‘The evening is closing in; the sun has set, leaving a hot, red glow, where his copper disk has just sunk beyond the Pacific horizon; and the eye wanders out from the infant waves, at foot just tinged with red, and reflecting the light as they move up in turn to catch it, to the blue and still darker blue water beyond, out to the sharp indigo line where sky and water meet.'
And so Wallis Nash concludes his brief passage on his brief expedition to hack off rock oysters, along the coast toward the Yaquina Head lighthouse.
For anyone interested in the early history of Oregon, Wallis Nash's Two Years in Oregon is a mine of information. In an easy and highly readable narrative, Nash provides extensive detail on society, farming, hunting, fishing and community life.
He wrote the book in 1882 after his first two years of residence whilst the initial impressions were still sharp in his mind.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Wallis Nash was born in London in 1837 and by 1871 he was successful solicitor and attorney living just outside London in Beckenham, Kent. In 1877, at the age of forty he decided to see some of the world and by the Panama isthmus route he made his way to Oregon for a visit. Back in England he wrote a book about his travels primarily aimed at people who wished to emigrate. Two years later, he followed his own advice and with wife and children, plus a few likeminded people, it was a party of 26 who made their way west to Oregon in 1879. Nash was very involved in the building of the railroad from Corvallis to the Newport area and was also influential in education, helping to build a university. In 1898 he moved to Portland, where he continued to have an influence on Oregon's economy, both as an attorney, and as president of the Board of Trade from 1906 to 1909. He died in 1926.