Hugh Mitchell, 2014 (SBOH#006)

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Hugh Mitchell, 2014 (SBOH#006)

Like many of our team’s first interviewees, Hugh Mitchell has one of the longer histories at Salmon Beach. He moved to Salmon Beach in 1974, and he’s another of the Peace Corps alumni in the community. In this interview, Hugh discusses some of the handful of cabins that he’s lived in over the years. There’s quite a bit of discussion of community at Salmon Beach, and some great points about the meaning of community. He talks about the changing face of the community, gentrification, the absence of a renter population at the beach, and the “hippie” generation of the lat 60s and 70s. He mentions the first peoples at Salmon Beach — the Puyallup Indians, Chinese labor for the railroad, and then fishing cabins. He talks about some of the property arrangements behind the North/South divide on the beach, and describes some of the environmental risks and events that occur at the beach. There’s some discussion of Jacques Cousteau’s visit to the Narrows long ago, as well as mention of the formerly robust population of octopuses in the Narrows. He talks about the challenges of the extreme cold snap in the winter of 2013, he discusses the history of vandalism and theft at Salmon Beach, and he reviews a bit of the history of Galloping Gertie. Near the end of the interview, he talks about his career as a schoolteacher, his time in the Peace Corps in Micronesia, and his recent work with Habitat for Humanity.

Cabins Discussed: 100, 102, 92, others

Key Information:
Name: Hugh Mitchell
Age: ?
Current Cabin: 100
Date of Interview: October 16, 2014
Interviewer: Robin Temple (Puget Sound)

Note: If you see other important threads in this interview, please email suggestions to us.

SBOH#006: Hugh Mitchell 2014 Transcription

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Ed Fahnoe and Chris Hinds, 2015 (SBOH#005)

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Ed Fahnoe and Chris Hinds, 2015 (SBOH#005)

Ed and Chris are, like many of the other initial participants in this project, some of the most senior residents at the beach. This was a joint interview, and the discussion certainly benefitted from the combination of perspectives. Ed himself is known widely on the beach, and has had a hand in building, rebuilding, or fixing many of the houses on the beach. He also trained a younger generation of carpenters, many of whom are still active on the beach today. In this interview, Chris and Ed talk about children on the beach, and their own experiences raising kids on the beach. They talk about gentrification and the changing population of residents. There’s much discussion of the community ethos at the beach, as well as some discussion of the factors that foster and underpin it. Ed briefly discusses his Peace Corps experience — an experience he shares with a few other beach residents. There’s lots of illuminating description of life on the beach in the 70s, and some description of weddings on the beach (including their own). They also mention how dogs — and animals more generally — have also contributed to the beach community. They talk about how many of the materials with which the homes were built were materials scavenged from the Sound. There’s some discussion of the gaps, and the history behind each of those gaps, as well as some discussion of the future of the beach in an era of global warming and rising seas. They talk about growing oysters, and they talk about the long history of births at the beach.

Key Information:
Name: Ed Fahnoe and Chris Hinds
Age: 70s
Current Cabin: 28
Date of Interview: March 22, 2015
Interviewer: Renee Deanne Meschi (Puget Sound)

Note: If you see other important threads in this interview, please email suggestions to us.

SBOH#005: Ed Fahnoe and Chris Hinds 2015 Transcription

Richard Turner, 2014 (SBOH#004)

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Richard Turner, 2014 (SBOH#004)

Richard Turner is another member of the most senior cohort of Salmon Beach residents, and well known to most on the beach. He’s also the Commodore of the annual 4th of July boat race. This interview includes a fairly detailed history of the annual boat race. As this interview makes clear, he has a constellation of stories — both old and new — to tell about the beach. In this interview, he talks about mid-beach ethos — caught between the residents of the north and the residents of the south beach. He describes buying his first Salmon Beach house for $44.50 in 1962. Many of his stories illuminate the central role that alcohol played in Salmon Beach culture, even after Prohibition. Indeed, alcohol is a factor in some of the stories he tells about cabins that burnt down over the years. He describes the early roll of Foss Tug and Barge at the beach, and talks about how renowned the beach was for the readily available salmon that could be caught off the decks. He mentions the longstanding connection between the beach and the University of Puget Sound.  He discusses some of the changes he’s witnessed in the beach over the generations, and discusses the steady gentrification of the community. He provides a history of the chicken coop (the cabin on the hill that he built), and the overall value of the community ethos of the beach. He concludes with the story about the group of strangers who tried to fake a drowning at the beach as part of an insurance scam. He discusses the histories of many cabins, including 69, 82, 91, 95, and 38.

Key Information:
Name: Richard Turner
Age: 60+
Current Cabin: 69 (Chicken Coop)
Date of Interview: October 10, 2014
Interviewer: Kasey Janousek (Puget Sound)

Note: If you see other important threads in this interview, please email suggestions to us.

SBOH#004: Richard Turner 2014 Transcription

Kelly Raynolds, 2014 (SBOH#003)

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Kelly Raynolds, 2014 (SBOH#002)

Kelly Raynolds is another member of the oldest cohort of current Salmon Beach residents. Kelly is a lawyer, and that trade brought his involvement in many of the deals and wranglings that secured the Salmon Beach property for residents decades ago. In this interview, he describes what he knows about Salmon Beach’s earliest history, the Foss family’s involvement, and the complex sale of the property from the Wiborg family. This includes an insightful discussion of the difficulties overcome in figuring out how to manage property as a community, as well as a description of why the north half of the community broke away to form its own corporation. He revisits other legal brambles and touches on some of the historic difficulties between Salmon Beach and the City of Tacoma. He briefly mentions his Peace Corps service, and talks about the changing cast of residents he’s witnessed over the years. He talks about artists, hippies, the 70s more broadly, and how many of the homes on the beach were built with material scavenged from Puget Sound. Near the conclusion of the interview, he tells the story of George Jay and the piano, and describes the steady gentrification of the Salmon Beach community.

Key Information:
Name: Kelly Raynolds
Age: ?
Current Cabin: 99
Date of Interview: October, 2014
Interviewer: Carolynn Hammen (Puget Sound)

Note: If you see other important threads in this interview, please email suggestions to us.

SBOH#003: Kelly Raynolds 2014 Transcription

Joan Rutherford, 2014 (SBOH#002)

[Photo here] Joan Rutherford, 2014 (SBOH#002) Joan Rutherford is another of Salmon Beach’s most senior cohort. She resides in cabin #1, at the far north end of the beach. She arrived in 1977, and other than five years on a far-flung coral atoll in the South Pacific, she’s been at the beach ever since. In this wide ranging interview, Joan covers a lot of ground. She discusses her recent 80th birthday party and many of the other holidays and events that the community celebrates. She discusses the early Peace Corps component of the Salmon Beach community, and reviews her recollections of the community’s history from prohibition, the Great Depression, the “flower children” of the 60’s and 70’s, and the recent gentrification of the community. She talks at length about children — past and present — at Salmon Beach. The interview is also peppered with lots of discussion of the environmental hazards and vulnerabilities that come with life at Salmon Beach. She briefly discusses cabins 1, 2, 3, 49 and 97 in this interview.

Key Information:
Name: Joan Rutherford
Age: 81 Current
Cabin: 1
Date of Interview: October 17, 2014
Interviewer: Tammy Smith (Puget Sound)

Note: If you see other important threads in this interview, please email suggestions to us.

SBOH#002: Joan Rutherford 2014 Transcription