History, politics, people of Oly WA

Category: Archie Binns (Page 1 of 2)

Book pictures from my Powells trip

I go to Powells every few months, and this time it was to spend down some Christmas giftcard money. In addition to three books (Content, The Laurels Are Cut Down and The Good Rain), I got these off dust jackets of books I didn’t buy:

Archie Binns, the sailing pimp:

And, the only photo evidence I’ve ever seen of Gordon Newell, probably the best historian of Olympia ever:

Rediscovering Archie Binns

Dan in Bremerton:

I was in 8th grade and was becoming interested in sailing. This book told a story of six teenagers from two families on a voyage around the San Juan Islands in a thirty two foot ketch. Even though the plot is a bit corny, the description of the islands, harbors and passages were very accurate. When the author “invented” a couple of islands, he let the reader know that he did that. While reading the book the first time, I would pull out my father’s charts to see where these places were. Reading that book probably was the one event that sparked my interest in cruising in the San Juan Islands and sailing to distant places. I started planning my own voyages to the San Juan Islands.

Even though “The Enchanted Islands” is considered a juvenile book, I reread it last week, but now, I can visually the descriptions of the places in the San Juans that the characters in the book visit and sail around. And his descriptions still seem accurate.

Ann Rule and Archie Binns

She was his student at UW:

Quick Note To Kathy W.

I remember your grandfather, Archie Binns, very well, indeed. He was one of my professors in Novel Writing at the University of Washington. He was a very interesting man who shared many traits with other writers who taught at the U. in those days: Dylan Thomas, Theodore Roethke, Richard Eberhart. His personal life was very dramatic and exciting, too. We were all in awe of him because he was a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!

I would write to you in private, but I have no way of knowing anyone’s email address when they post on my weblog.


Archie Binns wrote horror fiction?

You learn something new every day, at least when you randomly search blog posts for “Archie Binns.”

FromGruesome Cargoes blog, a blog about early 20th century “horror fiction,” Binns wrote a story called The Last Trip:

“I would have died long ago if it hadn’t been for her. I was blown up and shot to pieces … they brought back what was left of me, and put me away. I waited my chance until tonight, when I came to find you!”

The blogger comments:

The late bus from Pacific Street to Lewis. Butler is first irked then increasingly terrified as the journey proceeds in sombre silence, save for the mantra “Driver, I want to get off here” when one of the passengers wants to disembark. Eventually, there is only one man left, who pulls a gun, introduces himself as Death and says he wants to go to Woodland Cemetery.

Essentially a precursor of Dr. Terror’s House Of Horrors‘ framing story, this would have made for a great EC strip.

Ok, that does sound creepy.

Binns-Swigger Loop Rd. and Archie Binns

Archie Binns was born near Port Ludlow, but spent a good part of his life near Shelton out towards Arcadia. I didn’t notice it until now, but that area (east of Shelton) still bears the mark of Binns’ family name.

His time out in Arcadia land is detailed in “Roaring Land,” especially the chapters “Stump Farm” and “Steamboat Era.

Binns Swigger Loop Rd., Shelton WA:

View Larger Map

I have no idea who these Swigger folks are.

Archie Binns was framed!

And given to me for Christmas. My favorite Christmas gift:

Story behind the gift. I’m a big Archie Binns fan. One of my oldest (in actual age and in terms of how long I’ve owned it) Binns books is The Timber Beast. Because we’ve rearranged our house a few times in the past two years, my book collection has been moved, boxed and rearranged. The dust cover to Beast was one of the saddest casualties.

Last September I took the dust cover (which had begun to rip along the spine) off the book and set it aside. The tattered cover was because I’m an oaf, and because I forget some stuff, I didn’t realize that my wife picked it up and created a beautiful Christmas present for me. Better than the Wii.

Archie Binns, the Roaring Land, on the internet archive

Not really sure how I missed this one, but the Roaring Land, in parts my favorite history of Washington State, is available for free on the internet archive.

Best chapters to read included (of course) Chapter 2, Steamboat Era, and Chapter 7, Center of Gravity.

Center of Gravity, which details the early history of the Kent Valley, includes this illustration of the differences between Kent (at the time) and Yakima:

Eighty or ninety years ago, many of the Oregon Trail pioneers reached the Puget Sound country starving and ragged and destitute. No one thought the less of them for that; those who had arrived earlier welcomed them and shared what they had. …. The same thing will be true again before another eighty years are passed. Meanwhile, here is an example of community attitude toward the new, destitute pioneers. The item is taken from the front page of the weekly Kent News- Journal of October 30, 1941 :


A story of destitution and suffering not paralleled since the worst days of the depression was brought to the attention of a number of people of Kent and vicinity the latter part of last week and the first part of this when a family composed of a husband, wife, and seven children ranging from 15 years down to one year, arrived from California, with no bedding to speak of, no clothes for the members of the family, practically no food, and $1.50 cash capital.

The family had tried to get work in the orchards of the Yakima country and, although capable workers, were evicted from camps because of the seven children. Kent residents fed them Friday and secured living quarters in a vacant house, partially furnished, on East Hill. Monday the place was sold and the family had to move quickly to give possession to the new owner. The father skirmished around and secured another house in the vicinity

The Princes organization yesterday investigated the case and is giving assistance. However, the need of the family is so great that other assistance must be obtained to enable the four children of school age to attend school and supply them with food stuffs to tide them over until the father can secure work. At present he has an opportunity to cut wood as a temporary employment measure.

A resident of the district requests all persons desiring to make contributions to telephone 745-R-3 and a car will call to pick up all articles contributed.

One of the technical requirements of a good news story is the name of the chief actor in the first line. This is surely a good story, yet there are no names in it, only people. There are things to think about in the story. One of them is the fact that the parents were refused work and evicted from camps in the Yakima country because they needed work to feed their seven children. Presumably, there was fear that the family might stay and become a charge on the community, and that the children would go to school on taxpayers’ money. As a result of that fear, those very things happened, but in a different community. And the community where it happened accepted the family as it was, without questioning its right to be there. More positively, the Kent community assumed that children must not go hungry and naked and shelterless, and that a father should have the right to work. The News-Journal story gives almost a day-by-day account, as if every day in which people suffer is important to everyone in the community. And something happens almost every day: Friday, the family arrives and is fed by residents of the town, and a house is found ; Monday, the house is sold over their heads, and the same day another is provided; Tuesday, there is an emergency call for food to keep the family from starvation, and for clothing; Wednesday, the “Princes” investigate and go into action; and Thursday, the weekly newspaper makes the welfare of the family the concern of everyone in the community.

Blogging other places recently

Over at WesternDemocrat wondering why a Dem couldn’t win the West in 2008

Over at Washblog, just a couple of things on the AWB and Luke Esser and pointing folks to a Goldmark post out east.

Olyblog, various things.

Some soccer stuff, one wondering if Vancouver BC will steal the MLS and another at BigSoccer pointing out that the USL is dominating the so-called major league MLS in the Open Cup.

I really should have a couple of posts here this weekend, one long MLS/Soccer/Fan thought and a short addition to the Archie Binns project.

« Older posts

© 2024 Olympia Time

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑