Sunday, December 4, 2011

Skookum Report from the 1800’s

One of the early white settlers, Elijah L. Wade worked mostly on the Quinalt Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. He religiously kept a diary and there is a very casual entry from February of 1878, in which he talks about tracking a skookum with his dogs, but being unable to catch up and shoot it. The area where this took place is now the town of Montesano. He says in his journal:
Wednesday Feb 27. 1878
I trimmed fruit trees all day. Put up the cattle & fead alone – with difficulty. Took my gun & went into the hills in the PM. The dogs got after a skukum but I could not overtake it.

The entry is quite nonchalant and perplexed his grandchildren, who write in his biography:
Grandfather’s diary frequently mentions having gone hunting that day, killing pheasants, quail, geese or ducks, and sometimes writing that he had gotten no game. Once he got on the trail of a ‘skookum’ but could not bag it. We have never been able to figure out what he meant by a skookum.

Two years ago, the entry was found again by John Pickering, Wade’s great grandson and (coincidentally) a sasquatch researcher.

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