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It is to be regretted that many hazardous and thrilling incidents of the early days have been lost to posterity, chiefly because people do not realize they are making history. Ella Wheeler Wilcox put it this way:

"The common deeds of the common day, are ringing bells in the far away."

In 1940 many Queets settlers had to vacate their property to the Government to enlarge Olympic National Park. While some compenstation was paid, it was far from adequate. This meant heartbreak for the settler who had pioneered the wilderness and, through years of strenuous labor, had converted the land into a peaceful, productive farm, and the cabin into a home with memories.


In his diary, J. J. Banta mentions that he found about fifty Indians in a village near the mouth of the Hoh, in 1890. Two years later, the John Huelsdonk family settled in the valley.

To quote from a published article:

Huelsdonk - "Iron Man of the Hoh" - trailing a cougar through the salal brush and the ancient halls of the fir forest. Giant of a man, packing two hundred pounds of provisions over the rough Hoh Valley trails, years and years ago. He complained not about the iron cookstove he carried on his back, but of the sack of flour in the oven, which kept shifting round and throwing him off balance."

Mrs. Lena Fletcher, of Forks, daughter of John Huelsdonk, says:

"How many cougars my father shot for bounty has not been recorded. But in the fifty years he hunted them with hounds the total could well have been between two and three hundred. Although the dogs often fought the black bear, Father never permitted a dog to attack a wounded cougar, lest he end up dead.

My father was an exceptionally strong man. he was five feet, ten inches in height, weighed some 225 pounds in his prime, and did not carry an ounce of surplus weight. I have seen him hold a fifty-pound sack of flour out at arms length, and he could pick up and pack a couple of us girls under his arms and load one on his back to ford a stream, where the total weight must have been well in excess of three hundred pounds, and do so entirely without effort and as a matter of course. "