While early settlers rowed themselves across the river, it is said that George Emerson once swam the Hoquiam. But in 1891, with Hoquiam's population between a thousand and fifteen hundred, a toll ferry was constructed which operated for about ten years. Its prices were as follows:
Double team - 35 cents one way, or 50 cents round trip
Single rig - 25 cents one way or 35 cents round trip
Loose cattle - 20 cents each
Hogs and sheep - 5 cents each
Foot passengers - 5 cents each
Saddle horse and rider - 25 cents
Although the settlers found the ferry a great convenience, it took the Eighth Street bridge to really unite East and West Hoquiam. It was a wooden bridge, constructed in 1900. Before it was entirely planked, Mary Crawford walked across it, and received a good scolding from her mother.
Richard Walker says that many beavers were trapped by early settlers. Beavers like vine maple, cottonwood, and alder. They'd gnaw round and round a tree and fell it into a small creek or slough or swale. Then they'd pile up sticks around it and carry mud and pat it down with their paws and tails. When a beaver slapped the water with his broad tail it made quite a loud noise. After they had formed a waterpool by building the dam, they'd dive into it and come up into their nests in the bank. Beavers are mammals and have large broods. There was a big beaver dam on the Lindsay place against the bank.
Beaver and land otter have slides where they slide down into the water, Settlers used to trap them there. They'd lay a pole alongside the slide, run the pole through a ring with a chain four or five feet long attached, and set a trap at the edge of the water where the beaver would be likely to step on the foot of the trap.
This foot-plate is like the pedal of a car. It trips and released the trap spring. The spring catches the beaver, he dives and takes the chain down with him. The ring slides down, and as the stick is forked the chain can't come back up. So the beaver is drowned.
Land otter weight from fifty to seventy-five pounds. They live off fish, and are very destructive to salmon, when they come up the river to spawn.
The beaver's front teeth are sharp and flat. His hide is skinned like a beef's - cutting it along the belly and stretching it out into an oval. The legs shrink up to almost nothing.