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Arriving at the Lake he decided to build himself a raft and using a blanket for a sail, make his way to the valley. Gathering together driftwood and whittling out vine-maple crotches, he fashioned a raft by laying the small poles crosswise, and pinning them down by driving the wedge shaped ends of the crotches into the main logs.

It so happened that, as is usual at this time of the year, the wind was light when he paddled and sailed away from the lower end of the Lake, but before he made his landing in the valley the wind had freshened, and he found that with the working of the waves his various wedges began to work loose, and his raft threatened to go to pieces. However, by much hammering, he kept them in place and made shore at last, well pleased to be off the raft. This part of the trip consumed nine days from Montesano.

After looking over the 'lay of the land' he built a small log house and posted a notice on the first 'claim' in the Quinault Valley, on August 8, 1889. He then chopped out a small rough 'dugout' canoe and made his way down the Quinault River to the Indian Agency; walked down the beach to Damons Point and was sailed to Hoquiam in a fish boat.

That same fall the Pruce brothers, Jack and Albert, in company with Jim Kelly, and a man named Noyes, and possibly one or two others, took claims in the valley.

I landed in the Territory of Washington just as it was becoming a state, in the fall of 1889, and in company with my father, Joseph N. Locke, my uncle Julius N. Locke, my uncle Julius H. Locke, my brother Robert M. Locke, wintered at Montesano, as it was decided by my father that it would be an unnecessary hardship to try to winter at Quinault. The winter of 1889 was rather cold, and good weather came early, so that in February, we packed our outfit and went down the bay to Hoquiam on the good tug "Cruiser". At this point we transferred to Captain Kirkaldie's tug "Tillie" and in due course arrived at Damon's Point post office.

At this place we found a gentleman waiting for us - or for somebody - who introduced himself as follows: "My name is Josep Coppomine, and Fled Pop he is mine cousin. I weight from 160 to 170 and I am a pitty good lassler, pitty qhick too. I can loll (roll) ober jus like a mabble."