March 8, 2014 by Sydney Stevens
Pictured within are pages two and three from a four-and-a-half page oral history by Oysterville’s co-founder R.H. Espy. The information was written by Espy’s son, Harry, during an interview on Sunday, July 13, 1913. I, (Harry’s granddaughter) found it in a little diary, more or less “buried” between at the end of a listing of Harry’s ‘Personal Expenditures’ from 1899 to 1902. I had set the diary aside on numerous occasions thinking it held nothing of importance. I was quite wrong.
In his interview, R.H. Espy recounts the story of his first year in Pacific County,Washington Territory, 1853, of wintering in Astoria and meeting I.A. Clark, and of their arrival on April 12, 1854 at the area that would soon be named “Oysterville.” The stunning piece of information that the diary contains is that the Indian who helped them was called “Klickeas” – not Nahcati as told years later by Charlie Nelson and popularized for all-time by R. H.’s own grandson, Willard Espy, in his book Oysterville, Roads to Grandpa’s Village.
In my mind, this was Big News. I blogged about it, worked the information into talks about the area, even wrote an article or two for the paper. However, as readers will note in the article by John Goodenberger that appeared recently in Our Coast Magazine and is reproduced on the first page of this website, the “new” data is not catching on very fast. When the time comes to reprint our Oysterville Walking Tours, we will update that and other information. Meanwhile, we hope that Oysterville fans will spread the word – in the interests of accuracy and history!