From the Gift Shop: “Squak Valley: A Tale of Old Issaquah”

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’ve been posting some of our favorite poems from our collections here at the Issaquah History Museums.

This poem by Bessie Wilson Craine entitled “Back to the Scenes of my Childhood” is a part of a wonderful book from our gift shop called “Squak Valley: A Tale of Old Issaquah”.

Bessie Wilson Craine came to the Issaquah area in 1885 when she was just 3 years old. The writings of Craine describe her life growing up in the area and watching her community develop. The book can be purchased by visiting us or through our online gift shop.

Back to the Scenes of My Childhood

by Bessie Wilson Craine

I’m back to the scenes of my childhood,

      Where the world was all that it seemed,
Where I knew the joy of living,
      Where I realized all that I dreamed.

Where I roamed the forest with ne’er a thought –
      Of what the coming years would bring,
I waded the streams in barefoot glee,
      ‘Tis memories like this that will ever cling.

I knew every bird, I knew their songs,
      Every trail and tree to me was dear;
For the only life I had ever known
      Was the life I lived out there.

Just there in the Valley ‘neath the shimmering trees,
      Near a peaceful little stream,
Stands the dear old home of my childhood;
      But it’s not the home of my dream.

It has changed,
      It can ne’er be the same to me;
And within my heart there steals a longing –
      For things as they used to be.

There’s no welcome smile ‘long the old country road –
      Where I knew each passerby;
I watch with eager longing
      As I brush a tear from my eye.

But I’m glad to be back for just one night,
      To dream back those happy days,
Before the world sent out its call,
      And we all went our different ways.

As the sun sinks low ‘neath yonder hills,
      It brings back sweet memories to me,
When I lived for the joy of living,
      And life was what it seemed to be.