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This photo, from my father's collection, has "Mother (Yegge) and Joseph at Birds Nest Camp on Beckler River" written on the back. If it is Adeline Yegge with her son Joseph I guessed it would have been taken about 1885--the child appears to be about three years old and Joseph (my grandfather) was born in 1882. But the setting is not Iowa--there appear to be conifers and a mountain in the background. Many of the trees in the photo appear to have burned. The two people in the photo may be sitting on a log on the gravelly bank of a river.
Last year, Pat Smith emailed me and said that she found a reference to a US Forest Service campground on Beckler River near Skykomish, Washington. This is the only Beckler River we've discovered. It's about 12 miles long and flows into the Skykomish River just east of the town. The setting in the photo definitely could be Washington State. Even more interesting, however, is that Pat discovered that forest fires were widespread in Washington State in 1885.
There are many questions raised by the photo. Is it really Adeline and Joseph Bloom? Are they really in Washington State? Why are they in Washington State--it had to be a long and difficult trip. The nearby town of Skykomish wasn't settled until the railroad was built through the valley in the early 1890's. How did they get to this remote place? Were they on a business trip or a vacation? Business seems the more likely explanation. Adam appears to have been a hard-working man who wouldn't spend weeks on a vacation to the Pacific Northwest. The answers to these questions may never be known.
 
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