(Note: Information extracted from the old Nehalem Journal published in Vernonia: Volume 1, No. 4 dated September 21, 1889.)
This article deals with the settlement now known as Mist, or as it is sometimes called, Jonesboro, in honor of the first settler in that neighborhood.
This is one of the oldest settlements along the river, as well as one of the most fertile and desirable portions of the valley.
In the fall of 1869 two hunters named John Blanketer and William Powell came to this valley and built a camp near the present town of Mist. Later Blanketer went out for supplies and while in Clatskanie met Charles Jones, who heard his description of the place and made up his mind to locate there. N. E. Hansen, who was one of Mr. Jones’ first acquaintances in this country, agreed to go in with him and take a claim.
The party went from Clatskanie, crossed the mountains, followed down the Fishhawk, and out into the valley. They made a canoe at where is now the Smith place and floated down the river for a couple of miles, where they found a desirable place to build.
This was in December, in mid winter. Jones put up a house unaided, the others being busy hunting and trapping and it was not until he had moved in, that anyone else saw the cabin. Mr. Jones at once set to work and improved his place, and was the first one to raise wheat in the Nehalem as far as is known. He paid $2.50 a bushel for seed, and sowed some three quarters of a bushel on about half an acre. The seed was sown on a “burn” among the ashes, and although he did not touch it after casting the wheat on the ground he took twelve bushels from it that fall. He now has a fine farm, and is well pleased with his choice of location. The next settler to build was William Powell, who had been hunting during the winter. He stayed some six years and then sold his improvements and left.
N. E. Hansen also built a house but it was carried away in the spring of ’70 by high water. He left the valley soon after.
George W. Knick, who came in shortly after Jones, took up an adjoining claim which is now owned by Mr. Erickson. Mr. Knick finally moved to another place further down the valley.
The valley in the vicinity of Mist is well watered and has many natural advantages. The timber upon the mountain sides is of superior quality. Its residents are ambitious and self reliant and have earned their present prosperity by hard work. There is a large territory tributary to the town of Mist and when the expected railroad comes up the valley, times will be lively in that place.