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THE JAMES DONALDSON FAMILY

By Jane Donaldson Streater


My father's parents were born and married in Selkirk, Scotland, and remained there all their lives. They had a large family of children, my father James being born in 1854.

My mother's parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Gowans, were born and married near Bathget, not far from Edinborough. Three children were born to them: Isabel, Annie Jane (my mother) in 1862, and John.

My father and mother met and were married in Scotland where their first three children were born: James - 1882, Margaret - 1884, and Jane (myself) in 1886.

James Donaldson followed the sea, being an engineer on a large steamship running between Scotland and the United States. As a child my sister Margaret was in poor health and the doctors in Scotland could do nothing for her. They advised us to take her to America. Accordingly in September, 1887, we came to Philadelphia. But the doctors there gave us no encouragement and, as Margaret was homesick for her grandparents, advised us to take her back to Scotland. Though we remained in Philadelphia only three months, her health improved. Whether it was the sea vogage that helped, we never knew.

In 1891 we returned to America, coming to Tacoma, as Father was engineer on the "City of Seattle". About a year later he made a trip into the Queets valley where he located a claim and made arrangements with Mr. Fitch to build us a cabin and plant us a garden. In March, 1892, while we were still in Tacoma, my sister Isabel was born.

The following September, my father, mother, and we four children - Jim - nine; Margaret - seven; Jane-six; and 'Belle' - a babe in arms started for the Queets, going by train to South Aberdeen. There we crossed the Chehalis River on a ferry, and from Aberdeen took a stage to Hoquiam. After spending the night at the Gamage Hotel we boarded a small boat, the "Thistle" for the Indian village of Oyehut. From there we traveled by team and wagon on the beach to Grigsby's an overnight stopping place about a mile from the Chepalis River (Now called the Copalis).