In 1888 Matilda Clark Buller came from Pennsylvania with her husband, Richard Henry Lee Buller, to Seattle. She was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent, and would have been a leader in Women’s Lib today if she were here. She was a milliner by trade (she made hats) and had the equivalent of a PhD in education. Matilda had three sons, Richard (our grandfather), Wade and Carl. She left her husband in Seattle at the Veterans Hospital. He had been wounded in the civil war. She brought her three sons up the Skagit River by indian canoe in that same year, the year before Washington became a state. Grandfather Richard was seven years old at the time. To support her family, she started a roadhouse above the current town of Marblemount. She and a gold miner are credited with naming the town. The miner came into the road house excited and said "Matilda, I found a mountain of marble!" She said "We should call this place Marblemountain." It was later shortened to Marblemount.
In 1900, during the Alaska gold rush, she and two of her sons, Richard, now 19, and Carl, decided to go north and pan for gold, and again operated a roadhouse, this time near Nome. She kept a diary during the two years she was in Alaska, and WOW!…the things that happened to her. She taught her children and the Indian children reading and writing. She returned to Marblemount and ran another roadhouse, settling near Corkindale Creek. It was here she wrote a book called "Roadhouse Tales" which are short stories that happened to her personally adapted from the diary she kept, or were stories told to her by the miners. A copy of that book is at our Eatery Restaurant today. We recently reprinted the work in soft cover, and you can purchase a copy of the new edition here at the Resort
Richard and Ethel came to own all the property below Cow Heaven Mountain, extending all the way to the Skagit River. Grandmother had her own cheese factory called the Glacier View Cheese Factory and sold her cheese in Anacortes. Grandfather had a number of businesses going. He had two sawmills, a veal ranch, a bulb farm with narcissus, daffodils and tulips, a lilac nursery, and a truck farm with his garden fresh vegetables being sold in Seattle's Pike Place Market.
The sawmill was a water powered sawmill, and grandfather milled cedar, fir, and hemlock. Recently, Don Smith, one of our valley artists, painted the mural on the front wall of The Eatery. The mural was copied from old photos of the mill, and with the original headsaw incorporated right in, it looks like the log is being sawed right there. If you have a chance to go to The Eatery, do go outside and look at the wall mural. Grandfather Richard is to the left, and his sons Russell, Lee and Bud (Carl) are in the foreground. Can you find the deer?
After the depression Richard and his sons rebuilt the sawmills here, added a new dance hall and even had a railroad spur put in right to the mill site. This became Bullerville, the site of operations of the Buller Brother Lumber Company. In those days sawmills would burn down quite regularly, and grandfathers mills were not exceptions to the rule. He would just rebuild them. The present Country Cabins were built during the operation of lumber company. They were the housing for grandfather's mill workers, who came mostly from North Carolina. In 1953 the last mill burned, and we began our journey to becoming today’s Skagit River Resort.