How Nellie helped bring the western end of Kamus Drive
“Out of the Dark and into the Light”

Bringing light to our information on the expansion of electricity on Fox Island, our former Postmaster, Lois Miller, tells us in her oral history that her father, Cecil Fassett, wanted a television set here on Fox Island. The Fassetts owned 2,300 feet of Fox Island waterfront with beautiful and often lighted sunset views, but electricity they did not have for a television set.
At that time, around 1951 or 1952, there was electricity from where the Fox Island Bridge is now along the main streets up to where the Fire Station is now. There wasn’t electricity away from 9th Street in that area so Cecil Fassett started digging holes. He dug holes all the way down Kamus Drive hill to the beach. With holes readied, he took his boat over to Chamber’s Creek Lumber Company and brought poles back by boat to the foot of Kamus Drive hill. With the poles on the beach he knew he needed help getting them up the hill. Help came from a special friend who was up to the task of helping Cecil get the poles up the hill, that was Nellie his horse. Nellie pulled the poles up the hill so they could be dropped off at the holes. The Peninsula Light Company came to put the poles in place and strung the wire on all the poles down to the beach.
Although Cecil oversaw the project, financed the venture, and was able to arrange for Peninsula Power to set the poles and string the wire, it was really Nellie who was the heavy weight of the project. So that is how the western end of Kamus Drive came “Out of the Dark and into the Light”.

Fox Island Facts and Chuckles

The Amen Corner   On Sundays, after church, people would walk homeward together, exchanging ideas and opinions, until they ended their visits at the “Amen Corner”.  (6th Avenue at Fox Drive or the Fox Island Store corner) Source: George Miller

Anchorage   At Anchorage (near the DeMolay property which includes the sand spit and is now owned by Pen Met, “there was a wooden chute for sending slab wood down to the steamers for fuel.  One day Maurice Hunt and his brother decided to slide down the chute crouching on their leather soled shoes.  Maurice made the mistake of sitting on the slide while going full speed and got his behind full of slivers, resulting in extensive repairs by his mother.  Source: George Miller

The Bay Island spent each night at Anchorage after the “berry run.”  At the peak of the berry season, the Bay Island would carry as many as 2,400 crates of strawberries on one trip.  The crates held quart size boxes, not the pint size you buy in the super market today.  Source: George Miller

How it came about that Captain Hunt Retired  “One time as we were approaching the North Side of Hales Passage, I thought I saw the beach ahead and feared we were going to run a ground.  By the time we got the boat stopped we found ourselves in the middle of a school of dogfish so thick they looked like solid ground.” Source: George Miller page 28

How Raccoons Came to Fox Island   During the 20’s and 30’s there were mostly walking trails and not many roads connecting the Island.  During this time there were chickens – free range – whose droppings made walking to church in dress shoes a messy affair.  To “cleanup” this situation, raccoons were brought to the Island.  The chickens were quickly fenced and the trails improved.   Oral story by Lois Miller

The Escapee Who Wanted to Stay In Prison   Through the years there has been a number of “visits” to the Island from prisoners leaving McNeil Prison via Fox Island.  One escapee apparently didn’t want to loose his free room and board.  Sometime before the early 1980’s, a prisoner due to be released escaped to Fox Island and was wandering around the Island – even asked for a drink of water.  He was caught and returned to McNeil.  Oral story by Lois Miller

The Three Surprise Visitors to a Picnic at the Jay residence.  About 1974 the George Jay family was having picnic when three men in orange prison uniforms came up from the beach.  The trail that ascended from the beach was referred to as the Indiana Jones trail…. it was about 200 feet up hill and consisted of a rope tied to a tree and some steps carved out of clay.  The men in orange asked how to get to the main road.  Mr. Jay didn’t invite the visitors to stay but simple told them to follow the driveway to the road and continue to the bridge.  Mr. Jay called the police immediately and they were picked up at the bridge.  Later, Hannah went to the beach to see the small raft that was used to carry the men from McNeil Island.  Source: Hannah Jay

Rotating Exhibits at Zog’s

The Museum has several photos displayed at Zog’s, located behind the Fox Island Store. Be sure to stop by and check them out!

The History of Tanglewood Island

The Grounding of a Nuclear Sub on Fox Island