Bookends Reader 2019
Bookends Reader Introduction............................................................................................... 3 “A Tacoma Sonnet”................................................................................... 5 “Forests”................................................................................................... 6 “The Miser on Mount Rainier”................................................................ 17 “The Mother of Progress Finds Home”.................................................. 20 “Camp Harmony”.................................................................................... 32 “Five Pieces”........................................................................................... 37 “An Octopus”.......................................................................................... 38 About the Authors................................................................................... 43
Welcome to Puget Sound! This booklet of readings is an introduction to academics at Puget Sound. All incoming students will read these before coming to campus in preparation for Bookends, the academic portion of Orientation. At Bookends, you and the group of students in your immersive Orientation experience will meet with a faculty member for an introduction to academic life at Puget Sound, through common readings, discussion, and writing. The Bookends sessions will be on Sunday, Aug. 25, and Friday, Aug. 30. The readings in this booklet have been chosen for you and other incoming students by the Puget Sound faculty in preparation for Bookends. We wanted to choose readings that would introduce and welcome you to studying about and in this place that is the University of Puget Sound. Over the course of long conversations, we decided that there is no one piece that could encompass what we want you to know about Puget Sound as you enter into your studies here; to belong here, in this community, is to belong to a dynamic place that is rich in natural beauty and in the intermixing of cultures, both in the past and in the present. We wanted you to read different perspectives on this place, from different cultural vantage points and historical moments, as well as from different disciplinary perspectives. We wanted you to read work that presents the tensions between competing interests that have led to what is most promising and troubling about this place. In each reading, we hope that you find something that intrigues you, that introduces you to new ideas, and that you can use and reflect upon as you enter into Orientation and the years that follow.
The epigram to our collection, “A Tacoma Sonnet,” was written by an emeritus (retired) faculty member, Hans Ostrom, as a love song to the gritty place that he calls home. “Forests” is a chapter on something that we Loggers hold dear, even as our forebears radically altered the forests on which the campus of the University of Puget Sound now stands. This chapter offers a scientific perspective on why our trees are evergreen and what is distinctive about the interdependent soils, trees, and animals of the Pacific Northwest forests you’ll encounter on campus and beyond. The chapter was written by Stewart T. Schultz and illustrated by John Megahan and Kathy Kellerman. We thank Puget Sound Professor Carrie Woods for her work to excerpt this chapter. Just as our forests contain layers of history, so too do the stories of our places and even the names of our places. “The Miser on Mount Rainier” is a myth about a man’s experience on the mountain that dominates the horizon here (at least on clear days!). The version of the myth that you will read encapsulates a history of encounters between newcomers to Puget Sound. This story was shared by an elder from the Nisqually Indian tribe in 1853 with a European American newcomer to the region, Theodore Winthrop, reportedly at Fort Nisqually (which was formerly located south of Tacoma, but has been relocated and recreated as a historical site in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park). Eventually, the story was gathered and published in
1953 by Ella E. Clark, a European American English professor who sought to collect and share the folklore of the Pacific Northwest. As you read the story, you may notice an unfamiliar place name, “Tacobud,” which is one of the many names that Native American tribes had for the great mountain that is now more commonly known as Mount Rainier (named after Rear Admiral Peter Rainier, who never came to this region himself). “The Mother of Progress Finds Home” is a chapter from modern-day Tacoma resident Justin Wadland’s book-length account of another group of newcomers to the area, a small group of people who in 1896 rowed their boats from Tacoma up and around Point Defiance and over to the Key Peninsula, where they founded Home, Washington, a late-19th-century anarchist community. Much of the chapter is based on speculation, given that the records of those early days don’t include many of the details we might want to know now in understanding the motivations behind their 19th-century “Nationalist” interests, and Wadland weaves in his own story of discovery of the anarchists’ ideals and dissolutions. “Camp Harmony” is an excerpt from Jamie Ford’s novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, in which protagonist Henry Lee narrates his relationship with a girl named Keiko Okabe, who was incarcerated in an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. Henry, as a Chinese American, was not imprisoned in an internment camp, but he nonetheless
experienced anti-Asian prejudice. The excerpt here is from one of the chapters set in 1942, in which the young Henry visits Camp Harmony, the internment camp in Puyallup, which is near Tacoma and is on the site of what is now the Puyallup fairgrounds, home of the Washington State Fair. As these readings demonstrate, newcomers to our region have not always felt welcomed, and some newcomers have not always respected those who were already here; many of these readings address in some way the tensions that have been part of the history of Puget Sound since at least the early 1800s. Newcomers to the University of Puget Sound, too, encounter new people in our new place, and find different opportunities and challenges here—opportunities and challenges that you, too, will face. Puget Sound alumna Sandra Rosa Bryant ’12 wrote “Five Pieces” as five interrelated snapshots of her experiences as an African American student here. These short pieces were featured in the inaugural issue of Black Ice, a student publication at Puget Sound that Bryant founded during her senior year. The final reading, “An Octopus,” is a long Modernist poem revisiting themes from the other readings. You will be taking this poem apart and analyzing it with your classmates and professor in the Sunday Bookends session of Orientation. Don’t be daunted if it seems incomprehensible at first! While it’s a challenging poem, there are rewards in it for the attentive
reader. We hope you’ll make time to read it twice as you conclude your reading of this booklet. As you read all of these selections, we hope that you’ll read with the big picture in mind, trying to understand what each of these glimpses of Puget Sound offers and considering how all of them might fit together to build a multifaceted image of your new home. Take note of how the characters and scenes in the readings offer models for engaging with a new place. As you go along, underline passages of interest, look up words you don’t know, write notes in the margins, and generally make yourself at home in the pages. Being at home, we hope, will mean that you will find some places where you feel comfortable and can let your guard down. Being at home also means there may be parts that irritate you or that want to change; that’s okay. We’re an academic community, and we like to talk, explore, and learn together. We look forward to learning together with you in August.
A Tacoma Sonnet
A Tacoma Sonnet Hans Ostrom Tacoma’s tough. That’s what you need to know To start to get to know the town that is A city, which is reticent to show The world a worldly face. Indeed, fact is, Tacoma tells you to your face, “I’m me. I’m trains and barges, mountains by the Sound. I’m labor, boss, defiance, faith, and army.” To find a city anxious to be crowned, Take 1-5 north to where Seattle’s fed To bursting with paté of pride. It needs To feel the pat of status on its head. Seattle thinks that T-Town’s in the weeds. Let other cities dream that they’re Pa-ree. “Take it or leave it,” says T-Town. “I’m me.”
Forests From The Northwest Coast: A Natural History by Stewart T. Schultz The Pine of fur species, or spruce Pine grow here to an emence size & hight maney of them 6 & 7 feet through and upwards of 200 feet high. — William Clark, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 1805. The chapter excerpted below has been edited for length and clarity.
DOMINANCE OF CONIFERS The forests of the Pacific Northwest have no equal on earth. The largest and heaviest trees in the world, and most of the runners-up, grow in the lush, fog- and rain-drenched forests of the Coast Ranges. The total weight of trunk, branches, and foliage in a mature forest ranges from 330 to 790 tons per acre in Oregon Cascades and Coast Range non-redwood forests, and up to 1800 tons/acre in the coastal redwoods. Forests in the eastern U.S. and elsewhere, including the tropics, rarely accumulate more than 300 tons/acre (Waring and Franklin, 1979). Not coincidentally, the dominant trees in these forests are magnificent evergreen conifers rather than deciduous hardwoods. Twenty-five conifer species grow in the Northwest, several times the number in any other region in North America. By comparison, only 12 hardwood tree species are native to the Pacific Northwest. Moreover, both abundance and biomass of conifers in the Oregon Cascades and Coast Range are 1000 times that of the hardwoods (Harris, 1984); hardwoods dominate in nearly all other North Temperate forests. What might explain the dominance of conifers? As early as 30 million years ago, a diverse hardwood forest occupied the lowlands of the Pacific Rim from northern California to Alaska, Siberia, and Japan, consisting of beech, elm, oak, hickory, and many other genera now common in the eastern U.S (Waring and Franklin, 1979). At this time the conifers were small, stunted, and restricted to the more stressful conditions at high elevations. By about 10 million years ago the Cascade and Coast ranges had arisen, and promoted a wetter, cooler climate on their western slopes. During the late Pliocene, some 2.5 million years ago, many of the hardwoods became extinct, and the rest gradually shrank into specialized habitats, as the conifers spread down into the lowlands. By early Pleistocene, about 1.5 million years ago, the Northwest forests had developed an overwhelming preponderance of coniferous species, and appeared very much the same as today.
What happened in the late Pliocene to usher in the conifers? Apparently this was the period when the two distinctive features of the present Northwest climate coincided for the first time: the low rainfall of summer, and the mild temperatures of winter. Why should these favor conifers?
Mild Winter Temperatures Botanists believe that deciduous trees evolved about 100 million years ago in areas with wet soils, perhaps river bottoms or flooded meadows (Stebbins, 1974). By this theory, in these places the leaves of plants were saturated with water most of the year, most importantly in the winter when temperatures often fell below freezing. To prevent ice from forming in the soft, vulnerable tissues of the leaves and young stems, some trees effectively “hardened” themselves by dropping their leaves well before the first frost. These were the first deciduous trees. The deciduous strategy still abounds in wet areas of the Northwest: alder, willow, maple, and ash are common in bogs, fens, and along riverbanks. Before the leaves fall, most of their metabolites, notably chlorophyll, and energy reserves are transferred back into the tree to be recycled next spring. As these substances exit and unveil the minor pigments, the leaves flush crimson and yellow. Since our forests lack the abundant deciduous trees of the eastern U.S., we have nothing to compare with the brilliant “New England autumn.” On the Northwest Coast, however, the proximity of the ocean warms the winter air enough to prevent frequent freezes. Even in the mountains subfreezing day temperatures are rare. In the subalpine zone, although snow often accumulates and persists until July, the soil usually remains unfrozen all winter. As a result, photosynthesis is possible throughout the Northwest winter, but only for those plants that retain their leaves, namely the conifers and evergreen hardwoods. While the deciduous trees lay dormant, the conifers gain a tremendous advantage by continuing photosynthesis, from October to April accumulating 30% to over 50% of their total budget of carbohydrates (Waring, 1982). Another aid to winter photosynthesis is the crown shape of conifers. While the bowl-shaped crowns of deciduous trees capitalize on abundant direct summer sunlight, the long, conical crowns of the conifers maximize the absorption of the oblique, reflected light common in the winter. [. . .]
Summer Drought Plants are faced with a dilemma in hot and dry climates. Stomates need to remain open in order to take in the carbon dioxide necessary for photosynthesis, and to allow nutrient absorption by roots during transpiration. But on the other hand, open stomates allow water loss. Moreover, the fungi
Forests and bacteria whose waste products provide the soil nutrients are active only when moist; thus soil becomes impoverished during dry periods. In the Northwest, 90% of the precipitation falls from late fall to early spring, during the so-called dormant season; in Oregon, the ground is so dry in July and August that decomposition of the litter on the forest floor is too low to be detected. This contrasts with nearly all other temperate forest climates, in which rain falls evenly throughout the year and decomposition rates stay relatively constant (Waring and Franklin, 1979). As a result, the summer drought in the Northwest leads to a loss of photosynthesis in both hardwoods and conifers, but for several reasons conifers fare much better. First, the large size of the conifers allows them to store more water in the sapwood of the stem (trunk). Roughly half of a Douglas fir’s (Pseudotsuga menziesii) daily water requirement is met by water absorbed by the roots the night before and stored in the stem and branches. A single 270-foot Douglas fir may contain 4 tons of water, and an entire stand some 100 tons of water per acre (Waring and Franklin, 1979). Second, the enormous surface area of the needle-shaped conifer leaves tends to increase their water uptake. As upwelling-induced summer fogs move inland, the water vapor condenses on the foliage and drips to the ground. Summer fog drip can increase the annual precipitation along the coast by as much as 20%. Third, a variety of adaptations allow conifers to conserve and recycle nutrients much more efficiently than deciduous trees. While deciduous trees drop all their leaves, conifers lose only 1520% of their foliage each winter, and as a result suffer a smaller annual nutrient loss and require a smaller uptake. Moreover, conifers seem to be able to recycle more nutrients from dying leaves still on the tree than hardwoods. The nitrogen salvaged in this way satisfies about half the nitrogen needs of a typical 100-year-old Douglas fir, but only a third the needs of an average hardwood tree. [. . .] The abundant surface area also filters out minerals from the air, which leach to the ground during the next rainstorm (Waring, 1982). Significantly, those hardwoods that compete successfully with the conifers are often those capable of extracting their nitrogen from the atmosphere rather than the impoverished summer soil. Red alder (Alnus rubra) and snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus), for example, fix about 45-180 lbs/acre of nitrogen annually, often germinating in the ashes left by a fire (Waring, 1982).
windstorms, or other forces for at least 200 years. The great age of “old growth” forests endows them with several unique features, not only huge trees living and dead, but also a highly conservative system of nutrient recycling and energy flow. Since this forest type dominated the landscape probably since the early Pleistocene, it can reasonably be assumed that it directly influenced the evolution of many animal species, and as a result of this, some have grown so thoroughly adapted to old growth that their survival is seriously threatened in younger forests. Over 40 vertebrate species in the Northwest appear old growth dependent, and an additional 78 are common in both old growth and other habitats. But old growth and its inhabitants are swiftly vanishing. Current harvest rates could eliminate all unprotected old growth in western Oregon by about 2020 (Franklin, et al., 1981); what remains will be that of National and State Parks, Wilderness, Research Natural Areas, and so on, or about 5% of the landscape. The largest expanses of coastal old growth in the Northwest lie within the Olympic and Redwood national parks; in Oregon, a few state parks (e.g., Ecola, Oswald West, and Cape Lookout) and federal Wilderness areas (e.g., Cummins Creek and Drift Creek) protect a modicum of older coastal forest. Perhaps the oldest forest on the Northwest Coast is the western redcedar stand on Long Island in Willapa Bay; this may have remained unburned for over 2000 years. To understand why the evolutionary fate of many plants and animals hinges on the preservation of old growth, it is necessary to first understand how old growth differs from younger forests.
Forest Succession and Old Growth Development
In the past, an old growth forest eventually succumbed to rare disasters such as forest fires, landslides, windstorms, and insect epidemics. In its place a “natural young growth” forest slowly emerged after a preliminary succession of herb and shrub communities. Nowadays human disturbances predominate (highways, development complexes, clearcutting), and their more-or-less permanent nature bodes ill for both old growth and natural young growth. Clearcutting usually involves removal of woody debris, slash burning, spraying of herbicides and insecticides, replanting of the desired species of tree seedlings, and periodic thinning. So the forests that emerge on a clearcut site are not natural, but “managed” and generally poorer in habitats, nutrients, and biotic diversity than natural young growth (Franklin, et al., 1981). Nevertheless both types of young forest are interesting because of the dynamic changes ongoing in function, structure, and composition as they progress (usually theoretically) to old growth.
For thousands of years before the first pioneer settlements of the Northwest, forest blanketed the landscape from the Cascades to the ocean. Over 70% of this area, some 75% of the biomass, lay unscathed by humans, fires, landslides,
Function As succession advances from grassland to shrub to young forest, several trends in forest function (i.e., in energy and nutrient flow) have been documented. First, as the plants grow, they of course
spatial arrangement of plants, or forest structure (Franklin and Dyrness, 1973; Figure 61). Typically, the initial grass/forb stage lasts about 5 years. By this time the shrubs stand tall enough to overtop and overshadow the Forests herbs, which soon wither and die in the darkness. The shrubs live 20â€“25 Figure 61. Structural Trends during Forest Succession 1 Logs and snags remain from previous stand. 2 Young trees recruit with several shrub species. 3 The next generation of trees dominates after about 20 years. 4 Mortality of canopy trees allows the development of understory trees and shrubs. 5 A multi-layered canopy and many age classes of logs and snags are hallmarks of old growth.(Kellerman)
Figure 61. Structural Trends during Forest Succession 1 Logs and snags remain from previous stand. 2 Young trees recruit with several shrub species. 3 The weight, next generation of trees after 20 years. 4 Mortality of the first herbs to appear are typically those present in the gain and thereby raisedominates the biomass ofabout the site. Nutrient areas, canopyfrom treesthe allows the development ofto understory trees and shrubs. 5 A forest, because seeds blow in from nearby sites. By the uptake soil must be initially high support the increase original multi-layered canopy and many age classes of logs and snags are hallmarks of inold biomass. Since photosynthesis occurs only in the leaves and second year, the site will have welcomed a cloud of windborne growth.(Kellerman) green stems, the slow rise in foliage biomass mirrors a slow rise seeds from distant weedy plants, which soon dominate. In the in gross primary production. These both peak at about 50 years hemlock zone, these include woodland groundsel (Senecio (in the young forest stage), and then level off. Meanwhile, wood sylvaticus), fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), bull thistle biomass continues to rise with the growing branches, trunks, (Cirsium vulgare), and bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) (Franklin and roots, and levels off only after 400-600 years. So though and Dyrness, 1973). Some of the shrubs that dominate after gross production stays constant, net production actually drops the fifth year are residual, such as vine maple (Acer circinatum), because the trees burn more and more sugars simply to keep trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus), and Oregon grape (Berberis the enlarging trunks and branches alive (Franklin, et al., 1981). nervosa), while others are invaders (willows and snowbrush). Net production reaches a minimum when the wood biomass Moisture conditions often control this sequence. In dry areas levels off. [. . .] in the hemlock forest, the commonest seral (= transient Structure successional) shrubs are salal, Douglas fir, and sometimes These functional trends underly some simple adjustments in the bigleaf maple (Franklin and Dyrness, 1973). Medium-wet seral spatial arrangement of plants, or forest structure (Franklin and communities are shrubbier, with dense tangles of huckleberry Dyrness, 1973; Figure 61). Typically, the initial grass/forb stage (red and evergreen), salmonberry, and salal. Moist to wet areas lasts about 5 years. By this time the shrubs stand tall enough almost always grow red alder, salmonberry, and sword fern in to overtop and overshadow the herbs, which soon wither and seral communities, and often vine maple and thick-leaved lotus. die in the darkness. The shrubs live 20-25 years, until a legion Sometimes western hemlock and western redcedar appear of equal-aged, evenly spaced trees overtops them. From this from the very beginning and remain through to the climax stage; time on, the dense canopy blocks the sun and nearly eliminates other times the hemlock does not appear until after 50 to 100 the understory. The canopy dominates until the forest becomes years but eventually takes command because it reproduces old growth. At this time, an occasional old, decadent tree blows better under shade than nearly all other Northwest forest trees. down, opening the canopy and inviting sunlight to stream to the Western redcedar tolerates slightly less shade than western forest floor. A community of herbs and shrubs springs up in this hemlock, and remains through the climax stage only in wet- to pool of light, and eventually a quiltwork of patchy understory very wet sites. [. . .] emerges in the mosaic of sunlight wrought by randomly windblown trees.
Forest Function, Structure, and Habitat
Composition The kinds and numbers of herbs and shrubs that first appear after a disturbance in any forest zone depend on the type of disturbance, environmental conditions (especially moisture), and the kinds of seed available and hence nearby plants. On clearcut
The inhabitants of a forest live sheltered lives. The blanketing canopy shields them from the sun and wind, traps heat, raises humidity, conserves moisture in and above the soil, and hastens the buildup of nurturing carbon dioxide. Old growth is especially comfortable because its age grants it not just one but several
Forests layers of deep canopy. As the saying goes, the forest is a poor man’s overcoat.
Thus the few living things that can pull nitrogen out of the air are indispensible.
As a general rule, the animal species that live in a particular forest cannot be predicted from knowledge of the plant species growing there, but can usually be predicted [on the basis of the match between plant structure and the animal’s habitat requirements for nesting, roosting, and cover from predators]. [. . .] Roosevelt elk, for example, eat several species of palatable herbs, but need thick shrubby growth for cover and bedding. A northern flying squirrel eats underground fungi of several species, as well as nuts, fruits, green vegetation, insects, and meat, but to a large extent needs large trees with previously excavated trunk holes to nest in. Even the dependence on plant structure is unconnected to plant species; an elk accepts most shrub species and a squirrel any species of large tree.
Besides nitrogen, a tree needs phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur in large amounts, and about seven other nutrients in minute amounts, as well as of course water and carbon dioxide. The minerals it extracts from the soil water, while the carbon dioxide diffuses as a gas through the leaf stomates. We might imagine that a forest eventually exhausts its nutrient supply and deteriorates gradually into a shrubfield or grassland. Although this occasionally occurs in dunes and other stressed habitats, as a rule it is prevented in Northwest forests by a constant recycling of nutrients, from rotting wood to soil to tree and back to rotting wood. Ultimately, however, the nutrients originate from rock. As the temperature rises, for example, the gases in pockets within rocks expand, and the rock repeatedly shatters, baring more and more surface to the constantly flowing groundwater and streamwater, which erode away the minerals and wash them through the soil and into plant roots (Proctor, et al., 1980).
So, using the above terms, forest animal composition does not depend on plant composition so much as on plant structure. And in any ecosystem, structure and function are as interdependent and inseparable as the limbs and roots of the same tree. In old growth western hemlock forests, the most important structural elements are massive trees: alive and dead, standing and fallen, on the ground and in streams. As described below, each of these performs its own special function and provides its own unique habitat.
Large Live Trees Function Western redcedar reaches a maximum diameter of 21 ft. at 1200+ years, Sitka spruce 17.5 ft. at 750+ years, coast redwood 16.7 ft. at 2200 years, and Douglas fir 14.5 ft. at 1200 years; typical diameters are a little less than half these values (Franklin and Dyrness, 1973). Although the average diameter of live trees in old growth is about the same as in young growth (1.5 ft.), the largest young growth trees reach only about 2-3 feet in diameter (Franklin, et al., 1981). Typical old growth heights are 250-330 ft. for coast redwood, 230-260 ft for Douglas fir, 230-250 ft. for Sitka spruce, and over 200 ft. for western redcedar (Franklin and Dyrness, 1973). Trees of these sizes are truly mountainous. [. . .] [. . .] The conifers, large and small, also perform most of the photosynthesis and primary production. [. . .] Production of course varies in daily and seasonal cycles. A coastal Douglas fir reaches peak photosynthesis in spring and drops to a minimum in winter; much more growth is outside the summer “growing season” than in eastern deciduous forests (Waring and Franklin, 1979). Photosynthesis is moisture-limited in summer and temperature-limited in winter; the optimum temperature is about 66°F (Proctor, et al., 1980). Nitrogen is usually the limiting nutrient and comes ultimately from the air.
The passage of water and nutrients from soil to roots hinges on an amazing and little-known but crucial interaction between the trees and certain kinds of fungi. Few people are aware that the underground strands of Boletus, truffles, and other fungi wrap tightly around the thin, absorbent ends of plant roots, and other kinds of fungi actually grow inside the root cells. These mycorrhizal (myco=fungus, rhizal=root) associations benefit both plant and fungus in several ways, and in many cases, neither could survive without the other. For example, water and dissolved nutrients absorbed by the fungi pass directly into the plant roots. The extra absorbing surface offered by the fungi augments the overall water and nutrient uptake of the plant, and facilitates absorption of rare nutrients. The antibiotics manufactured by some of these fungi help to protect the plant from infections, and the tolerance of fungi to high temperatures reinforces the plant’s high temperature tolerance. The fungi also produce growth regulators that can stimulate root growth, and prolong the life of the rootlets. And the benefits go both ways. The fungi, which cannot photosynthesize, absorb carbohydrates and other valuable photosynthetic products from the plant (Proctor, et al., 1980). The benefits bestowed by mycorrhizal fungi are indispensable to many plants that die without them, usually during the first summer drought. Countless other species gain considerable competitive advantage with the fungi even though they can survive in hospitable habitats alone. Perhaps because they rarely associate with mycorrhizal fungi, most ferns, rushes, and sedges grow optimally where the substrate remains moist or wet throughout the summer. A fascinating quality of this symbiosis lies in its lock-and-key quality: the fungus that works
Forests for one plant species may not work for another. For example, the mycorrhizal fungi of bearberry and Pacific madrone are compatible with Douglas fir and pine, but are incompatible with vine maple and other trees (Proctor, et al., 1980). As a result, seedlings of Douglas fir and pine survive and grow easily in woods of bearberry and madrone, but seedlings of vine maple must compete for nutrients with their bare roots, often unsuccessfully. Clearly, these lock-and-key partnerships can influence forest composition. In addition to the plants, many small mammals benefit from mycorrhizal fungi. When their underground spores mature, the fungi give off a new odor that attracts squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles, and shrews. About 80% of these consume fungi as a dietary staple, and many feed extensively on truffles and other mycorrhizae-forming species, whose spores pass through their bodies and scatter intact throughout the forest, thus inoculating the soil and litter to the benefit of future seedlings (Maser and Trappe, 1984). Some rodents, such as the California red-backed vole [. . .] are so dependent on the fruit of the mycorrhizal fungi that they cannot survive in a recent clearcut. [. . .] Plant roots themselves are quite remarkable in the way in which they can chemically enhance nutrient uptake. Since many of the dissolved nutrients are positively charged when dissolved in the soil water (potassium, calcium, magnesium), they are chemically attracted to the negatively charged soil clay particles and organic colloids. To absorb these minerals a plant must somehow pull them off the particles and into solution. The roots accomplish this by secreting acids into the soil. The acids release hydrogen ions, which stick even more tightly to the soil particles than the nutrients. So as the hydrogen ions attach, they displace the nutrients, which are then free to dissolve in the interstitial water, and eventually move into the root hairs. This relationship between acid and minerals has played a central role in the creation of a special kind of soil in the Northwest. In general, soil acids loosen nutrients that then flush or “leach” with rainwater downward to deeper soil layers. Here they may enter plant roots or diffuse into the groundwater, which washes them out of the forest into streams and eventually to the estuaries. [. . .] In the Northwest, a further major source of acid is the conifer foliage, which exudes more acids into the forest floor during decomposition than do deciduous trees. Soil acidity, coupled with the heavy Northwest rains and cool climate, have combined over thousands of years to create “podzolic” soils. Such soils display only a thin layer of organic material near the surface, and an accumulation of mineral nutrients and other materials at deeper levels due to leaching (Spurr and Barnes, 1980). Most leaching, however, occurs after disturbances such
as fires, clearcuts, and landslides, when there are no live roots to capture the nutrients at the soil surface before they sink out of reach. In an old growth forest, nutrient flow is extremely conservative, as nutrient loss and input are extremely small, and the majority of minerals taken up by a plant have only recently been liberated from decomposing litter. Large old growth trees help sustain and enhance the nitrogen economy of low to mid-elevation forests. The microclimate created by the large canopy encourages the growth of several nitrogen-fixing lichens uncommon in young growth. The most important, Lobaria oregana, makes up about half the biomass of all lichens and mosses growing on live trees in mid-elevation hemlock forests; also present are L. pulmonaria, Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis, and Peltigera aphthosa (Franklin, et al., 1981). These lichens pull enough nitrogen out of the air to manufacture about 2-5 lbs/acre of nitrates per year, which enter the soil from fallen, decomposing lichens (Franklin, et al., 1981). These lichens are an important source of protein (synthesized from the nitrogen) for several mammals. The northern flying squirrel feeds preferentially on lichens during the winter when seeds are scarce; both elk and deer feed heavily on lichen litter during winter starving times, especially in the Cascades (Harris, 1984). Habitat. Typical heights of old growth conifers greatly exceed those of any other forest on earth. Since animal habitat is three-dimensional, this height translates into an immense habitat volume. As old trees die and an understory of both conifers and hardwoods develops, a tremendous diversity of crown heights results, and with it a diversity of birds and arboreal mammals. Partly because of this, western Oregon contains more bird families than any other region in North America, and unusually large numbers of resident mammal species (Harris, 1984). The important triumph of a large dense canopy is the milder air temperatures within it. In the west Cascades, when the canopy is wet, the air temperatures inside range from 32°F in the winter to 60°F in the summer; in dry weather the range is 14°F to 104°F. This regime ensures the survival of “epiphytes” (plants, usually lichens and mosses, growing on the trees), and insects, birds, and mammals either because of the mild microclimate or the nourishment offered by the epiphytes or both (Franklin, et al., 1981). [. . .] For example, the dominant, nitrogen-fixing lichen Lobaria oregana, which flourishes on upper surfaces of branches and twigs, is active when wet and dormant when dry. So its vulnerable active state switches on only during mild temperatures, and it avoids lethal extremes (Franklin, et al., 1981). Other epiphytes probably enjoy similar lifestyles; in any case, a total of 30-40 lbs
of 100 species of mosses and lichens blanket virtually 100% of the surfaces of a typical old growth tree (Franklin, et al., 1981). Many of these have yet to be found in young growth forests in comparable biomass. They do, however, grow on young trees in old growth forests probably due to the microclimate created by dense crowns on surrounding mature trees.
Figure 62. Large Live Tree Habitat. (Kellerman)
When the epiphytes die, those on horizontal surfaces sometimes remain and decompose on the tree, building a primitive soil called â€œperched soilâ€? on top of large branches. Perched soils, nourished by decomposing needles, bits of bark, twigs, dust, and other litter trapped in the lichens and mosses, and by the dissolved mineral nutrients that the epiphytes remove from the rainwater that flows over them, feed and shelter numerous insects (Franklin, et al., 1981). Fly larvae, mites, and springtails consume the fungi and bacteria that thrive on the perched soils; the most abundant arthropods, the predaceous spiders, devour the flies. Most of the 1500 canopy insect species in a forest stand are adults that hatch in streams or on the forest floor. Caddis fly adults exploit the mild crown temperatures when they overwinter in the Douglas fir canopies (Franklin, et al., 1981). Vertebrates that perhaps could not survive without the crownâ€™s buffering of the climate include the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) and red tree vole (Arborimus longicaudus), both of which prefer to nest in large, live old growth conifers rather than dead ones (Figure 62). In addition, the marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus)[, strangely enough, nests on wide, mossy branches of mature or old growth trees, up to 50 miles inland. The first Oregon nest was spotted in 1990 in the central Coast Range by John Megahan, one of the illustrators of this book, working on a team led by S. Kim Nelson. The many more found since then indicate that murrelets prefer to nest at low-elevation sites, inland from bay mouths or areas of high nearshore productivity, and in mature trees; a recent study in the redwoods found that the average nest tree diameter was seven feet (Baker, et al., 2006)]. [. . .] Northern spotted owls are known to tolerate only a very narrow body temperature range (Barrows, 1978). In warm weather they roost in the deep shade of the old growth understory, and in cold weather fly up to the canopy to escape the dark and cold near the ground (see below). The red tree vole is perhaps the most specialized vole in the world, spending its entire life in the canopy of an old growth conifer, using its needles as a sole source of both food and nesting material (Maser, et al., 1981). Several generations may successively inhabit the same tree, making this vole the most arboreal mammal in all North America (Harris, 1984; Maser, et al., 1981). This and another vole restricted to western Oregon coniferous forests, the rare white-footed vole (Arborimus albipes), are the only mammals in North America who feed primarily on [tree] foliage. At least 10 vertebrates require the canopy of an old growth forest as a part
Figure 62. Large Live Tree Habitat. (Kellerman)
of their optimum habitat.
Large Dead Trees Function In all forests, a huge amount of trapped solar energy fuels the production of wood; wood amounts to 98% of the live plant mass (Proctor, et al., 1980). This is unfortunate for most forest animals, because they do not eat wood. But there are some minor exceptions. Deer and elk eat shrubs; woodrats, snowshoe hares, Beechey ground squirrels, Mazama pocket gophers, porcupines, and Townsend voles eat tree bark when greens are scarce; beavers eat the bark of alder and willow as their main diet (Maser, 1981); a single insect outbreak can destroy several years of forest growth. But in general, insect-eating animals prevent epidemics and the indigestibility of wood leaves it unconsumed. Therefore, the total mass of primary consumers (animals that eat live plant material), and of the animals that prey on them, is small. [. . .]
As a result, forest food webs are not built on primary production, but instead, on detritus. In other words, the trees must die and lose their defense systems before they relinquish the immense energy and nutrient reserves bound in their boles and branches. The organisms that “eat” them are the decomposers, or insects, fungi, actinomycetes, and bacteria. The decomposers play a crucial role in the ecosystem as nutrient recyclers, and predictably, have a huge amount of woody debris at their disposal. About a third of the old growth hemlock forest floor is covered with decomposing logs that weigh about 65 tons/acre, or about a fifth of the total biomass (Franklin, et al., 1981). [. . .] Litter, or dead plant matter such as leaves, twigs, branches, and logs, falls to the forest floor continuously. In Northwest forests, most leaves fall in early November, cones in January, and twigs, bark, and wood in September (Proctor, et al., 1980). The decadence of the crumbling, time-worn, old growth trees makes litterfall greater than in young growth. Most litter is logs and dead branches; most foliage litter falls from understory shrubs and not from the canopy (Proctor, et al., 1980).
Figure 63. Large Log Habitat. (Kellerman)
[. . .] Consumption by decomposers converts litter to “humus.” Humus, a mass of wholly and partly decayed plant matter, lies like a skin over the top of the soil, just beneath the litter. Nutrients from the humus leach with rain to deeper soil layers where they are taken up by plant roots. Decomposition is thus the pivotal process of soil formation and nutrient recycling. Without decomposers there would be just rock, litter, and scant usable nutrients. Decomposition races along in warm and moist soil and, like photosynthesis, is water-limited in summer and temperature-limited in winter (Proctor, et al., 1980). As already seen, slow summer decomposition in Northwest forests has encouraged the dominance of conifers. The most important and striking components of old growth litter are the abundant, massive logs and snags strewn riotously over the hills and canyons. In a typical stand of old growth Douglas fir, a tree falls every two years, and about half the annual litterfall is woody debris (Proctor, et al., 1980). Although amounts up to 270 tons/acre have been measured, the mass of logs and snags averages about 80 tons/acre (about 25% of the total biomass), an amount far greater than in the mature hardwood forests of the eastern U.S (Franklin, et al., 1981). Fallen trees in the Olympics and western Cascades cover 10-20% of the forest floor. Natural young growth has nothing of its own to compare with this; its large logs and snags are all relics from the previous old growth stand. [. . .]
Figure 63. Large Log Habitat. (Kellerman)
Habitat Large logs on land. A steady parade of insects, centipedes, spiders, mites, fungi, microscopic decomposers, plants, amphibians, mammals, and birds exploits a fallen tree as a source of food and nutrients and a site for protection and cover, roosting, nesting, courtship, food storage, and observation. A well rotted log is a complete ecosystem in its own right, with producers, decomposers, and all orders of consumers (Figure 63). Most of the following is described in detail in Maser and Trappe’s (1984) excellent book, The Seen und Unseen World of the Fallen Tree. [. . .] [. . .D]ead leaves, twigs, and other litter steadily accumulate in the moist, sheltered furrows of the outer bark [on downed logs]. Seeds of western hemlock, Sitka spruce, salal, and huckleberries germinate in these litter clumps, but the roots
Forests cannot penetrate the dense, intact, outer bark. Only if the bark has been broken by insect boring or some other injury can the roots penetrate into that protected, moist incubation zone beneath the bark, where the inner bark, cambium, and sapwood has already been softened and partially cleared away by insects, fungi, and other decomposers. Without an easy entrance, the roots must remain outside, where they dry up and die during the first summer drought. Even those that manage to penetrate, however, cannot yet pierce the heartwood, and this restriction, coupled with the initial lack of mycorrhizae, severely constrains early growth. [. . .] The lucky ones are clothed early with a soothing coat of mycorrhizal fungus, which provides moisture, nutrients, vitamins, growth regulators and antibiotics in return for photosynthetic sugars. The fungus not only cushions a seedling from the summer drought, but also gives it a competitive edge by accelerating nutrient uptake and growth. Plants that seldom form mycorrhizae (e.g., sedges and rushes) rarely grow among these vigorous mycorrhizal plants on rotting logs. [. . .] One [. . .] animal, whose life on the forest floor epitomizes the concept of symbiosis, is the California red-backed vole (Clethrionomys californicus). This poorly known rodent spends most of its time in subterranean burrows, where it mates, raises young, and, unlike any other North American mammal, feeds preferentially on the underground fruiting bodies of mycorrhizal fungi. Its diet includes the species Rhizopogon vinicolor, which fruits mostly in rotten wood and forms mycorrhizal associations with Douglas fir roots. The spores consumed by the vole pass through its digestive system intact, and are scattered in fecal pellets throughout the voleâ€™s runways. The fungi thus depend on the voleâ€™s feeding and burrowing to disperse spores from decrepit logs and stumps to new, fresh wood, where they once again infect any resident roots. The vole itself cannot survive without mycorrhizal fungi; after a clearcut in which all woody material is removed or burned, mycorrhizae stop fruiting and the voles die. In an old growth forest, the vole population is limited by the abundance of fallen trees. The optimal logs are those with well decayed sapwood or heartwood, in which the fungi have exhausted most nutrients and have begun to fruit. In this three-way symbiosis, both voles and trees die without the fungi, and the fungi might die without the photosynthetic products of the trees and the endless scurrying of the California red-backed voles that share their woody habitat. In addition to the voles, all other rodents west of the Rockies feed heavily on the underground fruiting bodies of mycorrhizal fungi, including mountain beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, pocket gophers, beavers, mice, rats, woodrats, muskrats, porcupines, and nutrias. Recent studies show that the fecal pellets of deer mice, chickarees, and northern flying squirrels contain not only
live, healthy spores of mycorrhizal fungi, but also a yeast and a nitrogen-fixing bacterium that lives within the fungal cells. The bacterium, azosporillin, is the most efficient nitrogen-fixing bacterium known. It apparently absorbs water and nutrients solely from the fungus, and perhaps indirectly from the plant roots, because it is incapable of surviving outside the fungus. It in turn supplies the fungus (and perhaps the plant roots) with nitrogen. Both fungus and bacterium grow more rapidly in the presence of the yeast, suggesting that the yeast secretes some regulatory compound. A single deer mouse produces an average of 66 fecal pellets every hour, and each pellet contains several hundred live mycorrhizal spores with their associated bacteria and yeast. Since it takes 1000 to 10,000 spores to inoculate a seedling, five deer mice produce enough pellets in 3 nights to inoculate 300-3000 seedlings. The pellets of other rodents contain similar amounts, and many of these species, especially voles, chipmunks, and squirrels, depend heavily on the feeding, cover, and nesting habitat offered by fallen trees, in whose crevices and cavities they liberally scatter these minute vitamin tablets. For these reasons, forest tree reproduction tends to be more rapid in stands with a greater abundance of fallen trees. At about the time the outer bark sloughs off and the seedling roots penetrate the heartwood, the community of plants and animals in and on a fallen tree reaches its maximum diversity. [. . .] By this time a lush plant community blankets the log, and includes conifer seedlings (mostly western hemlock, but also Sitka spruce and others), salal, two or three species of huckleberry, licorice fern, and a great variety of mosses, liverworts, and lichens. [. . .] Large snags. Many of the same decomposers also attack standing dead trees, or snags, but since they stand safely out of reach of most predators, large snags furnish critical habitat for a different community of birds and mammals (Figure 64). At least 46 birds and 6 mammals in the region depend wholly or heavily on snags for nesting and overwintering, sites for courtship rituals, food sources, and other activities (Proctor, et al., 1980; Franklin, et al., 1980). Among the birds are bald and golden eagles, osprey, peregrine falcons, mergansers, wood ducks, buffleheads, various hawks, owls, woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches, and bluebirds. The dependent mammals are martens, fishers, raccoons, chickarees, western gray squirrels, and northern flying squirrels. The largest snags are the most useful to these animals; hole-nesting birds prefer snags over 2 feet in diameter and 50 feet tall (Thomas, 1979). Birds that dig their own holes, such as the pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), require a hard (more recently dead) surface as well. Generally, the larger the snags, the denser and more diverse is the community of birds that inhabit them (Franklin, et al., 1980).
Forests CHAPTER 6
Figure 64. Large Snag Habitat. (Kellerman)
Figure 65. Young spotted owls. (Forest Service.)
Figure 64. Large Snag Habitat. (Kellerman)
Logs in streams. Falling trees tumble down the canyons and pile up in great tangled heaps in the streams and rivers that flow through an old growth forest. A typical small stream contains 200-700 tons per acre of woody debris, much greater than that of the neighboring higher ground. [. . .] As on land, trees in streams both create habitat and offer an ample reservoir of food and nutrients. Debris produces habitat by diversifying the flow of the stream and the shape of its channel, thereby generating new gradients in flow rate, water depth, and size of sediment particles, all useful to a wider variety of species. Trees that dam a small stream create ponds and trap fine sediments, while those that partly obstruct it redirect its flow and shape new meanders and smaller pools. [. . .]. During just the last 10 years biologists have gathered increasing evidence that an important group of Northwest animals, the fish of the salmon family, depends heavily on large woody debris in streams. The slower, safer current around logs allows suspended food particles to settle, and the wood itself provides
concealment from predators. Surveys show that 50% of adults in first order streams spawn in wood-related habitat, and 25% in third order streams. Coho salmon, cutthroat trout, and steelhead take cover in the pools and backwaters around large, stable woody debris, and in coastal Oregon streams, the greater the pool volume, the greater the coho biomass. In several surveys of old growth streams in western Washington before and after clearcutting, in which all large logs in streams were removed, the only salmonid remaining in any abundance was an expanded population of steelhead trout, mostly under a year old. [. . .] Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). Enmeshed in a heated political controversy between timber interests and conservationists, the spotted owl (Figure 65) is an instructive example of just how an animal comes to be dependent on old growth, so dependent that its existence is seriously threatened by routine timber harvest. Before 1970, most information about the owl was sketchy and anecdotal, and conventional wisdom held that it was extremely rare, skittish, and partial to large conifers. Since then, biologists have fitted several hundred owls with radio transmitters and followed their movements over several weeks and months. As a result, we now have solid information about home ranges, habitat use, and age-specific mortality. The preponderance of evidence shows convincingly that the owl is heavily dependent on forests with several
Forests attributes of old growth, such as a multilayered canopy, patchy understory, and large trees both standing and on the ground. [. . .] Since old growth constitutes only 5-10% of forested land in the Northwest, the probability is infinitesimal that the owls would show such a strong old growth bias purely by chance. Rather, they must actively seek it out. But perhaps this preference is nothing but meaningless, ritualized behavior, and in reality, the owls could live perfectly well in younger forests. Is there any direct evidence that the owls are incapable of surviving in younger forests? If this were true, we would expect the owl population to decline as old growth is harvested, and indeed this is the case. [. . .] In what ways is the spotted owl dependent on old growth? Several features of the owl’s natural history allow us to speculate (Carey, 1985; Gutierrez, 1985). First, the owl for unknown reasons fails to build its own nest, and so requires a pre-existing cavity in a tree, or a nest previously built by another species. Suitably large, sheltered cavities are likely to exist only in large, decadent old growth conifers. A common spotted owl nest site is the stovepipe-like cavity formed in the top of a large conifer after the top breaks off; often side branches grow vertically to replace the top, and thereby shelter the nest from wind and rain. Of course, the large size of the owl necessitates a large tree; diameters of nest trees average about 5-6 feet (Gutierrez, 1985; Forsman, et al., 1984). The owls also nest on natural platforms created where twigs and other debris accumulate on a broad fork in a conifer limb, and in stick nests built by other birds and mammals. In Oregon and northern California, 64-92% of the spotted owl nests studied were in cavities, for the most part in live trees (Gutierrez, 1985; Forsman, et al., 1984). Second, the spotted owl plumage is cold-adapted, having presumably evolved in more northern ancestors and retained now by chance (Barrows and Barrows, 1978; Barrows, 1981). As a result, the owl has difficulty keeping cool during the breeding season, and may require the deep, protected, and open shade of an old growth forest. [. . .] On warm summer days, when the temperature exceeds about 80°F, the owls stay close to the ground where the air is cooler, often roosting on hardwood trees in the understory, such as vine maple and dogwood. [. . .] In winter, the owls tend to roost high in the canopy, taking advantage of the buffering effect of the old growth crowns. [. . .] Third, spotted owls feed heavily on the dusky-footed woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes) in mixed-conifer forests in California and Oregon, and the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) over the rest of Oregon and Washington, as well as on a variety of other small mammals. Although the flying squirrel reaches its greatest abundance in old growth forests, and like the owl, is active only at night, it is unclear whether the owl’s preference
Figure 69. The largest known Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Queets rain forest, Olympic National Park. July 1984.
for it is a cause or effect of the owl’s old growth dependence. Nevertheless, small mammals of all kinds are more abundant in old growth than in mature or young forests because the abundance of downed timber provides nesting and feeding habitat and refuge from predators (Maser, et al., 1981; Raphael and Barret, 1984). [. . .] Olympic rain forest. This old growth community is the magnificent culmination of the Northwest coniferous forest. Abundant moisture and rich river bottom soils created the largest western hemlock, Douglas fir, western redcedar, and red alder in the world (Kirk, 1966; Figures 69 and 70). Though a variant of the Sitka spruce forest, this community deserves special mention. For reasons unknown, the Olympic rain forest is found only in the Hoh, Queets, Quinault, and possibly Bogachiel river valleys in the western slopes of the Olympic Mountains (Franklin and Dyrness, 1973). In the thick of the forest, one is struck from all sides by an overall quality of lush, verdant growth. A thick drapery of moss, lichens, liverworts, and ferns blankets everything, giving soft, cushioned contours
Forests western coolwort (Tiarella unifoliata), Dewey sedge (Carex deweyana), nodding trisetum (Trisetum cernuum), false lily-ofthe-valley (Maianthemum dilatatum), strawberry-leaf blackberry (Rubus pedatus), and others. A thick moss layer is also typical. One of the most abundant epiphytes is Selaginella oregana, a club moss. References Baker, L.M., M.Z. Peery, E.E. Burkett, S.W. Singer, D.L. Suddjian, and S.R. Beissinger. 2006. Nesting habitat characteristics of the marbled murrelet in central California redwood forests. Journal of Wildlife Management 70: 939-946. Barrows, C.W., and K. Barrows. 1978. Roost characteristics and behavioral thermoregulation in the spotted owl. Western Birds 9: 1-8. Barrows, C.W. 1981. Roost selection in spotted owls: an adaptation to heat stress. Condor 83: 302-309. Carey A.B. 1985. A summary of the scientific basis for spotted owl management. In Gutierrez and Carey, 1985. Forsman, E.D., E.C. Meslow, and H.M. Wight. 1984. Distribution and biology of the spotted owl in Oregon. Wildlife Monographs No. 87. Franklin, J.F., and C.T. Dyrness. 1973. Natural Vegetation of Oregon and Washington. U.S. Forest Service GTR PNW-80. Franklin, J.F., et al. 1981. Ecological Characteristics of Old-Growth Douglas-Fir Forests. U.S. Forest Service GTR PNW-118.
Figure 70. An epiphyte-draped bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) in the Hoh rain forest. July. 1984.
and blurred outlines (Figure 70). Ancient spruces 10 feet across loom ghost-like in indistinct twilight, and all sounds seem softly muted in the faint, windless air. Flowing luxuriance contrasts with an overwhelmingly spacious immensity. The abundant mossy growth is created primarily by the heaviest rains in the spruce zone, about 135 inches average per year, only 7% of this from June to August (Franklin and Dyrness, 1973). Proximity to the ocean, the high altitudes, and resultant cool temperatures bring the rain. The spaciousness or open canopy and understory are created by heavy grazing of seasonal Roosevelt elk herds on the shrubs, especially salmonberry. The Sitka spruce dominates the hemlock because the elk prefer the hemlock seedlings and generally prevent enough tree growth to close the canopy. Thus the spruce reproduces well and is considered a climax tree while the hemlock reproduces poorly. Scattered through the forest are areas of shallow stony soil where groves of tall, moss-draped bigleaf maples grow. In the shrub layer, vine maple grows in occasional thick clumps, while all other species provide very little cover (Franklin and Dyrness, 1973). Huckleberries (ovalleaf and red), trailing blackberry, and salmonberry are characteristic. The forest floor is carpeted with Oregon oxalis, sword fern, and assorted other herbs, including
Gutierrez, R.J. 1985. An overview of recent research on the spotted owl. In Gutierrez and Carey, 1985. Harris, L.D. 1984. The Fragmented Forest. Island Biogeography Theory and the Preservation of Biotic Diversity. University of Chicago Press: Chicago. Kirk, R. 1966. The Olympic Rain Forest. University of Washington Press: Seattle. Li, C.Y. and E. Strzelczyk. 2000. Belowground microbial processes underpin forest productivity. Phyton 4: 129-134. Maser, C.M., B.R. Mate, J.F. Franklin, and C.T. Dyrness. 1981. Natural History of Oregon Coast Mammals. U.S. Forest Service. GTR-PNW-133. Maser, C.M., and J.M. Trappe. Tech. eds. 1984. The Seen and Unseen World of the Fallen Tree. U.S. Forest Service GTR PNW-164. Proctor, C.M., et al. 1980. An Ecological Characterization of the Pacific Northwest Coastal Region. 5 Vols. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. FWS/ OBS-79/15. Raphael, M.G., and R.H. Barrett. 1984. Diversity and abundance of wildlife in late successional Douglas-fir forests. In New Forests for a Changing World. Proceedings of the 1983 Society of American Foresters National Convention. Portland. Spurr, S.H., and B.V. Barnes. 1980. Forest Ecology. Wiley: New York. Stebbins, G.C. 1974. Flowering Plants. Evolution above the Species Level. Belknap Press: Cambridge, Mass. Thomas, J.W., tech. ed. 1979. Wildlife Habitats in Managed Forests: The Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington. U.S.D.A. Agricultural Handbook 553. Waring, R.H. 1982. Land of the giant conifers. Natural History 91 (10): 54-63. Waring, R.H., and J.F. Franklin. 1979. Evergreen coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. Science 204: 1380-1386. ÂŠ 2011 Stewart Schultz
The Miser on Mount Rainier
The Miser on Mount Rainier From Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest by Ella E. Clark In 1853, Theodore Winthrop journeyed through the Northwest by canoe and on horseback. In his record of his trip he included this legend of Mount Rainier, which an old Nisqually Indian told him at Fort Nisqually. This fort, a post of the Hudson’s Bay Company, was situated not far from the present city of Tacoma. The old storyteller, Hamitchou, said that he had heard the tale from his father; his father had heard it from his father, long before white men were seen on Puget Sound. Hamitchou’s grandfather was the great medicine man who had this strange experience on the mountain. “But now, alas!” added Hamitchou, “I have no son to hear the tale. I grow old, and lest this wisdom die with me, I tell the tale to you. May you and your people not scorn the lesson of an earlier age, but profit from it and be wise.”
A wise old Nisqually once lived along these waters, near where this fort now stands. He liked to hunt and fish, as all the Coast Indians did. But more than hunting and fishing, he liked hiaqua. Hiaqua are shells from the northland. My people use them for ornaments and use them where you use money. The man who has the most hiaqua is the best of all the people who live beside these waters. This old man of my tribe could never get enough. He traded deer meat and salmon for hiaqua, but he wanted still more. He let his wife have no shells for earrings, none for necklaces. He used none himself for ornaments. Instead, he hid all the hiaqua he could get. He would never attend the salmon feasts which my people held every spring, to celebrate the coming of the salmon up the rivers. “Feasting is wasteful,” he said. “Feasters will come to want. Feasters will grow hungry.” Whenever his neighbors did run short of food, he sold them elk meat or salmon for shell money. And he always charged a high price. He would take shell ornaments from starving women in return for scraps of dry, tough elk meat. He always had fish and meat to sell, for he knew the pools where the salmon gathered and the mountain meadows where the elk fed. But he gathered hiaqua too slowly. Always he dreamed of finding a great treasure of it. Again and again he asked the
spirits to tell him where he could find more shell money. Again and again they refused to tell him. Finally, Moosmoos, the elk spirit, told him there was a great treasure of shell money on top of Tacobud. Moosmoos told the man exactly where he could find it. No one had ever climbed Tacobud, for somewhere above the tree line was the home of the Tahmahnawis, the spirits. But his desire for hiaqua made the man brave. Toward sunset he started out to climb the mountain, alone. With him he took some dried salmon and dried camas to eat, a stone pipe and some kinnikinnick to smoke in it, his bows and arrows, and two picks, or spades, which he had made from a pair of big elk horns. All that night and all the next day he climbed. The second night he camped just below the snow line. He was cold, but he would not use his fire sticks and build a fire, for he feared people would follow him and find the treasure. As soon as the moonlight was bright, he started up over the snow fields where no man had ever been before. At times he could see the peak above him. At times he could see, far below him, the waters of Whulge, the great inland sea. He climbed slowly, floundering through the deep snow. At sunrise he reached the top. There he found a huge hole, or crater. In the center of the crater, surrounded by white snow, was a black lake in a purple rock. At the far end of the lake were three high stones. The man hurried toward them, for Moosmoos, the elk spirit, had told him about them. One stone was as high as a giant man; at the top it was shaped like a salmon’s head. The top of the second stone was shaped like a camas bulb. The third stone stood apart from the others; at the top it was shaped like an elk’s head with antlers in the velvet. “Everything so far is exactly as Moosmoos said,” the man said to himself. He was very much excited. The elk spirit had told him that he would find shell money buried in the snow at the foot of the elk-head stone. He threw down his pack, seized one of his elk-horn picks, and began to dig. At the first stroke he heard some animal behind him give a great puff. Looking around, he saw a huge otter climbing up over the edge of the lake. It was four times as large as any otter he had seen. The otter stopped a moment and struck the snow with his tail. A second otter appeared at the edge of the lake, then another and another, until twelve otters had climbed up out of the water after their leader. In single file they marched toward the man
The Miser on Mount Rainier and formed a circle around him. Each of the twelve was twice as large as any of the otters the man had seen in Whulge. When the twelve otters had formed their circle, the big leader jumped to the top of the elk-head stone and sat there between the antlers. At a signal from his tail, which he tapped against the stone, his followers puffed big puffs, all at the same time. The man was startled, but soon turned back to his digging. At every thirteenth stroke of his pick, the chief otter tapped the stone with his tail and the twelve otters in the circle tapped the snow with their tails. From underneath the snow came a strange, hollow sound. The man dug and dug and dug in the frozen snow and then in the rock under the snow. He became so hot and tired that he stopped to rest awhile and to wipe the sweat from his face. But as soon as he stopped digging, the chief otter turned around and whacked him with his tail. The otters in the circle turned around and, one by one, whacked the man with their tails. Bruised and still tired, the man began to dig again. He dug and dug until he broke his pick. The chief otter jumped down, handed him his second pick, and jumped back to his perch on the stone elk’s head. The circle of otters drew closer round him. They were so close now that he could feel their breath upon him. Still at every thirteenth stroke they tapped the snow with their tails. The sound coming up from below grew more hollow and more hollow. At last the digger uncovered a big square hole. He stared and stared at what he saw in it. He was almost breathless with excitement and joy. The big square hole was filled with shell money! When he thrust his hand into the hole, he found he could not reach the bottom of the shells. He laughed aloud. At last he had what he had always wanted. The shells were pure white, small and beautiful, strung on strings of elkskin. He loaded himself with the hiaqua, putting some strings of it round his waist, some strings over each shoulder, and five strings in each hand. Still the great hole seemed to be filled to the top. He thought he would take home all the hiaqua he could carry and climb the mountain again for more. He covered the hole with stones and covered the stones with snow. But one thing he did not do. He did not leave a gift for the spirits. He should have put a string of shells round the stone with the salmon head at the top, another round the stone with the camas bulb at the top, and two round the stone with the elk’s head at the top. But he was too greedy to be thankful. Staggering under his load of shells, the man started to climb
up the side of the crater. At once the chief otter jumped down from his perch. At once the twelve other otters fell into line with great puffs. They marched to the lake, plunged in, and began to beat the water with their tails. The man was so loaded with shells and the snow was so soft that it took him an hour to reach the rim of the crater. There he stopped and looked back. A thick mist was rising from the lake where the otters were splashing. Under the mist was a black cloud, which grew bigger and blacker as he watched. “Are the spirits in that cloud?” he asked himself in terror. He hurriedly started down the mountain, but the black cloud followed him. The cloud became a storm, which threw him down on the jagged rocks and ice. He clung to the hiaqua, struggled to his feet, and started again. The storm grew worse. In the wind and the thunder the man heard the voices of the Tahmahnawis, the spirits shrieking, “Ha, ha, hiaqua! Ha, ha, ha!” Again and again the spirits screamed, “Ha, ha, hiaqua! Ha, ha, hiaqua!” The storm grew darker, louder, more terrifying. At last the man knew he would have to give something to the spirits, in order to quiet their anger. So he threw into the storm the five strings of shells he carried in his left hand. At once there was a lull in the storm. In the quiet, the man heard the puffs of the thirteen otters, but he could not see them. Then the storm grew worse again, and he heard the voices in the wind and in the thunder screaming, “Ha, ha, hiaqua! Ha, ha, hiaqua!” Hands of the spirits seemed to clutch at the strings of hiaqua at his waist and at his neck. Terrified, the man threw into the storm the shell money which he wore around his waist. There was a lull for a few seconds, and he heard again the puffs from the otters he could not see. Then the storm grew more frightening. The roar of the wind was louder than the roar of many bears. The man threw away the shell money which he wore round his neck. Again there came a lull in the storm, and again he heard the puffs of the otters. Then the wind blew him from his path. The thunder roared with a terrifying sound. The voices of the spirits screamed, “Hiaqua! Hiaqua!” The man threw away one of the strings of hiaqua which he carried in his right hand. He threw away the second and the third and the fourth. But the storm continued. For a long time he clung to his fifth string, the last of the hiaqua he carried. Finally he threw it away. By this time he was worn out by the storm and by the struggle in his mind. He sank into the snow and fell into a deep sleep.
The Miser on Mount Rainier After a long, long time he awoke. He heard Blue Jay welcoming the sunrise. Looking around, he found himself in the place where he had camped and where he had started climbing by moonlight. Around him was a thick carpet of camas. What could that mean? Camas belongs in wet meadows, not on mountainsides, he thought to himself. Hungry, he looked for his pack of dried salmon and dry camas, but it was gone. Only his black stone pipe remained. When he started down the mountain he found that he was very stiff. His joints creaked and groaned. Scratching his head, he found that his hair was matted and very long.
better ways of hunting elk and of spearing salmon. People living near Tacobud and people living along Whulge came to him for advice. He told them what to do to make peace with the spirits who live on the mountain. He became the great medicine man of the Nisqually.
ÂŠ 1953 The Regents of the University of California
But he felt strangely at peace with himself and with the world. He had never heard the birds sing so sweetly and the forest hum so cheerfully. He no longer had any desire for hiaqua. Instead, he wanted to see his neighbors. Walking down the mountainside as fast as his creaking joints would let him, he soon came to the place where his lodge had once stood. But everything was changed. A new and better lodge stood there, and trees he remembered as small were now tall, with many branches. In front of the new lodge a very old woman was seated on the ground stirring a kettle of salmon over the open fire. If she was his klootchman, his wife, she had grown old during his absenceâ€”and also rich. Around her neck and wrists and waist she wore many strings of hiaqua. He heard her chanting this song as she stirred: My old man has gone, gone, gone, My old man to the mountain has gone, gone, goneâ€” To hunt the elk, he went long ago. When will he come down, down, down, Down to the salmon pot and me? Joyfully the man rushed toward her shouting, He has come from the mountain, down, down, down Down to the salmon pot and you! He had been gone for thirty snows, his wife told him. She had gathered camas bulbs and special herbs, had sold them, and so had earned enough for the new lodge and her strings of shell money. Soon she and her neighbors learned that the man who had climbed Tacobud was a changed man. He was changed inside. He no longer wanted hiaqua. He was contented with what he had, and he cheerfully shared with others. He showed people where the best fishing and hunting were. He taught them
The Mother of Progress Finds Home
The Mother of Progress Finds Home From Trying Home: The Rise and Fall of an Anarchist Utopia on Puget Sound by Justin Wadland IN FEBRUARY 1896, three men with able hands built a small, wooden boat and ventured into south Puget Sound. Beyond their place of departure in Tacoma and their destination—Von Geldern Cove on the Key Peninsula, or Joe’s Bay as it was known locally for the man who first settled there—few details remain about the boat or the journey itself. Some accounts mention oars, while others describe a sail. All sources agree that the men who fashioned the boat were dreamers in search of the site they’d call Home. If they left from Commencement Bay, the mist on that winter day would have hung low, mingling the fringes of its clouds with the smoke off the steamships and the stacks of the factories on shore. As they pulled away from wharves, warehouses, coal bunkers, and mills, they would have seen a city rising on the hill behind them. The stone and wooden buildings were densely packed, dark and damp in the wetness; through the haze, an occasional hand-painted sign, a cone spire, a steeple, a chimney with its leeward smear of smoke stood in relief against the roofs. From the T-bars topping tall, knotted poles, electric wires extended in a crazy web above the muddy streets. Down below, the tracks of carriage wheels left imprints, their paths often avoiding the deep mires in the middle of the road. Here and there, a horse might be tied to a rail below a storefront canopy. A street car could be glimpsed between the buildings, its passengers huddled against the cold. The men in the boat would have been glad to be leaving it all behind. This rough-hewn frontier city, a city of strangers, where one in five people had lived for less than five years, represented much of what these three men were rejecting. In 1889, Rudyard Kipling had visited this town that would call itself the City of Destiny, and after inhaling the sweet odor of sawdust and listening to the real estate speculators, he commented that Tacoma was, “literally staggering under a boom of the boomiest.”1 For a brief moment, city leaders believed it could rival San Francisco and New York, but the Panic of 1893 had shown that the feverish growth could not continue forever. The economic collapse, brought on by over-speculation in the railroad industry, reduced millionaires to paupers. In Tacoma, a town whose fortune derived directly from the Northern Pacific Railroad, the formerly well-heeled took on boarders in their mansions, worked as janitors in their own buildings, even put
bullets in their heads to end the misery and disgrace. There had been twenty-one banks in the city at the beginning of the year, but after all of the bank runs, only seven remained. The workers and poor suffered as well. Across the nation, at the height of the depression, between two and three million people, 20 percent of the workforce, were without jobs. The idle and aimless gathered around fires on the outskirts of towns, sharing whatever food they could scrounge. Hundreds of such men massed just outside Tacoma and attempted to follow their leader, a bouncer and occasional prize fighter named Jumbo Cantwell, over the mountains in an attempt to join Coxey’s Army, an ill-fated march on Washington, D.C., to demand federal relief. As Tacoma and the strife and turmoil it represented receded from view, the three men could see on a bluff above the bay one last symbol of hubris: the magnificent edifice of the Tourist Hotel. After the Northern Pacific Railway went bankrupt, it abandoned its support for this hotel, intended to be one of the best on the West Coast. Its partner, the Tacoma Land Company, could only afford to build the walls and roof, so while the spires, towers, and gables on the exterior resembled a French chateau, the interior remained unfinished. By 1896, the windows were boarded up, and the structure was a husk of a building, used to store shingles and other goods. The men traded off the work of rowing. Oliver Verity, just over forty years old at the time, gripped the oars firmly with hands thickened by carpentry work, and his wiry, muscular frame distilled an intense energy into the strokes. His unruly hair stood above a face with sharp features and a thin chin, and he peered beyond the gunwales with a glint in his eye that mixed the restlessness of a pioneer with that of a radical. When George Allen took over, his hands might have seemed smaller and softer by comparison, but this school teacher had more than a few calluses from the hard labor of odd jobs. Also in his forties, Allen wore a moustache and parted his hair on the side, and he liked to talk. No one but the three men knew for sure what they discussed that day, but ten years later, Allen recounted what might have been the thrust of their conversations: “We had heard and read many isms and had tried some of them with varying success. We wished to give each ism a chance to prove its usefulness to humanity.”2 When the brawny blacksmith, Frank Odell, began pulling, the oars were gripped in thick palms that knew the weight of iron and the heat of a furnace. He had a stout face with a thick moustache, and perhaps while the other two spoke of ideas, this practically minded man watched the shore slowly roll past. As they approached Point Defiance, the city and its buildings, smoking mills, and fiery smelters gradually disappeared, and
The Mother of Progress Finds Home the tall conifers that remained—Douglas firs and cedars— edged their way up to the shore. Thick, helter-skelter branches crowded together into a canopy blocking out the view and rising above the water on tall bluffs. As they rounded the point, the slate-colored water concentrated into a mile-wide passageway called the Tacoma Narrows. Here, tidal currents roiled the surface, and if the three men timed their journey correctly, they rode a flood tide through the Narrows. The shore on either side was logged in some places, cut as clear as men with axes and crosscut saws could. Loggers and settlers usually tried to blast stumps out with dynamite, burning them into blackened, amputated sentinels amid the brambles, but where stumps and slash remained, the incessant rains had bleached the wood to the color of bone. Sill, large stretches of land resembled “the impenetrable wilderness of lofty trees” that Peter Puget and his crew on the Catham had gazed upon a century before as they explored this inland sea with Vancouver.3 The three men in their rowboat in 1896 could see the same hoary, fissured trunks that Puget and his men had seen in 1778. Cabins and homesteads in the clearings were still rare sights in the immense thickets of greenery.
ALL THREE WERE FAMILY MEN, with wives and children waiting their return to Tacoma. All hailed from other places: Verity from the Midwest, Allen from Ontario, Odell from Colorado. They were refugees from the failed utopian experiment at Glennis and had only a twenty dollar gold piece between them, currency enough for a new beginning. Glennis had shown them what they did not want. This socialist colony had a brief existence twenty-seven miles outside of Tacoma, in the Cascades foothills. It was inspired by what Oliver Verity called “the Bellamy plan.”4 In 1888, the writer and journalist Edward Bellamy published Looking Backward, 2000-1887, a novel about an upper-middle-class Bostonian named Julian West who, through an accident of hypnosis, falls asleep in the nineteenth century and awakes on the brink of the twenty-first century. He finds a world where war, crime, labor unrest, crushing poverty, and other problems of his day have been solved. A certain Dr. Leete serves as his tour guide to the future. The government, Leete explains, has taken over all industry, and everyone, men and women alike, receives educations and then serves in an Industrial Army. The president is the commanderin-chief of this vast, highly managed enterprise. Workers earn the same amount in credit, received from the government, regardless of their work, and material comforts are provided for equally. This new arrangement has created a world so perfect that the moral guideposts that Western civilization has used for
millennia now seem unnecessary: “The ten commandments became well-nigh obsolete in a world where there was no temptation to theft, no occasion to lie either for fear or favor, no room for envy where all were equal, and little provocation to violence where men were disarmed of power to injure one another.”5 In its day, Looking Backward was highly influential among the growing upper-middle class, selling two hundred and ten thousand copies by December 1889 and sparking a movement known as Nationalism. By 1891, a hundred and sixty-five Nationalist Clubs, where members read and discussed Bellamy’s work had formed in twenty-seven states and the District of Colombia.6 Although there is no record that the founders of Glennis participated in these clubs, they drank deeply from this zeitgeist. Oliver Verity and a man named William Reed together donated a quarter section (one hundred and sixty acres) of land to the Glennis Cooperation Industrial Company, which was established on May 5, 1894. In its first year, Glennis appeared to be achieving its goals: “to own and operate manufactories, to acquire land, to build houses for its employees; to insure the employees against want, or the fear of want; and to maintain harmonious social relations on the basis of cooperation.”7 Membership grew from eight to thirty adults, and land was cleared, gardens planted, houses and workspaces built. But in the second year, problems large and small began to rupture the community. “Spring came late at that elevation (about a thousand feet) and gardens started slowly. The chickens did not lay as well as expected,” Sylvia Allen, George’s wife, told her granddaughter many years later. Sylvia herself had to work from dawn to dusk in the fields, the community kitchen, and a cooperatively owned soap factory. “There were others who did not seem to work as hard but shared equally.”8 Those who lived through the experiment remembered other problems. The members of Glennis tasted firsthand the tyranny hidden like a clot in the heart of Bellamy’s socialist idea. Oliver Verity put it this way: The desire of the many at Glennis to make bylaws restricting others from doing things that in reality were private matters, causing so many meetings which were noisy and bred inharmony from the diversified views of what should be done, not only made us lose interest in meetings, but finally disgusted us at the wrangles and disputes over petty matters.9 George Allen agreed: “Too many restrictions, which hampered the members, certainly made each one of us ill at ease and at last drove them gradually from the colony until only seven remained out of nearly thirty members.”10
The Mother of Progress Finds Home As much as Glennis was stricken by laziness and excessive rulemaking, it was the unethical practices of one of its founders that led to its demise. The board of directors appointed William Reed (who had donated eighty acres of land) as the Superintendent for Agriculture. Reed began ordering the work crews to improve the stretch of land he had once owned, and after getting free help clearing and planting, he demanded his plot back, claiming he had been insane when he first deeded it to Glennis. Rather than incur the legal fees of a court battle, community leaders decided to cede the land. As disgruntled and disillusioned members fled, they demanded a refund of the fifty dollars they’d paid to join the experiment. After selling the extant land and paying out those who left Glennis, all that remained was the twenty dollar gold piece shared between Oliver Verity, George Allen, and Frank Odell, but it was enough to nurture dreams of a new experiment.11 The three families retreated to Tacoma, where the adults spent many a night hashing and rehashing what had happened at Glennis and how they might avoid such mistakes in the future. The ideal of utopia, the possibility of organizing society along different lines, still burned within them. In many ways they embodied the spirit of their age. The late nineteenth century was rife with various progressive political philosophies that attempted to rearrange, reform, and revolutionize human society. In the Puget Sound region, utopian experiments sprouted like mushrooms upon the back waterways: Burley on a lagoon on the Kitsap Peninsula, Equality on Skagit Bay up north, Freeland on Whidbey Island, the Puget Sound Cooperative out on the Olympic Peninsula. Their founders were drawn to cheap, available land requiring only cross cut saw, muscle, and the will to clear it. Each of these experiments had their own distinct ideology, but nearly all of them were based on a socialist model where labor, commodities, and goods were shared collectively. Nineteenth-century philosophies can often resemble manic, fever dreams that desperately and impossibly try to yank greedy, lazy humanity into an ideal state. Yet the nineteenth century was a manic, feverish time that was yanking humanity into the modern world. The United States was convulsing with unprecedented social, economic, and technological change. Factories, mills, production lines, railroads, turbines, dynamos, telegraphs, telephones, typewriters, elevators, skyscrapers, cameras, phonographs, motion pictures—these and many other innovations changed how people worked, lived, and conceived of themselves. And society itself was organizing in new, unexpected ways, with the bounty consolidated among a few magnates while the majority of workers were left with scraps. In 1890, the wealthiest 1 percent of families owned 51 percent of real and personal property, while the bottom 44 percent owned only 1.2 percent.12 As this strange, new world
emerged, it’s not surprising that some people would attempt to implement their alternative vision of a brave, new world. Around the table in Tacoma, many ideas were proposed, debated, and eliminated, and the founders of Home ended up with a model for a new community that seemed the exact opposite of Glennis. “After many discussions upon principles, and discarding of many of them, we agreed upon the necessity of retaining those that upheld the freedom of the individual from any or all coercive laws or methods, under conditions that made the possession of a home safe,” remembered Verity. The members would follow two essential principles: “First, the personal liberty to follow their own line of action, no matter how much it may differ from the custom of the past or present, without censure or ostracism from their neighbors; second the placing of every individual on his or her own merits, thereby making them independent.”13 This new community would exist with as little organization as possible. There would be no leaders and no laws. Land would be owned collectively, but each member would be responsible for his or her own share. Participation in all work would be voluntary and rely on members’ good will. The ultimate goal: a small patch of earth in the United States where happiness would thrive and prevail, a place that perhaps could even serve as a model for others to follow. Only later would they see, after other people pointed it out, that they had stumbled on an anarchist model for their colony. The three men carried this shared understanding as they journeyed south into Puget Sound. None of them later said whether they had a specific destination or were scouting several possible sites. The most direct route to where they ended up would have taken them around the sandy bluffs on the southern tip of the Gig Peninsula into Hale Passage. In this stretch of salt water lying between Point Fosdick and Fox Island, the men would have found the rowing smooth and easy compared to the tumultuous Narrows. Then, as the waterway opened up to Carr Inlet, which arcs between Gig Peninsula to the east and Key Peninsula to the west, they would have approached a barely visible indentation in the expanse of land.
I SLOW THE CAR AS WE PASS through pockets of fog along the Key Peninsula Highway. Tacoma is twenty-five minutes behind us, and the unfamiliar road twists and curves over the lumpy land, tunneling through the conifers. These tall trees cast disorienting spells instead of shadows. One moment, I catch a glimpse of water between the trunks—smooth and placid on this winter day—and in another, a patch of dense mist draws everything in close. I can barely see the rise and fall of the pavement. On either side of the road, only the occasional
The Mother of Progress Finds Home mailbox and the entrance to a driveway covered in pine needles and moss are visible. Don’t ask me which direction is my own home because I no longer know, but I do know that Home is somewhere farther down this road. I talked my wife into taking this Sunday drive because I’ve never been to Home. We crossed the Narrows Bridge, followed Highway Sixteen to Purdy, and then drove across the spit, passing a huge mound of oyster shells just beside the bay. At the end of the long narrow sand bar, the land sharply scooped the road upward and after a few curves, began loosely unspooling down the peninsula. Each succeeding fog patch has dissolved my faith that where I’m going is somehow connected to where I’ve been. Our house in Tacoma no longer seems just a short drive behind us. Emily has not been feeling well lately, troubled by a heavy fatigue and vaguely upset stomach, so we don’t talk much as we drive. I try to pay attention to my surroundings, but because this is my first time here, I don’t absorb much. On the right side of the road, we approach a piece of equipment that looks like it was used to haul logs, an arch with two wheels on either side, its yellow paint grimed over with disuse. Then comes a little brown sign that reads “Welcome to Home” and a quick succession of small buildings and businesses. I notice in particular the vintage yellow and brown sign for Home Grocery and Feed, then the newer-looking fire station, and the wooden frame of a diner called Lulu’s Homeport Restaurant and Lounge. We turn at the blinking light and drive along the bay, the houses situated on the slope above us, a hodgepodge of buildings from various eras. It looks like any other waterfront community on Puget Sound. We go to the end of the drive, turn around and park near the boat launch beside the bare canes of the blackberry bushes. The three men who founded Home would have seen only trees when they gazed upon this spot over a century ago from the water. As they pulled the oars through the water, they found a narrow bay with a brook flowing into its head and wooded hills rising on either side. At high tide, the calm, blue-green water sometimes resembled a pond in its stillness, but strong wind could bring slate-colored chop dappled with white foam. Low tide revealed a muddy, flat bottom, bountiful with shellfish. Except for a small clearing on the south side of the bay, Douglas fir and cedar trees covered the land. As they assessed the slope from the water, the founders of Home envisioned the trees gone and an anarchist utopia in its place.
IN THE SUMMER OF 1896, Sylvia Allen held her fourth daughter, named Glennis for the place she was born, wrapped tightly in a blanket against the cool breeze. The engine thrummed through her body as she and her family rode the steamer to Home for the first time. Gazing toward the stern of the Typhoon, she could see the dissipating trail of wood smoke following the vessel and its wake rolling across the waters of Commencement Bay. The Allens had remained in Tacoma through the winter and spring so that George could continue to draw his teacher’s salary and keep up the payments on the land, but now they were finally following the Odells and Veritys. Through tall windows, she watched Tacoma’s wharfs recede into the fog of the factories and mills. The benches inside were polished from the passengers who had ridden this steamship first in Portland, then in Grays Harbor, and now on the TacomaHenderson Bay route. Inside the long passenger cabin, the family’s belongings were stacked in trunks that also vibrated to the motor. The smoke of the city eventually gave way to the wooded bluffs of Point Defiance. Here the ship turned, the propeller churning the emerald water as it angled for its run through the Tacoma Narrows. As her three other daughters explored the boat for the first time, perhaps pressing against the guardrail on the rear deck to watch the tiny whirlpools following the ship, what was left unsaid between Sylvia and her husband George? While baby Glennis cooed and wriggled in her arms, what was expressed in glances? Photographs of Sylvia show her as an unsmiling woman. It was the style at the time to sit expressionless, or even frown, in portraits, but she doesn’t look like a woman who smiled easily. In her younger years, she had brown hair, a round face, and a slender build, but as she raised her four daughters, her hair peppered with gray and her frame became more solid. Eventually, she would resemble a hard-working pioneer woman. Unlike many women of her generation, she had graduated from college—she was the first woman to graduate with a four-year degree from the University of Toronto. While in school, she was introduced to many of the radical ideas circulating among the educated set. “My personal emancipation during my college years consisted of abandoning my corsets and refusing to wear rings in my pierced ears,” she would later say.14 She also met George, a regular at socialist, anarchist, and atheistic seminars, who by then was showing his restless nature. He had studied medicine, dentistry, horticulture, music, and literature, but decided to become a school teacher. After they married in 1884, she also taught for a while in Windsor, Ontario, but stayed home after she became pregnant with their first child. When their more traditional relatives kept pestering the couple about their absence from church services, they decided to move
The Mother of Progress Finds Home west to Tacoma, where George’s father Oliver already lived. Then Sylvia dutifully, and perhaps reluctantly, accompanied her husband first to Glennis, and now to another experiment. As much as she embraced radical ideas, Sylvia seems to have been a traditional mother and school teacher. “She was a strict disciplinarian,” wrote her granddaughter. “It was said of her that when teaching she merely had to look at a naughty boy in the back row and he would ‘straighten up’ immediately. I remember gentle, loving smiles from this taciturn woman but never laughter.”15 She probably didn’t smile much as she patted little Glennis, riding the steamer south through the roiling Narrows. This was the family’s third big move since leaving the fertile flatlands of Ontario, and it is perhaps no coincidence that the founders called their new settlement Home. The only account that explains why they chose this name comes from Sylvia’s granddaughter: “They were weary of moving.”16 Home did not yet have a wharf, or even a float, so Captain Ed Lorenz dropped the family off in Lakebay, five miles south of their destination. Albert Sorenson, a young man who lived on the peninsula, met them at the landing and loaded their belongings onto his wagon. A thick forest rose on either side of the wagon trail, at times blocking out the sun, as the team of horses clomped toward Home. The Odells and Veritys were waiting for them, a lunch spread upon the porch of a singlestory cedar-shake house, the first, and at that time the only, house built in Home. The three families gathered in the shade and ate. Still holding her daughter, what did Sylvia see in the tangles of ferns and brush clustered at the feet of massive tree trunks? While the men talked of Home City forming on the shores of Joe’s Bay, could she help but see that they were closer to nothing than something?17
HOME’S EARLY YEARS are not as well documented as later years. This was a time to drip sweat rather than spill ink. Until houses were built, each family lived for a while in huts slapped together from rough-cut lumber bought on credit. Over the summer, they lifted beams against the sky, building a second house, “The Welcome Cottage,” for the Odells. Then, for the Allens, they got to work on a large, two-story house with a porch and cedar shingles for siding. They cleared land, chopped down trees, and blasted the stubborn stumps. They repaid Ed Lorenz, captain of the Typhoon, for passage to Home in cordwood for his steamer. “Many a weary head lay down at night to rest for the task of the morrow,” recalled George Allen.18 Each family took two acres apiece along the shore of Joe’s Bay and agreed that any other person joining the colony would also get two acres. Using statistics from a government
agricultural report, they took the total acres of cultivated land in the United States, divided it by the entire population, and found the resulting number to be one and three quarters acres per person. Based on their past experiences, they believed a family only needed an acre of carefully cultivated land to subsist; thus, two would provide bounty. Each family began raising poultry and vegetables on their two acres. Unlike the Glennis socialist experiment, each family would be responsible for improving their own land. In spite of this individualistic approach, the families cooperated much as other pioneers did. They knew that certain things, like raising a house, couldn’t get done without a collective effort. As their lives and the community began to take shape, they had more energy at night to discuss ideas. Of utmost importance was getting like-minded people to join them, and by 1897 Oliver Verity began publishing New Era. “WANTED,” it announced in its first issue, “printers, gardeners, shoemakers, and practical men and women in all the different trades, to unite their labor and capital in establishing industries that will retain for the workers the products of their labor.”19 By reading this paper, or by word of mouth among radical circles, people were attracted to the community, coming from near and far to live on Joe’s Bay. Billy King, farmer and teamster, traveled from Iowa with his wife, a skilled cook. White-bearded Hugh Thompson, a ship carpenter and Army veteran, brought his wife and family. Charles Penhallow, poet and hat varnisher by trade, journeyed with his wife Mattie from New England. Elum Miles arrived from Connecticut, and this elderly, scholarly-looking former Unitarian minister seemed out of place clearing land in a hickory shirt, grubby overalls, and lumberjack brogans.20 By early 1898 the community had grown to twenty-three people. The founders had originally resisted codifying their plan, but as more people joined, they began to see the value in having the barest of formal organization and sought incorporation into Pierce County. With the help of a Tacoma lawyer they drafted the articles of the Mutual Home Association, which would serve as a landholding body for the community. This document stated the goal of the association: “To assist its members in obtaining and building homes for themselves, and to aid in establishing better social and moral conditions.” Anyone could join by paying into the treasury the cost of the land plus one dollar. Any improvements, such as buildings or gardens, would be the owner’s personal property. “A certificate of membership shall be used only for the purpose of purchasing land,” it further explained. “The real estate of this association shall never be sold, mortgaged or disposed of. A unanimous vote of all members of this association shall be required to change these articles of incorporation.”21 The original seventeen subscribers elected the first officers
The Mother of Progress Finds Home of the association. Elum Miles became the president, Oliver Verity the secretary, and George Allen, Hugh Thompson, and H. B. Wren the trustees. These men would serve a year in these positions, with new officers elected at the annual meeting in January. The body wouldn’t so much govern as see to the day-to-day operations of the association. With growth and incorporation also came publicity. In February 1898, just a month after the community adopted the articles of the Mutual Home Association, a Tacoma journalist paid a visit. The unnamed writer of the article titled “Washington Colony of Anarchists” spent a few days in Home. “That they advocate the absolute abolition of the marriage tie, and perfect freedom and equality of the sexes, does not seem startling when you hear their views on other subjects,” he commented. The wildest liberty, what would seem to “unadvanced” people unbridled license, is openly advocated, and these devoted adherents of anarchy claim that no evil can follow, or at worst not nearly so much as under “governmental” conditions. All restraint, they say, is and must be injurious. If there were no laws, we should not be able to break them. Thus crime would die of inanition and the perfect state ensue. Speaking to his generally conservative audience in Tacoma, the newspaperman continued: “One would naturally conclude, on reading what has gone before, that these anarchists on Joe’s Bay are dangerous citizens and their presence inimical to interests of the commonwealth.” But then, somewhat surprisingly, he defended the community, saying that he was willing to raise his right hand and solemnly aver: First, that among these women declaring such abominable heresies there is not one who is not now, and has not always been, an exemplary wife and mother, and that the imputation of unchastity would be an unwarranted complement to their personal charm. Second, that the men are in action the most fraternal of human kind, and while advocating and condoning the most abhorrent deeds, they are constantly occupied in acts of thoughtful kindness to each other and the outside world. Society stands in no danger from them, saving that of being talked to death.22 Given the venom and animosity the Tacoma press would later express toward the nest of anarchy just a short boat ride away, this first article seems like a strangely warm welcome.
IT WAS SIGNIFICANT, and somewhat dangerous, that the colonists in Home identified themselves as anarchists. This
prodigious sentence begins the entry on anarchism in the eleventh edition (1910-11) of the Encyclopedia Britannica: Anarchism, the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government—harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs as aspirations of a civilized being.23 Originally written in 1905 by Prince Peter Kropotkin, one of the leading anarchist philosophers, this is a contemporary general definition of anarchism that the founders of Home would have agreed with. In the neutral tone of the encyclopedia entry, Kropotkin envisions how society might develop along anarchist lines, with people organizing themselves into mutually beneficial groups and existing without government to hinder progress. The voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions. They would represent an interwoven network composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international—temporary or more or less permanent—for all purposes: production, consumption, and exchange of, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defense of the territory, and so on.24 Anarchism, as presented here, is an optimistic philosophy with faith in the inherent moral strength of humankind. If humanity is stunted and flawed at present, the unnatural entity known as the state and its laws are to blame; throughout history, government has always been “the instrument of establishing monopolies in favor of the ruling minorities.”25 Anarchists do not see anarchy as a lawless bedlam of violence, something akin to Thomas Hobbes’s “state of nature,” where no government serves as an arbiter between those in conflict. No, anarchists see anarchy as harmonious cooperation among equals, with no government to enable the consolidation of wealth and power to a select few. Yet most people of the era took a much different view of anarchism. Many considered it a pernicious philosophy that sought to rend the very fabric of the social contract. A more typical nineteenth-century view is reflected in definitions found in the American Encyclopaedic Dictionary, published in 1895. “Anarchy” is defined as “absence of government, and
The Mother of Progress Finds Home consequent disorder, as when ‘there was no king in Israel, but every man did what was right in his own eyes.’” And an “anarchist” is simply someone who seeks to produce anarchy. Tellingly, the explanatory references quote from publications that were entered into the record during the Haymarket trial. “One man armed with a dynamite bomb is equal to one regiment of militia, when it is used at the right time and place. Anarchists are of the opinion that the bayonet and the Gatling gun will cut but a sorry figure in the social revolution,” reads one blurb from an anarchist newspaper. Another declares: “Before you lies this blissful Eden. The road to it leads over the smoking ruin of the old world. Your passport to it is that banner which calls to you in flaming letters the word ‘Anarchy.’”26 In America, the episode known as the Haymarket Affair solidified the popular image of anarchists as agents of night and chaos, plotting to usher in the noise and confusion of endless revolution. The May 15, 1886, issue of Harper’s Weekly carried a two-page drawing that recreated, with some liberties taken in regard to the facts, an event that had happened ten days earlier in Chicago’s Haymarket Square. It depicts the moment a bomb exploded among ranks of police officers who had just arrived to break up a gathering of anarchists and labor activists. Just to the right of center, a luminescent blast silhouettes a writhing police officer. To the left, on an oxcart, an anarchist with white locks and beard stands in a long coat, hand raised in a fist, mouth open with a shout. Whatever he’s saying doesn’t matter; he is clearly inciting violence against the policemen, the symbols of law and order. Just below, a dark-clothed man in a bowler hat fires a pistol into a cluster of policemen in double-breasted jackets, stars prominent on their chests. The guns of the policemen fire in all directions into the unruly mob around them. This picture compressed into a moment the danger anarchism represented, ignoring the complicated forces at work behind this scene and distorting what had actually happened in Haymarket Square. The speakers had called for a nonviolent protest against the killings of workers who were striking for an eight-hour workday. Many in Chicago feared the gathering would turn into an insurrection of some kind, so the mayor wandered through the crowd, but he had concluded the demonstration was peaceful and left. The police, massed at a station nearby, grew uneasy as the hours passed, and they eventually decided to storm the square and order the crowd to disperse. The speaker on the oxcart, Samuel Fielden, was stepping down when someone threw the bomb. No one knew whose hand had lobbed it into the group of police. Yet this image and the media coverage that followed were powerful enough to fuel a hysterical fear of anarchists and contribute to a swift abortion of justice. Eight prominent Chicago labor leaders who identified themselves as anarchists were arrested
and tried for the crime. Even though no evidence of a direct connection between them and the bombing could be found, four of them died at the gallows, not for what they did but for what they believed. Among anarchists, these men became known as the Haymarket Martyrs, and their memory served as a reminder of the dangerous collusion of industry, government, and mass media.27 A string of bombings, assassinations, attempted assassinations, and other acts of violence rippled across Europe and the United States in the 1890s, also stoking fear of anarchism. In the preceding decades, certain European anarchist circles had begun to speak of “propaganda by the deed” as a viable method for bringing about revolution. The deed was a violent act that would spark revolution. “Permanent revolt in speech, writing, by the dagger and the gun, and by dynamite,” wrote Kropotkin, who was initially among those who advocated this new approach, even if he never acted upon it himself. “Anything suits us that is alien to legality.”28 The assassination of political and economic leaders became known by the French word attentat, and it was supposed to awaken the proletariat and precipitate the unrest that would ultimately bring about an anarchist society. This idea captured the imagination of certain angry, disaffected young men in the late nineteenth century. In Spain and France, opera houses, cafés, and city streets shook with explosions, and when the guilty were caught, they often went to their deaths shouting “Vive I’anarchie!” In 1894, President Carnot of France was assassinated. In 1897 came the murder of Premier Canovas of Spain.29 Never did these assassinations achieve revolution—almost always they led to the further repression of anarchism. Even if these distant events had not been on the mind of readers of the 1898 article about the anarchists of Home, some would have remembered the attempted assassination of Henry Clay Frick in Pittsburgh six years before. The Homestead Strike of 1892 pitted the Carnegie Steel Plant against union steel workers. Andrew Carnegie had retreated to Europe, leaving his manager, Henry Clay Frick, to break the strike. As workers began to clash with hired Pinkerton detectives and sentiment began to rise against Frick, Alexander Berkman, a young and passionate Russian anarchist, saw his opportunity to carry out an attentat. “Society is a patient; sick constitutionally and functionally. Surgical treatment is often imperative. The removal of a tyrant is not merely justifiable; it is the highest duty of a revolutionist,” Berkman later wrote in his memoir of the event. “To remove a tyrant is an act of liberation, the giving of life to an oppressed people.”30 Frick was the cancer needing removal, but Berkman’s attempt was neither surgical nor successful. Claiming he was an employment agent, Berkman entered Frick’s office, pulled a revolver and fired but only succeeded in wounding the man. Berkman spent sixteen
The Mother of Progress Finds Home years in jail, and Frick and his allies eventually used the failed assassination to more forcefully stamp out the strike.
he walked down the gangplank onto the float in Joe’s Bay, New Era was defunct.
As a result of these violent acts, the popular image of anarchists in the Gilded Age tended to ignore the differing interpretations of this political philosophy and lumped together people who may not have even agreed with each other. By the late 1890s, American anarchists were split into two factions. Anarchocommunists like Berkman were in one camp, believing that all property should be shared and that revolution should be carried out through propaganda by the deed. On the other side were individualist anarchists who believed that personal liberty was paramount, and that freedom should not be restricted by law or government authority; this group tended to advocate nonviolent resistance. A spectrum of philosophies existed among the founders of Home: while they seemed to embody the individualist approach, they aligned themselves in their later publications with anarcho-communists, perhaps because they could point to the fact that their land was owned in common. But if the growing community of anarchists on Joe’s Bay practiced propaganda by the deed, the deeds were chopping down trees, raising roofs, planting gardens and orchards—all the work of building Home. When they did buy dynamite, it was for blasting stubborn tree stumps out of the ground.
Govan found eager partners in reviving the newspaper in Home. He acquired an Army press and set up shop in a shedlike building made of slat boards that stood on end. Founders Allen and Verity, along with colonists Miles and Penhallow, helped put together the paper. The first issue appeared on Wednesday, May 11, 1898, bearing the title Discontent in a serif font that added embellished curlicues to the C and the O. Just below, in type so small that a reader would have to bring the paper close to read it, was the phrase The Mother of Progress. Nowhere does the paper mention the source of the title, but perhaps the learned, white-bearded Elum Miles had read Charles Dudley Warner’s 1874 essay that states: “For, as skepticism is in one sense the handmaid of truth, discontent is the mother of progress. The man is comparatively of little use in the world who is contented.”32 Or perhaps this connection between discontent and progress had simply entered the vernacular of radicals and reformers of the day.
A COPY OF NEW ERA lay on a countertop of Barbary Coast saloon, likely stained with spilled ale and soiled from the various hands it had passed through. Charles Govan picked it up and began reading in the dim light. Even with a few drinks in him, he was reading between the lines. The typography left something to be desired: the four-page broadside had three columns and was clearly the work of amateurs, but the stilted, awkward prose spoke of a group of people on the wooded shores of Puget Sound attempting to organize a community around anarchist principles. The words liberty and happiness were repeated again and again. For all of their good intentions, this little community obviously needed a professional printer like himself, and perhaps living in this tiny isolated town would help him clean up his life. “A small, slender man, middle-aged, his hair commencing to gray, looking, as some said, like a Catholic priest of French stock from New Orleans, which, in fact, was his native city,” was how one contemporary writer described Govan. “This man who, from his own open confession, had spent most of his years in dissipation, seems curiously to have received a stimulus to a more sober life from the anarchistic philosophy, which he had adopted as a relief to the soul in its remorse, much indeed as a priest would have taken religion.”31 Govan traveled north and rode the steamer to Home, but by the time
Whatever the origins of the title, the paper boldly declared that it would “battle for the freedom of the human race from tyranny and superstition of all kinds and sorts.” The editors aligned themselves with anarcho-communism but also articulated their particular brand of anarchism: “Anarchy demands absolute individual sovereignty, the right of the humblest individual to hold and express his opinions, to live his own life and mind his own business; that no one shall assume to rule over any other or to attempt to compel others to conform to his ideas of what constitutes the best means of securing the general welfare.” But they did not wish to even impose anarchism on everyone: “A tyrant calling himself an Anarchist is as much a tyrant as any other.”33 Their columns were open to liberal views of all kinds, but they especially invited anarchist writers. The only restrictions placed on contributions were space and literary merit. Discontent was never seen simply as Home’s newspaper, but as a publication that would interest anarchists and free thinkers across the country. The contributors of the articles, tracts, criticisms, and other pieces lived in all corners of the U.S. In the first issue, for example, William Smith from Boston wrote an article titled “Is ‘Sin’ Forgivable?” Reprints from other radical journals were also published, often on a range of topics of interest to free thinkers. The second issue contained a piece called “Fashion Among Free Lovers” by E. C. Walker, first published in the East Coast anarchist newspaper Lucifer. A regular column variously titled “Ideas and Criticisms,” “War Talk,” “Potpourri,” and “Mélange” came from F. A. Cowell in San Francisco. A typical column leaped from topic to topic across triangles of asterisks: an account of Emma Goldman’s
The Mother of Progress Finds Home local speaking engagement; the story of a man stealing to feed his family and then sentenced to ten days in jail; a recap of a heated debate at an anarchist meeting about whether anarchism applies to natural laws; a mention of the czar of Russia giving the prince of Montenegro an Easter gift of thirty thousand repeating rifles. “No more appropriate season than Easter could have been selected for such a present. It so pointedly shows the hypocrisy of Christianity,” Cowell commented.34 Whatever the topic, the tone remained consistently sarcastic.
EVEN THOUGH DISCONTENT SOUGHT a national audience, its pages also served as a venue for the writings of the residents of Home. In this way, it began to express the spirit of the community taking shape on the shores of Joe’s Bay. In a regular column titled “Problem Solved,” the president of the Mutual Home Association, Elum Miles, analyzed the economic, banking, and monetary system, “a system that has for ages enriched and barbarized the few, ruined and debased the masses; that has blighted the hopes of millions of earth’s noblest sons and daughters and swept great nations into heaps of ruins.”35 Charles Penhallow contributed poems, one of which sang the reasons for his attraction to Joe’s Bay: I there a promise feel, That in a future great I’ll find a realm that’s truly free From taint of church or state. Where each will live for all: Where all will care for each; And in an atmosphere of love, They’ll practice what they preach.36 Penhallow’s verse struck a theme—practicing what they preach—that appeared again and again in the writings of the residents of Home. Discontent was their place to preach, and Home was their place for practice. Liberty and happiness were the watchwords of Home’s philosophy. Individual freedom was of utmost importance, as long as one’s behavior did not impinge on others. “The foundation of all associations should be absolute liberty; the liberty of each to assert his or her own individuality. The greatest progress can only be made by the unfolding of each and every mind to its fullest capacity. All restrictive measures must of necessity retard the evolution of humanity,” wrote Oliver Verity. “The establishing of the Mutual Home Association opens up a way to many of obtaining a home. Looking to this end, we invite the co-operation of all those who believe in throwing off the oppressive yoke of God, Government, and Grundy to unite their efforts with ours to establish a condition or community where we can assert true manhood and womanhood.”37
They considered themselves an example to others throughout the world, a kind of anarchist City upon the Hill, but in “Freedom, the Natural Remedy,” George Allen doubted that applying anarchist principles across the country would work, at least at first: Would the human race be happy immediately on all the barriers being struck down? No; because this iniquitous system has produced a lot of distorted animals in human form that several years, or even decades, might be needed to get man into the full effect of perfect freedom. But do you think that this is a good reason why we should not try the only right remedy—freedom? Any person who knows half the terrible consequent evils produced by governmental system will see even in this transitory period that things could not be made much worse.38 Although these men weren’t proposing original ideas, these passages reflect the kinds of words heard in the meeting rooms and vegetable gardens, on the footpaths and the single dirt road stretching along the shore, and in the shade of the fir and cedar trees up the hill. Liberty and happiness—these words saturated the atmosphere of Home, and in the small office, the editors of Discontent transmuted them into ink upon paper so that they might rain down upon the rest of the country and provide nourishment. The regular column “Association Notes” reported on day-today life in the colony. In the summer months, they ventured in search of blackberries: “A ramble through the wild wood in search of them is highly appreciated by both old and young, even though the pails are not filled to overflowing.” During the salmon run, they trolled the bay, “landing fine specimens of the finny tribe.”39 The column mentioned the arrivals and departures of residents and various visitors, such as Mrs. Scannel and her three children from Tacoma, the first of summer vacationers, who came to enjoy the pure country air and “study Anarchy in practice.”40 Comrades Swigart, Smith, and La Franz dropped in from Equality Colony, the socialist utopian experiment up the Sound. A barber with the surname Herman from Philadelphia “swings an ax and handles a crosscut saw as though he expected to clear everything in sight. As soon as the blisters on his hands heal up, he thinks he will be a co-operator among us.”41 Contributors to Discontent wrote too of recreational and educational activities, such as the mental science class that met, for a while, every Sunday afternoon at two o’clock. “The mental science theory appears to give a logical answer to many perplexing questions that have in the past seemed unanswerable.”42 That fall of 1898, people became more interested in singing lessons: “A singing school was organized
The Mother of Progress Finds Home last Sunday with nearly all the residents of our community in attendance and G. H. Allen as instructor. This feature promises to be not only instructive but very pleasant. It will meet every Sunday at 2 p.m. in the schoolhouse.”43 Discontent noted the progress of work, as well. In July, residents bought a steampowered drag saw for $457, with $174 down and the rest due in installments. They estimated that it would put up to twenty men to work, but several months passed before it was running properly.44 By October, Discontent announced: “The engine as a grubber is a daisy. The cost of clearing an acre of ground will undoubtedly be greatly lessened. The boys are making for tall timber with it.”45
WHEN MARTIN DADISMAN and his son Harry arrived in October of 1898, there were no more than a dozen houses dotting the shoreline of Joe’s Bay. The colonists could count a number of significant signs of progress. A regular school had been established, with Sylvia Allen teaching a dozen or so children. At the head of the bay, pilings had been driven into gray silt for a new bridge, and waiting for the planks of a walkway, pilings also stood in parallel lines from the shore to the float where the steamer docked. Several men had cut a tram road into the woods to speed the journey of the logs to the bay. Two hundred cords of wood lined the shore, ready for shipment. But the community, with its unpainted pioneer homes of graying lumber, fences of slanting cedar slats, and dirt paths between the brambles and charred stumps, was barely an imprint in the wilderness. At the time, between forty and fifty people lived in Home, but the moss and the vines, the blackberry and salal could have easily spread back down the slope and erased the two years of work to build Home. But Dadisman saw something that he liked. Born into a wealthy family in Virginia, he was attracted to unconventional, radical views. “His ideas are in general use today, but in those times, they were almost unheard of,” remembered his son David. “On our farm in Virginia dad had a black man working for him, and he sat at the table with us. The neighbors found out and threatened to tar and feather dad and ride him out on the rails. He was so aggravated by their attitude that he decided he was going to get out of there.”46 As he wandered the country, he drifted west and stayed for a time in Equality Colony on Skagit Bay, but he disliked that the work wasn’t shared equally there: a few industrious people did everything while others loafed about. Dadisman appreciated that in Home if a person was going to make it, he had to do it by his own initiative. Then in his forties, Dadisman had a receding hairline that highlighted his prominent brow. A long, patrician nose angled down his face, pointing to a narrow, angular chin. His close-
set, intelligent eyes easily aligned into a distant gaze. Since he was a man of means, his membership was a boon for the growing colony. He immediately began buying land adjacent to the settlement and deeding it to the Mutual Home Association. In November of 1898, he made sixtyfour acres available for settlement. “This tract is especially advantageous for residences as it commands a fine view of the bay and surrounding country,” reported Discontent,47 Only months after he arrived in Home, the Association elected Dadisman treasurer.48 In the following years, he would purchase an additional eighty acres and open this land to colony settlement, so that when the Mutual Home Association had Home platted in 1901, there would be two hundred and seventeen acres in all.
EMILY AND I GET OUT OF THE CAR to walk around on my first visit to Home. I notice immediately that nearly all of the houses are oriented toward the water. Most of the old historical photographs show the colonists standing outside their houses, gazing either at the camera or out of the frame. What I had not considered was that those who were looking away, probably had their eyes on the water, like Mrs. Verity, the woman wearing a patterned dress who is turned sideways in one photograph. Water surrounded and set apart the original Utopia described by Sir Thomas Moore. It seems appropriate then that water forms a natural feature of life in Home, but this fact raises a more practical consideration, as well: with such clear views of the bay, everyone could see and hear what was happening on the bay, almost as if it were happening in their own homes. Lately, I’ve been reading about the nude bathing episode that set in motion a conflict that would contribute to the dissolution of the colony. No wonder it had such a potent impact. Today the water looks slate gray and cold, its smooth surface untouched by wind. I’m checking out a sailboat floating like a desolate and forgotten vessel, its stays and shrouds slack, its hull slick with algae, when Emily discovers the plaque just off from the road, hidden between the bushes. We stand in the damp shaggy grass sprinkled with brown leaves and read its synopsis of the history of Home, of its founding in 1896, of the establishment of the Mutual Home Association in 1897, and the addition of land by Martin Dadisman in 1898. A school, wharf, warehouse, and community hall were built by the industrious settlers. The residents were people of radical yet tolerant thought. New Era, Discontent, and Agitator were widely circulated Home publications that attracted growth. The content of the papers reflected the community’s interest in government,
The Mother of Progress Finds Home free speech, women’s rights and other issues of concern to society. Just below, a second plaque affixed to the upright concrete slab lists members of the Mutual Home Association and other early pioneers. Some of the names already stand out from their mention in the histories of Home: James and Mary Adams, Martin and Mary Dadisman, Jay and Esther Fox, Philip Van Buskirk, Gertie Vose. Others listed there remain anonymous, leaving behind for me only the strange, conjuring sounds of their names: Bessie Brout, Henry and Fannie Hanson, Lucille Mint, H. B. and Hellen Wren. Back in the car, we drive north and stop in Key Center at a drive thru espresso stand called the Close to Home Cafe. Emily orders a decaf cappuccino, I get an Americano, and as we sip our drinks on the way home, she comments on how good it is. Even though it’s decaf, it cuts through the sluggishness she’s felt all day. Two weeks from now, she will leave a pregnancy test on a window sill for me to find, its two solid lines indicating why she had not felt well and showing us that another had been traveling with us that day.
As 1898 CAME TO A CLOSE, the weather remained mild. On December 29, colonists bragged in “Association Notes” of gardens still producing vegetables. Cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots were still flourishing in the rain, drawing nutrients from soil that had just a short time before sustained a forest. Snow had dusted the landscape and roofs, but it melted into slush by the afternoon. A few days before the New Year, the children told their parents that there would be a Children’s Jubilee on the Eve. The old folks were expected to do nothing but provide refreshments and enjoy themselves. When the adults gathered at the schoolhouse, they found it had been arranged into a theater, with rows of chairs facing a makeshift stage. The children performed a variety show. Together, all the boys and girls sang songs such as “Come All Jolly Sportsmen,” “The Peddler’s Son,” and “Three Blind Mice.” In between, children in pairs or by themselves recited short works like “The Screech Owl” and “Ring out Wild Bells.”49 In the glow of oil lamps, the parents enjoyed hearing the children’s voices and applauded their accomplishment. George and Sylvia Allen grinned at the sound of their daughters’ voices. Resting briefly from logging and writing for Discontent, Oliver Verity beamed as his daughter Macie spoke in a dialogue. And the face of Frank Odell—the last founder of Home, who never
shared his thoughts in Home’s newspapers and who would soon leave the colony—shone with pride as his daughter Mabel read aloud. As the program drew to a close in the schoolhouse that night, did the three men look at one another? Did they remember how almost three years before they had built a boat and ventured in search of a place that they would call Home? If they did, they might have felt that their efforts were finally taking hold, that the roots of this community, just like those of fruit trees planted up the hill, were finally pushing deep into the duff and mud beside the bay. After the program, the boys and girls served supper to the parents, and then they announced that everyone would play games. “This isn’t going to be turned into a political meeting,” one young girl indignantly remarked, probably remembering many nights when the parents were immersed in abstruse and boring talk.50 The room filled with laughter, for the parents were willing to humor the children. The people of Home began playing cards, dominoes, checkers, or chess, waiting for the New Year to turn. Far off over the Pacific Ocean, a weather pattern was developing that would funnel down between the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges and bring snow. The fat snowflakes would begin sifting down out of the sky on January 5, burying the cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots in their beds, halting all work of hauling logs on the tram road, and reaching two feet in depth. The writer of “Association Notes” would have to admit the mistake of bragging about the balmy weather. Except for the shrieks of joy as children slid down the hill, the land around Joe’s Bay would briefly return to the silence it had once known. But this would be in the future, in the New Year; for now, everyone was playing games, murmuring in the warmth, waiting for the minute hand to bring in the last year of the nineteenth century. Endnotes 1
Kipling, Rudyard, From Sea to Sea; Letters of Travel (New York: Doubleday & McClure Company, 1899), 43. 2
Allen, George, “Inside Workings of Anarchistic Colony Revealed,” The Tacoma Daily Ledger, Jan. 7, 1912. 3
Meany, Edmond S., Vancouver’s Discovery of Puget Sound: Portraits and Biographies of the Men Honored in the Naming of Geographic Features of Northwestern America (New York: Macmillan, 1907), 155. 4
Gaskine, J. W., “The Anarchists of Home,” The Independent, Apr. 28, 1910, 916. 5
Bellamy, Edward, Looking Backward, 2000-1887 (Reprint, New York: Penguin Books, 1982), 203. 6
Franklin, John, “Edward Bellamy and Nationalism,” The New England Quarterly 11 no. 4 (1938): 754. 7
“Washington Colony of Anarchists,” The Tacoma Daily Ledger, Feb. 26, 1898.
The Mother of Progress Finds Home 8
Retherford, Sylvia, Home at Home (Tacoma: All My Somedays, 1982), 12-13. 9
“Association Notes,” Discontent, Aug. 24, 1898.
“Association Notes,” Discontent, July 13, 1898.
“Association Notes,’’ Discontent, Oct. 26, 1898.
“Association Notes,” Discontent, July 20, 1898.
“Washington Colony of Anarchists.”
“Association Notes,’’ Discontent, Oct. 12, 1898.
Nell, Painter, Standing at Armageddon, 1877-1919 (New York: Norton, 2008), xvi.
Avrich, Paul, Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America (Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1995), 292.
Retherford, Sylvia, “Why Our Villages Are So Named,” in Compilation of Writings and Photos Concerned with the History of Home, Northwest Room, Tacoma Public Library. 17
“Association Notes,’’ Discontent, Oct. 26, 1898.
LeWarne, Charles P., Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885-1915 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 173. 49
“Association Notes,’’ Discontent, Jan. 11, 1899.
Retherford, Home at Home, 31-32.
“Wanted,” New Era, March 1897. Copy in Retherford, Compilation.
“Washington Colony of Anarchists.”
© 2014 Justin Wadland
Kropotkin, Peter, “Anarchism,” in The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, ed. Hugh Chisholm (Cambridge, England: at the university press, 1910), 914. 24
Hunter, Robert, The American Encyclopædic Dictionary: A Most Complete and Thoroughly Modern Dictionary of the English Language (Chicago: W. B. Conkey Co., 1895 ), 180. 27
My analysis and depiction of the image is based upon Green, James R., Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement, and the Bombing That Divided Gilded Age America (New York: Pantheon Books, 2006), 206-7. 28
Quote from Merriman, John M., The Dynamite Club: How a Bombing in Fin-De-Siècle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009), 63. 29
Tuchman, Barbara, The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World before the War, 1890-1914 (New York: Macmillan, 1966), 63-113. 30
Berkman, Alexander, Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist (Reprint, New York: New York Review of Books, 1999), 11-12. 31
Warner, Charles Dudley, “Thoughts Suggested By Mr. Froude’s ‘Progress,”’ in The Complete Writings of Charles Dudley Warner, vol. 15. (Hartford, Conn: American Pub. Co., 1904), 195-96. 33
“Greetings,” Discontent, May 11, 1898.
Cowell, F. A., “Ideas and Criticisms,’’ Discontent, May 18, 1898.
Miles, Elum, “Problem Solved,’’ Discontent, May 11, 1898.
Penhallow, Charles, “Joe’s Bay,” Discontent, May 18, 1898.
Verity, Oliver, “Do You Want a Home?” Discontent, May 18, 1898.
Allen, George, “Freedom, the Natural Remedy,” Discontent, May 25, 1898. 39
“Association Notes,” Discontent, July 13, 1898.
“Association Notes,’’ Discontent, July 20, 1898.
Camp Harmony (1942)
untouched. He didn’t even say good-bye.
From Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
On the way to school, the other kids heading to the Chinese school didn’t tease him as they walked by. The look on his face must have carried a warning. Or maybe they too were shocked into silence by the empty, boarded-up buildings of Nihonmachi a few blocks over.
HENRY PRETENDED HE WAS SICK the next day, even refusing to eat. But he knew he could fool his mother only so long, if he was fooling her at all. He probably wasn’t; she was just kind enough to go along with his manufactured symptoms. As well as the excuse he’d employed to explain away his black eye and bruised cheek, courtesy of Chaz. Henry had told her they were from “bumping” into someone in the crowded streets. He hadn’t elaborated further. The ruse was effective only if his mother was a willing accomplice, and he didn’t want to push his luck. So on Thursday, Henry did what he’d been dreading all week. He started preparing to go back to school, back to Mrs. Walker’s sixth-grade class. Alone. At the breakfast table, Henry’s mother didn’t ask if he was feeling better. She knew. His father ate a bowl of jook and read the newspaper, fretting over a string of Japanese victories at Bataan, Burma, and the Solomon Islands. Henry stared at him but didn’t say a word. Even if he’d been allowed to speak to his father in Cantonese, he wouldn’t have said a thing. He wanted to blame him for Keiko’s family being taken away. To blame him for doing nothing. But in the end, he didn’t know what to blame him for. For not caring? How could he blame his own father, when no one else seemed to care either? His father must have felt his stare. He set his newspaper down and looked at Henry, who stared back, not blinking. “I have something for you.” His father reached in his shirt pocket and drew out a button. This one read “I’m an American,” in red, white, and blue block lettering. He handed it to Henry, who glared and refused to take it. His father calmly set the new button on the table. “Your father wants you to wear this. Better now that the Japanese are being evacuated from Seattle,” his mother said, dishing up a bowl of the sticky, plain-tasting rice soup, placing it hot and steaming in front of Henry.
A few blocks from home, Henry found the nearest trash can and threw his new button on the heap of overflowing garbage— broken bottles that couldn’t be recycled for the war effort and hand-painted signs that forty-eight hours earlier were held up by cheering crowds in favor of the evacuation.
AT SCHOOL THAT DAY, Mrs. Walker was absent, so they had a substitute, Mr. Deacons. The other kids seemed too preoccupied with how much they could get away with as the new teacher stumbled through the day’s assignments and left Henry alone in the back of the classroom. He felt as if he might disappear. And maybe he had. No one called on him. No one said a word, and he was grateful. The cafeteria, though, was an entirely different affair. Mrs. Beatty seemed genuinely annoyed that Keiko was gone. Henry wasn’t sure if her disappointment was because of the unjust circumstances of his friend’s sudden departure or simply because the lunch lady had to help out more with the kitchen cleanup. She cursed under her breath as she brought out the last pan of the day’s lunch meat, calling it “chicken katsu-retsu.” Henry wasn’t sure what that meant, but it looked like Japanese food. American Japanese food anyway. Breaded chicken cutlets in a brown gravy. Lunch actually looked good. Smelled good too. “Let ’em try that, see what they have to say about it” was all she grumbled before she wandered off with her cigarettes. If Henry’s fellow grade-schoolers knew that the main course at lunch was Japanese food, they didn’t notice and didn’t seem to mind. But the irony hit Henry like a hammer. He smiled, realizing there was more to Mrs. Beatty than met the eye. The other kids, though, they weren’t full of such surprises. “Look, they forgot one!” A group of fourth graders taunted as he dished their lunches. “Someone call the army; one got away!”
There was that word again. Evacuated. Even when his mother said it in Cantonese, it didn’t make sense. Evacuated from what? Keiko had been taken from him.
Henry didn’t have his button. Not the old one. Or the new one. Neither would have mattered. How many more days? he thought. Sheldon said the war wouldn’t go on forever. How many more days of this do I have to put up with?
Henry snatched the button in his fist and grabbed his book bag, storming out the door. He left the steaming bowl of soup
Like a prayer being answered by a cruel and vengeful god, Chaz appeared, sliding his tray in front of Henry. “They take your
Camp Harmony girlfriend away, Henry? Maybe now you’ll learn not to frater . . . fraten . . . not to hang out with the enemy. Dirty, backstabbing Jap—she probably was poisoning our food.” Henry scooped up a heaping spoonful of chicken and gravy, cocking his arm, eyeing Chaz’s bony, apelike forehead. That was when he felt thick, sausage fingers wrap around his forearm, holding him back,. He looked up, and Mrs. Beatty was standing behind him. She took the serving spoon from his hand and eyeballed Chaz. “Beat it. There’s not enough food left,” she said.
going to work?” “Camp Harmony—it’s at the Puyallup Fairgrounds near Tacoma. I’ve got a feeling you’ve heard of it.” She stared at Henry, her face as stonelike as ever. Henry knew exactly where it was. He’d gone home and found it on a map. I’ll be there, Saturday morning, nine o’clock sharp, wouldn’t miss it for the world, he wanted to say, but “Thank you” were the only words Henry could muster.
“Kitchen’s closed to you today. Scram!”
If Mrs. Beatty knew how much this meant to him, she didn’t let it show. “There they are . . .” She grabbed a book of matches and headed out back again with her lunch. “Call me when you’re all done in here.”
Henry looked up and saw what he could only describe as Mrs. Beatty’s war face. A hard look, like the one you’d see in those Movietone newsreels of soldiers in training, that stony expression of someone whose occupation is killing and maiming.
WHEN SATURDAY CAME, Henry had one goal. One mission. Find Keiko. After that, who knew? He’d figure that out later.
“What do you mean? There’s plenty—”
Chaz looked like a puppy that had been caught making a mess and had just had his nose rubbed in it—slinking off with an empty tray, shoving a little kid out of the way. “I never liked him anyways,” Mrs. Beatty said as Henry went back to serving the last few kids in line, who looked delighted to see the school bully taken down a peg. “You want to make some money Saturday?” the stout lunch lady asked. “Who? Me?” Henry asked. “Yeah, you. You got other work you got to do on Saturday?” Henry shook his head no, partly confused and scared of the tanklike woman who had just left tread marks on the seat of Chaz’s dungarees. “I’ve been asked to help set up a mess hall—as a civilian contractor for the army—and I could use someone that works hard and knows how I like things done.” She looked at Henry, who wasn’t sure what he was hearing. “You got a problem with that?” “No,” he said. And he didn’t. She cooked, Henry set up and served, he broke down and cleaned. It was hard work, but he was used to it. And as hard as she made him work here in the school kitchen, she had never said a mean word to Henry. Of course, she’d never said a kind word either. “Good. Meet me here at nine o’clock Saturday morning. And don’t be late. I can pay you ten cents an hour.” Money was money, Henry thought, still stunned from seeing Chaz walk away with his tail between his legs. “Where are we
Henry wasn’t quite sure what to make of Mrs. Beatty’s offer, but he didn’t dare to question it either. She was an intimidating mountain of a woman—and a person of few words. Still, he was grateful. He told his parents she was paying him to help out in the kitchen on Saturdays. His story wasn’t quite the truth, but it wasn’t a lie either. He would be helping her in the kitchen—at Camp Harmony, about forty miles to the south. Henry was sitting on the stoop outside the kitchen when Mrs. Beatty drove up in a red Plymouth pickup truck. It looked like the old rambler had been recently washed, but its enormous whitewall tires were splattered with mud from the wet streets. Mrs. Beatty threw a cigarette butt into the nearest puddle, watching it fizzle. “Get in,” she snapped as she rolled the window up, the entire truck rocking with the motion of her meaty arm. Good morning to you too, Henry thought as he walked around the front of the truck, hoping she meant the passenger seat and not the back. When he peered into the bed of the pickup, all he could make out were boxlike shapes hidden beneath a canvas tarp and tied down with a heavy rope. Henry popped onto the seat. His parents didn’t own a car, although they had finally, saved up enough to buy one. With gasoline rationing, buying one now didn’t make any sense, according to Henry’s father anyway. Instead, they took the transit coach, or the bus. On rare occasions they would catch a ride with his auntie King, but that was usually if they were going to a family affair—a wedding, a funeral, or the golden birthday or anniversary of some old relative. Being in a car always felt so modern and exciting. It didn’t even matter where they were going, or how
Camp Harmony long it took to get there—it always made his heart race, like today. Or was that just the thought of seeing Keiko? “I’m not paying you for travel time.” Henry wasn’t sure if that was a statement or a question. “That’s fine,” he answered. I’m happy just to go. I’d do it for free, in fact. “The army doesn’t pay me for miles, just tops off my gas tank each way.” Henry nodded as if this all somehow made sense. Mrs. Beatty was somehow employed in the mess hall, a part-time assignment as far as Henry could tell. “Were you in the army?” Henry asked. “Merchant Marines. Daddy was, anyway, even before it was called that by the Maritime Commission. He was head cook on the SS City of Flint—I’d help out whenever he was in port. Procurement lists, menu planning, prep and storage. I even spent two months onboard during a run to Hawaii. He used to call me his ‘little shadow.’” Henry couldn’t imagine Mrs. Beatty as a little anything. “I got so good at it, he’d call me to help out whenever his old ship was in port—put me to work for a few days here and there. His best friend, the ship’s steward—he’s practically my uncle, you’d like him—he’s Chinese too. That’s the way it is on those ships, all the cooks are either colored or Chinese, I suppose.” That caught Henry’s attention. “Do you see them much?” Mrs. Beatty chewed on her lip for a moment, staring ahead. “He used to send me postcards from Australia. New Guinea. Places like that. I don’t get them anymore.” There was a tremor of sadness in her voice. “Daddy’s old ship was captured by the Germans two and a half years ago. Got a photo of him from the Red Cross in some POW camp, a few letters at first, but haven’t heard from him in over a year.” I’m so sorry, Henry thought but didn’t say. Mrs. Beatty had a way of having one-sided conversations, and he was used to being on the quiet end. She cleared her throat, puffing out her cheeks. Then she tossed a half- smoked cigarette out the window and lit another. “Anyway, someone down here knew I was handy at cooking for a whole herd, and could portion-control for feeding kids too, so they gave me a call and I couldn’t find it in me to say no.” She looked at Henry like it somehow was his fault. “So, here we are.”
And there they were. In Mrs. Beatty’s pickup, bouncing down the highway, past dusty miles of tilled farmland south of Tacoma. Henry wondered about Mrs. Beatty and her missing father as he stared at fields of cows and draft horses, larger and more muscular than he had ever seen. These were real working farms, not the victory gardens in front yards and comer lots of homes in Seattle. Henry had no idea what to expect. Would it be like where Mrs. Beatty’s father was being held? It couldn’t be that bad. He’d heard Camp Harmony was a temporary place, just until the army could figure out how and where to build more permanent camps farther inland. Permanent. He didn’t like the sound of that word. Still, they kept calling it a “camp”—which sounded nice in a way that even Henry knew was probably false. But, the beautiful scenery and countryside managed to get his hopes up. He’d never been to a summer camp but had seen a picture once in Boys’ Life magazine—of cabins by a beautiful glass lake at sunset. Of campfires and fishing. People smiling, carefree, and having fun. Nothing at all like the quaint town of Puyallup, a small farming community surrounded by lush acres of daffodils. Greenhouses dotted vast yellow fields and snowcapped Mount Rainier dominated the horizon. As they cruised down the main boulevard, past rows of Craftsman homes toward Pioneer Park, signs in many shop windows read “Go Home Japs!” The signs were grim reminders that Camp Harmony was no summer camp. And no one would be going home any time soon. Henry rolled down the window and was hit by the pungent smell of fresh horse manure, or was it from cows? Was there really a whiff of difference? The ripe stench could have been goat or chicken for all he could tell. Either way, it sure smelled a long way from the crisp, salty air of Seattle. Near the heart of Puyallup they peeled into a wide expanse of gravel parking. Henry looked in awe at the long stables and outbuildings surrounding the Washington State Fairgrounds. By the giant grain silos, he could tell this was definitely farm country. He’d never been to the fair, and the whole place was larger than he’d ever imagined. The fairground area was probably as large as, if not larger than, Chinatown itself. There was a big wooden stadium in need of a fresh coat of paint and what appeared to be a rodeo or livestock pavilion of some kind. Behind that was an open expanse with hundreds of chicken coops in neat little rows. The whole area was surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. Then he saw people walking in and out of those tiny buildings. With dark hair and olive skin. And he noticed the towers near the fence line. Even from a distance he could see the soldiers
Camp Harmony and their machine guns. Their dormant searchlights were aiming at the barren ground below. Henry didn’t even need to see the sign above the barbed-wire guard gate. This was Camp Harmony.
HENRY HAD NEVER BEEN TO JAIL. The one time he’d gone to City Hall with his father to pick up a meeting permit, the serious nature of the place had spooked him. The marble facade, the cold granite tiles on the floor. Everything had a weight to it that was inspiring and intimidating at the same time. Henry felt that way again as they drove inside a holding pen between two large metal gates. Both were covered with new barbed wire and a row of springy coil with jutting points that looked as sharp as kitchen knives. Henry sat stiff—terrified was more like it. He didn’t move as the army MP came to the window to check Mrs. Beatty’s papers. Henry didn’t even move to make sure his “I am Chinese” button was clearly visible. This is a place where someone like me goes in but doesn’t come out, he thought. Just another Japanese prisoner of war, even if I’m Chinese. “Who’s the kid?” the soldier asked. Henry looked at the man in uniform, who didn’t look like a man at all—more of a boy really, with a fresh, pimply complexion. He didn’t look thrilled to be stuck in a place like this either. “He’s a kitchen helper.” If Mrs. Beatty was worried about Henry getting into Camp Harmony, her concern didn’t show. “I brought him to be a runner, help switch out serving trays, stuff like that.” “You got papers?” This is where they take me, Henry thought, looking at the barbed wire, wondering which chicken coop he’d be assigned to. He watched as the barrel-chested lunch lady pulled out a small file of papers from beneath the driver’s seat. “This is his school registration, showing him as a kitchen worker. And this is his shot record.” She looked at Henry. “Everyone here had to have a typhoid shot first, but I checked and you’re clear.” Henry didn’t understand completely, but he was suddenly grateful for being sent to that stupid school in the first place. Grateful to have been stuck scholarshipping in the kitchen all these months. Without having to work the kitchen, he’d never have made it this far—this close to Keiko. The soldier and Mrs. Beatty argued for a moment, but the stronger man—or in this case, woman—won out, because the young soldier just waved her through to the next holding area, where other trucks were unloading.
Mrs. Beatty backed into a loading spot and set the parking brake. Henry stepped out into ankle-deep mud, which made hollow, sucking sounds as he stuck and unstuck each foot until he reached the row of two-by-four boards that had been set down as a makeshift walkway. Shaking the mud off as best he could and wiping his feet on the boards as he went, he followed Mrs. Beatty into the nearest building, his wet socks and shoes squishing with each step. On the way, Henry could smell something cooking. Not something necessarily pleasant but something. “Wait here,” Mrs. Beatty said, entering the cookhouse. Moments later she reemerged with a uniformed clerk trailing behind as she untied the tarp to reveal boxes of shoyu, rice vinegar, and other Japanese cooking staples. The two of them carried the supplies in, helped by Henry and a few young men in white aprons and caps—soldiers assigned to cooking duty. They set up in a mess hall that was maybe forty feet long, with rows and rows of tables and brown, dented folding chairs. The planks of the wooden floor were a tapestry of grease stains mottled by muddy boot prints. Henry was surprised at how comfortable he felt. The camp was intimidating, but the kitchen, the kitchen was home. He knew his way around. He peeked under the lids of rows of steamer trays, twice as many as back at school. Evidently lunch had already been prepared. Henry stared at the wet piles, some brown, some gray—canned sausages, boiled potatoes, and dry stale bread—the greasy smell alone made him long for the food back at Rainier Elementary. At least the condiments that Mrs. Beatty had brought would help in some small way. Henry watched as she and another young soldier went over papers and order forms of some kind. He’d been assigned to serve, along with another aproned soldier, who looked at Henry and did a double take. Was it Henry’s age or his ethnicity that caused the young man in uniform to pause? It didn’t matter; the soldier just shrugged and started serving. He was used to following orders, Henry supposed. As the first of the Japanese prisoners were let in single file, their hair and clothing was dotted with rain. A few chatted eagerly with one another, although some scowled, and most frowned when they saw what Henry was putting on their plate. He felt like apologizing. As the chow line inched forward, Henry could see young children outside, playing in the mud as their parents waited. “Konichiwa. . .,” a young boy said as he slid his tray along the metal countertop in front of Henry’s serving trays.
Camp Harmony Henry just pointed to his button. Again and again. Each time, the person saying hello looked brightly hopeful, then disappointed, and later confused. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe they’ll talk about me. And maybe Keiko will know where to find me, Henry thought. He was sure he’d see Keiko in line. As each young girl entered, his hopes rose and fell, his heart inflating and deflating like a balloon—but she never appeared. “Do you know the Okabes? Keiko Okabe?” Henry asked occasionally. Mostly, he was met with looks of confusion, or mistrust; after all, the Chinese were Allies, fighting against Japan. But one older man smiled and nodded, chatting excitedly about something. What that something was, Henry couldn’t tell, since the man spoke only Japanese. The old man might have known exactly where Keiko was, but he couldn’t explain it in a way that helped at all. So Henry kept serving, for two hours, from 11:30 to 1:30. Near the end of his shift he fidgeted, shifting his weight back and forth on the apple crate he was standing on to reach over the serving pans. In that time he never saw any sign of the Okabes. Not a glimmer. He watched the crowds come in, some looking hopeful, but the food did away with their optimism as the reality of their environment must have been settling in. Even so, no one complained about the food, to him anyway, or to the young man serving next to him. Henry wondered how this white soldier must have felt, now that he was the minority in the lunchroom—but then again, he could leave when his shift was over. And he had a rifle with a long blade on the end. “Let’s go, we need to set up dinner in the next area.” Mrs. Beatty appeared as he was breaking down the last of the serving dishes and collecting loose trays. Henry was used to following orders in the kitchen. They drove to another section of Camp Harmony, which had fewer stock buildings and more shade trees and picnic areas that sat vacant. Mrs. Beatty’s map showed an overview of the entire camp, which had been divided up into quarters—each with its own mess hall. There was still a chance to find Keiko, or three chances, as it were. At the next mess hall, lunch had finished. Mrs. Beatty had him wash and wipe down trays while she coordinated with the kitchen manager on needed supplies and menu planning. “Just hang out if you get done early,” she said. “Don’t go wandering off unless you want to stay here for the rest of the war.” Henry
suspected that she wasn’t joking and nodded politely, finishing his work. By all accounts, the mess hall was off-limits to the Japanese when it wasn’t mealtime. Most were restricted to their chicken shacks, although he did see people occasionally slogging through the mud to and from the latrine. When he was done, Henry sat on the back step and watched smoke billowing from the stovepipes fitted into the roofs of the makeshift homes—the collective smoky mist filled, the wet, gray sky above the camp. The smell of burning wood lingered in the air. She’s here. Somewhere. Among how many people? A thousand? Five thousand? Henry didn’t know. He wanted to shout her name, or run door to door, but the guards in the towers didn’t look like they took their jobs lightly. They stood watch, for the protection of the internees—so he’d been told. But if that were so, why were their guns pointed inside the camp? It didn’t matter. Henry felt better knowing he’d made it this far. There was still a chance he’d find her. Among the sad, shocked faces, maybe he’d find her smile again. But it was getting dark. Maybe it was too late.
© 2009 James Ford
Five Pieces Sandra Rosa Bryant On Walking to Wyatt I was once walking to class with a white friend of mine. We were heading up the lane, going towards Wyatt. Along the way, we crossed paths with a middle-aged Black man. I nodded at him and he nodded back. “Do you know him?” my friend asked.
she asked, “Can I touch your hair?” There was a moment of quiet in the room after she asked and we all understood what it was about very well. I said, “It’s okay, go ahead.” She touched my hair and then said to the room, “What?! I’ve never had a Black friend before!” I told her that in my high school there were less than five white students and that I only knew one white person in high school. The reason this particular account didn’t offend me was because my floor-mate was honest. She had never had a Black friend before and she wasn’t afraid to tell me that. She didn’t shy away from talking about race. And I’ve always respected her for that. No progress will be made if we refuse to be honest about race and our experiences.
“No,” I said. I could tell she was confused, but I didn’t know how to explain what she had just seen. So I just told her as best and as simply as I could. “A lot of times Black people will say hi to each other, even if we don’t know each other.” She still didn’t understand. “It’s a sort of quiet way of saying ‘I see you. I acknowledge your presence and know what you go through in this world. I’ll walk with you forever and when the world turns its back on you, I’ll still be there. Our struggle is the same struggle, and I have love for you.’” I didn’t know how else to put the meaning behind the nod into words. “That’s so cool!” she said. And we laughed.
My Abrasive Afro The few times I’ve worn my hair out in an Afro on campus, not tied back into a puff—just out and free and big—people wouldn’t make eye-contact with me. It was like they were afraid to look at me. It seems like Blackness needs to be spoon-fed to people at Puget Sound, even in 2012. Too much at one time is too much to handle. People need to be eased into it. If not, they’ll get an upset stomach.
A list of movies that always make me miss home Friday Poetic Justice Crash
My Secret Desire Ever since I came here, I’ve had a secret desire to go out at three in the morning in a black jumpsuit and ski-mask, climb all the way up Jones, and replace the American flag with one that was red, black, and green. You know, just to see what would happen.
One of the few times I wasn’t offended or annoyed when somebody asked to touch my hair
Menace II Society Quinceañera The Wood Set It Off Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood Boyz n the Hood
It was my first year here and I was hanging out with fellow Schiff-mates. We were all just getting to know each other but we could see long-lasting friendships on the horizon. We were in a room full of about ten people. A floor-mate was sitting on a bed and I was sitting on the floor in front of her. Quite suddenly
An Octopus Marianne Moore (1924)
An Octopus of ice. Deceptively reserved and flat, it lies “in grandeur and in mass” beneath a sea of shifting snow-dunes; dots of cyclamen-red and maroon on its clearly defined pseudo-podia made of glass that will bend—a much needed invention— comprising twenty-eight ice-fields from fifty to five hundred feet thick, of unimagined delicacy. “Picking periwinkles from the cracks” or killing prey with the concentric crushing rigor of the python, it hovers forward “spider fashion on its arms” misleading like lace; its “ghostly pallor changing to the green metallic tinge of an anemone-starred pool.” The fir-trees, in “the magnitude of their root systems,” rise aloof from these maneuvers “creepy to behold,” austere specimens of our American royal families, “each like the shadow of the one beside it. The rock seems frail compared with the dark energy of life,” its vermilion and onyx and manganese-blue interior expansiveness left at the mercy of the weather; “stained transversely by iron where the water drips down,” recognized by its plants and its animals. Completing a circle, you have been deceived into thinking that you have progressed, under the polite needles of the larches “hung to filter, not to intercept the sunlight”— met by tightly wattled spruce-twigs “conformed to an edge like clipped cypress as if no branch could penetrate the cold beyond its company”; and dumps of gold and silver ore enclosing The Goat’s Mirror— that lady-fingerlike depression in the shape of the left human foot, which prejudices you in favor of itself before you have had time to see the others; its indigo, pea-green, blue-green, and turquoise, from a hundred to two hundred feet deep, “merging in irregular patches in the middle lake where, like gusts of a storm obliterating the shadows of the fir-trees, the wind makes lanes of ripples.” What spot could have merits of equal importance for bears, elks, deer, wolves, goats, and ducks? Pre-empted by their ancestors, this is the property of the exacting porcupine, and of the rat “slipping along to its burrow in the swamp
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or pausing on high ground to smell the heather”; of “thoughtful beavers making drains which seem the work of careful men with shovels,” and of the bears inspecting unexpectedly ant-hills and berry-bushes. Composed of calcium gems and alabaster pillars, topaz, tourmaline crystals and amethyst quartz, their den is somewhere else, concealed in the confusion of “blue forests thrown together with marble and jasper and agate as if whole quarries had been dynamited.” And farther up, in stag-at-bay position as a scintillating fragment of these terrible stalagmites, stands the goat, its eye fixed on the waterfall which never seems to fall— an endless skein swayed by the wind, immune to force of gravity in the perspective of the peaks. A special antelope acclimated to “grottoes from which issue penetrating draughts which make you wonder why you came,” it stands it ground on cliffs the color of the clouds, of petrified white vapor— black feet, eyes, nose, and horns, engraved on dazzling ice-fields, the ermine body on the crystal peak; the sun kindling its shoulders to maximum heat like acetylene, dyeing them white— upon this antique pedestal, “a mountain with those graceful lines which prove it a volcano,” its top a complete cone like Fujiyama’s till an explosion blew it off. Distinguished by a beauty of which “the visitor dare never fully speak at home for fear of being stoned as an impostor,” Big Snow Mountain is the home of a diversity of creatures: those who “have lived in hotels but who now live in camps–who prefer to”; the mountain guide evolving from the trapper, “in two pairs of trousers, the outer one older, wearing slowly away from the feet to the knees”; “the nine-striped chipmunk running with unmammal-like agility along a log”; the water ouzel with “its passion for rapids and high-pressured falls,” building under the arch of some tiny Niagara; the white-tailed ptarmigan “in winter solid white, feeding on heather-bells and alpine buckwheat”; and the eleven eagles of the west, “fond of the spring fragrance and the winter colors,” used to the unegoistic action of the glaciers and “several hours of frost every midsummer night.” “They make a nice appearance, don’t they,” happy seeing nothing?
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Perched on treacherous lava and pumice— those unadjusted chimney-pots and cleavers which stipulate “names and addresses of persons to notify in case of disaster”— they hear the roar of ice and supervise the water winding slowly through the cliffs, the road “climbing like the thread which forms the groove around a snail-shell, doubling back and forth until where snow begins, it ends.” No “deliberate wide-eyed wistfulness” is here among the boulders sunk in ripples and white water where “when you hear the best wild music of the forest it is sure to be a marmot,” the victim on some slight observatory, of “a struggle between curiosity and caution,” inquiring what has scared it: a stone from the moraine descending in leaps, another marmot, or the spotted ponies with glass eyes, brought up on frosty grass and flowers and rapid draughts of ice-water. Instructed none knows how, to climb the mountain, by businessmen who require for recreation three hundred and sixty-five holidays in the year, these conspicuously spotted little horses are peculiar; hard to discern among the birch-trees, ferns, and lily-pads, avalanche lilies, Indian paint-brushes, bear’s ears and kittentails, and miniature cavalcades of chlorophylless fungi magnified in profile on the moss-beds like moonstones in the water; the cavalcade of calico competing with the original American menagerie of styles among the white flowers of the rhododendron surmounting rigid leaves upon which moisture works its alchemy, transmuting verdure into onyx. “Like happy souls in Hell,” enjoying mental difficulties, the Greeks amused themselves with delicate behavior because it was “so noble and so fair”; not practiced in adapting their intelligence to eagle-traps and snow-shoes, to alpenstocks and other toys contrived by those “alive to the advantage of invigorating pleasures.” Bows, arrows, oars, and paddles, for which trees provide the wood, in new countries more eloquent than elsewhere— augmenting the assertion that, essentially humane, “the forest affords wood for dwellings and by its beauty stimulates the moral vigor of its citizens.” The Greeks liked smoothness, distrusting what was back of what could not be clearly seen, resolving with benevolent conclusiveness, “Complexities which still will be complexities
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as long as the world lasts”; ascribing what we clumsily call happiness, to “an accident or a quality, a spiritual substance or the soul itself, an act, a disposition, or a habit, or a habit infused, to which the soul has been persuaded, or something distinct from a habit, a power”— such power as Adam had and we are still devoid of. “Emotionally sensitive, their hearts were hard”; their wisdom was remote from that of these odd oracles of cool official sarcasm, upon this game preserve where “guns, nets, seines, traps, and explosives, hired vehicles, gambling and intoxicants are prohibited; disobedient persons being summarily removed and not allowed to return without permission in writing.” It is self-evident that it is frightful to have everything afraid of one; that one must do as one is told and eat rice, prunes, dates, raisins, hardtack, and tomatoes if one would “conquer the main peak of Mount Tacoma” this fossil flower concise without a shiver, intact when it is cut, damned for its sacrosanct remoteness— like Henry James “damned by the public for decorum”; not decorum, but restraint; it is the love of doing hard things that rebuffed and wore them out—a public out of sympathy with neatness. Neatness of finish! Neatness of finish! Relentless accuracy is the nature of this octopus with its capacity for fact. “Creeping slowly as with meditated stealth, its arms seeming to approach from all directions,” it receives one under winds that “tear the snow to bits and hurl it like a sandblast shearing off twigs and loose bark from the trees.” Is “tree” the word for these things “flat on the ground like vines”? some “bent in a half-circle with branches on one side suggesting dust-brushes, not trees; some finding strength in union, forming little stunted groves, their flattened mats of branches shrunk in trying to escape” from the hard mountain “planed by ice and polished by the wind”— the white volcano with no weather side; the lightning flashing at its base, rain falling in the valleys, and snow falling on the peak— the glassy octopus symmetrically pointed, its claw cut by the avalanche “with a sound like the crack of a rifle, in a curtain of powdered snow launched like a waterfall.”
An Octopus Notes glass that will bend: Sir William Bell of the British Institute of Patentees has made a list of inventions which he says the world needs. The list includes glass that will bend; a smooth road surface that will not be slippery in wet weather; a furnace that will conserve 95 per cent of its heat; a process to make flannel unshrinkable; a noiseless airplane; a motor engine of one pound weight per horse-power; methods to reduce friction; a process to extract phosphorus from vulcanized India rubber so that it can be boiled up and used again; practical ways of utilizing the tides.
“The Greeks were emotionally sensitive”: W. D. Hyde, The Five Great Philosophies (Macmillan). “creeping slowly”: Francis Ward. “tear the snow.”; “flat on the ground”; “bent in a half circle”: Clifton Johnson. “with a sound like the crack of a rifle”: W. D. Wilcox. Quoted descriptions of scenery and of animals, of which the source is not given, have been taken from government pamphlets on our national parks.
“picking periwinkles”: M. C. Carey, London Graphic (August 25, 1923). “spider fashion”: W. P. Pycraft, Illustrated London News (June 28, 1924). “ghostly pallor”: Francis Ward, Illustrated London News (August 11, 1923). “magnitude of their root systems”: John Muir. “creepy to behold”: W. P. Pycraft. “each like the shadow of the one beside it”: Ruskin. “conformed to an edge”: W. D. Wilcox, The Rockies of Canada (Putnam, 1903). “thoughtful beavers”: Clifton Johnson, What to See in America (Macmillan). “blue stone forests”: Clifton Johnson, What to See in America. “grottoes”: W. D. Wilcox, The Rockies of Canada. “two pairs of trousers”: W. D. Wilcox. “My old packer, Bill Peyto. He usually wears two pairs of trousers, one over the other, the outer pair about six months older. Every once in a while, Peyto would give one or two nervous yanks at the fringe and tear off the longer pieces, so that his outer trousers disappeared day by day from below upwards.” “deliberate wide eyed wistfulness”: Olivia Howard Dunbar, review of Alice Meynell’s prose; Post Literary Review (June 16, 1923). “There is no trace here of deliberate wide eyed wistfulness.” marmot: W. P. Taylor, Assistant Biologist, Bureau of Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture. “The clear and penetrating whistle of the hoary marmot is perhaps the best wild music of the mountains “glass eyes”: W.D. Wilcox. “The Indian pony or cayuse probably owes its origin to a cross between the mustang and the horses introduced by the Spaniards in the conquest of Mexico. Some of them have ‘glass eyes’ or a colorless condition of the retina supposed to be the result of too much inbreeding.” “business men”: W. D. Wilcox. “A crowd of the business men of Banff, who usually take about 365 holidays every year, stands around to offer advice.” “menagerie of styles”: W. M., “The Mystery of an Adjective and of Evening Clothes.” London Graphic (June 21, 1924). “Even in the Parisian menagerie of styles there remains this common feature that evening dress is always evening dress in men’s wear. With women there is no saying whether a frock is meant for tea, dinner, or for breakfast in bed.” “bristling, puny, swearing men”: Clifton Johnson. “They make a nice appearance, don”t they?”: Comment overheard at the circus. “Like happy souls in hell” : Richard Baxter, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest. “so noble and so fair”: Cardinal Newman, Historical Sketches. “complexities. . . an accident “: Richard Baxter.
Note: Marianne Moore published several versions of “An Octopus.” This version matches that in The Poems of Marianne Moore edited by Grace Schulman (Viking, 2003).
About the Authors
About the Authors Hans Ostrom, author of “A Tacoma Sonnet” is from California originally and was a professor of English and African American studies at the University of Puget Sound from 1983 to 2018. In addition to publishing academic writing on African American studies, poetry, and teaching creative writing, he has published three novels and a book of poetry. He lives in Tacoma. Stewart T. Schultz, author of “Forests,” is a professor of coastal botany and ecology and author of many scholarly publications. Originally from Oregon, he is a faculty member at the University of Zadar, in Croatia. The “Forests” chapter is from his book The Northwest Coast: A Natural History. Ella E. Clark is not the author of “The Miser on Mount Rainier,” but she is responsible for making the myth accessible to us in its current form. She lived from 1896 to 1984, growing up in the Midwest, but living in Washington for most of her life. She was a professor of English at Washington State University and preserved many Native American myths and legends through archival research and interviews with tribal members. Justin Wadland, author of “The Mother of Progress Finds Home,” has been a librarian at the University of WashingtonTacoma since 2003. He grew up in Michigan and Vermont. His chapter is from Trying Home: The Rise and Fall of an Anarchist Colony on Puget Sound. Jamie Ford, author of “Camp Harmony,” was born in California but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. His last name was chosen by his grandfather, Min Chung, who chose “Ford” as a family name after immigrating to the United States from China in 1865. All three of his novels, including Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, take place in Seattle. Sandra Rosa Bryant, author of “Five Pieces” is a 2012 alumna of the University of Puget Sound. At Puget Sound, she was president of the Black Student Union and was founder of the student publication Black Ice. Originally from Los Angeles, she now lives in Tacoma, where she works as a librarian. Marianne Moore, author of “An Octopus,” was born in 1887 in Missouri, and she lived in New York for much of her life, visiting the Pacific Northwest on a vacation in 1922 with her mother. She was one of the major poets of the early 20th century and won the Pulitzer Prize for her Collected Poems in 1951; in his introduction to the book, T.S. Eliot wrote, “My conviction has remained unchanged for the last 14 years that Miss Moore’s poems form part of the small body of durable poetry written in our time.” She died in 1972.
UNIVERSITY OF PUGET SOUND 1500 N. Warner St. #1020 Tacoma, WA 98416-1020
Welcome new students! This reader is a collection of readings from and about Puget Sound and that will be at the heart of the Bookends orien...
Published on Jun 23, 2019
Welcome new students! This reader is a collection of readings from and about Puget Sound and that will be at the heart of the Bookends orien...