cannonbeachmuseumMary Gerritse was one of the few brave history heroes of Cannon Beach. She was a woman who did what needed to be done. Mary plunged through the wilds of the Oregon rainforest, braving Northwestern Squalls, changing tides, and narrow cliff hugging trails to deliver the mail from 1897 until 1902. Mary was fearless. Once while delivering the mail she came upon several men on the trail she frequented. They waved at her not to come, the trail was rather narrow and they were afraid that she would not be able to pass. Without hesitation Mary plunged onward. One man became so afraid he clambered up the opposite Cliffside clinging to grass while she rode past, Mary commented in her journal, “I felt sorry for him. The other side of the trail went down 400 feet to the ocean. I did not know how to be afraid.” On more than one occasion Mary held herself together when most would have struggled with fright. Whether it was coming face to face with a bear or a cougar Mary held her ground. When Prince, Mary’s beloved horse was close to skittering down a cliff into the sea, Mary remained calm, slid down the 150 feet to where Prince teetered on the edge and soothed him back onto the trail. Despite Prince’s cracked ribs, and Mary’s own slide, the mail was saved! Mary ruffled many feathers. She refused to ride sidesaddle, as was customary of women at the time. She felt that she was doing man’s work, so should be able to ride like a man! Mary says, “When I carried the mail, I rode astride on a saddle. I got a lot of criticism because, because it was not lady-like.” Under a thin skirt Mary wore boots and overalls. She hoped that this would appease the neigh-sayers and as she says, “What was the difference? I was not doing a lady’s work anyway.” #cannonbeach #oregon #history #museum #cbhcm #oregonhistory #historyheroes #blackandwhite #beachlife #mailcarrier #pnw #pacificwonderland #welovehistory
- preservation_farmIncredible story! Thanks for sharing.
Log in to like or comment.