Pickett

From the Washington Statesman, 3 January 1862, Walla Walla, Washington Territory:

“MOSS & BROOKS, Contractors and builders — Shop on the Corner, first street south of Main Street, Walla Walla.

“Having had long experience in contracting and building, we will guarantee that all kinds of carpenter and joiner work undertaken by us will be executed promptly and in a workmanlike manner.”

Notice that a street other than Main Street is listed here, apparently not yet named. Also, some merchants refer to Main Street as Nez Perces Street (its previous designation).

The steamers on the Columbia River were unable to run during the winter, so overland travel was necessary instead. One person who traveled from Walla Walla to Wallula (Old Fort Walla Walla), hoping to catch the last steamer back to Portland, discovered that it would not arrive:

“There is at Wallula…much more to entertain the traveler at this season of the year than one would naturally suppose from a first view of the place.

“As the stage [coach] from the valley rises the little hill and discloses all at one view this dilapidated looking place to the passenger, he very naturally says to himself, ‘uninviting looking place’ — ‘have a poor time here, sure.’ But these and kindred thoughts are speedily dispelled when he finds himself comfortably seated before a ‘rousing fire’ at the hospitable inn of J. M. Vansyckle & Co.

“The ice runs too thick for the boat to come up, but we don’t care much. There is plenty of smooth ice below the mouth of the Walla Walla, and we avail ourselves of the first opportunity to try our hands, or rather our heels, at skating.

“This is excellent sport and good, healthy exercise; now and then we find ourselves horizontally inclined, with dizziness in the head, and the stars twinkling and shining the most wonderful manner.” (Ice skating on steel blades was first reported in the thirteenth century in Holland.)

Part 7

Susan Pickett was professor of music at Whitman College from 1981–2018. She is the author of “Marion and Emilie Frances Bauer: from the Wild West to American Musical Modernism” — a biography about two women born in Walla Walla whose careers in the New York City music scene spanned 1896–1955.