From the Digital Archives: Happy Fourth of July!

“First Prize Car in July 4th Parade”
ca 1910s
Full Record


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

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.