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Freight truck circa 1920

Looking back: Issaquah & Seattle Freight Co. Truck

Published in the Issaquah Press on July 21, 1999

Freight truck circa 1920

Issaquah & Seattle Freight Co. truck circa 1920

Here’s a look at one of the early trucks belonging to the Issaquah & Seattle Freight Co. The truck is parked along the old Sunset Highway (now State Route 900) near Goode’s Corner circa 1920.

Issaquah Roundup 1924

Looking back: Issaquah Roundup

Published in the Issaquah Press on October 6, 1999

Issaquah Roundup 1924

Bucking broncos at the Issaquah Roundup 1924

This photograph was taken during one of Issaquah’s early celebrations. A Seattle photographer snapped this shot of a cowboy trying to maintain his balance on a bucking bronco during the Issaquah Roundup, which traditionally took place around Labor Day each year. This picture is from 1924 when the roundup was Aug. 30- Sept. 1. The Issaquah Roundup is generally considered the forerunner of today’s Salmon Days Festival, which marked its 30th anniversary this year.

Labor Day Parade 1924

Looking back: Labor Day Parade

Published in the Issaquah Press on January 5, 2000

Labor Day Parade 1924

Labor Day Day Parade on September 1, 1924. [IHM photo]

Our continuous look at past celebrations take us this week to Issaquah’s first Labor Day Parade. In this Sept. 1, 1924 photograph, the Labor Day Rodeo cowboys lead the march south on Front Street. Following is a band led by William Harris, visible just to the right of the band, in a suit, holding a book. The Issaquah Cafe on the left is where the new library is under construction. The railroad tracks in the foreground led from the depot to the coal mines behind the fish hatchery. Also of note is the white drinking fountain located next to the telephone pole on the right corner.

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LHM: Ferol Tibbetts Cuts Her Hair

Pre-bob Ferol Tibbetts (right)
Mary [Tillie] Hayward (left)
Full Record
Post-bob Ferol Tibbetts
Full Record

In our collection we have about 10 daily journals kept by Ferol Tibbetts Jess written starting in 1923. While the journals contain a lot of basic daily notes (sewing, washing, visiting friends) they also contain wonderful tidbits about what it was like to be a 20-something during the 1920s.

One note that has helped more than imagined was an entry in Ferol’s typed journal while attending Washington State College (now Washington State University.):
Bobbed my hair. Like it pretty well. Letter from Mother.” – College diaries, Mon, Jan 15, 1923.
We have many pictures of Ferol Tibbetts, some pre-bob and others with her stylish bobbed and marcelled hair. Her exact date of when she cut her hair has allowed us to better date the pictures in our collections.
Alice Pedegana (left)
Ferol Tibbetts (right)
Full Record
The earlier pictures of Ferol and her friends all feature the same hairstyle which seems to be a large pouf on top of the head and two small chignons over the ears. We much prefer the bob.
Cleaned up, curled Mary’s [Tillie’s] hair.” – Book I, Friday, July 13, 1923
Ferol’s chopping of her locks while away at school is something most college-aged women can probably relate to. Luckily, Ferol came of age during a time when women were really changing what they did and said, what they wore, and how they spent their time.
Went to Renton with Mary and Tillie to get their hair marceled.” – Book I, Saturday, February 2, 1924.
Ferol Tibbetts (left)
Blaine Boyden (right)
Full Record
Pictures of Ferol with bobbed hair seem different than her earlier pictures – she smiles more and seems genuinely happy.
6:00am. Been sitting around talking to Walter since 3:45. Sure is a hell of a life I am leading.” – Book I, Sunday, July 22, 1923.

 

 

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LHM: Ferol Tibbetts’ Snapshots

Just like Josephine Cornick, Ferol Tibbetts had her share of albums full of snapshots as well. Here are some of our favorites:

“Ferol and Dorothy”
ca late 1910s
Full Record
“Camping at the Lake
ca late 1910s
Full Record

 

“Follies Bathing Beauties”
ca late 1910s
Full Record

 

“Dad and Ferol Relax at Camp”
ca late 1910s
Full Record

 

“Naughty! Naughty”
ca late 1910s
Full Record

 

“Twins!”
ca late 1910s
Full Record

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LHM: Jo Cornick’s Snapshots

One of the commonalities we’ve noticed between Josephine Cornick and Ferol Tibbets was their posession of personal cameras. In 1888, the Eastman Kodak Company released it’s first amateur camera. George Eastman’s goal was to make photography “as convenient as the pencil.” By the time Josephine Cornick and Ferol Tibbetts were old enough to shop for cameras, there were at least 8 different Brownie cameras available to the public for $4 or less. The more money you had to spend, the larger the variety of cameras available to you.

The transition from studio photography to personal photography not only increased the number of photographic images the average person had as mementos — it increased the amount of information available from each image. Studio portraits required some investment, and families making that investment dressed in their best clothing and turned their best face to the camera. The final photograph was probably stamped with the name of the studio, but little else in the way of identifying or personal information.
Personal cameras changed the way many people recorded their personal history. Instead of dressing up and trooping down to the local photography studio, camera owners could capture images from everyday life that had meaning for them. Looking at a series of snapshots, or an album filled with snapshots, delivers personal information in a way that studio images do not.
Studio Portrait of William and Anastasia Cornick, with daughter Josephine, ca 1903 Full Record
Snapshot of (l to r) Josephine Cornick, Anastasia Cornick, William Cornick and Emma Cornick, ca 1918 Full Record
Friend of Jo Cornick,
modeling her gym bloomers
ca 1918
Full Record
Friend of Jo Cornick
ca 1915
Full Record

Thanks to their snapshots, we can make some guesses about what Josephine and Ferol valued most based on the things they photographed — friends, pets, family members, automobiles. Snapshots were also used to preserve moments of good humor shared among friends. Snapshots also provide information about things we would never learn through studio portraits — like what girls’ gym uniforms looked like circa 1915, and how a young lady might have dressed to help with farm work.

And we certainly don’t have any studio photographs of swimmers in their swim togs!
Jo Cornick and friend at the beach
ca 1920
Full Record

The downside of amateur photography is, of course, the amateur behind the lens. Not everyone was adept with the new gadgets, resulting in the occasional botched image.

Jo Cornick and three friends
ca 1920
Full Record
But even in the case of this image, we can derive information from what Jo has written on the back. Even with the blurring, we can also tell that these four young women are all dressed in trousers.
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LHM: Ferol and her Automobiles

 

Ferol Tibbetts sitting on car
ca. late 1910s
Full Record
Seomtime around 1915 Ferol Tibbetts’ father, George Wilson Tibbetts, purchased and ran an auto shop and garage. For Ferol, this meant constant interaction with automobiles. There are accounts in her journals of she and her father driving somewhere to pickup a vehicle, presumably for someone who had purchased a car through their shop. With her knowledge of cars, and how to drive them, came a sense of freedom. Just as teenagers find today, Ferol had the ability to hop in a car with friends and drive either to a dance, Seattle, or somewhere completely random.
Ferol’s dog Max in front of the Tibbetts garage
ca. late 1910s
Full Record

The following are excerpts from Ferol’s journals:

Went to Rentonwith Walter and then drove the Pierce home. Sure felt fine driving it.” – Book I, Sunday, July 29, 1923.

 

Went party way to Olympiawith Dad. Drove the Durant over and brought back a Star.” – Book I, Wednesday, August 1, 1923.

 

Put on my overalls and rode on the gravel truck with Vic from 10 until 12.” – Book I, Sunday, August 19, 1923.

 

“Unloading Apple Boxes”
Most likely Ferol Tibbetts in driver seat
ca. late 1910s
Full Record

Minnie Archembault and I went for a ride with Mr. Kinnybru in a Studebaker Six. We went to Preston, Fall City, and Tolt. I drove home from Tolt. Sure like to drive a Studebaker.” – Book I, Thursday, October 25, 1923

 

We went to the dance in Geo Abriams car. Eleanor Burke, Francis Harris, Blaine Boyden also went. Had a dandy time. George got drunk. Sure was scared coming home, but he wouldn’t let Jim drive. Got home all O.K. tho.” – Book I, Monday, December 31, 1923.

 

Jim got his new car, a Cleveland2 door Sedan. Sure is swell. He came down and we went for a ride. He let me drive.” – Book I, Thursday, April 3, 1924

 

Opening of Snoqualmie Pass
ca. 1915
Full Record

The Chevrolet Company is running an endurance test of a 100 hrs. Clyde [Powell] was to drive from 2a.m. to 8a.m. Ruth was going with him so they asked me to go. I went to bed over to Ruth’s. It is about 10:45 when we went to bed. Got up at 1:15, had coffee and toast and got started about 2:15. Thurs 9. It was raining and blowing like everything and was pretty cold. He went to Renton, Newport, Kirkland, Bothell, Redmond, FallCity, North Bend, back to Issaq. Then from here to Newport, Renton and then home again. It was then 6:30. Clyde went to Rentonand then Kirklandand handed the car over to the Chevrolet man there.” – Book II, October 8-9, 1924.

Ferol Tibbetts sitting on hood of a car
ca. late 1910s
Full Record
Jo Cornick Ross opening the door of an automobile.

LHM: Josephine Cornick’s Catalog of Cars

In 1979, Josephine Cornick Ross was 77 years old and lived at the Issaquah Villa nursing home. A student with a tape recorder interviewed her for a school assignment. More than 30 years later, their 22 minute conversation found its way into the collection of the Issaquah History Museums. This recording is the only narrative we have about Josephine’s life that she herself created. Unlike Ferol Jess Tibbetts and Minnie Wilson Schomber, whose letters and journals share details of their lives with us, we have only Josephine Cornick Ross’s photographs and brief oral history. For that reason, we have many more unanswered questions about Josephine. 

But, there are some things one can surmise even without a pointed narrative, and a fascination with automobiles is one of them.

Unlike Ferol, Josephine’s family did not have access to their own automobile, as she explained to her interviewer:

IN:  When the car came, did it take Issaquah a while for very many people to get cars?
JR:  Oh, yes.  It took quite a while.
IN:  Did your family used to travel to Seattle very often?
JR:  Well, when we went to Seattle, we would go to Kirkland, and ferry across from Kirkland to Seattle.  Because when they were treating my eyes, my folks were—the doctor was in Seattle, so my father had to take me to Seattle on the Madison streetcar.  And it was a trolley car, and I’d get sick every time.  [laughing]
IN:  How long did that take?
JR:  Oh, it would take all day practically, by the time we got there and waited for the trolley, and then back again.
Although Jo’s family didn’t have their own automobile, her collection of snapshots includes photos of at least three different automobiles. They also share footage of a road trip to southern Washington taken with a few friends.

 

Ferol Tibbetts, circa 1920s

LHM: Ferol Tibbetts

Ferol Tibbetts, circa 1920s

Ferol Tibbetts, circa 1920s

Ferol Tibbets was born November 11, 1902 to George Wilson Tibbetts and Mattie Ray Tibbetts. The Tibbetts line had been in the Issaquah area since 1874 when Ferol’s grandparents, George Washington Tibbetts and his wife Rebecca Wilson Tibbetts, relocated here.

Ferol Tibbetts was an only child. Her parents owned an auto shop and were probably considered part of Issaquah’s “upper class” society. A year after Ferol graduated high school in 1921 she attended Washington State College (Now Washington State University.) Judging from her diaries of her time there she focused on meeting boys and spending her time having fun. The few mentions of actual academic activities were mostly theater and drama related. She moved back home to live with her parents after one year at college in 1923 – it’s unclear whether she ever graduated with any sort of degree.

“Engagements” of Ferol Tibbetts
ca 1922-23
Full Record

Our closest connection to Ferol and her life lies in her daily diaries. She began keeping journals during her year in college. When she returns home her journals pick up in simple composition books. Ferol is fairly meticulous in her writings, however she often neglects to use last names which can make identification difficult.

The wonderful thing about these journals is that Ferol began writing these while in her early 20s. And since they begin in the year 1922 we’re able to see what “the roaring twenties” were like not only for a 20 year old female, but one who lives and has grown up in Issaquah.

Ferol’s diaries are almost exactly what you’d expect them to be – gossip, discussion of the boys she’s going out with, hair and beauty, friends. But there are unexpected moments – Ferol’s knowledge and experience with cars, her lack of enthusiasm for voting for the first time, and her attendance at the huge KKK rally in Issaquah (and subsequent interaction with the organization.)

The diaries of hers in our collection continue for at least a decade and we haven’t hardly made a dent in reading and cataloging them. We’ll continue sharing our discoveries past the window of LHM. Who knows what we will find!