Whenever the trails, cut out by the settlers, became impassable, the man who usually promoted the idea of repairing them was A. V. Higley. For many years the County Commissioners thought little of this far off section, and while the settlement of '21-9' made it absolutely necessary to 'puncheon' the New London-Humptulips section, that portion of what is now the Olympic Highway from Humptulips to Quinault was built by a 'gentleman's agreement' whereby the Commissioners would furnish the 'grub' up to a small amount, while the settlers did the work. There was no payroll. The records show that the entire cost of the eighteen miles, mostly 'Puncheoned' was less than $12,000, or much less than $1,000 per mile.
While nearly every settler in the valley 'donated' labor, it was the courage, foresight, and perseverance of A. V. Higley that makes it possible for you to travel the present highway, for HIS courage gave courage to others, and I was one of these. In season and out of season, at all times and places, he was found working for what he believed to be the best interests of his place and people. A strong man, he was strong in his likes and dislikes, but with it all he was a leader of men, and I am sure that you will join me in saying; that among them all, he was a M-A-N.
Another worker who blazed the trails was Jack Ewell. Kindly hearted and active for any project which he thought would advance the interests of his people. Always ready to do his part - and a little more. It was Jack Ewell who, as much as any other man, elected Hon. E. E. Fishel, as County Commissioner of this District, and that election build the road in two years at a cost of about $10,000 for the eighteen miles. The Queets section has been under construction for about ten years, (1926) and is not yet completed, and none but the State Highway Department can tell what that section has cost.
I might go on by the hour recounting the deeds of the men and women of the early 90s, but it would be largely repetition, for in no section have I ever known more kindly, helpful, and neighborly people than the Pioneers. And there was a reason. They passed by and through miles and miles of timbered lands to find good farming land. It has often been asked of me - why the Quinault was settled, when so far away. Well, the Old Timers can remember that ALL land was far away, as soon as one left the water. No one could say where roads would or would not be built. They can also recall that a survey was made by the Northern Pacific - that is, a preliminary scouting of the land and country - by Sam. C. Gilman, then in its employ. He was so sure a railroad would touch the Lake that he resigned his job, sent for his brother John, and his cousin Charley DeLong, and all three took claims along the west shore of the Lake.