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The Log School-House on the Columbia   By: (1839-1905)

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The Log School-House on the Columbia by Hezekiah Butterworth is a delightful account of the early days of education in the Pacific Northwest. Set in the mid-19th century, this book provides a fascinating glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of pioneers striving to establish a school for their children.

Butterworth's writing style is engaging, transporting readers to a time when life on the frontier was harsh and resources were scarce. Through vivid descriptions, the author paints a vivid picture of the log school-house and its surroundings on the Columbia River. The log structure itself becomes a character, symbolizing resilience and the power of education.

The narrative revolves around the dedicated teacher, Mr. Lee, who is determined to provide an education to the children in his care. His tireless efforts to secure basic supplies and recruit students highlight the immense dedication and passion driving early educators. As he faces numerous obstacles, including convincing skeptical parents and overcoming the harsh climate, Mr. Lee's determination never wavers.

What sets this book apart is its focus on the transformative power of education and its impact on the community. The author beautifully illustrates how the school becomes a unifying force, bringing together diverse groups of settlers. The log school-house becomes a melting pot, where children from different backgrounds learn not only academic subjects but also crucial life lessons like friendship, resilience, and the value of community.

In addition to the captivating narrative, Butterworth incorporates historical details, offering a glimpse into the real challenges faced by early settlers of the Pacific Northwest. The book explores themes of perseverance, the power of knowledge, and the importance of unity in a rapidly changing world. These themes transcend time, making The Log School-House on the Columbia a thought-provoking read for both young and mature audiences.

One minor drawback is the occasional slower pace of the narrative, as the author delves into lengthy descriptions of the natural surroundings. Nevertheless, these scenic details contribute to the overall charm and atmosphere of the story, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the world created by Butterworth.

In summary, The Log School-House on the Columbia is a captivating historical fiction that celebrates the pioneers who laid the foundation for education in the Pacific Northwest. With its poignant storytelling and strong themes, this book is a testament to the enduring power of perseverance, community, and the pursuit of knowledge.

First Page:


A Tale of the Pioneers of the Great Northwest



Author of the Zigzag Books




New York D. Appleton and Company

[Illustration: Gretchen at the Potlatch Feast. ]


A year or more ago one of the librarians in charge of the young people's books in the Boston Public Library called my attention to the fact that there were few books of popular information in regard to the pioneers of the great Northwest. The librarian suggested that I should write a story that would give a view of the heroic lives of the pioneers of Oregon and Washington.

Soon after this interview I met a distinguished educator who had lately returned from the Columbia River, who told me the legend of the old chief who died of grief in the grave of his son, somewhat in the manner described in this volume. The legend had those incidental qualities that haunt a susceptible imagination, and it was told to me in such a dramatic way that I could not put it out of my mind.

A few weeks after hearing this haunting legend I went over the Rocky Mountains by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and visited the Columbia River and the scenes associated with the Indian story. I met in Washington, Yesler, Denney, and Hon... Continue reading book >>

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