compiled by Columbian staff in 1989

Ole Peterson

Ole Petersoon, the Cougar area's most noted resident of pioneer times, was known as a rugged individualist and eccentric character with a ready wit.

One writer commented that Peterson's place was "the last smoke on the trail when he hiked in over an old Indian trail in 1894 with an iron stove on his back, and a sack of spuds in the oven to keep it from bouncing."

A friend Ken Teter, said Peterson got much satisfaction from being able to survive on upper Lewis River when so many others left. One factor in his ability to make a living was his timber. Teter said Peterson sold this three times in his lifetime, and he did not sell anything smaller than 18 inches in diameter.

Peterson also did some farming.

Peterson's mustache and plentiful whiskers gave him a patriarchal appearance, and his personality and colorful quips helped make good feature stories for the newspapers of the area.

The Cougar man also was a capable photographer. Some interesting photos by Peterson of Lewis River pioneers, printed from glass negatives, are preserved at Clark County Historical Museum.

Peterson was burned in a 1953 fire at his two story home, and died shortly afterward, at age 85, in Vancouver Memorial Hospital. He was buried in a family plot at Sumner.

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