Five Generations of History

 
Carl S. English, wife Betah, Carl’s mother and father, Persis and Jude, with Roy and Beulah.

Carl S. English, wife Betah, Carl’s mother and father, Persis and Jude, with Roy and Beulah.

from michigan to vancouver

Carl, his wife Betah, his parents, Persis and Jude, and three oldest children, Roy, Beulah and Ferris, moved to Clark County by train in 1903. They lived “in town” in Columbia Heights while they cleared the 240 acres they had purchased near Camas for a farm.

5 more children were born on the farm.

Settled in 1903

Carl S. English (1860-1956) He was a well-educated man for his time, having graduated from Michigan State University. He was the first Superintendent of the first hydroelectric power plant in Lowell, Michigan, before moving to Clark County. He had built a “horseless carriage” about the same time as Henry Ford, and generated electricity for the farm with a gas-powered internal combustion engine. He took hundreds of photographs, developed the film in the bathroom and mounted most of them on glass slides.

The farm in 1903. Look closely and you will see Carl and Betah’s three oldest children in the foreground. The original homesteader’s shack is in the background.

The farm in 1903. Look closely and you will see Carl and Betah’s three oldest children in the foreground. The original homesteader’s shack is in the background.

Clearing the land of fallen timber took nearly 25 years.

Clearing the land of fallen timber took nearly 25 years.

Clearing the land

A massive wind storm had blown over almost every tree on the previously forested plain.

According to family lore, one could walk on fallen trees all the way to Silver Star mountain without once touching the ground!

The family spent a quarter century clearing the land of fallen timber.

English Farm grew potatoes, grain and prunes, and eventually a dairy was established, which continued until the early 1970’s. Winegrapes were first planted in 1980.

Daily life on the farm

Hundreds of photographs taken and made into glass slides by Carl S. English document daily life on the farm in greater detail than any other era.