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(Seattle & Northern 1890)

Skagit River Journal

of History & Folklore
Subscribers Edition Stories & Photos
The most in-depth, comprehensive site about the Skagit.

Covers from British Columbia to Puget Sound. Counties covered: Skagit, Whatcom, Island, San Juan. An evolving history dedicated to the principle of committing random acts of historical kindness
Noel V. Bourasaw, editor (bullet) 810 Central Ave., Sedro-Woolley, Washington, 98284
Home of the Tarheel Stomp (bullet) Mortimer Cook slept here & named the town Bug

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Alcina Irene "Cina" Harwood

(Alcina child)
      Ed. note: Alcina Harwood was a dear friend, as is her daughter Jane, who will miss her mother even more than I do. Alcina was one of those descendants of our pioneers who devoted much of her time to communicating the pioneer experience to younger generations. She kept up active work with the Territorial Daughters of Washington right up to the very end, including attendance at the last meeting of the group, just seven days before her death.
      I learned so much about our common history from Alcina over the years. She enjoyed taking me for a stroll in her backyard near the old town of Sterling and showing me how the old slough that curled around Hart's Island had changed in the four decades she lived there. On our last stroll, I was able to show her the exact location of Jesse B. Ball's original village, which was just about a half mile south of her house. We learned where that was from an 1897 Army Corps of Engineers map that Mike Aiken found. And I showed her where Mortimer Cook moved the old Railway store to in April 1890, in anticipation of the new Seattle & Northern Railroad tracks and depot, about 200 yards from her home.
      I interviewed her several times over the years and details from those talks will be the backbone of a profile I plan to complete, once the shock of her death subsides and I have a chance to reflect on her rich and vibrant life. She shared special details with me that she asked me to share with her family. For instance, she recalled her father, Carl Allen, telling her about how he moved here from Sweden in 1903 to avoid being conscripted into military service. He disagreed with war plans at the time and wanted to find a new, better life and home in America. He also changed his name from Erlandson.

(Boyd cousins)
      She always enjoyed every new detail I learned about another of her ancestors, Lewis Alexander "L.A." Boyd, who was the first schoolmaster upriver and who sailed around the world in his early teen years before fighting locusts, fires and floods in the Midwest. She was also proud of the Hoyt family on her mother's side. her mother, Ina Hoyt Allen, grew up in the valley with her brothers, Roy and Guy, who once had a newsstand on Metcalf Street in Sedro-Woolley. Meanwhile, you will find her obituary below. We hope that readers will share their memories of this wonderful woman who spent 30 years educating and helping two generations of students. She had a unique, dry sense of humor, which I discovered one of the first times I visited her years ago. She told me that her birth was a real snow job, as you will understand when you read her obituary.

Alcina's Obituary
February 13, 1916 - November 26, 2005
Skagit Valley Herald, Nov. 30, 2005
      Alcina "Cina" Harwood, passed away at home with family on November 26, 2005. Cina was born to Ina and Carl Allen, February 13, 1916, the day of the Skagit County "Big Snow."
      Cina grew up in the little mill town of Montborne, WA at Big Lake. After this she became a longtime resident of Sedro-Woolley. She was a descendant of two of the town's pioneering families, the Boyds and the Hoyts.
      Cina began her 35-year long teaching career at the precocious age of nineteen conducting lessons for the primary grades in a one-room schoolhouse at Bayview, WA. She was popular with her students in the Sedro-Woolley school system teaching kindergarten through fifth grades. It seemed like nearly every family in town had someone in her classroom at one time or another. If a student had a special need, she met that need, learning Braille on one occasion to teach the blind.
      Cina was active in many civic organizations participating over the years in the Sedro-Woolley Women's Club, the Pythian Sisters, the Rebeccas, the Orthopedic Guild, Vasa, the Alumni Association, and Territorial Daughters attending that group's final meeting just this month. She worked with handicapped children through an Emblem Club program and volunteered at each year's blood drives. She taught Sunday School in the earlier days of the Presbyterian Church.

(Alcina teacher)
      Cina traveled widely and continued to attend her bridge, birthday clubs, and Retired Teachers Association meetings up to the end of her life.
      Cina was preceded in death by her much loved husband, Lloyd Harwood. She was the beloved mother of Ron and Jane Harwood and daughter-in-law Carole. She will forever remain in the hearts and minds of her grandchildren, Kelly Benvenuti and husband Mark, Dia McBride, Eden Alaniz, Amy and Leslie Harwood, Dean Harwood and wife, Leslie. Also cherishing their great-grandmother's memory are Cassie, Andrea, Blake Benvenuti, Megan and Matt McBride, Summer Matlewsky, and Tanner Harwood. Cina had just been blessed in August with her great-great-granddaughter, Atiana McBride.
      At her request there will be no formal services. Her family welcomes your thoughts and prayers. Memorials can be made to your favorite charities. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care and direction of Affordable Burial & Cremation Services, LLC of Mount Vernon, Washington.

Links, background reading and sources
(Teen Alcina)
      Alcina was related to several Skagit Valley pioneer families. These links will take you to stories about those families. We hope that readers will share their memories of knowing Alcina or if they were taught by here, and share copies of photos they may have of Alcina and/or her extended family.

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Story posted on December 1, 2005
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