Author: Melinda Talley, November 30, 1995|
Guild - Klady Centennial Farm House
"Wouldn't it be fun to be able to talk to this old house and find out just what it has seen as Woodland first stirred into life and became a town? It must have seen Woodland as a real rough and tough frontier town of the old West. How sad it would be to see our heritage disappear forever, to fade into memory and then at last to be gone, and remembered no more."
Norma Brunson wrote this about the 112-year-old Page home when it was bulldozed down in May of 1981 (L.R.N. 1981). Fortunately for the Guild-Klady home, this will not happen. A fifth generation descendent of the family has discovered the immortalizing tool of archaeological research to enable the Guild-Klady house to talk. The history of the house begins around 150 years ago.
In the-mid 1800's, the area surrounding the confluence of the Columbia River and a river soon to be known as the Lewis, was settling point for many pioneers, located along the Oregon Trail (Ott, York, 1983).
In 1850, the United States Congress passed the Donation Land Law, which granted to adult males who had settled in the Pacific Northwest before December 1, 1846, claims of 320 acres (640 if married) of land. Latter immigrants received only 160 acres (320 if married). This law only applied to the Pacific Northwest and expired in 1855 (W.S.O.A.H.P. 1989). This law, and the passage of the Homestead Act In 1867, attracted many pioneers to the Pacific Northwest.
One of the many pioneer families was that of Columbia Lancaster Klady, who built his home in 1877-78 in the area eventually known as Woodland. This home was put on the Washington State Historical record March 20, 1989 for its continual family succession of farming for over 100 years (orange 1989). Through oral histories of local residents (appendix), Cowlitz County records, publication of The Lewis River News, family letters and documents, and various other sources, this case study will follow the history of the Klady home and show its representation of vernacular1 houses in the area for its time period.
Photo 1 - Click to enlarge
The Guild-Klady house, which currently sits on 9.25 acres (Cowlitz County Deed 9 73809), is located at 1620 Guild Road, Woodland, WA in Cowlitz County. It is approximately one mile east of the Columbia River and three miles north of the confluence of the Lewis and Columbia River.
House Description 1878
The house is located on the north side of Guild Road, a rural access road between the City of Woodland and Interstate 5. The site is level. The land to the west and north of the site is currently used as a raspberry farm. To the east Is one existing single-family residence plus several hundred acres of undeveloped land previously used for agricultural purposes, but recently rezoned to light industrial uses. To the south across Guild Road, are several single-family residences and additional undeveloped agricultural land (Photos 3 & 4 - Currently Unavailable).
Photo 2 - Click to enlarge
House Description 1995
The house is a two-story single-family farm house of wood frame construction with shiplap siding, and vertical corner-boards, that sat on a wood post and beam foundation. Insulation was made of newspapers, cheesecloth and paste2. Windows are single-panes, double-hung. There was an open east side porch. on the South side of the house facing the road, was a balcony above the front entry.
Photo 5 - Click to enlarge
The first floor contains the master bedroom in the southwest corner, the living room to the east, and the kitchen-dining area to the north. Access to the upstairs is gained through the kitchen via a wooden staircase. The upstairs houses two bedrooms to the east, one to the west and an unfinished attic above the kitchen to the north.
Photo 6 - Click to enlarge
There originally were two entries to the house, one from the east porch, and the second from the south into the living room (Photos 5 & 6).
Historical Background of Woodland (Pekin)
Currently the house is described with changes to original description. There is no longer a balcony on the south side of house3. The porch on the East side was enclosed in 1949. That same year, a bathroom on the northeast corner of the house was added, along with a pantry on the northwest corner, with an additional entry to the house. Bay windows were installed to the East Side of the living room sometime in the 1930's. A bathroom was subsequently added to the bedroom in the southeast corner on the second floor In 1951 (Davis, 1995). Additionally, cedar shake siding and a composition shingle roof were added in the early 1950's (G.R. Davis, 1995). The cedar shake siding and composition shingle roof were replaced in the summer of 1995 (Talley, 1995). The first floor and second floor bedrooms were insulated with R-38 blown insulation and the attic was insulated with R-30 batts in the vaults in 19814.
Photo 7 - Click to enlarge
An easement for Pacific Power and Light to install electric lines was granted on October 10, 1929 (Auditor's file #91856). Indoor plumbing was not installed until after the flood of 1948. Before that time, water was pumped from a well located six feet from the existing porch and carried indoors. The outhouse stood until the mid 1950's. The home was originally heated by an "old burner stove which piped the heat upstairs" according to oral history of Grace Davis (1995) (Photos 7 & 8).
Photo 8 - Click to enlarge
Woodland is one of the oldest communities in Washington State. In 1845, upon his retirement from the Hudson's Bay Company, Adolphus Lee Lewes (sic), and his brother Fred, established a land claim on the banks of a river east of the present city of Woodland. The river became known as the Lewis after its original settler. Within a few years, many other settlers followed to take advantage of Donation Land Claims, and settled on the Lewis River "Bottoms"5. Among those that settled around 1850, Included Squire and Millie Bozarth, Solomon Strong and Judge Columbia Lancaster.
Historical Background of Guild-Klady families
When the Pekin Post Office was opened in 1867, the "Bottoms" became known as Pekin until Woodland was established in 1881. It was on part of the Bozarth Donation Land Claim, that the town of Woodland was founded. Squire Bozarth named his home6, which he built in 1852, the "Woodland Farm House" because of the surrounding stand of fir trees. The subsequent community around this farmhouse became known as Woodland as well.
Woodland was platted by A.W. Scott on October 14, 1889, the same year Washington gained statehood. It was incorporated as a town in 1906.
The pioneers were drawn to the area because of prime farmland for cattle and crops7 and the abundance of timber. By 1874, there were a number of small mills furnishing lumber for the many new buildings of Woodland. About 1887, because of the large amount of dairy farmers, the Woodland Dairy Association contracted Peter McIntosh to make plans for a factory to manufacture butter and cheese. It was completed in 1889. The Woodland Dairy Association was in its prime at that time. Their main product was cheese. McIntosh was instrumental in getting the Woodland Dairy Association to produce A-1 cheese. History states that Woodland cheese from their dairymenís association was the best in the Northwest, second only to Canadian cheese. McIntosh left the area to begin the huge Tillamook operation in Oregon, soon after the association started producing cheese8.
In 1877, Columbia Lancaster Klady and Sarah Isabelle Lacky Klady purchased 170 acres of land from two adjoining properties owned by Solomon Strong and Squire and Millie Bozarth (Cowlitz County Deed #unknown) for agropastorial use. Columbia built the house in 1877-78 (Davis:1995). The house is a simple two-story structure similar in construction, with its shiplap siding and "Salt Box" shape, to various other homes built during the same time frame.
Woodland Area Houses
The Guild - Klady house has been occupied by family members since its original construction (oral history and Land Deeds) have occupied the Guild - Klady house. Alwilda May Klady, daughter of Columbia and Sarah Klady, born in August of 1879, married Jesse Jacob Guild in 1899 (Klady family Bible). Jesse and Alwilda Guild bought the farm in 1912 for $10,000 from the Klady's (Cowlitz County Deed #9963). Hence the name Guild - Klady Centennial Farm. Before purchasing the farm, the Guilds rented the home for a period of four years (rent receipts in family scrapbooks). At that time, both the Guild's and the Klady's contributed as part owners in the Dairy Associations Co-op (L.R.N. 1927).
An article in the L.R.N. dated June 1, 1927 stated that Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Guild still owned 170 acres. Their income was derived from a herd of 51 grade Holsteins. i.i. Guild also grew potatoes and oats to supplement the dairy business. In another account in the Lewis River News dated September 25, 1929, 3.3. Guild sold 26 head of cattle, his hay, grain and kale and rented 125 acres of land for a term of 5 1/2 years. Mr. Guild retained about 35 acres of land, 5 cows, 11 heifers and the set of farm buildings where he lived10.
On April 12, 1935, just after the rental agreement ended, Mr. and Mrs. I. J. Guild took out a mortgage on the land to pay for Diking District Improvements (Mortgage #200 county record #130592).
Where the house is located, the water table reaches as high as one foot below ground level (Cowlitz County Soil Survey 1974). The largest recorded flood of the Columbia River occurred in 189411. A Lewis River News article dated April 30, 1970, through an oral interview with Alwilda Guild stated "The house was filled with water to the ceiling of the its floor. C.L. Klady had to bring boulders in a rowboat and place the big rocks on his porch roofs to keep the house from floating away."
Dikes were built in 1921 along the Lewis and Columbia Rivers encircling the "Bottoms." The dike broke the first year and was repaired and made stronger. The Lewis River flooded in 1933 which again broke the dike, and the dike was repaired another time. The final collapse of the dike occurred in 1948 when the Columbia River flooded. It has withstood all major floods since then. Because of, this, the area has been upgraded from a 100 year flood plain to a 500 year flood plain (Cowlitz County Soil Survey 1974).
During floods, the family moved their cattle to other property on nearby Butte Hill. Alwilda was quoted "Poor things (cows), they were used to the flat ground on the bottoms and they didn't know how to eat up there." She went on further to say "we always had to have a second set of seeds for planting in case of floods."
In 1942, the Mortgage Company foreclosed on the Guilds for non-payment. One hundred and twenty acres of the original one hundred and seventy acres were sold at auction for back-payments of mortgage and assessed diking taxes. The Guilds retained 50, which included all structures.
At the time of Alwilda's death in 1973, there were still 50 acres of the original land purchase. In 1969 property was divided among her six children or their survivors. Emily Grace Belle Guild Davis, the oldest child, received 16 acres, which contained the farmhouse, chicken shed, pumphouse, barn and apartment/garage. The remaining 34 acres were divided in three equal portions and deeded to other family members (Cowlitz County Deed #67834).
The house is currently owned by Osa May Davis Taggart, the youngest daughter of Emily and Fred Davis. She was deeded the property by her mother Emily Davis on July 8, 1971 (Cowlitz County Deed #73809).
Through all of the floods and foreclosures, a portion of the land has been farmed continuously since its original purchase in 1877. Since J.J. Guild's death in 1956, a large portion of the acreage has been leased to local farmers for cultivation (Taggart 1995). J.J. Guild was a member of the Woodland Grange when it was chartered in Woodland in 1906, until his death. Because of this and the continuous farming, the Guild-Klady house was put on the historical register in 1989 as a Centennial Farm.
In the late 1800's, there were many styles of vernacular architecture In the Woodland area, ranging from "Salt Box" to Victorian. The Guild-Klady house is representative of simple vernacular architecture, as is-the Page house (Photo # 9 - Currently Unavailable), and the Blackburn house (Photo # 10 - Currently Unavailable). The Specht house (Photo # 11) is a vernacular built home, yet Victorian in style. The Bozarth house (Photo # 12) was built from materials shipped around the Horn in 1852.
The Page house 12 was of a similar construction style to the Guild-Klady house13 with its use of shiplap siding and vertical corner pieces, along with insulation made from newspapers. Charlie and Fred Page built this house. According to an article In the Lewis River News dated May 13, 1981, "the exact date of construction is unknown but, newspapers inside the walls were dated 1869. This house was razed in 198114. The Blackburn house15 is also of similar size and construction to the Guild-Klady house. This house was built by family members in 1891, and burned to the ground some 90 years later in 1983 (L.R.N. 1983).
The Specht house16, another vernacular house, that was constructed in 1878. This house shows a remarkably different style of architecture in comparison to the Guild-Klady house. E.C. Specht built a Woodland area farmer it, also a Woodland area farmer. An article in the Lewis River News dated 1987 gave a brief history on this historical house. The paper stated that E.C. Specht needed a house "in town" for his wife and children during the school year. He built this large Victorian for them. Through an oral interview with Grace Davis she stated that "The Spechts were a well-to-do family in that time and they always had dances on the second floor of their home.17
Photo 11 - Click to enlarge
The Bozarth house, 18 as stated above, was built from material that was shipped around the Horn before the Panama Canal was built. This house was originally located on the banks of the Lewis River, but has since been moved to North Pekin Road.
Photo 12 - Click to enlarge
The Guild - Klady house, though not the only representative of vernacular architecture, still has its place in Woodland's history. Through archaeological research, I was able to "talk to this old house" and find out what it had seen, as Woodland became a town, up through the years until present day.
1. Vernacular building is folk building, done without benefit of formal plans. Such structures are frequently built by their occupants or, If not, by someone who Is well within the occupant's immediate community. Vernacular structures are the immediate product of their users and from a sensitive Indicator of these persons' inner feeling, their Ideas of what is or Is not suitable to them, Consequently, changes in attitudes, values, and world view are very likely to be reflected In changes In vernacular architectural forms (Deetz, 1977).
2. Houses were insulated with newspaper, cheesecloth and paste or by sawdust (Taylor, Davis, and Bozarth 1995).
3. The balcony was destroyed in the flood of 1948 and never replaced (G.R. Davis, 1995).
4. Cowlitz County P.U.D. records 1981.
5. Woodland "Bottoms", an area currently surrounded by dikes at the confluence of the Columbia and Lewis River. The area is built up of alluvial deposits from both rivers (Cowlitz County Soil Survey 1974).
6. The Squire and Millie Bozarth home is discussed further on page 18 of this paper.
7. Woodland bottom land is still listed, along with Willow Grove in Longview, Washington, as the best agricultural land in Cowlitz County. (Overall Economic Plan 1991 Cowlitz County).
8. Woodland History from Cowlitz County History, Ott and York, 1983.
9. Columbia Lancaster Klady was a nephew of Judge Columbia Lancaster who established one of the first Donation Land Claims in the area in 1849.
10. This leaves 10 acres of land unaccounted for.
11. Cowlitz County Historical Society 1983.
12. Map site 5,1 included in Appendix.
13. Map site # 1.
14. See page 2 of this paper.
15. Map site # 4.
16. map site # 7.
17. Of note, is the fact that as of 1987, according to the current owner Susan Heller, there still was not insulation in the home.
18. Map site # 3.
Bozarth, Ralph and Shirley. Personal Interview. 7 Nov. 1995.
Davis, Emily Gracie Belle. Personal Interview. 17 Sep., 11 Oct., 20 Oct., 4 Nov., 25 Nov. 1995.
Davis, Gene Royd. Personal interview. 15 Sep., 18 NOV. 1995.
Deetz, James. In Small-Things Forgotten. New York: Doubleday, 1977.
Lewis River News (L.R.N.). Articles from 1927, 1929, 1970, 1981, 1983, 1995. Woodland.
Taggart, Osa May. Personal Interview. 17 Sep., 6 Oct. 1995.
Taylor, Jon. Personal Interview. 28 Oct. 1995.
United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service.
Soil survey of -Cowlitz Area, -Washington. Washington D.C.: Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office. 1974.
Washington State Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.
Built in Washington. Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1989.