The following story appeared in the 1948 Siuslaw Pioneer booklet. No author was credited, and its authenticity may very well be questionable, but worthy of a chuckle. It’s as much a fishing story as it is about a ‘lucky day’ on the river.

“ . . . Old Whiskers, so called because of his long whiskers, would sit in his canoe at the mouth of the North Fork, fishing a week at a time seemingly, for a sturgeon. One day my father and I were going by and we stopped to watch him land a six-foot sturgeon without tipping over his small canoe. The contest was long and skillful and the fish about filled the length of the boat. Father wanted to buy some of it so we offered him two bits for the tail. Whiskers shook his head, Father kept offering him more and each time was refused. Finally, reaching into his pocket he fished out a bright new penny, holding it out to the fisherman.

“Quicker than a wink, Old Whiskers grabbed the penny and almost as quickly flopped the whole huge fish over into our boat. Then he paddled away swiftly without saying a word or even looking back.

It didn’t cost much to live [in] those days.”

The Siuslaw Pioneer books were published for many years (1940’s – 1980’s) with writings from local folks about every day events, people, recipes, a good day of fishing, etc., all reflecting the simple life in those early years. The booklets are available in the museum for $5 each.

Pioneer Books