Mary Gates Haughey


the journey west


I went to a school in a little schoolhouse they called the Star School at La Jara, Colorado . Then Dad left the farm and we went into Alamosa, and he worked for a while in the railroad shops; then he decided he was going to Oregon. So he assembled Mother and we kids; my brother was a small baby. [Dad] got us all together in a covered wagon, and we were going to Oregon.. He had some friends--there were two or three more wagons of them, and one carriage coming. We had quite a lot of fun and adventures and stunts that we'd pull. I remember how it rained a time or two. Mud--oh, brother! [There were] six of us and two dogs and two cats in a covered wagon--it was rather full! But we kids had a ball.

Well, Mother took very ill on the trip, and she was very, very sick when we came to Craig. He stopped at Craig, and walked uptown to see if he could find something. The population of Craig at that time was under 700. By the time Dad visited with Mr. Seldomridge, who was a little sawmill owner--or manager, I don't know which--he had gotten himself a job.

The sawmill was up on Black Mountain, at the head of what was Fortification Creek. So Dad moved us all up there--Mother [was] real sick. And on the way up--going up to the place on the old trail, and it was mostly trail--we stopped at this McDonald Place. In a few minutes Dad had leased the place, and there we were.