OF REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA  - Founded 24 January 1895

4:00 P.M.

January 21, 1999

Meeting #1612

The L.F.D.B.A. Celebrates Its Centennial;
Anarchy At Home

by Kenneth O. Ghormley M.D.

Assembly Room, A. K. Smiley Public Library

Biographical Data


Kenneth Owen Ghorrnley, born August 16, 1921 in Tacoma, Washington, received his primary and secondary schooling in Seattle. Undergraduate studies were completed at Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington, and at Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

From 1943 he attended Harvard Medical School in Boston, graduating in 1946. Internship at Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, was followed by two year's active duty with the U.S. Navy. He first served at Philadelphia Naval Hospital, followed by sea duty aboard the U.S.S. Mount Olympus A.G.C.8. Here he was known as "Physician to the Gods" as well as chief rodent exterminator!

Specialty training in urology was completed in 1952 at the Mayo Clinic. For one year he practiced his specialty at the Gundersen Clinic, La Crosse, Wisconsin. In January 1954, he associated with the Beaver Medical Clinic of Redlands, California. He engaged in the active practice of urology for 31 years until his retirement in 1985.

Delano Beach summer vacations were mostly enjoyed from 1925 to 1936. Summer jobs in Seattle precluded long beach holidays after the age of 15.

The L.F.D.B.A. Celebrates Its Centennial: Anarchy at Home.


Having exceeded the normal male life span, it seems proper and prudent to document some family lore and memories of one's youth.

My mother was a Longstreth, an old Quaker family from Philadelphia. Shortly after moving to Tacoma, Washington, my maternal grandparents purchased a summer home at Delano Beach, Washington. This remote, idyllic property on Puget Sound has become a favorite retreat of family members for the past century.

Close by are the communities of Home and Lakebay. Founded as a colony of anarchists, Home became one of the most famous and notorious of the many utopias established in the West near the turn of the century. The scandals and anarchists of Home were considered a dangerous threat by the federal government. The colony was punished by removing its post office, awarding this service to smaller Lakebay. Like all utopias, Home Colony failed but has never been forgiven for past indiscretions..

The L.F.D.B.A. Celebrates Its Centennial: Anarchy at Home.

In an attempt to describe anarchy at Home and the L.F.D.B.A. I uncovered a convoluted web involving history, genealogy, geology, geography as well as a little autobiography.

My mother was a Longstreth whose family had humble beginnings as Saxon farmers in Yorkshire, England. Though they were peaceful farmers, their forebears were fierce warriors who left the rain swept, marshy shores of the North Sea to invade the choice farmlands of Britain and find a better life. They fought the Britains with dagger-like short swords called seax or scramasax, and, as a result, earned the name of Saxons. These events occurred at the time the Roman Empire was crumbling with Rome's complete withdrawal from Britain in 410 A.D. The family name might have remained Smith or Jones but for a fortunate circumstance. They protected and hid their Saxon king in the late years of the 9th century.

King Alfred the Great was their sovereign. He was beset at this time by hoards of blood-thirsty Vikings, invading Britain, conquering large areas and imposing Danish rule. A large portion of northeastern England was called Danelaw where Danish law reigned supreme.ghorm1.jpg (79941 bytes)


It was during one of these forays that King Alfred was retreating from the Danish invaders. According to family legend, the king fled to a small farm manned by my Longstreth ancestor. "Hide me," Alfred begged, "and I will reward you when I get back my throne."

King Alfred was safely hidden from the Vikings and went on to regain his kingdom.

Reminded of his early desperate promise, the good king rewarded his subject with title to rich river bottom farmland in Yorkshire, and a long valley called "Langstroth" in Old English. Thus my ancestor's hailed from Langstrothdale where they successfully farmed the land for centuries.

Eventually they assigned the name of their property, "Langstroth" becoming "Langstreth".

For centuries these peaceful yeomen tended their Yorkshire farmland but in the mid 17th century they joined George Fox and his Society of Friends,
becoming Quakers.  


In 1681 William Penn was given a large tract of land in America. King James II awarded Penn this land in payment of a royal debt owed to William Penn's father.

Bartholomew Longstreth who was a bachelor in his late 20's was a friend of William Penn. He was one of many Quakers urged by Penn to emigrate from England to settle his vast American holdings. The first shipload of settlers arrived in 1681 aboard the "Welcome". Bartholomew Longstreth sailed with the second group of colonists a year later. They were brought to Penn's colony at Bristol, just up the Delaware River from what is now Philadelphia.

William Penn had paid Bartholomew to make the trip across the Atlantic to become one of his early colonists. Though young and eager, the unpleasant climate and a grilling, bone chilling winter convinced Bartholomew that he had made a bad mistake in leaving the salubrious climate and less rigorous seasons of his home in Yorkshire. Begging Penn to send him back, he was advised that his contract provided only one way transportation -- he would have to pay his own way if he returned to England.

Being a parsimonious Quaker and without funds, Bartholomew stayed in the Philadelphia area, establishing a farm in what is now suburban Bucks County. And in the Philadelphia area his descendants remained, all except my grandfather who moved to Tacoma, Washington in 1892.

Succeeding generations of Longstreths were successful and included a prosperous wool merchant and the founder and owner of a steel mill, later becoming Phoenix Steel.

The Longstreths as devout Quakers were abolitionists. Mary Anna Longstreth ran the Underground Railway in the years before the Civil War. In the mid 1850's she was placed on a "black list" which included a dozen abolitionists. A pro-slavery mob seized her and dragged her in a cart to Rittenhouse Square, planning to lynch her when the other abolitionists had been captured. She was saved by the state militia who arrived before the lynchings took place.

In recent generations, the most successful was my great-grandfather, William Collins Longstreth. He was a 19th century Philadelphia Quaker, a graduate of Haverford (as were most Longstreth men). He was a principal in founding two major Quaker businesses, both of which are still flourishing. Provident Bark of Philadelphia and Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co. were two of his enterprises.. Active in Philadelphia politics he became a City Councilman. My great grandmother, Abby Longstreth, survived her husband to an improvident old age, dissipating his considerable fortune. The banking and life insurance interests had to be sold to settle her large debts. Because of this, a great fortune was lost to those of us in the generations that followed.

William Collins Longstreth had 9 children, all of whom remained in the Philadelphia region except for Henry, my grandfather. He was sent by his father to the Pacific Northwest to handle mortgage lending in the west for the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company. Tacoma, Washington, terminus of the newly completed Northern Pacific Railroad, was expected to become the most important city in the Pacific Northwest in 1892. It was in that year he traveled from Philadelphia to Tacoma bringing his young family on the train. My mother who was only 6 weeks old traveled in a basket.

My grandparents were staunch Quakers who had been married in a Quaker wedding ceremony, performing their own service. After several years in Tacoma, Quakers in Philadelphia learned that my grandparents had a Mason and Hamlin reed organ and on Sunday sang hymns in their home! This would not do! As there were no Quaker Meetings in Tacoma, it was suggested that they might better consider leaving the Friends, joining a church where music was more acceptable. With that grandfather joined the Presbyterian church, sang hymns freely and became a prominent participant in the Presbyterian activities of Tacoma, Washington.

ghorm6.gif (44821 bytes)My grandparents loved the climate of the Northwest. A search was soon begun to find the perfect spot for a summer home on the shores at Puget Sound. Grandfather fancied real estate as the smartest investment. Regrettably, most of his many properties were lost in the Depression which he did not live to see. At one time he owned one mile of shoreline on Vashon Island.

At the current price of $2,000 a foot for beach-front, Monte Vista with its spectacular view of Mount Rainier would become a valuable property, unfortunately lost to taxes. The perfect site was soon discovered when my grandparents found Delano Beach, an idyllic spot on Carr Inlet, 3 hours by coastal steamer from Tacoma.


The beauty and diversity of the Puget Sound region has been a product of its geologic past. The Puget trough is an intermontane lowland, west of the Middle and Northern Cascade Mountain ranges and east of the Olympic Mountains and the Oregon Coast range. Much of the trough is submerged beneath water. The geologic history of the region is complicated. The trough was filled with ice during two different advances of the continental ice sheets. Between ice ages the trough was approximately 1,000 feet higher than its present level. When the land was depressed the river valleys draining the mountain glaciers were drowned, continuing as 600-900 foot deep channels. The coastline of Puget Sound is spectacular with numerous channels, peninsulas and islands. The many large rivers flowing into the sound include the Nisqually, Puyallup, White, Cedar, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, Snohomish, Stillaguamish and the Skagit. These add to the diversity and complexity of this serene tidal paradise. Because of this trough depression, the Sound waters extend more than 100 miles to the south in the State of Washington.. The Puget Trough itself stretches north between British Columbia and its islands and south to the end of the Willamette Valley and the mountains just south of Eugene, Oregon.


Maine sea captain George Delano, the skipper and part owner of the three-masted bark, "Austria", had a bad year in 1887. In late January his vessel loaded with supplies from San Francisco and destined for Tacoma, was caught in a raging Pacific storm. The ship was grounded on the shore of Cape Alava, the westernmost promontory of the Washington coast. He wrote his wife who was resting with their daughter after a strenuous trip around the "Horn":

"It was one chance in a thousand that anyone was saved; but we succeeded in getting on shore all safe, no one hurt, although the sea was running mountains high and breaking all over the rocks. The next day it moderated some and we went on board and got our stores and clothing. It was intensely cold and had it not been for the Ozette Indians on the beach, we would have frozen to death. They gave us a house to live in so we managed pretty well."

Captain Delano hiked 30 miles through forest and rough terrain to Neah Bay on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The revenue cutter, "Wolcott", brought him back to Cape Alava. The "Austria" proved to be a total loss and only a portion of the cargo could be salvaged and sold at public auction in Tacoma. 20 years ago all that remained of the wreck was a rusted anchor and its chain buried in the sand. Facing bankruptcy he wrote his father-in-law in Maine, 'Y don't know what I will do now, but I guess I'll have to go to farming."

Many seafaring men dreamed of farming though few had any knowledge to prepare them for this occupation. Their farms usually failed. Captain Delano explored all parts of Puget Sound, traveling on a coastal steamer. Finding a large bay on Carr Inlet with gently sloping land to the shore and long tide flats, he knew he had found his perfect "farm". Land was cheap in those days, selling for $5.00 an acre in this region. He was able to purchase 200 acres from the government, planning to not only cultivate the land but also build a dry-dock. Ships could be floated in at high tide with repairs and barnacle stripping done when the tide was low. But the land was not suitable for successful farming and a nearby dry-dock made another unnecessary.

His enterprising wife decided they should instead build a hotel which she would manage while he returned to sea. It was not long before the hotel was a flourishing reality. The beautiful grounds with tennis and croquet courts, a large wooden Victorian hotel and scattered cabins became a popular summer resort attracting guests from all over the state, particularly from the hot dry country east of the Cascade Mountains. Guests dined well in an open air dining room with a magnificent view of the bay.

A small steamer would stop in the morning on its way to Tacoma, returning in the evening with guests and supplies from the city. These would be unloaded at first on a series of floats with a long dock constructed later to handle increased traffic. The high point of each day would be in the evening with hotel guests promenading on the dock to see whom and what the steamer might bring from the big city. This fashionable and popular resort was situated less than a quarter of a mile from what would become my grandparents home.



Our property was purchased in 1897. Grandmother Longstreth had received an inheritance and was said to have paid for the home with gold coins. The buildings included a two story white frame house with a large room on the second floor serving as a dormitory for the children. A log cabin near a fresh, bubbling spring served as a kitchen and maids room Later this was replaced with a larger cabin serving as kitchen and dining room with maids quarters on the second floor. Grandfather named their summer home "Inglenook" a reminder of his parents estate called "Ingleside" in West Philadelphia.

With the arrival of more children and transportation difficulties, Inglenook was replaced by a new "Inglenook" closer to Tacoma. No mention was made of the scandalous behavior of the residents in the nearby community of Home. For 10 years Delano was enjoyed but abandoned in 1908 for the new summer home. The houses deteriorated and the lumber and bricks were cannibalized by an enterprising neighbor.


My aunt claims it was 1922 but I suspect that it was 1925 or 6 when my father built his cabin on the Delano property. All traces of the old home had disappeared except for ivy and the magnificent old maple trees. The woods with Douglas fir, cedar, trillium, sword fern, Indian Pipe, and Solomon's Seal were dark, cool and inviting. The brook continued to run fresh, clear and cold. The tide flats produced a bounty of clams, geoducks and oysters. When the tide came in, salmon trout could be hooked though there always seemed to be more dogfish. Wild blackberries and huckleberries were abundant in the summer and early fall.

My father tended to be a little gloomy and at times morose. For him, Delano was a mood elevating tonic and he loved all it had to offer. The summer he built the cabin required a sabbatical leave from his legal practice. When completed, the place was primitive but satisfying. There was no electricity, gas, telephone, radio or plumbing. Only the fresh stream was available for water. Peace and quiet prevailed and the only noise at night was an occasional squawk from owls and blue herons fishing along the shoreline. Tent frames with army cots provided sleeping quarters for the children. An extra tent frame was erected for grandmother Longstreth who had always loved her old property. The cabin incorporated wood and bricks from the original Inglenook. Boards marked with heights of her children were discovered and removed from the abandoned cabin on the adjacent property.


It was only a few years before my mother's two brothers and sister discovered the beauty of the Delano location Each built similar cabins with tents on the property. When grandmother Longstreth died in 1940, the land was left undivided, in equal shares to her 4 surviving children. Thus was born the L.F.D.B.A., the Longstreth Family Delano Beach Association. Delano is still primitive with no electricity, telephone, running water or plumbing. On July 1 9th, 1997 the family gathered to celebrate a centennial. Ownership is complicated by the number of children in each generation. My 3 shares are now divided between my two sons.


My years spent at Delano have produced bountiful memories. I can remember so well Grandmother Longstreth sitting in a rocking chair on our front porch.                             

She was encouraging her grandchildren that the rain might soon stop and sunshine return."I can see enough blue to make a pair of Dutchman's britches." It was one of those wet summers so there was much rocking on the porch. Her encouraging phrase was often repeated.

It was grandmother who shamed the adults and children with her daily "swim" in the cold water of Puget Sound. She was never stopped by the weather, no matter how cold or dreary. She didn't actually swim. I don't recall her ever swimming a stroke. By jumping up and down and splashing, she took a vigorous bath. Her less courageous descendants cheered her from the shore.

Dad's hobby was picking wild blackberries. This he would do day after day, bringing home his loot to our long suffering mother to clean and can. Some summers she had to prepare 30 quarts or so of his berries. As youngsters we were expected to help gather Dad's favorite fruit. What an unpleasant task it was to clamber over piles of brush in the hot sun, encountering snakes, brambles and nettles. It was no fun for any of us but a pleasure for Dad.

Recently I learned that young brother Hugh, after years of obedience, advised his father that he did not choose to pick blackberries with him that day. In so doing, Hugh threw down the gauntlet and, maturing rapidly, came of age!


There was much work for everyone at Delano. Each evening we would row out into the middle of the bay, well beyond the low tide line and dump and sink the day's accumulated garbage. Another job was to hike or row to the cove, then on to a skid road used in ancient days by loggers. The trail led through the woods at the base of South Head, finally reaching a farm where the daily supply of raw milk was obtained for the family. The milk was unpasteurized and I wonder now whether the cows were ever tested for brucellosis or tuberculosis. It tasted good and we remained healthy. Other duties included splitting wood and kindling for use in our wood stove. Water from the spring was carried to the house, poured into a large galvanized milk can from which a pipe and gravity conducted it to the kitchen. Drinking water was also obtained from the spring and kept in a bucket on the kitchen sink counter. The water was delicious but seldom tested for a bacterial count. As a reward for hard work, I was permitted to take our row boat and its new Bendix low horsepower trolling motor for a fishing trip.

The bay was a clear blue. The sun shone hot and bright on an early August morning. It was a perfect day for trout fishing at Minter Creek, one of the few sizeable streams flowing from the Olympic Peninsula into Henderson Bay, a southern extension of Puget Sound. I was about 12 years old at the time and a young cousin joined me for a grand fishing expedition. We were well provided with fishing poles and tackle, angle worms and salmon eggs. There was ample gas for the long trip, sandwiches and fruit for lunch, with plenty of water for the hot summer day.

Our boat moved slowly, crossing the wide bay. Mount Rainier loomed majestically in the cloudless sky. Not a breeze rippled the mirror-like surface of Puget Sound. Far away a large black object rose from the water, silhouetted against the bright background. Perhaps it was a stump or a strange black sail floating in the tide. Moving closer it appeared more and more to be a sail. Whatever it was, closer inspection seemed essential. Deciding to investigate we steered the boat toward this strange object, floating so motionlessly on the tranquil bay. As we approached, the black sail slowly turned, aiming for our small boat. Extending upward five or six feet from the water, it began to move in our direction. As it sliced through the water I imagined that I could see some turbulence jarring the glassy water's surface fifteen feet or so behind the sail.

At this point we were scared and fear overcame all curiosity. Increasing the speed of the outboard motor to its maximum, we turned toward the shore. Could it be the black fin of a giant fish? The fin followed us closely and, moving faster, its leading edge was beginning to create a small wake. Whatever it was, the animal was interested in us, in our small boat and its under-powered motor. It was definitely following now and gaining! Could it be the black dorsal fin of a shark? Even in my wildest dreams, I knew a shark's fin could not be this size. Whoever heard of sharks so large in Puget Sound?

As the giant fin approached our boat, still following us, it gradually submerged, finally disappearing. Nothing but the unruffled, shining blue surface remained. The fear of, pursuit was supplanted by uncertainty. Where was it? Was it still interested in us? Would it resurface and capsize our puny boat?

We got to Minter Creek and did our fishing. There is no recollection of whether or not the outing was successful but the huge black fin will never be forgotten. Our boat returned home much closer to the shore. There were no further encounters with the giant, inquisitive inhabitant of the bay.

Periods of poor fishing were always blamed on "seals", "black fish", or "porpoises". It was many years later that I learned killer whales or orcas could be found in Puget Sound. The black fin was undoubtedly a male killer whale. We had caught him asleep in the warm sun. The noisy motor had interrupted his nap. Investigation revealed the young fishermen in their rowboat with its tiny motor were no serious threat. Confrontation was unnecessary. We both went our separate ways in peace.


One of the most memorable bonfires which I recall at Delano occurred after a successful field trip across the tide flats and onto South Head. For several years I had collected sea life, preserving the creatures in alcohol or formaldehyde. Each year's collection was submitted to the Hobby Fair of the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup. For my trouble I would be awarded a blue ribbon and a cheque for $10.00. This was big money in the Depression and first prize was a certainty as there were no similar collections submitted.

Tide pools were created in the sand by geoduck diggers whose excavations resulted in large depressions filled with salt water and teaming a variety of small animals. As geoducks were only found at extremely low tides, my trips coincided with the minus tides. I would sweep through each pool with a home-made net, recovering many small fish, crabs, shrimp, pipefish and other animals trapped by the tide.

South Head was even more fascinating. Under large rocks could be found purple, croaking midshipmen. Also known as California toadfish, their white abdomens had lines of iridescent silvery buttons, hence the name midshipmen. The adults were protecting their eggs, adherent to the underside of the rocks. The maturing infants were attached to their egg sacs and made a fine collection of developing midshipmen.

Unusual starfish were also present at the Point. On this day I found a mass of reddish purple flesh, stranded on seaweed and baking in the sun. Careful inspection proved it to be an octopus, abandoned by the tide. This exciting find recuperated rapidly in a pail of fresh seawater and I carried my prize home.

As it was late in the day and I had not yet mixed up my supply of formalin, the octopus was led in the pail and the top carefully covered so that it would not escape becoming a part of my current sea-life collection. A small opening was left to provide air for the unfortunate beast.

That night we had our usual bonfire. Marshmallows were roasted and songs were sung. Cousin Nancy may even have sung a chorus of "Johnny Roebeck", the mean fellow who processed all the neighbor's cats and dogs in his sausage machine. I took pride in Nancy's talent as I had been paid 25 cents by Aunt Geraldine to teach her a song, any song! Perhaps she was tone deaf. Eventually she came through with a recognizable rendition of one or our favorite tunes.

The cousins, parents, aunts and uncles were happily engaged with bonfire activities. Suddenly there was a blood curling scream One of the girls, (was it Barbara or Marion?.) found a moist, slithering octopus crossing her leg. The tentacles and suckers made it difficult to pull off from my terrified cousin. We learned then how small a hole might be to serve as an escape route for an octopus hell-bent on returning to the sea.

The octopus was replaced in its pail, the top tightly covered. In the morning the formalin made it an important part of my current summer sea-life collection. Again I won another blue ribbon and ten dollars for my efforts.


In his outstanding book "The Birds of America", John James Audubon failed to mention the geoduck. This is not surprising as it is not a duck at all but a giant clam, the largest burrowing intertidal bivalve in the world. The Samish Indians of Puget Sound called it geoduck with the "eo" pronounced as "oi". Living deep in the muck of the tideflats, it is often called "gooeyduck". After spending much time with the aid of two other men trying to dig one out, a noted conchologist pronounced it with feeling as "a truly noble bivalve."

And what a splendid clam it is. Its body lies in a semi-permanent burrow 3 feet below the surface sand. A geoduck may weigh up to 12 pounds. Its estimated life span is 120 to 130 years, though few of us will live long enough to verify the longevity of this elegant mollusk. The neck equipped with two giant siphons extends to the surface and is so large it cannot be retracted into its shell. The portly body bulges out between the two large shells which can never close.

One of the choice items on Mrs. Delano's hotel menu was geoduck chowder, made from the minced meat of the large neck. The meat of the body cleaned of its digestive tract, was called "breast meat" at home. Fried in butter, it is an unforgettable taste treat. The geoduck's habitat is limited to the waters of Puget Sound and British Columbia, extending down the Pacific Coast of Washington, Oregon, and even Northern California. Delano Beach was fortunate to house a large number of these desirable clams. With time and many diggers the number of geoducks available at very low tides was reduced.

Diving equipment and the wealth of the Far East has changed the equation. Large beds of geoducks were found at depths of 60 feet, never exposed by the tides. Blowing away sand with compressed air and using sophisticated diving equipment, huge amounts of geoducks are now harvested and shipped alive to the Orient.

Wealthy diners in Hong Kong and Shanghai will pay
as much as $100.00 for one of these giant delicacies.                  

The Japanese were the first to appreciate this exotic treat but have been priced out of the market by frenzied bidding with geoducks retailing for $20.00 a pound in Asia.

Beneficiaries of this boom are the Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest. In 1994 they won a bitter court battle allotting them half of the state's shellfish reserves. The Suquamish tribe of Puget Sound now earns more money from the geoduck fishery than it does from salmon or its fancy and newly built gambling casino.

Poaching has become a problem as a skilled diver can easily harvest $2000.00 worth of clams in a single night. As long as Chinese gourmet machismo suggests that the bigger the clam, the bigger the man, the frantic search for this venerable mollusk will continue.


With no electricity, the only light at night was provided by kerosene lamps and Colman lanterns. The relatives usually gathered around the campfire when darkness arrived. As a boy I found the adult conversation stimulating and revealing. References to the Home Colony and its notorious history always proved to be fascinating. It was at Home's cooperative general store that our mother shopped for groceries and we children searched for bottle caps to add to our important collections. Home seemed to be a sleepy little village with nothing to suggest its scandalous past. Situated only 3 miles from Delano, it must have created a sensation in its heyday. Perhaps its notoriety played a role in my grandparent's decision to abandon their beloved summer home and move to a more tranquil and peaceful area. A staid Quaker family could not help but be shocked by the goings on at Home!  

In 1896, following the failure of a socialist community called Glennis, three discouraged members sought for a new haven in which to establish an anarchist's paradise. Glennis situated near Tacoma, had proven attractive to lazy parasites who always found "cooperative commonwealths" most agreeable.

This disillusioned trio felt they must find a spot where they could work out their anarchist philosophy, free from all interference. Building a boat with their own hands, they cruised the backwaters of Puget Sound to find the perfect location. The three included George Allen, University of Toronto, class of 1885, O.A. Verity, an Oberlin graduate, and F.F. Odell.

Stewart Holbrook wrote in 1946: "One of the great-glories of the Puget Sound - country is the serene tide-washed community of Home. This community is fading now with a graceful nostalgic air, but it still retains many of the spiritual vestiges of what was once American's sole anarchist colony -- in its heyday one of the most celebrated or notorious spots in the United States. Home is never mentioned by the booster organizations, and even the evangelical churches have given it up as a Sodom fit only for the fires of The Pit."

The three anarchists found their ideal location on the shores of Joe's Bay, an arm of Carr Inlet. It was a peaceful, primeval property with tall Douglas firs growing down to the beach, flocks of ducks dotting the surface of the placid bay and with an abundance of clams nestling in the mud of the tide flats below. The land was available and arrangements were made to purchase 26 acres for $7.00 an acre with a $20.00 down payment and $20.00 due every two months until $182.00 had been paid.

Joe's Bay may have been named for Joe Faulkner, the first permanent settler who arrived in the early 80s. Many believed it was so named following the death of a drunken fisherman remembered only as "Joe". Joe fell from his boat and drowned while fishing in the harbor.

As the founders had no funds, Allen taught school near Tacoma to raise money. Verity and Odell cut timber on the property, selling it as cordwood to the skipper of the local steamer, "Typhoon". With this and other odd jobs they were able to purchase the land. The Odell and Verity families arrived in February 1896 and the Allen's came later following completion of the school year. Cabins were promptly constructed until more permanent frame houses could be built.

The trio formed "The Compact" calling it the "Mutual Home Colony Association". Its purpose was to promote pure anarchism as far as the laws of the land would permit. A perfect society was envisioned, a society so decent and honest that no laws were necessary to regulate its members.

One acre with a maximum of 2 acres was to be allotted to each new member of the Association. The colonist was required to pay for the cost of his land ($7.00 - $14.00). The land would remain as property of the Association but could be occupied indefinitely by the member as long as he paid the county taxes. As the colony grew, further land purchases were made. By 1901 the Mutual Home Association plotted Home which contained 217 acres and included most of the waterfront at the head of Joe's Bay.

To publicize the Association and spread the good word, Mr. Verity bought a portable press for $5.00 and published a newspaper, "The New Era". A subscription was only $1.00 but many copies were mailed free to interested parties. Verity wrote, "Liberty we have, so far as we are concerned, but the laws of the state are the great barriers to the realization of Liberty. Now one may at Home keep within the pale of the law or totally ignore it, just as he pleases. Most of us prefer the latter course and teach others to do the same." With few paid subscribers, the paper failed within a year.

A new newspaper appeared, fast upon the heels of the failed 'New Era".

"Discontent: Mother of Progress" was its appealing title. This paper was more successful and was published by new colonists, Charles Govan, a professional printer and his friend James F. Morton, Jr.. Morton was the son of a Baptist minister, grandson of the author of the song "America" and a true intellectual. He had graduated from Harvard with honors and held both A.B. and A.M. degrees. The issue of sex, first discussed in the "New Era" became an important subject. This attracted Henry Addis and Abner Pope with Addis writing columns about sex and Pope covering anarchy in great detail. They both came from the Portland, Oregon area. Both had been associated with a paper called "Firebrand", a newspaper banned from the U.S. mails because of claims of obscenity after publishing an allegedly obscene poem of Walt Whitman. "Discontent - Mother of Progress" took a liberal view on sexual matters. "Do women have the same rights of men in sexual relations' "Is sin forgivable' To both questions the answer was "Yes!".

By 1900 the paper had a circulation of 1.200 with subscribers in every state of the Union. One of these was Emma Goldman, a notorious anarchist who had achieved a national reputation. Miss Goldman permitted "Discontent" to publish articles of hers on free love. She blamed organized religion for prostitution and espoused other equally upsetting opinions. She found Home appealing and made several visits, lecturing the colonists in their nightly meetings in "Liberty Hall". All malcontents and eccentrics, now attracted to Home in large numbers, were welcomed and given a thoughtful and fair hearing at their lectures in "Liberty Hall".

Elbert Hubbard, the famous publisher and author of "A Message to Garcia", visited and lectured at Home and even considered becoming a colonist. He described his visit as a "day with the most peculiar community I ever saw -- Anarchists." He noted they were peaceful anarchists; even the ducks on the shore were tame, knowing that these people would not harm or kill. "In this town of over a hundred people I saw neither a church, a preacher, a lawyer, a doctor, a pauper, a gambler, a prostitute, a drunkard, a justice of the peace nor a constable."

It was the assassination by a Polish anarchist of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901 that triggered sustained attacks by the press, civic leaders and veterans' groups of Tacoma and the nation On September 7th the Tacoma Daily Ledger urged "Exterminate the Anarchist." "Freedom of Speech has run mad." "Each anarchist should be killed as a wild beast, a mad dog.... eliminated, tooth and branch." A Presbyterian minister berated "filthy dreamers of every land [who] flocked to our shores". A Catholic priest declared "religion must work with the law makers of the nation to wipe out anarchism." Tacomans were informed by the Ledger that an anarchist was "a type of pervert. He has degenerated to a point at which conscience, the perception of right and wrong has vanished He is alien, supremely selfish, unspeakably brutal; apart from the decency around him. He is sullen and vicious. He has no faculty of reason. His course is directly the evil prompting of a nature foul and cruel. He has his own literature, such as it is, his own speakers, such as they are."

2 days later, it was the Tacoma Evening News that called attention to Home with the headline, "Shall Anarchy and Free Love Live in Pierce County?" Quotations from Discontent: Mother of Progress fanned the flames with the Evening News congratulating itself for its role in arousing the people of Pierce County "almost to a pitch of desperation" with its "sensational expose."

With the president's death on September 14th, the Ledger's black bordered edition editorialized: "Close to Tacoma is the settlement of Home....whose residents are a collection of outlaws"....who defied the decencies of life, flouted virtue, railed at government, and sympathized with the assassin. "Is this a nest of vipers, this unclean den of infamy, to remain undisturbed'

The frenzy whipped up by the press had a prompt effect: a vigilante committee formed by members of the Grand Army of the Republic, the so called "Loyal League", vowed to charter a steamboat, collect firearms and incendiary material and sail, 300 strong, to Home. The object was to invade the colony 'put it to the torch' with murder and mayhem at Home a distinct possibility.

Two brave heroes emerged from this confrontation. Captain Edward Lorenz, owner and skipper of the steamer that carried mail; freight, and passengers between Tacoma and Home, refused to charter his steamboat to the mob. He defended the colony as a community of good, sober, and peaceable people and eloquently defended the colonists with the mobs leaders. He also warned the residents of Home of this danger they faced. A colonist who was a Civil War veteran went to Tacoma in an attempt to dissuade the excited members of the G.A.R. "Loyal League."

One of the few willing to go to Home colony and personally investigate its depravity, was the Reverend John F. Doescher, pastor of the German Evangelical Church in Tacoma. He was the only clergyman to visit the colony before condemning it. Reverend Doescher returned from his visit, reporting to the press and the religious community. He advised his flock not to "become anarchists ourselves in our zeal against anarchism.... It is certainly not becoming for Christians and Christian ministers to cry out and say, 'Exterminate these vipers; send them back to the dust from which they came."' He pointed out that the Christian duty was to love anarchists "as well as others who are in error, to pray for then and to seek their conversion and salvation." The residents of the Colony met and voted to not confront the raiders and if they came, to greet them with a handshake.

At this critical juncture, cooler heads prevailed. No invasion occurred. But opponents of the colony were not to be thwarted. The nation and federal government had been alerted to this dangerous community on the shores of Joe's Bay. Legal action against the publisher and editors of its radical newspaper would become the next target. Under the Comstock Act of 1873, they had violated obscenity laws, mailing "lewd and obscene" material.

Well armed, a United State's marshal was dispatched to Home to arrest the editor and writers of "Discontent: The Mother of Progress." Hearing that the Law was on its way, the colonists met the marshal on the wharf with flower girls, took him out to a delicious anarchist supper (ice cream for dessert) and honored him at a dance in Liberty Hall. Astonished by such attention, the marshal enjoyed his visit and remained overnight.

But the following day he returned to Tacoma with his prisoners. He did admit he had never had a better time nor met more agreeable people than the anarchists of Home. The arrested newsmen were released on $1,000 bail and later went on trial. The Tacoma "Daily Ledger" rejoiced. The arrests would surely finish the colony, scattering far and wide its "anarchists, free lovers and other moral mongrels." But the press was again disappointed. The accused were acquitted by the understanding judge. He found "Discontent" radical but not obscene nor likely to lead to licentious conduct.

But the colonist's victory was short lived and more trouble brewed. Two colony woman were indicted by a grand jury for obscenity and using the mails for their obscene material. Lois Waisbrooker, California author of a book entitled "Century Plant" had revealed in this strange tome how to free the world from "the disease of sex". She liked the Home community and in 1901 took up residence with Mattie Penhallow, postmistress of Home and a noted radical. Together they published a sheet called "Clothed with the Sun". This has been described as "a humdinger, even for anarchists" reporting the facts of life in blunt and forthright terms. In the trial Miss Waisbrooker was convicted and fined $100.00. Mattie, the postmistress, was acquitted. A federal grand jury agreed with a postal inspector that the Home post office should be closed. The jury labeled Home "a settlement of avowed anarchists and free lovers, the members of which society on numerous instances, with the apparent sanction of the entire community, have abused the privileges of the post office establishment and department". They concluded that: "the post office at Home be abolished and the privilege which members of this society have so long abused be taken from them."

In April 1902, Home was punished by losing its post office and a month later, "Discontent: Mother of Progress" was banned from the mail. The ladies publication "Clothed with the Sun" was also banned. Both papers, though closed down, reappeared promptly with different names but similar mastheads and policies.

Since 1902 Home has been without its post office. Lakebay, a much smaller community and two miles away has handled their mail. The residents had to take turns walking the two miles on a rugged trail in all weather to pick up their mail. Since the mail arrived by steamer at night; this was fitting punishment for "anarchists and free lovers."

ghorm12.gif (32919 bytes)  Albert Sorenson -- First Lakebay mail carrier  


And did the punishment ever stop? It has not. The federal post office department has a long memory. In 1958 the Lakebay past office was moved to a new and larger quarters situated in the community of Home!

In spite of vigorous protest, it retains its old name, Lakebay Post Office. Though the anarchists are gone, their memory lingers on.

The publicity engendered by these exciting events only served to increase Home's appeal to eccentrics of all stripes. If the National Enquirer had been published in the early 1900's, it would undoubtedly have opened a branch office in Home. Communists, Wobblies, spiritualists, food faddists, pantheists, monists, even Mormon missionaries were given a fair hearing in "Liberty Hall". Dr. Hazzard an eloquent female food authority lectured so persuasively that Home's Swiss butcher, John Buchi, exclaimed "A Got damn on all der wegitarians." Meat purchases fluctuated widely depending on food preferences of the current lecturers.

The banned "Discontent" had been quickly replaced by the "Demonstrator", a newspaper as uninhibited as its predecessor. Though the colony had never taken a position on free love, it was not afraid to explore the concept. It was common knowledge that the domestic arrangements of certain families did not have the blessing of either church or state.

A number of Russian Jewish farming families had settled in Home. As in Russia, they enjoyed nude bathing in the warm waters of Joe's Bay. They had done so for 10 years without creating any scandal. When it was pointed out to county authorities that men and women were bathing in the nude, a new furor erupted. One man and three women were arrested and convicted for indecent exposure.

  Jay Fox, a radical from Chicago and involved in the Haymarket bombing, settled in Home and edited a new newspaper, the "Agitator". The bathing issue was taken up as a "cause celebre" in his editorials, describing it as "The Nudes and the Prudes". The arrested man claimed he "wore a pair of white trunks or breeches, made of a flour sack instead of a more perpetual garb donated by nature." In a similar trial Justice Frank Graham concluded that while another male defendant may have worn the "little much-abbreviated trunks he testified he wore, they did not amply supply the needs for which they had been intended." The defendant was fined $100.00 plus costs or sixty-four days in jail. Jay Fox pointed out that one of the liberties enjoyed by Homeites was the privilege to bathe in evening dress or with the clothes provided by nature, just as they chose. Fox was briefly jailed on a misdemeanor charge for encouraging and advocating disrespect for the law and courts of justice.

Tacoma newspapers failed to take the strident and critical stance of former years on this subject. One paper noted that Home was "being well advertised as a community in which people frequently take baths." The Tacoma "News" pointed out "that between bathing in the nude and wearing a tight skirt we are inclined to believe the former more modest." This uproar divided and had a negative impact upon Home colony. The members became identified as nudes, prudes and one faction called skunks. The demise of the newspapers, "Demonstrator" in 1908 and "Agitator" in 1912 with internecine warfare of colonists in The Mutual Home Association resulted in the dissolution of this anarchist community. "Liberty Hall" was sold for lumber, only to burn before it could be torn down. But even as late as 1918, Federal authorities were investigating Home. They were no longer worried about obscenity but concerned about alien and immigration violations. An investigator from the Bureau of Immigration concluded in his report that: "They are a quarrelsome people, always taking each other into court, and at the same time opposing the law. They will lie, cheat, steal, practice sabotage, and promote disloyalty if the opportunity presents."

There is little doubt in my mind that my grandparents were all too well aware of the danger posed by such a community. It might prove contagious! When they abandoned their summer home for another part of Puget Sound, this very popular 19th century song struck a false note:

Mid pleasures and palaces, Though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, There's no place like Home.
Home, Home, Sweet, sweet Home.


Talk was cheap but always interesting around the campfire at Delano Beach The Lakeboy post office was not much larger or more impressive than a 2 car garage. The postmaster's new home was erected when I was a boy. The contrast was startling. Unlike the shabby houses, chicken coops, and run down farms of the Lakebay community, a veritable palace appeared. This grand home was fronted by a large lily pond and was, in startling contrast to the modest post office at its side.

Perhaps the rumor was started by a disgruntled resident, jealous of their postmaster and his government position.

  Postmaster's Home, a mansion in Lakebay

Could postal funds have been diverted to build this splendid home?
This was probably not the case as the postmaster served for 29 years. He was an important and respected citizen in the community
both before and after his dream house was constructed.

It remains today, the most impressive building in the small town of shacks and run down dwellings.


With the marriage of my mother, descendant of Saxons who hid King Alfred and my father, allegedly from a family line founded by Old Gorm, King of Denmark, two warring tribes were united though it took a thousand years. It was Old Gorm's grandson and great grandson who invaded and conquered Saxon England. Grandson Sweyn (Forkbeard) led his Vikings to English victory in 1013. Sweyn's son, Canute the Great, ruled England wisely, developing a great Anglo-Scandinavian kingdom between 1016 and his death in 1035.

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