As we drove between Forks and Port Angeles earlier this week my husband commented, as he always does, about something that used to exist on a now vacant plot. At one time this stretch of highway was filled with thriving communities that had been created or were supported by the timber industry. As the face of logging changed and the big logging companies closed down and moved or abandoned their logging camps these communities withered. The old-timers that grew up out there in the 1920’s and 1930’s are also gone, or soon will be. Now most people give little thought to what used to be out there, or that there was anything out there at all.
For example there used to be a pair of communities out there called Beaver and Tyee. When the federal government moved the Post Office to Tyee, what was Tyee soon became more commonly known as Beaver because the Post Office was still called the Beaver Post Office. Today whenever a young person talks about Beaver they are referring to old Tyee. Anyone that grew up out there before the post office was moved will ask, “Old Beaver or new Beaver?” And then you will almost always hear someone mutter “Tyee.”
We are so focused on what is new and exciting in the world that it is easy to forget the rich history of these communities that no longer exist. And before we know it all those who still mutter “Tyee” will be gone. We really must start documenting the stories of our families if only because it helps preserve the history of these communities.
If you have stories of Tyee or Old Beaver, I would really love to hear them.
Written for Three Word Wednesday: focused, pair,vacant.