CORNISH-L ArchivesArchiver > CORNISH > 2004-04 > 1081312919
From: gay Knutson <>
Subject: Sam Hill was REAL
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2004 21:41:59 -0700
I let the first few Sam Hill messages slip by, but as a proud
Washingtonian, it's time to speak up. For the REAL Sam Hill story,
Washington school children know his story and are taught that the
expression developed as a result of Sam's interest in remote places.
Sam was an AMAZING fellow. The story of his life is so preposterous
that it sounds more LIKE a legend, but he and his many
accomplishments-and adventures-were all quite real. If you ever have
the opportunity to visit Washington State in the north western corner
of the US you will hopefully see two of his lasting legacies-the
Peace Arch which stands at the border crossing near Blaine (US) and
the Canadian border on the way to Vancouver and his wonderful home,
Maryhill in a remote area of south central Washington. Maryhill once
hosted the royalty of Europe, and some of the pre-Revolution Romanov
(Russian monarchy) treasures are there, gifts of the Queen of Romania
who was grateful to Sam for sending supplies to her country after the
war. As a memorial/anti-war protest for WWI, he built a replica of
Stone Henge, overlooking the Columbia River, near Maryhill. Sam was
a Quaker and hated war. Did all he could to prevent them and clean up
after them. He did so many things it would take a book to tell them
As for the What in Sam Hill, we were always told that the Utopian
community he was trying to get started-out in the middle of a
desert-like area of the state far-we're talking a good two/three
hundred miles from Seattle or Spokane-was the origin of the phrase.
He hoped that irrigation would be able to sustain fruit tree growers.
Didn't quite work, at least during his life time.