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Catalog Number WF 0050.A,B
Description Prune orchard on the Thomas and Mary Sharpe farm; approximately 8 people in photo including Mr. and Mrs. McCallum. Thomas Sharpe was born in Ireland in 1850. He emigrated with his parents to the U.S. in 1853 and came to Washington Territory in 1875. By they late 1870s Sharpe had a homestead at Rosario; he was enumerated there with his mother Margaret (57) and siblings in 1880 U.S. Census: Thomas (29), Eliza (28) [married J. Hodder in 1885], Robert (25), John (24), and William (22) [married Ida Weaverling in 1886]. Thomas married Mary Carr on 11-11-1884 at Rosario; they had three children: Margie, Clifford, Wallace (served as Skagit County Commissioner). This photo's caption in "CHECHACOS ALL" states that the company that was to dry prunes went out of business before trees were old enough to bear fruit. For additional view of Sharpe family see WF 0067. The farm also raised grain, hay, dairy cattle and sheep. The barn is still standing as on November 2007.

6-1-1893 ANACORTES AMERICAN: "An orchards minus stumps. One of the most highly cultivated farms in this vicinity is owned by Thomas Sharpe of Rosario. The farm is mostly devoted to fruit, French and Italian prunes predominating and every year adds to the area of orchard and cultivated land. Mr. Sharpe is not content to follow the example set by so many of the old settlers, of merely planting trees and leaving them to struggle with weeds or perhaps clover or grass. [An old friend who was admiring the orchard so free from stumps and other undesirable growth saw a huge stump right in the center and said to Sharpe] 'Sharpe, I shouldn't think an energetic man like yourself would allow an unsightly stump like that to remain on his place.' Sharpe's quiet reply, ' If I took out the last big stump, people from the city might think my orchard was originally prairie land.' The dwelling is a handsome two-story frame with stone foundation and cellar, costing nearly $4000. Is situated on the bluff a short distance from the Congregational Church and overlooking the broad expanse of the Straits of Juan de Fuca."
Photographer BOOEN, J. O. and EWING, David B.
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Agriculture
Photograph
Place - Fidalgo Island
People
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Fidalgo Island, WA
Search Terms Rosario
homestead
prunes
orchard
Straits of Juan de Fuca
Object Name Print, Photographic