Skookum: An Oregon Pioneer Family's History and Lore / Edition 2

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"In 1843, brothers Jesse, Lindsay, and Charley Applegate - accompanied by their wives and twenty-two children - led the first major wagon train from Missouri to Oregon. By the end of the decade, the restless clan had left the "crowded" Willamette Valley and pointed their wagons toward Yoncalla in southern Oregon's Umpqua Valley. There, Charley built an immense two-story frame home - with one side for men, the other for women." "The divided house in Yoncalla is at the heart of Shannon Applegate's Skookum, the award-winning chronicle of her pioneer family. With the skill of a historian and the craft of a novelist, Applegate recounts the story of her family over several generations - the dreams, hardships, mysteries, and joys. She looks beyond the well known lives of the Applegate men, in whose honor were named a trail, a town, a river, and a mountain peak, to offer a more intimate history." Skookum gives voice to the women of the family, who, writes Applegate, "as surely as certain stitches ... have held the generations together," Her female kin "kept the time" by cherishing and protecting the thousands of family letters, journals, recollections, manuscripts, sketchbooks, and photographs. Tied into bundles and stored for years in chests of aromatic cedar and Douglas fir, these family treasures infuse Skookum's narratives with the powerful presence of the past. Out of these richly detailed sources, Applegate has fashioned a compelling, imaginative saga that brings her extraordinary family and the emerging West dramatically to life.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In the spring of 1843, brothers Jesse, Lindsay, and Charley Applegate sold their farms, bought several hundred head of cattle, and led the first wagon train from Missouri to Oregon, accompanied by their wives and 22 children. Two children died before the Applegates reached their destination in Umpqua Valley. Shannon Applegate, a direct descendant of these brave pioneers, has fashioned a richly detailed history of this extraordinary frontier family.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Three Applegate brothers - Charley, Lindsay, Jesse - and their families came to Oregon in 1843, ultimately settling in the Yoncalla Valley. They built an emigrant road, set up homesteads and became involved in territorial affairs. Some family members left temporarily to seek gold in California and Idaho. Wives and daughters wrote letters, kept journals, saved photographs and other memorabilia. They stored a treasure trove to be discovered by a fifth-generation descendant, the author, who has fashioned a splendidly detailed history of the family. The first section, 1843-1867, reads like a novel; the second part profiles two sons and three daughters of the settlers. Finally, Applegate describes her return to the old home place and the surviving members of the family's third generation (her great-aunt and great-uncle). The Applegates played a vital role in Oregon's history, and their story will have great local interest; it will also appeal to readers interested in the pioneer experience. Photos. (October)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870711190
  • Publisher: Oregon State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Series: Northwest Reprints Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,500,102
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2005

    Excited to See it Back in Print

    Skookum is a classic of western literature. It is fun to read and presents the exciting story of a westering family settling in Oregon. From the devastating loss of two children to the swirling waters of the Columbia River to the riveting tale of a family split by the passions of the Civil War, this is a finely crafted and informative book.

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