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Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Pullman, WA 99164-5610 USA
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Cassette Tape Collection 14
Jeanie Shaw Wheeler Oral History Interview, 1979

The Jeanie Wheeler oral history interviews were donated to the Washington State University Libraries in 1979 by Margot H. Knight. They were abstracted in August, 1979, by Margot H. Knight (79-37). They consist of 3 cassette tapes.

PROJECT HISTORY

In April of 1979, Mrs. Jeanie (Shaw) Wheeler visited the Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections accompanied by her daughter, Mrs. Millard Hastay. Mrs. Hastay thought someone might want to interview her mother, feeling her pioneering experiences in Humptulips and Hoquiam, Washington were particularly interesting. During the next week, Margot H. Knight spoke with Mrs. Wheeler about some of her life experiences in front of a tape recorder.

ARRANGEMENT AND DESCRIPTION

The tapes are arranged chronologically in order of the interview dates. Mrs. Wheeler's memory was sharp on some events, spotty on others. Mrs. Hastay often reminded her mother of stories she remembered her telling. The tapes consist primarily of her experiences settling and growing up in the rainforest near Humptulips, WA. She later moved to Hoquiam and became a schoolteacher. From 1918 through 1943 Mrs. Wheeler and her husband, Frank, owned and operated a small orchard in what was White Bluffs, Washington, until they were forced to move due to the building of the Hanford nuclear site. She talked of the apple and peach business in White Bluffs.


Interview Identification Number: 14/1
Interviewee: Jeanie Wheeler (Shaw), homemaker
Birthdate of Interviewee: 1882
Geographical Areas Covered: Humptulips, WA

Interviewer: Margot H. Knight
Location of Interview: Pullman, WA
Date of Interview: 3/30/1979
Length of Interview: 60 minutes

Abstractor: Margot H. Knight
Date of Abstraction: 8/3/1979

Release: Yes
Restrictions: No

INTERVIEW ABSTRACT
TapeEstimated time on tapePrincipal subjects covered
 
Tape 1
Side A
0 - 6Childhood in Wisconsin. Father worked in the woods. Mother was from Glasgow, Scotland. Her mother's trip from Scotland
6 - 8Her first spanking. Brothers and sisters.
8 - 12Travelling west on the immigrant train when she was 8 in 1890. Her father had built a house for them in the rain forest. Arriving at Hoquiam.
12 - 16The trip from Hoquiam across Gray's Harbor to an Indian camp. Canoeing up the river to Humptulips. Siwash Indians helped to paddle the canoe.
16 - 21Describes their house with shake floors. Flooding on the river -their house was built on stilts.
21 - 26Garden in hollowed-out trees. Ate a lot of canned food. Eating beaver.
26 - 30Taking a trip up the river with her father and meeting a little Indian girl. She had no girls to play with for 2 years,
Tape 1
Side B
0 - 2Her father had been hired to help build a town to be called Frederick on the Humptulips River.
2 - 6A half-breed, Tom Ford, who had a daughter. Siwash Indians. They called her father Siwash George because he adapted so well.
6 - 8She doesn't recall helping around the house very much. Carrying water to the house. She read all the time.
8 - 11Teachers were only there 6 months out of the year. Teaching was very individualized. Mail was brought up the river for them.
11 - 13Her grandparents. Her mother's mother was very strict.
13 - 14Story of a cougar who jumped on the roof.
14 - 17Mother was a staunch Presbyterian. No church when they lived in the rain forest. No work was done on Sunday.
17 - 20More about her Scottish grandmother's family and how they came to America.
20 - 23Monday was always washday. They used store-bought soap. Memories of making soap. Her hair was thick and blonde and she always wore it in braids.
23 - 25Her mother had a sewing machine and made all their clothes.
25 - 30No memories of big Christmas celebrations. Her favorite doll with a kid body and a bisque head.

Interview Identification Number: 14/2
Interviewee: Jeanie Wheeler (Shaw), homemaker
Birthdate of Interviewee: 1882
Geographical Areas Covered: Humptulips, WA; Hoquiam, WA

Interviewer: Margot H. Knight
Location of Interview: Pullman, WA
Date of Interview: 4/2/79
Length of Interview: 60 minutes

Abstractor: Margot H. Knight
Date of Abstraction: 8/6/1979

Release: Yes
Restrictions: No

INTERVIEW ABSTRACT
TapeEstimated time on tapePrincipal subjects covered
 
Tape 2
Side A
0 - 4Leaving the woods to live in Hoquiam when she was 10. Describes the house they lived in.
4 - 8The school she went to when they lived in the rain forest. She was the only girl. Schoolhouse in Hoquiam.
8 - 14Hoquiam was a wild, lumbering town. Eight saloons in town. Describes Hoquiam. Buying a bicycle. Selling tea and spices for the Baker Company.
14 - 19The madame in Hoquiam named Cottontop because of her bleached hair. Story of a lawyer killed by a logger. Getting caught on the mudflats.
19 - 28She was glad to move into Hoquiam. Young folks' parties.. Box socials. An elocution group at her schools
Tape 2
Side B
0 - 6More about camping. She always wore short skirts which was very daring. Other entertainment. Ice cream socials. Dancing.
6 - 10Father-in-law was a Methodist minister. Went to Goucher Academy at Montesano for one year. Attended summer school in order to get teacher certification.
10 - 16She got 45 dollars a month for teaching at Humptulips. She saved her money and built a new house for her mother. Her first class. Then she taught in Hoquiam.
16 - 21Selling milk in Hoquiam. Doctors in Hoquiam. Home remedies.
21 - 27Teaching in New London. How she met and husband and got engaged. He was a bricklayer in California.

Interview Identification Number: 14/3
Interviewee: Jeanie Wheeler (Shaw), homemaker
Birthdate of Interviewee: 1882
Geographical Areas Covered: White Bluffs, WA

Interviewer: Margot H. Knight
Location of Interview: Pullman, WA
Date of Interview: 4/3/79
Length of Interview: 60 minutes

Abstractor: Margot H. Knight
Date of Abstraction: 8/7/1979

Release: Yes
Restrictions: No

INTERVIEW ABSTRACT
TapeEstimated time on tapePrincipal subjects covered
 
Tape 3
Side A
0 - 3Memories of her wedding. They lived first in Tacoma. Going to Point Defiance for picnics by streetcar,
3 - 4They moved to White Bluffs in 1918 where they had an apple orchard.
4 - 10Story about visiting Grandpa. Early married life and children. Tells about orchard in western Washington. She used to work packing the apples.
10 - 16Their place in eastern Washington was on the banks of the Columbia. Packing boxes. They always had wood because they lived on the river. They had 20 acres all of which was irrigated.
16 - 22Picnics on the island near White Bluffs. 7 cents a box for packing apples.
22 - 24Grew most of their produce.
24 - 29Story of being put off by the orchard by the U,S. Government so the Hanford Nuclear Site could be built. Talks about the good peach growing conditions.
29 - 30Being gypped by a commission man in Seattle.
Tape 3
Side B
0 - 5More about Schroeder, the commission man.
5 - 11More about the destruction of White Bluffs in 1943. Bulldozer plowed the place while they were still there. Travelling in a government truck with all their furniture to Seattle. They only got a few days notice.
11 - 14Tells about the land swindle in White Bluffs, the story of White Bluffs' move.
14 - 21Workers on the orchard were usually from the area. Fire in the smokehouse. Other farm life incidents.
21 - 25During the winter her husband went to the Coast. Getting electricity.
25 - 30Talks about her son, Donald, who became a Rhodes scholar in 1935. He also traveled to Portland on a raft. Her other children.