“Once There was a Garden” by Laura Dahlin Erlandson
On its way to the sea, Big Creek flows through a lonely wilderness among lofty hills. It is a long creek with narrow, fertile tracts of bottom land along its sides. These tracts were covered with alders, tall bushes of salmon berry and thimble berry and gigantic ferns.
Once, near there, there was a garden, a beautiful garden, where lettuce heads formed borders around scrupulously weeded beds. In the middle of each bed stood a rose bush in bloom. Cabbage heads bordered a row of tall holly-hocks; the silken tassels of cornstalks shone above a border of luxurious pansies.
There were flowering shrubs surrounded by carrots and beets and there were other combinations of vegetables and flowers, all in an orderly pattern, all carefully tended. It was an enchanted garden, a piece of fairy land.
At one side of it stood a house of split cedar shakes. It was as unique as the garden, low but roomy and well lighted with many small windows. The unusual feature of the house was the absence of square corners. Narrow walls cat-a-cornered across where the corners would have been, and a window placed in the middle of each of these walls gave the house a distinctive appearance, unexpected and pleasing.
The rooms were very clean and orderly, the furniture was the home-made home-stead type.
This was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Dole and their little daughter Pearl, their only child, now Mrs. Clyde Bay of North Fork, Florence.
Gone are the pioneers who cleared the land, slashed and burned, hoed and planted, and found the joy of self expression in a beautiful garden, isolated from the rest of the world. Gone is the garden too, but one who saw that garden has the memory of something very beautiful in a lonely wilderness among lofty hills.
from the Siuslaw Pioneer of 1949