Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest

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Legislative Chronology

Deciding to Go and Getting There

Proving Up

Life on the Homestead

Life on the Homestead

  •  Leisure Time

Homesteaders filled the time not occupied by work with the activities typical of rural America. Naturally, some leisure pursuits faded and others appeared with time. Outdoor recreation such as hunting and fishing blurred lines between work and play. Olympic Peninsula homesteaders visited the beaches, and hiked and camped in the nearby mountains. Some took up hobbies such as photography. Personal time indoors might be spent playing cards, reading, writing letters, or keeping a diary.

Nearby towns or big cities provided other options for entertainment. Men gathered in town as members of veterans groups, fraternal orders such as the International Organization of Odd Fellows or the Masons; women joined sister societies such as the Order of the Eastern Star, founded church groups and participated in a host of other organizations. Traveling shows or bands appeared in some of the smallest and most remote places. On the bill in Forks, WA one evening in the late 1920s was the Yager Brothers' Medicine Show, featuring dogs and monkeys as the star performers. Spokane or Seattle offered many other possibilities, particularly the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific world's fair. The AYP brought some rural residents - such as the Joss family from Cheney - to Seattle for the first time.

Holidays, dances, sporting events and societies provided occasions for communities to share leisure time in familiar surroundings. Jim Klahn recalled one Fourth of July on the Olympic Peninsula celebrated with fireworks, baseball, games, dances and horse racing.

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