly H. Boe, Ole Boe, Hans Owin, Inger Thompson (later Mrs. Ole Klaboe), Hans Boe Ole Klaboe. He lived in Mr. Andrews home. Andrews had gotten ill and had to be carried to Clallam Bay.
Mr. Andrews had the Royal Post Office since 1894. It was now moved to Ole Boe’s home, who kept the post office till he died in 1927.
For a long time the mail had to be carried on men’s backs. The pouch was almost as long as the man. That pouch contained shoes, overalls, news papers etc., it was no easy job. When the people started to leave we decided to stay. We had sheep and cougars had become bad around us. We lost 10 sheep. My husband too, met a cougar and in trying to get away he exerted himself so his health was impaired. All the strain of packing all the way from Clallam Bay and the hardships out there also had taken their toll of his strength so he decided there was no other way but to leave Ozette. When all the single men and other left we lost our market for butter, meat and garden produce. We then had 4 milk cows and some young stock. But there was no work to get. So on a Saturday Feb. 10, he said, “What shall I do now - I see no way out living here. Shall I leave and try to find work? It will be better for you to leave here with the children if any thing happens to me no help for you here. I’ve got to go right away.”
So next morning at 5 am he left for Seattle and I remained behind with 2 children, the youngest just 2 years old. I had the post office to care for the live stock, and ¾ mile to nearest neighbors. Each morning I was up early cared for the live stock, before the boys woke up. Was sure there was no fire in the stove and locked them in. If they woke they could see me thru the window. Sometimes I took them both out in the barn. So it went till Apr. 1 – Then my husband came home. O had the post office changed, so all Ozette mail came to the Royal P. O. - Ole Boe my brother, was post-master there and the children and I went to spend the summer at Ole H. Boe, another brother that lives by Big River Bridge. My husband August left again as he had found work up-sound.
It was hard to leave my home at Ozette – where I was married and my children born.
In the fall I left for Enumclaw when August had work in a sawmill, so now it was to start a new home. We could take nothing along that we had accumulated at Ozette.
Then summer 1902 was so dry – very little rain and forest fires broke loose. Then a strong wind came up and scattered the fires in all directions. They tried to save the mill but fires fell from the heavens. It was like a shower of flame and such heat. We thot we’d suffocate. The next day was calm and still but such a sight to see. The ruins, half dead chickens, others roasted alive – and not as much as a cup so we could have a drink of water. Our possessions were all gone. So fro the third time we started a-new. It seemed worse than beginning at Ozette, for now we were much older and the strength of our youth was going, and we were 4 to feed.
But August had the will to go on and do what he could and struggled along until Nov. 9, 1907 his last day to work – lay there ill until Jan 18, 1908 when he passed away. My oldest son was almost eleven now. It was better we were here than at Ozette. One could earn a little and the boys made 5-10 cants now and then. Also we had a better school.
Later during War 1 the oldest was in Camp Grant Illinois. He was in that terrible flu epidemic that struck the camp, tho he wasn’t ill came back to Ozette.
By 1925 they had finally built a road from Clallam Bay to Royal. Now, my Oldest wanted to go back to Royal to a little clearing on land I had gotten after my brother Ole H. Boe.
Little by little the road crept toward Ozette Lake and in 1935 cars could drive to Ozette River - 39 years after it was surveyed for a road.
In 1936 a small shingle mill was started at Ozette Lake. The shingles had to be hauled to Port Angeles some 70 miles away.
A schoolhouse was built at Royal on Ole H. Boe former property. So children for many miles around came there and my son Sam lives ½ mile from school and drove the school bus.
Hans Boe my father died at Royal, 1891.
My brother Ole H Boe died Dec. 6 1914. He was out in the woods looking for his young stock. Another man from Ozette out hunting seen a movement in woods – fired. Ole H. Boe died, hit thru the shoulder. That was a big shock. He’s been such a help and mainstay to us all.
When brother Ole H. died it was the first time there were roads at Royal so they could get out to a city to purchase a coffin and first time there was a funeral at Royal when cars could go in funeral procession.
I’m getting old, so on Mar. 16, 1937 I moved back to Enumclaw. My youngest son Albert has a drug store here. But strange as it seems I still long for my home at Ozette Lake that I left so long ago. I wonder – do we regulate our own lives or is there a higher power that steers our way?