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Joseph Hackenberg Sr. entered a homestead about two miles north of the future site of Apiary on August 23, 1886. He described the roads leaving Rainier and gave the names of the settlers then residing in the area: [Joseph Hackenberg’s article appeared in the Rainier Review in 1937, so some of the places referenced were from that time.]

“..There were four roads connecting Rainier with the surrounding country: one went to Goble, then called Enterprise; one between Fox and Nice Creeks; one to Beaver Valley and one west to the Dibblee ranch in the bottom.

All were very poor excuses of roads, only wide enough for one wagon, the Goble road was almost impassable during the rainy season. The Beaver Valley road [now relocated to the Nice creek canyon] was corduroyed the most of the way owing to its heavy traffic, in several places in deep cuts, and very steep, it was in fact a road laid over the ridge regardless of grade. The corduroy was in many places worn through in the ruts and in flats [now called flood plains] usually afloat during the winter. Corduroy was simply split timber 8-9 feet long, laid across the road.

The Beaver Valley road branched above the Kittering place (the present Townsend place), one branch gave access to the different valleys on the Upper Beaver, the other to the Lower Beaver, Lost Creek, and Clatskanie, then often called Bryantville.”

The Fern Hill road from the Townsend place to the Tracy place and again at the Kenyon Bourne place was relocated, and on the main road up the North Beaver creek were the following settlers; Walt Furrow, S. M. Rice, John Stehman, Kenyon Bourne, Charlie, Lou, Lon, and Dolph Brandt on the Skeans place, and Lou Butts on the Lansing place, where the road ended. [The Lansing place was between the present (1996) Ed Rea place and the James Hoard place.]

The first branch [the Hirtzel Road in 1996] left this road at the Middaugh place [going] west over the hill, called the Cape Horn to Starvation Valley; on it were Polly Gilbreath, Henry Philipps, J. B. Doan, W. H. Hankins, J. K. Stuart, Jim Stuart, and Henry Doan.

The second branch west left the Fern Hill road at the Skeans place (the present road [Skeans Road in 1996] has been relocated a few rods to the north) and joined the Cape Horn road west of the Sonneland place; Jared Wilson was the only settler on that branch.

The third branch [the Hammond Road in 1996] just had been cut through to the Charlie Doan place on the head of the South Beaver creek. There was no Apiary then.

The first branch east, the present Beaver Springs road considerably relocated, went up the east Beaver creek and ended a short distance from the Barrick place [near the intersection of Walker Road and Beaver Springs road in 1996]; its settlers were: Bob Baily, Clemens Mescher and Mike Rosier.

The second branch east [the Lentz Road in 1996] went up the Charlie Wilson creek to the Ring mill; aside of the mill crew there were no settlers.”


Virgie Prichard, daughter of Charles C. and Louisa J. Prichard, was born at Olive Hill near Grayson, Kentucky, on May 7, 1886. The family moved to Oregon in May, 1889.

Virgie recalls life in Apiary in Vol. 5, page 36, of “Columbia County History”:

“..Father bought the homestead rights to 160 acres of land from a man named Isaac Schultz. There was a small clearing and a three room shack so we moved in right away. J. C. Kilby and William Lowman were our nearest neighbors.

“..The post office was nearly two miles away. Dave Dorsey was the postmaster at that time.


“..There was a store in the building with the postoffice where you could buy needles, pins, thread, ribbon, crochet hooks, etc. They also had a small stock of sugar, flour, crackers, dried fruit, beans and a small supply of canned meat and vegetables.”


“..I started to school at Apiary when I was just four years old. My first teacher was Nettie Jones. ..next was Walter Kyser, followed by Mr. Dillingham, Mrs. Zimmerer, and Mrs. Way. I think there were more than 40 pupils the first year.

[Virgie Prichard married Frank McCaskey Feb. 22, 1907, and lived her entire life in Rainier.]


January 8, 1892

Apiary: D. M. Dorsey, Apiary’s grocer, is spending a few days at the “hub.” His return is daily expected.

January 15, 1892

Polling place in Apiary: Dorsey’s Store.

September 9, 1892

Jared Wilson proved up on his homestead claim Wednesday [September 7, 1892] [Joe Hackenberg; J. B. Doan were witnesses.] Joe proved up the same day. [J. B. Doan and Jared Wilson were witnesses.]

September 16, 1892

B. W. Lowman’s mill on the Clatskanie river was destroyed by fire on Friday morning [September 9, 1892]. The fire originated in the slab pile, and the mill is a total loss.

October 7, 1892

D. M. Dorsey proved up on his homestead claim; witnesses: Dan Stehman, E. E. Grindle, C. F. Doan

December 2, 1892

Apiary: Mr. A. J. Alley is now at work putting in a shingle mill on his place near the Clatskanie river.

Mr. D. M. Dorsey, our ex-postmaster, is now at work for B. W. Lowman on the Clatskanie river. Success to Dave and his ox team.

December 16, 1892

Charles A. Buck; proved up on his homestead claim.

January 27, 1893

Apiary: William Brown has just completed a fine store room, he intends in the near future to be our postmaster.

D. M. Dorsey, our postmaster, has left the valley for Dayton, his future home.

March 10, 1893

Apiary: Mr. W. L. Brown is doing a flourishing business in the mercantile line.

July 21, 1893

School Report: District 38: Apiary; 18 students. Perfect attendance and test scores: Nettie Lindsay, Carrie Kilby, Charlie Hamilton, Alice Kilby, Minnie Lindsay, Albert Kilby, Jimmie Grindle, Charlie Grindle, Virgie Prichard, Mattie Kilby: teacher: Mrs. W. C. King

September 8, 1893

Reuben: Lowman’s mill on the Clatskanie, about ten miles back of Enterprise, burned on Thursday, the result of a raging forest fire in that vicinity, employees had barely time for an escape. A loss of about $1,600 with no insurance. This is the second time in two years.

June 1, 1894

Apiary: W. C. King has a shingle mill.

From the Christmas Edition of the Rainier Review Vol. XX Friday, Dec 18, 1925 No. 27


Apiary is located near the end of the new Cloverdale road, about nine miles from Rainier. The land for several miles south and west of Rock Hill and Fern Hill respectively is generally understood to belong to the Apiary territory, although the real extent of acreage does not greatly exceed the average size district.

The name comes from an apiary kept by a pioneer, Dorcie by name, one of the earliest settlers. The claim he proved up on lies east of the schoolhouse, and the old trail still shows faintly where it wound its way between the forest trees.

The post office was kept here for several years, and not until the claim was sold was it moved to W. L. Brown’s place where it remained until the establishment of the daily rural delivery route. Mr. Brown and Fred Neinstead are both pioneer farmers who cleared several acres out of the wilderness.

Farming is the principal occupation although various shingle mills and sawmills have been a part of the industry of the community in the past. The Lowman Lumber company for many years conducted a sawmill with logging operations, and only recently have discontinued business. A general farming program is maintained, no special feature is universal.

Two principal roads to Apiary are being completed within the next year, and a part of the old one abandoned. The Cloverdale road, known as the market road, comes from the north; and the Thurston and major part of the Apiary road come in a more easterly direction from Rainier.

Apiary was more or less a social center until the grange was organized in the Fern Hill district by families of both communities. The Apiary and Fern Hill Sunday schools also have merged into one, holding their classes in the grange hall. Apiary district maintains a one room school, in which the enrollment is 17. Miss Maude A. Smith is the teacher. The school board is composed of W. L. Brown, H. H. Kellar and Mrs. Frank Kilby, with Mrs. H. H. Kellar as clerk.

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