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From the Digital Collections: Poem by William Udd

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’ve been posting some of our favorite poems from our collections here at the Issaquah History Museums. This untitled poem by William Udd is about growing old. William Udd was born in Sweden in 1882. He came to the United States at the age of 9. He arrived in the Issaquah Valley sometime around 1919 and lived here until his death in 1961. He married Clara Madsen in 1958 at the age of 76!

Untitled

by William Udd

William Udd’s handwritten poem
Full Record

Don’t treat me rough because I’m old.
I worked my way through rain and cold.
My strength is ebbing fast away.
Don’t treat me rough you’ll be old someday

And when the evening shadows fall
Don’t treat me rough, I gave you all,
And when you lay me down to rest
Don’t treat me rough, I tried my best

And as the years go passing by
Don’t treat me rough your heart will sigh
You’ll find you are in someone’s way. You’ll pray
O Lord take me away!

From the Digital Collections: Ferol Tibbets’ Autograph Album

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’ve been posting some of our favorite poems from our collections here at the Issaquah History Museums.

This autograph album, belonging to Ferol Tibbetts, is full of wonderful little verses written in Spring of 1916. Ferol wrote her own name on the first page and dated it March 14, 1916 which would have made Ferol a mere 14 years old.

Ferol Tibbetts’ Autograph Album ca 1916
Full Record

Autograph albums gained in popularity as early as the 15th century and remained so into the early 20th century until they gradually were replaced by yearbooks. The poems and verses written in Ferol’s autograph album seem so very similar in spirit to what we wrote in our high school yearbooks, but the emphasis on marriage, cross husbands, and weddings reminds us what a different time it was. It seems to speak to the fact that teenagers don’t really change – but perhaps how they imagine their post-high school days does.

To see the album in it’s entirety, visit the Full Record at our Digital Collections.

Here are a few excerpts:

“Dear Ferol:
When you are married and your husband is cross
come over to my house and I’ll give you some sauce.
Your friend
Margaret Davis”
(March 15, 1916)

“Dear Ferol:
As sure as the vine goes around the stump
You are my darling sugar lump.
Your loving friend and schoolmate
Marie Barlow”
(March 15, 1916)
“Dear Ferol:
When you are married, and your husband is cross,
pick up the broomstick and say, who’s the boss.
Your schoolmate
Theodore Atson”
(March 21, 1916)
“Dear Friend
Remember me when far away,
and only half awake.
Remember me on your wedding day,
and send me a slice of cake.
Your school-mate
Robert Morgan”
(presumably 1916)
“Dear Ferol.
When you get old and live by the river
I’ll kill my pig and give you the liver.
Your friend
Allie Marchette”
(presumably 1916)
“Dear Ferol:-
When times are hard and boys are plenty
don’t get married until you[‘re] twenty.
Schoolmate
Viola Kerola”
(March 16, 1916)
Jack, Robert & Ben Legg, hunting party

From the Digital Collections: “To Whomsoever It May Be That Poisoned My Dog Bounce” by Robert Legg

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’ve been posting some of our favorite poems from our collections here at the Issaquah History Museums.

This poem by Robert Legg entitled “To Whomsoever It May Be That Poisoned My Dog Bounce” was probably published in the late 1890s. The poem references the Panic of 1893 but is about the death of Robert Legg’s dog Bounce . Robert Legg was an early resident of Issaquah, settling in the area around 1890, and father to infamous Issaquah “outlaw” Ben Legg. Learn more about the Legg family here. See more records related to Robert Legg and family here at our digital collections.

Robert Legg’s poem, ca late 1890s
Full Record

To Whomsoever It May Be That Poisoned My Dog Bounce

By Robert Legg

Oh thou Creator of this Universe,

Do hear my prayer and grant my curse
And I will shortly give the cause
Why I violate human laws.

It was during the panic of nint[e]y-four
When the wolf was howling at my door
Always on one I could depend
My honest dog, my faithful friend.

For when my children cried for bread
My dog Bounce knew what they said
For straight to them he’d never fail
To give his paw and wag his tail.

Which meant young master be in good cheer
Shortly I will supply you all with deer,
Regardless to sunshine, storm or hail
He climbed the mountain and took the trail.

For many miles far around
He knew where the game could be found,
Full well he [k]new my accurate aim
When he heard the shot we had the game.

I never had cause him to abuse
And always content with the refuse
It was on the 22nd of September
While blood warms my veins I’ll remember.

It was only one week before
A buck on the mountain did him gore
Regardless to storm, rain or pain
We resolved that buck to hunt again.

Like Wolfe for honor he was a slave
Now that buck and Bounce lie in their grave
I may strive but in vain
Before I get a Bounce again.

Then by the Blessed virgin pure and true
This wicked act keep in view
Before your Father who art in Heaven
Till purged by those pennance be forgiven.

May they endure Job’s tormenting pain
Without reward of his flocks again
And scorned by all around his home
And like a pilgrim forced to roam,

First by famine and thirst to feast
Like Nebuchadnezzar along with the beast
And before his sand of time shall run
Like Ezekiel dying on filthy dung.

May ever day increase his care
And sorrow beset him everywhere
Pressed with such a heavy load
He will dread his shadow in the road.

May his offsprings scorn him in their teens
And the devil haunt him in his dreams
And With his crops perish in their bloom
At last suffer Brutusses’ woeful doom.

This be my curse, the brutish hog,
For the murder of my human dog.

From the Digital Collections: “Twixt Cloud and Earth”

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’ve been posting some of our favorite poems from our collections here at the Issaquah History Museums.

This collection of writings by Berniece S. Embree Wold entitled “Twixt Cloud and Earth” was first published in 1976, however the writings date much earlier than that. Berniece Sorenson was born in Pine River, Wisconsin in 1894. The earliest poem in this collection is dated to 1910 – when she was 16 years old. Berniece Sorenson married Andrew Wold in 1959 at the age of 65.

The following poem, “The Seagull” was written November 26, 1970 when Berniece was 76.

See more records related to the Wold family here at our digital collections.

“Twixt Cloud and Earth”
by Berniece S. Embree Wold
Full Record

The Seagull
by Berniece S. Wold

On a placid day
I am but an uncouth bird,
A scavanger, seeking fetid things
And foul,
A gargoyle sitting humped and vile
On rotting rail or wharf
But on wild distemered days
When winds whip froth
Into a maelstrom of wicked skies
And spray like scalloped lace
Leaps high from lash of wave
When puny man seeks comfort
From the storm
And sits disconsolate
By the comfort of his fire
I soar above him
Challenging my fate
Flinging myself
Into the tortured avenues
Twixt cloud and earth.
My spread of wings is white and wide
I twists, I turn, I dip, I climb
Until at last I float supremely
And become a splendid bird
Of delicate and fantastic beauty.

Pen and ink

Issaquah History Museums Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Welcome to National Poetry Month, April 2013!
Small mother of pearl fountain pen with nib (89.014.033) and ink bottle (86.018.188) from the IHM collection.
What would I say

On this noted poetry day
Yes I wish I was a poet true
I then would tell my story to you
Hilda Johanson Erickson, circa 1960

Today marks the first day of National Poetry Month, a thirty-day holiday that gives us a welcome excuse to celebrate the works of some of Issaquah’s most noted poets. Since the late 1800s, our poets have told their stories through verse: tales of heart-rending loss, anger, joy, and repose. Our museum collections include the curse of a miner, rhyming instructions on the feeding of mine mules, and humorous couplets by young students. Most of the poetry, however, pays homage to Issaquah and its natural beauty. It is tribute to a time when people felt strong community connections and had moments to reflect on the joys of living here.

Over the month we’ll share some of our favorite Issaquah poetry, including more verse by Hilda Johanson Erickson. Watch Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for links that will take you on a tour of Issaquah’s poetic past. We’d also like to share your stories. If you have a poem about Issaquah, post it to our Facebook page or send it to us at info@issaquahhistory.org.

Our ability to share the Museums’ collections with you was made possible by a grant from 4Culture and generous donations from our members and the community. If you’d like to support our work, you can help in the following ways:

– Visit either of our museums (or both!) in Issaquah.

Gilman Town Hall Museum1

65 SE Andrews Street, Issaquah, WA 98027

Hours:
Thursday- Saturday, 11am-3pm

Admission:
$2/adult, $1/child, $5/family of 3+
$10 family pass gives all-day access to both museums
Friends of the Issaquah History Museums visit for free

Issaquah Depot Museum
78 First Avenue NE, Issaquah, WA 98027

Hours:
Friday- Sunday, 11am-3pm

Admission:
$2/adult, $1/child, $5/family of 3+
$10 family pass gives all-day access to both museums
Friends of the Issaquah History Museums visit for free

– Join us! Become a member of the Issaquah History Museums.

Make a donation.

Volunteer!

– Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and our blog.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

So follow us this month as we share with you some of the more poetic aspects of our local history!

From the Digital Collections: Happy Easter!

Easter Postcard
ca 1912
“A Happy Easter To You”
Postcard from unknown to Dave Horrocks, Issaquah, Washington. Postmarked from Taylor, Washington, April 7, 1912.

From the Digital Collections: Happy St. Patricks Day!

St. Patricks Day postcard ca 1910s
Full Record

“The Land of the Shamrock Green”

Postcard from Mamie to Mrs. Bertha Baxter. Not postmarked.

See all St. Patrick’s Day related records

From the Digital Collections: Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Postcard ca 1911
Full Record

 

“Hearty Thanksgiving Greetings”

Postcard from “EB” of Walla Walla, WA to Miss Mattie Bush of Issaquah, WA. Postmarked November 28, 1911.

See all Thanksgiving related records

A Time of Giving: Issaquah Thanksgivings in the Great Depression

“As a man eatest, so is he; if your diet is of meat, you become beefy; if your diet is fish you become slimy; if your diet is nuts you become nutty; but if your diet is milk and eggs you become healthy and cocky and crow all over the world.” So quipped a guest speaker at an Issaquah Kiwanis Club meeting in November 1930. The Great Depression was underway, and food would have been top of mind for many Issaquah residents.

The Depression hit Issaquah hard. The coal mining industry had faltered, many businesses closed, and unemployment was rife. Some of Issaquah’s 800 or so residents relied almost entirely on their kitchen gardens and what they could hunt and fish for food.

Talus & Wright families in 1931

The situation isn’t so different now. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, hunger in Washington is increasing significantly each year and is now at 15.4 percent, which is higher than the national average. According to the latest U.S. Census, the Issaquah region’s poverty level belies the city’s wealth and is similar to that of rural areas. According to the City administration, the problem is reflected in growing lines at the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. Issaquah residents have responded to the problem by participating in an annual Turkey Trot that benefits the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, and by donating the makings of a full Thanksgiving meal to families impacted by the struggling economy.

Such Thanksgiving generosity is a tradition that dates back to the Great Depression. In the 1930s Issaquah Kiwanis Club members responded to the economic hardship by donating food and clothing and providing loans “on a handshake.” According to David Jepsen in his history of the club, the Kiwanis Club was “the food basket of the valley,” and no one in need was turned away. One member provided medical services in return for “a chicken or half dozen eggs.” Another provided loans at a personal loss.

The club was most active before Thanksgiving, however. “The entire club would work all during the night preparing food baskets,” wrote Jepsen. “Here, some credit goes to the club leaders. J.R. Stephenson and A.L. Wold could organize a work party with vigor of military leaders.

Then as now, for many Issaquah residents Thanksgiving was all about giving.

From the Digital Collections: Happy Halloween!

Halloween Postcard ca 1912
Full Record

 

“The Highest Expectations for Halloween!”

Postcard from “Aunt Minnie” to “Master Bennie Trigg” of Issaquah, WA. Postmarked October 24, 1912.

See all Halloween related records