Charles Terry opens first store in future King County no later than November 28, 1851.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 3/08/2003
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5395
No later than November 28, 1851, Charles C. Terry (1828-1867) opens a store on Alki Point. This is the first store in the future King County. Terry arrived at Alki Point with the Denny party on the schooner Exact, bringing with him from Portland tools, tin ware, tobacco, whiskey, brandy, and raisins.

Charles Terry had traveled west from New York state. He named his new home on Alki Point (the future West Seattle) "New York." Later it came to be called "Alki" meaning "by and by" in the Chinook jargon.

In July 1856, Charles Terry married Mary Jane Russell.

Terry obtained his store goods from Portland, Oregon, and from trading schooners. His first dated sale (actually a charge), which he entered into his memorandum book, took place on November 28, 1851. He sold two axes to J. N. Low for $6.00. On December 5, 1851, he sold some candlesticks to Low.

Whiskey, Tobacco, Tin Ware, Raisins

Charles Terry listed items ordered and sold in a Memorandum book, which still exists. [Note: The store items listed in this essay are spelled just as Terry spelled them.] During the 11- month period covered by Terry's Memorandum book, he listed three orders for supplies for the store. The first was loaded on the schooner Exact that carried Terry to Puget Sound. He apparently made the list on November 5, 1851, the day the Exact left Portland. This is likely most of the goods that he had on hand when he opened the first store in what would become King County.

"Shipid on the brig Exact"

  • 1 box tin ware
  • 1 box axes
  • 1 box Tobacco
  • 1 Keg brandy
  • 1 Keg whiskey
  • 1 box raisins Portland Nov 5, 1851
  • Boots, Bread, Whiskey, Mustard, Molasses

    The demands for goods apparently grew quickly. His next two orders were substantially larger. Terry did not note if they were orders placed or received. Following is one of his orders.

    • 25 Bbls Pork
    • 3500# Flour
    • 150 gals Molasses
    • 800# hard bread
    • 1 case boots
    • 1 case Boogans shoe
    • 1 bale Domestic
    • 1 doz pieces? Prints
    • 1 cask whiskey
    • 6 doz hickory shirts
    • 1 doz windows sash
    • 1 Box glass 8x10
    • 1 doz grindstones
    • ? doz Cross cut saws
    • ? doz files cross cut
    • 1 case mustard
    • 1 case pepper sauce
    • 400# sugar
    • 400#[?] Soap

    Following is a list of goods Charles Terry sold from his store between November 1851 and April 1854. The items on the list are taken from two sources -- Terry's memorandum book, and advertisements he placed in two Olympia newspapers. The list here is divided by category. The prices are taken from the memorandum book.

    GROCERY SUPPLIES

    • Flour -- $7.00 to $7.25 per s/e [half barrel?]
    • Flour -- $40.00 for 500 pounds @ $0.08 per pound
    • Cornmeal
    • Rice
    • Beans -- $0.08 to $0.09 per pound
    • Starch
    • Navy & Pilot Bread
    • Bread [hard bread] -- 30 to over 100 pounds $0.12 to 0.12 per pound
    • Bread [hard bread] -- up to 20 pounds $0.14, to $0.15 per pound
    • Butter
    • Goshen Butter
    • Cheese
    • Lard
    • Pork (half barrel) -- $12.00 to $13.00
    • Hams
    • Fresh Peaches
    • Dried Fruit
    • Dried Apples
    • Raisins -- $3.00 per box
    • Malaga Raisins
    • Layer Muscatel Raisins
    • Pickels $9.00 per case, $0.50 per bottle
    • Sugar -- up to 10 pounds $0.12 per pound, 20 pounds at $0.08 per pound.
    • Molasses -- $0.75 per gallon
    • Syrup
    • Coffee -- $0.25 per pound
    • Coffee mill -- $1.50 each
    • Tea
    • Olive Oil -- $1.00 per bottle
    • Oil -- $0.50 per bottle
    • Saleratus [baking soda] -- $0.20 to $0.25 per pound
    • Pepper -- $0.25 per pound (16 lbs @ $0.15 per pound)
    • Salt -- $0.75 per bag
    • Pepper sauce
    • Mustard
    • Vinegar

    LIQUOR & TOBACCO

    • Whiskey -- $3.00 per gallon; $1.50 per gallon; $1.00 per bottle
    • Brandy -- $1.00 per bottle; $1.00 per quart, (10 gallons @ $2.50 per gallon)
    • Champagne cider
    • London Ale and Porter
    • Tobacco -- $0.38 to $0.75 per plug
    • Pipes[?] -- $0.50 to $0.75 per dozen[?]
    • Pipes &c -- $1.00 [each?]

    CLOTHING & DRY GOODS

    • Coats
    • Pants
    • Shirts -- $1.00, to $1.25 each
    • Hickory, fancy colored and fine white shirts
    • Vests
    • Gloves
    • Hat -- $1.50 each
    • Cap (cloth) -- $1.50 each
    • Shoes -- $2.00 per pair
    • Boogans shoes
    • Boots -- $4.00 to $7.00 per pair
    • Boots, coarse and fine
    • Patent Leather Shoes
    • Womens shoes
    • Socks -- $0 50 per pair
    • Stockings -- $0.75 for two pairs
    • Ladies clothing, boots, shoes and hosiery
    • Ladies' Gaiters and Bootees
    • Pantaloons, coarse and fine
    • Shals
    • Shuting mats by the yard
    • Oil cloth[?]
    • Domestic cloth -- $0.10 to $0.11 per yard
    • Prints by the piece
    • Flannel[?] -- $0.62 per yard
    • Calico -- $0.14 to $0.15 per yard
    • Linen[?] (small and large)
    • Cassimere[?] [cashmere?] -- $0.60 per yard[?]
    • Chintzes
    • muslin de lains, &c.
    • Blankets -- $4.00 to $5.00 each, $8.50 per pair

    HARDWARE AND DOMESTIC SUPPLIES

    • Lamps -- $0.50 each
    • Stoves -- $50.00 each
    • Cooking stoves and utensils
    • Box Stoves
    • Buckets -- $1.00 each
    • Tin buckets -- $1.25 each
    • Fry pans -- $0.50 each
    • Deep dish -- $0.75 each
    • Camp Kettles -- $2.00 each
    • Milk jars -- $1.00 each
    • Pans
    • Tin pans
    • Cups
    • Large Water Pails
    • Small Water Pails
    • Coffee Potts
    • Dippers
    • Pails
    • Tin-ware, full assortment
    • Tubs
    • Plough -- $50.00 each
    • Boat (18 ft long) -- $60.00
    • Oil stone -- $0.15
    • Matches -- $0.25 per box
    • Grindstones & Fixtures
    • Glassware
    • Ship Chandlery
    • Washboards
    • Clothes pegs
    • Sugar and Flour boxes
    • Hooks
    • Fish line -- $0.50 each
    • Files
    • Hoes -- $1.50 each
    • Shovels -- $4.50 each
    • Squares -- $3.00 each
    • Rules -- $1.00 each
    • Axes -- $3.00 to $3.50 each, $1.50 each for 12
    • Broad axes -- $6.00 each
    • Hatchet
    • Axe helve [handle] -- $0.50 each
    • Cross cut saws
    • Files, cross cut
    • Rope lines small and large
    • Rope (small) -- $0.50 each
    • Rope line -- $1.50 each
    • Chulk line -- $0.50 each
    • Rope (32 pound) -- $0.08 per pound
    • Nails (up to 6 pounds) -- $0.15 per pound (up to 6 lbs), $0.12 per pound (for 200 lbs.)
    • Paints and oils
    • Brushes
    • Window sashes
    • Window Glass, assorted sizes from 8 by 10 to 10 by 14 
    • House doors, in and outside
    • Door locks and latches, butts, and screws
    • Padlocks
    • Turpentine
    • Putty

    GUNS

    • Revolving Pistols -- $45.00 each
    • Colts Revolving Rifles -- $40.00 each
    • Single and Double Barreled Guns
    • Rifles
    • Powder, Shot & Lead
    • Capt & L -- $4.75
    • Sett C. & Davins[?] -- $1.75
    • Gun Caps -- $0.50

    HOUSEHOLD

    • Blank Books
    • File books
    • Paper (ream) -- $0.50 per ream
    • Comb -- $0.62 each
    • Soap -- $0.20 per pound in quantity
    • Soap -- $0.80 to $1.00 per bar
    • Candlesticks -- $0.35 to $0.38 per pound
    • Sitting chairs
    • Rocking chairs

    MISCELLANEOUS

    • Clocks
    • Drugs & Medicines
    • Cask monglay [Monglass(?) monglan(?)]
    • po hose[?] -- $1.00
    • Paltes -- $1.25 for doz[en]
    • s/e inn[?]
    • Ribon or ribin cask[?] by the yd
    • prop Needles[?] -- $0.25

    Sources: Charles Terry Memorandum Book, Charles Carroll Terry (1829-1867) Collection (Accession No. 247), Manuscripts, University Archives and Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle; The Columbian (Olympia), January 1, 1853, p. 3; Ibid., March 12, 1853, p. 3; Ibid., April 9, 1853, p. 2; Ibid., July 2, 1853, p. 3; Ibid., September 17, 1853, p. 3; Pioneer & Democrat (Olympia), April 29, 1854, p. 3.

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