Max Patzwold learned the hard way that he would rather be a farmer than a logger. He had started logging in the Bayview area when he was 19, after arriving from his home near Berlin, Germany, following a stay with his uncle is Des Moines, Iowa. At first, he moved the logs with the help of a donkey, but gradually he earned enough to buy horses and to hire loggers to assist in his operations. On a certain unhappy day shortly after he had purchased a team of beautifully matched horses of which he was justly proud, a driver drove the team and the logging rig too close to the edge of the bluff overlooking Useless Bay and the rig went over, pulling the horses with it. The driver was able to jump off in time to save his life, but the horses were killed.
Soon thereafter, Max gave up logging and started farming. It is possible that a young lady named Lillie had something to do with his decision to enter a less hazardous occupation. Lillie’s parents, Adolph and Rosaline Ulrich and their children Lillie, Richard, Lea, Edd, and Josephine, came to the island in 1910 and settled on Sunlight Beach. Romance developed between Lillie and Max Patzwold and they were married in 1913 to start housekeeping in a house on Sunlight Beach. Their nearest neighbors were the Arthur Gabeleins, the Beckers, Bill Schumacher, the Emersons, and the Blankenbergs.
Max raised strawberries and sold them to the Langley barreling plant until it closed down in 1930 when the market became glutted and the price of the berries went down to three cents a pound. Max went into the milk business, purchasing milk cows and selling their milk to a dairy. He also began to raise chickens, sell eggs, and eventually started raising turkeys.
Max Patzwold and Claude Johnson were charter members of the Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club, a sportsman’s club. Max also was a member of the first Island County fair board and continued to work for the fair for many years. He died in 1967 and Lillie preceded his death in 1961. They were the parents of two children, Bertha Rosaline, born in 1915, and Carl, born in 1917. Both children attended Bayview and Langley High Schools.
Bertha Rosaline, who has come to be affectionately known all over South Whidbey as “Tudy,” is a talented musician and has been for many years a pianist for a woman’s band that is in much demand. The group provides entertainment at club and social functions. Tudy worked as supervisor of the cafeteria at Langley schools for 23 years. She and her husband Aldon Johnson make their home near Bush Point. Her brother, Carl Patzwold attended Washington State University, after which he worked for the state game department until he retired. He and his wife Osa Raye Samuel live near Coupeville. All are members of the South Whidbey Historical Society.