The Siuslaw Pioneer was a publication of the Siuslaw Historical Society. In 1977 an issue dedicated to the Pioneers of Sweet Creek Valley featured stories by the sons and daughters of those early settlers.
Portions of the following are from A Story of Sweet Creek School, 1933 by Mabel Fredericksen Bower.
Pearl Ellingson was a teacher in the one room rural school. Students and teacher alike walked 3 miles to school. Her salary was $80 a month (often on a ‘warrant basis’ with a 10% penalty for cashing the payment before enough tax money came in to cover it).
“Plans for the last day of school picnic was to be the biggest surprise of all the year for the children [7 students in all]. With the help and planning of the parents, we chartered the Violet B, a boat large enough to accommodate all the parents and children, and with the most enticing food packed away in picnic baskets, we headed for the beaches around the Florence area. . . A new world unfolded to the children . . . they noticed the mail sacks suspended from a wooden frame which protruded over the water so the pilot of the mail boat could reach out and grab the sack without stopping the motor. . . . The seaport town of Florence; hundreds of houses – what a contrast to the scattered houses on Sweet Creek.”
“As one assessed the accomplishments of the year, it was a feeling that that outing had unfurled an entirely new world to those students. After all, that vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean really was a lot bigger than the mud puddles of Sweet Creek!”
The Siuslaw Pioneer, 1977
Note: Copies of The Siuslaw Pioneer publication can be found in the Siuslaw Genealogy Room at the Siuslaw Library.
Another wonderful glimpse into the colorful history of Florence! Thanks, Debbie!