C.J. LEAVITT [CHARLES] 1890 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF A NOTED TACOMA WASHINGTON LUMBER MAN, REALTOR PROMINENTLY CITED IN "THE CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF OREGON"
TACOMA WASHINGTON USA 1890 Good Manuscript
On offer is the original 1890 manuscript diary handwritten by C[harles] J. Leavitt who states in his own hand: "C. J. Leavitt. Born in Ripley Maine April 8th, 1868. Moved to Sherman Mills Maine with parents about 1878. Migrated alone to Red Cloud Nebraska March 1887 (he was only 18 years old when this happened). On to Sunshine Washington about later part of July same year. On to Tacoma Washington in September 1887 and to Newberg Oregon October 30th, 1890. C. J. L." Mr. Leavitt was an historical figure and is featured prominently in a book called "The Centennial History of Oregon; 1811-1912." The book states: "C. J. Leavitt. Among the more recently established business enterprises of Newberg but one which, however, is meeting with substantial success, is the C. J. Leavitt Realty company of which C. J. Leavitt was the organizer and is now serving as president. The width of the continent separates him from his birthplace for he was born in Maine, the date of his nativity being the 8th of April 1868. He is the son of Joseph T. and Amanda M. (Patten) Leavitt who were also natives of the Pine Tree State where his mother passed away in 1878.…..He was only 18 years of age when he determined to try his fortune in the west and for six months he made his home in Nebraska, after which he went to Washington. Five years were spent in the latter state and then, in 1891, he made his way to Oregon, locating in Newberg, Yamhill County. Here he was engaged for two years in the lumber business." The diary starts off with Mr. Leavitt living on a ranch in Orting Washington but he goes back and forth from Tacoma working as a logger and talks about working around the Point Defiance area. [On several pages of the diary he has added some notes retrospectively in 1925 adding further details to was written. For example on February 20th, 1925 he picks up his old diary and writes this note on the page representing July 15th and 16th, 1890: "This camp where I and B_____worked at this time was at what is now 1925 known as the Point Defiance Park, Tacoma Washington. I am the party who fell the large timber on the park ground. The timber was mostly riling and boom sticks some made saw timber. The stumps with spring boards, holes in sides are to be seen in the park at the present time. C. J. Leavitt, 2/20/1925" He has several of these later notations throughout the diary. But every day, from January through August 25th has a handwritten entry for the year 1890. Here are some snippets: 1890 "January 3rd, Cool, clear day. Went to "Roy" for groceries. Registered letter to St. John's Medicine Co. One dollar. Got shaved. Came home, called Patterson. Bright moonlight night." "January 14th, Snow fell. Big flakes and fast time. At Jim Kennedy's. Went back to ranch, got breakfast, provisions, closed house. Slept over night with Kennedy. Left letter from "Hobbs" about cutting rails." "January 15th, Wind blows cold. Sun shine bright. After dinner went to A. Delhurst. Mr. Shaw gave him one dollar. Took 6:30 train for Tacoma. Went to the new Tacoma Theatre. Play "A trip to Africa" by J. C. Duffs Comic Opera Company. Stayed at Globe Lodging House." "March 10th, Went to Orting, got check cashed. $15.82. Missed train. Walked to Alderton with Jack Meek. Took Gravel Train no 6335 for Tacoma. Stopped at Boca for driver. Stopped until 6 o'clock. Came back to saloon. Found Jack. Took supper. Went to Post Office. Nothing. Stopped at Empire Lodging House." "March 14th, Rainy day. In town. George Francis Train. Came to town on the 3:55 train. Met at the depot by the people of Tacoma. Pacific Governor. Crowds. Big Excitement." "April 9th, Bright morning. Quit camp. Came to Tacoma on logging train. Registered at Weston Hotel. Got supper at "Boca". Went to Post Office. Got letter from Eliza, one letter in Orting. Went to Matinee Theatre." "May 3rd, Pleasant day. Falling timber close with Jack. The crew building shanty. Pat got home about dark with girls. Cooks outfit moved." "May 24th, Fine warm day. Went over to Russell's after supper. Stopped at Mat S___ over night. George Francis Train arrived in Tacoma making the trip around the world in 65 ¾ days." "June 15th, Fine day. Left ranch about noon. Called at Mr. Nelson's found the N. E. corner stop of sec. 14. Called at Jim Kennedy's. Bill Palmer and wife were at Kennedy's. Called at Mr. Sharps. Took train at Hillhurst. Came to Tacoma. Stopped at Pacific House with Bell. Morning went to Salvation Army meeting." "July 3rd, Fair day. Came to town. Got letter from Mat S___about my claim. Got twenty dollars from Belle Moore. Went to National Theatre. Bought full suite and baths. Stopped by Grand Central Hotel. Received 20 dollars. Part payment for labor or logs." "July 4th, Cool. Cloudy day. Town quiet. At the race tracks. S. Morgan and _____speed track. Races good. Went to old town. Took electric rail for new town from wharf depot. Stopped at Huntington (?) House." "July 8th, Fine pleasant day. Got out of bed at twelve o'clock. Took three o'clock boat to Seattle on the Washington. Roomed at the Los Angeles House." "July 20th, Hot day. Came to town. Took dinner with Ben Mooring. Went to wharf. Came back to camp on motor line." "This motor line was the first rail line running to what afterwards is known as Point Defiance Park Tacoma Washington." "July 24th, On this date the first logs taken off Point Defiance Park Tacoma Washington." "August 3rd, Fine warm day in forenoon. Took dimensions of building on hill. Up on beach, went in bathing." "August 20th, Cloudy morning. Up to the Artists. Learned the art of painting. Took dinner with Milo Miner. Painted our first painting. Stopped at Empire Lodging House." "August 23rd, 24th, & 25th, Fine warm morning. Started with Pat Doyle for ranch. Stopped for dinner at old camping ground above Strickland (?)." Later: "Object was to sell Pat Doyle my claim near the Nisqually Reservation. Sold the claim later to another man. Visited Uncle Edward Leavitt at Newberg Oregon returning to Tacoma Washington. Sold the claim for $200 and with brothers migrated to Newberg Oregon October or November of 1890." The diary measures about 2 ½" x 4" and is ¾" thick. Good condition.