On a recent outing, my wife and I came upon a wooded treasure in Washington along the Columbia River. We had read one of those hiking the trails of the Columbia River Gorge books and saw an easy hike to an interesting Stone House. Aside from the intriguing destination and visuals, what struck me was an additional, but unrelated to the house, reference about the ‘mysterious’ Nellie Corser and the lack of knowledge about the house as well.
So, I searched a bit. I, as yet, don’t know much about the house…whether it was a home or more likely a cabin to escape city life. But, I did find some details about Nellie, which I will share after some images. For those Pacific NW explorers the Nellie story may be of interest for future explorations in the ‘Nellie Corser Tract/Unit‘ in Skamania County, Washington. So now for the curious Stone House…..
First, here is a photo of the interior view of the fireplace covered in moss. Note the roof is off the house…
Next is a side view of the fireplace and a view up into the wooded slope…
Below is the houses’ back door and stone facade with a chimney that was in the kitchen area at the back of the house.
Next is a view from a window at the back of the house toward the fireplace or front room…
Below is a shelf insert. There was one on either side of the fireplace/windows. Perhaps for lanterns etc.
Next you can see where a cedar tree came crashing down across the side of the house or behind the kitchen area. The wall stayed intact. The walls have in interior/exterior cement face with stones mortared onto the wall surfaces.
Here you see the tree down into a back room. One is standing in the kitchen area I believe (based on old, clay drain pipes to the outside)
Below: This is the front wall of the house. The entryway is to the right. The top half of the front wall has tumbled outward on to ground in front of the house as it faced the Columbia River. The rock structure was an interior wall separating the entryway and the living area out of sight, to the left. The next image below shows the similar rock wall formation. You can notice the ledge around the inside that the flooring set atop.
Below is a view from the outside to the side of the fireplace looking into the house toward the kitchen and far side of the house…
Below: Here is a view of the interior of the house from a slightly elevated position…
This is the view of the front of the house. The front walls, in places, have fallen forward and are in the foreground of this image.
The above images hopefully captured some wooded magic that the builders must have witnessed. The mystery remains about the actual construction of the house…for now. But, the mystery of Nellie is less clouded and with what little I found out interesting to consider.
Nellie Poppleton (maiden name)…Corser (married name):
I will tell it in a somewhat chronological order for those interested in the Corser/Poppleton family lineage. I didn’t go way back to Colonial times but rather to what I would call Pacific NW Pioneer times (1800’s) up to 1900’s.
One can see from an 1880 Oregon Census (below), from Lafayette, Oregon, that the Poppletons had several children. The youngest, at the time of the 1880 Oregon Census was Nellie at 11/12 months old (DOB 07/01/1879). You can also see the family unit above Edgar Poppleton’s name, that his probable brother, Edwin had brought his family to Oregon. Also, note that Nellie’s grandmother is living with them and is listed as 70 y/o (‘Mrs. Poppleton’).
There are not online images of Nellie or the family that I could find. There was a probable one of Edgar Poppleton at a Sherwood, Oregon brick factory in 1890 (below/far right).
I could find nothing about Nellie Poppleton’s schooling or younger years. I did find that on January 1, 1913, Nellie Poppleton wed one Irving Corser (Courser) DOB 06/30/1874.
By 1918 Irving is registered for the WWI Draft and lists Nellie as his wife in Portland, Oregon.
The 1930 Oregon Census shows Nellie and Irv Corser living, without children, in Portland, Oregon.
A small hint re the Corser’s connection to Skamania County is revealed in Irving Corser’s death. Irv passed away in 1950 at North Bonneville, Skamania County, Washington. Records show Nellie died in Portland, Oregon in 1968.
Historically, all of the Poppleton and Corser family members referenced above appear to be buried at the Riverview Cemetery in SW Portland. I hope the biographical info is of some use to the families should any of them embark upon their genealogical heritage.
This was a very nice place to visit. One could imagine the magic of it all…it is a shame some people cannot comprehend such magic….
While, thank goodness, others can…