Cumberland to Bayne: Beverly Read's Childhood Memories

  • By Beverly Read
  • Posted 3/12/2012
  • Essay 10056

Beverly Parkerson Read, who was born at her family home in Cumberland, a mining town in southeast King County, describes her fond childhood memories of walking up the railroad tracks to the neighboring mining town of Bayne to retrieve the family cow. This account appeared in the Winter 2011-2012 issue of the Black Diamond Historical Society's newsletter, the Black Diamond Bulletin, under the title "Where's Bossie ... Bayne or Navy? Tracking Down the Family Cow Was a Nightly Chore," and is used here with permission.

Memories of Bayne

My memories of Bayne go back to when I was a child in the mid-1940s. I grew up in Cumberland a few miles southwest of Bayne. During this period in time there was open range for farm animals to roam. After the morning milking, our two cows would be released to graze their way to anywhere they chose to wander. They would follow the railroad tracks and most of the time ended up close to Bayne.

Every night we had to find them and bring them back home. We would ask neighbors along the way if they saw which way Bossie went -- if she traveled to the left we walked the tracks toward Bayne. If she turned right she went to Navy. My brothers and I did not like to go to Navy. It was spooky.

We loved Bayne because along the way was a fishing hole called Rockbottom. In those days we carried a pocket knife, twine, and straight pins. A branch from a tree would serve as the fishing pole and the twine was wound around the notched top several times and tied securely. Then the straight pin was bent and shaped like a hook and tied to the other end of the twine. Worms were used as bait and they were easy to find prodding with the pocket knife and turning over rocks. Most of the time we came home with a couple of trout.

Now we were going to be late going home with Bossie but she would let us ride her. Her swaying as she walked gave a special tone to the cowbell as the clapper would go from side to side.

Another fond memory is when I was learning to drive. My boyfriend was my instructor in my parents’ 1937 Chevy. I was driving along the Cumberland-Kanaskat Road when my boyfriend said, "turn here."  I did as instructed -- without slowing down or braking -- and ended up with the front end of the car heading up the railroad tracks at the Bayne crossing!

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