The Good Ol’ Days – February 1908

diaryFrom Virgil Powell’s Diary

by Tobie Finzel

Virgil Powell was a long-time resident who had a farm somewhere in the Upper Nehalem Valley between Natal and Pittsburg.  Each year from 1906 until 1955, he kept a diary with a brief entry almost every day of his activities.  He noted what he did on the farm that day, what the weather was, if he worked in the woods or delivering mail, and what entertainments he attended. In the 1960s, then-curator John Stofiel transcribed the diaries to typewritten pages; both the original diaries and the transcriptions are kept the museum.  Here’s what Virgil wrote in February 1908:

Saturday, Feb. 15:  Carried the mail to Mist.  Got to Mist at 11 A.M.  Grange day at Natal.  Pretty fair day but rained after I got home.  Had a fine time down at the store talking basket social for next Saturday night.

Saturday, Feb. 22.  Carried the mail down to Mist.  Got to Mist at 10 A.M.  Left Mist at 1 P.M.  Got home at 2.25.  Stayed home till 3.10 then started for the doings at Vernonia at 4.45.  From Mist to Vernonia 3 hours.  Had a deuce of a time.  Did not start home till 7 A.M.  Good fine day.

Tuesday, Feb. 25.  Sawed wood all day.  Shot at some salmon in the afternoon but did not kill any.  Cloudy and looks very much like rain.  Received a postal from Florence Williams.

Open Air Market Potluck!

On Saturday January 17th the Open Air Market is hosting an informational potluck to kick off a recruiting drive for the 2015 season. The Market runs June through early October and features farm fresh produce from around the Vernonia area.

In past years the market has included locally made crafts and other goods and has been located at different locations throughout Vernonia. Without a permanent home, the market has relied on advertising and word of mouth to bring in vendors and customers.

While 2015 will not bring a permanent home to the market, it is hoped that new developments on the old school site will include a suitable place for the market. With the possibility of new features and a new home, the market managers are seeking guidance from the community.

At 1 pm on January 17th they welcome anyone interested in the future of the market to join them at the Grange building on the corner of Washington and North streets, across from the Vernonia Christian Church. Please bring a small dish of your choice to share.

Following the meal, attendees will be encouraged to let their voices be heard. A short history of the market will be followed by a question and answer session. Everyone is invited and the managers are especially interested in hearing from vendors and public who have been unable to participate in the market, but desire to do so.

Interested parties may contact Rachel or Bill Langmaid with questions or to RSVP. They can be reached at,, or by calling 503-429-0438.