Of Medlars, Milestones and old Maps

Medlar or “mespilus germanica” is in the rose family.  The fruit is “bletted” before eating and so is a bit like a pear in that regard.  Bletting is a process of softening that certain fleshy fruits undergo, beyond ripening.  Once bletted, medlars become soft, spicy and very rich with an apple sauce flavor.   Medlars were grown by the ancient Greeks and Romans and is native to southeastern Europe.

120 lbs of medlars

We have a medlar tree called “Breda Giant”.  On November 28th we picked 120 lbs and still left quite a bit on the tree.  In the past I have made a spice cake or jam.  Roger has made medlar wine which I quite like.

November 29th was Roger’s 65th birthday.  We celebrated around a firepit with some neighbors and some whiskey and homemade cider.  I also provided a cake.

This week we found out something new about our land we call Thornbush.  At one point our 15 acres was part of a 160 acre homestead registered in 1883 to Joseph Friday.  Yes, that Joseph Friday of Friday’s Harbor fame.  I won’t go into the whole history here because I’ve read at least four different accounts.  I believe this Joe Friday is the son of Peter Friday and an unnamed Cowlitz mother.   Peter Friday was a Kanaka recruited at the tender age of 12 from the Sandwich Islands.  His Hawaiian name Poalima means Friday and that was what the Hudson Bay employers called him.  He later changed his name to Peter when he converted to Catholicism in order marry again in 1870.  I am getting most of this information from HistoryLink.org.

So we found out that Joseph was considered an American citizen while his father was considered English, so Joseph petitioned for the land.  His step-mother Mary looked after the cattle.  Joseph later left to work as a cook on a schooner in Alaska and perished with the rest of the crew in 1895.

Friday Homestead 1883

We think it is pretty cool that our place, along with King Sisters Preserve to the North of us is land that Joe Friday and his father tread in their time.

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