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THE LAND RUSH


By Bud Loomis



The land was all unsurveyed and vacant from a little way north of Humptulips clear to Lake Quinault - a seventeen mile stretch. We expected that sometime it would be "thrown open." There had been some squatters but it was closed to filings. Then it was surveyed.

The first thing I knew about it, I was sleeping upstairs over the store in Humptulips. That was before I was married. In the night along about one or two a.m., I heard a lot of voices and a lot of walking around. At first, I just laid there and thought I had a nightmare. Still it continued. Then, somebody let out a yell, "Bud". I got up and partly dressed in pants and shirt, but no shoes, and went downstairs. We had coal-oil lamps then, and I lit a lantern. When I opened the front door, there was a big crowd of men.

I said, "For the love of Pete, what's going on?" Then I saw Thayer Lamb and Goe. Eddy and Ralph Philbrick and quite a few more that I knew. They said, "Open up and let us get something to eat. We're hungry."

"Where are you going?" I asked.

One of the group took me aside and said, "It's a secret. Keep still, don't make any noise. We've got a tip that this land up north has been thrown open and we're going up to get claims." He said that they had made arrangements that as soon as the telegram came from Washington, a man was to ride a fast horse up there with it. I knew right where the land was, but I didn't know much about it. Just where a few lines crossed.

Well, they filled that store up, and I got some more lights. They wanted some grub to take along with them. I couldn't begin to wait on that bunch alone. A man would buy one thing at a time, and we were fixing up packs and grub. It was so slow that pretty nearly every one of them was waiting on himself or someone else and writing down the list. All got credit. Nobody stopped to pay. But I did get it later. Every man had a gunnysack and would throw what he bought into it, sling it over his back and start out.