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As It Was: Girls Ride Horses on Perilous Trail to Spring Wedding

In 1883, Ottilie Parker and her sister received an invitation to attend a spring wedding at Gold Beach, Ore., 70 miles from their home on the Coquille River.

After months of anxious anticipation, the two girls saddled their horses and accompanied the mailman along his route.  They stayed the night in Langlois, then left for Port Orford, undaunted by a falling barometer.

Shortly after departure, a gale broke loose with a heavy cloudburst and howling winds.

The crossing of Sixes and Elk rivers required the mailman to take them across separately, perched upon a horse, with the water lapping at their feet.  Neither girl shed a tear, trying to focus on the adventure of it all.

The soaked and exhausted trio arrived at dusk in Port Orford and settled into the Knapp Hotel.

The next morning they continued south on a mostly flat, but perilously steep and slippery, trail and several more creek crossings.  Upon arrival at the Rogue River, a small boat ferried them across.  The next day, when the excited pair joined the festivities, it was everything they had anticipated and worth all the effort.

Source: Kronenberg, Ottilie K. "Going to a Wedding in the Early Days." Port Orford News, 1931.

Laurel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State. Her research efforts as a volunteer for the Curry Historical Society produced numerous newsletter articles and exhibits and earned her a reputation as a seasoned local history buff. Laurel is the author of "Renderings from the Gold Beach Pioneer Cemetery", a 50-page booklet containing a walking tour and snippets about the lives and times of folks buried there. She is also a contributing writer to Oregon Coast Magazine.