“There were black bears, wild goats, and numerous deer roaming freely around South Whidbey when I came here in 1919,” William Pickens recollects, “but no wolves nor skunks were ever seen.”
Robert Pickens was born in Tennessee in 1898, but grew up in Oregon and homesteaded in Chehalis, Washington. He purchased 120 acres in the Maxwelton area in 1919 and became a well known farmer in the community. He also did some logging and fishing, catching dogfish and selling their livers to a processing plant in Seattle.
He is a bachelor and, as this is written, he lives alone on his farm but has a housekeeper come in at intervals “to tidy things up a bit,” he says. He is a close friend of John Metcalf, another local pioneer who lives on Saratoga Road. Over the years the two men have spent many hours on the Metcalf fishing boats.
Note: the Metcalf story is told in another part of this volume.)