Ear: Astorian

From The Daily Morning Astorian, Friday, June 20, 1884:

Day’s length 15 hours and 40 minutes, about 18 hours of daylight.

Note: Nothing has changed much in 135 years. Today it’s 15 hours, 46 minutes and 53 seconds from sunrise to sunset.(bit.ly/day97103)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Note: Teacher Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel was still a hit in post-Civil War, and inspired several touring theatrical companies to adapt it into a play or musical production. This particularly large company of 25 performers was set to be on stage at the Occidental Hall, and touted itself as “The Original Boston Double Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” (bit.ly/utc1884)

• Sad news: Boat No. 10, belonging to J. O. Hanthorn & Co. has been missing since Saturday. The captain’s name is C. L. Johnson … drowned. On Clatsop Spit, on the night of June 12th, John Huhtala. … A reward of $25 (about $650 now) will be given to the finder on returning the body to I. X. L. Cannery.

• Lieut. Stoney has arrived at Onalaska, and will explore the great unknown river he discovered in Alaska in July.

Note: Lt. George M. Stoney’s first trip to Alaska, in 1883, was to find the missing Jeanette Expedition. He didn’t, and he and his crew became stranded themselves. Fortunately, the local Inuit community helped them survive.

As a thank you, the Navy sent Stoney to deliver gifts to native communities on the Alaska Coast. He used the trip to explore the geography of the region, especially searching for a large river that dumped into Hotham Inlet on Kotzebue Sound.

Find it, he did, and he named it the Putnam River. Which didn’t stick, as it’s now the Kobuk. You can see photos of his travels here: bit.ly/LtStoney

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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