Editors note: Finding a deserted cabin in the woods is something that would not happen very often today, but in 1939 the possibility was a good one. Many people came to homestead and found the hard life was just too much and they just up and left. Here is a story about a couple of guys that found a cabin south of Forks and shared the interesting story with the Seattle Times.
Abandoned and lost since the beginning of the century, a shack in the cedar swamp south of the Forks Shingle Mill was found a few weeks ago by Herman Smith and Eugene Case. Pictures of the two men and the shack, and pictures of old newspapers found there were taken by Ray Goss and reproduced on Sunday’s Seattle Times.
Hearing about the place, Ward Hatfield and Ed Hamilton went a couple of weeks ago and retrieved some more newspapers, all dated 1902, and some copies of the Broadway Magazine, a theatrical publication. None of the magazines were dated but appeared also to be from around 1902.
As the Sunday Times commented, in those years supplies to the region came by boat from Seattle to Clallam Bay, then by crude wagon road to Forks. “Beyond Forks there were only dim trails.”
One of the papers brought out by Mr. Hatfield was a San Francisco Examiner of Aug. 7, 1902. King Edward, it was reported, was to be crowned two days later, and was to undergo an appendectomy soon afterwards. The newspaper, in the display ads, showed wasp-waisted suits and monstrous hats, and the nattiest long underwear for women.
The Broadway Magazine showed pictures of Ethel Barrymore, who was playing in “Carrots”; John Drew in “The Mummy and the Humming Bird”; Lillian Russell and Willie Collier in “Whirly-Twirly”; Mrs. Patrick Campbell in “The Second Mrs. Tanqueray”; and pictures were also shown of Edna Wallace-Hopper and Marie Dressler, of whom it was remarked that she had a “unique and refreshing personality.”
Fencing was apparently quite popular then, and women were taking up the sport, bringing up a bit of philosophy: “… While men frequently become petulant when worsted in physical encounter, a woman never does. She reserves her annoyance usually for circumstances when she is out-dressed … does she not?”
We don’t know how long the unknown tenant stayed there, but, knowing his tastes, we’ll bet the first thing he did after getting out of the wilderness was to see a good show!