Seven Years on the Pacific Slope (Shafer Historical Museum) is an extraordinary book about an extraordinary place—the Methow Valley on the eastern slope of the North Cascade mountains. Mrs. Hugh Fraser (Mary Crawford Fraser) takes readers back more than a hundred years, writing with understanding and humor about the people and events that defined the valley in the early 1900s. She focuses on daily life in the fledgling towns of Winthrop, Heckendorn, and Twisp while painting a vivid picture of the valley at large, capturing its stunning natural beauty and the wonders of each new season.
Before arriving in the Methow Valley to live with her son Hugh, Mrs. Fraser had lived throughout the world—Europe, Asia, and Latin America—and written numerous books based on her experiences. In Seven Years on the Pacific Slope, published originally in 1914, she turned her experienced eye—and pen—on the Methow Valley. With colorful words and lively anecdotes, she records what she saw and experienced during her seven-year sojourn in this remote frontier valley—from courting and canning to hay making and horse trading.
A compassionate and witty writer, Mrs. Fraser brings a perspective like none other to her subject, revealing to today’s readers what has changed about the Methow Valley and what remains the same—and making today’s readers appreciate this one-of-a-kind place that much more.
Excerpt from Seven Years on the Pacific Slope
“MANY TIMES WE HAVE BEEN ASKED in these long seven years, by old friends in the populous places, ‘Why on earth do you live in the Methow?’ In answer to that question we say, “ Because it is what its people call it, ‘God’s Country.’ Because of the green glory of its summer mornings, the awesome beauty of its winter nights, the bloom of its unrifled soil; because our tired souls can breathe more freely under the vast circle of the Methow sky; because every star and tree and hilltop has become a landmark on a journey of rejuvenation for minds deafened by the warring noises of the world; because (perhaps, the strongest reason of all) the mental atmosphere of the ‘Home Valley’ is as untrammelled as its airs.” – from Seven Years on the Pacific Slope
Praise for Seven Years on the Pacific Slopes
“SEVEN YEARS ON THE PACIFIC SLOPE IS A SINGLUAR ACCOUNT of the Methow Valley before World War I. Helped along by the gentle editing, concise introduction, and copious footnotes of Peter Donahue and Sheela McLean, the reader soon falls into the stream of Fraser’s wonderfully eccentric prose style, and follows her journey through the social fabric of communities bristling with human contradictions that seem strangely familiar today. Fraser found humor in a wild, tough land, and lived well because of it.” – Jack Nisbet, author of Ancient Places: People and Landscapes in the Emerging Northwest and The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest, among other titles.