FUCK PRETTY BOY SIG HANSEN! It is the story of the Croatians in fishing which is THE history of NW fishing and actually there are a few good books already:
“Let It Go Louie” tells the story of my people in salmon fishing through out the 20th century here in the PNW is the best
[B]New Book Tells Story of “Ichville” and the Croatian Community of Bainbridge Island
Ichville isn’t marked on any maps, and no sign was ever staked at its outskirts.
It was the names on the mailboxes — Crvarich, Pesusich, Mirkovich, Uglesich — that let you know you’d entered Ichville, an immigrant fishing community populated with so many “-ichs” that the use of its official name, Eagledale, fell by the wayside in the early 1900s.
Ichville has since reverted back to its old name, but its heyday won’t soon be forgotten, said Barbara Winther, co-author of a new book about Bainbridge Island’s Croatian immigrants.
“We wanted to fill the hole on a history that not many people know about,” she said.
Written with the help of local historian Gary Loverich, the 227-page “Let it Go, Louie” reads almost like a family scrapbook, chock full of letters, newspaper clippings, maps and more than 200 photos. Even a few time-honored recipes and advice on net-mending make their way into the pages.
Regarding the book as a “labor of love,” Winther said she and Loverich will donate all money from the its sales to the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. The book was published through a $10,000 donation by the late Jay Gage, a seafood company executive who befriended many of the island’s Croatian families.
Croatians began settling on Bainbridge in 1903. They were drawn to the island partly because it resembled the Adriatic islands they’d left behind. Many families found themselves plying their old trades — fishing and boatbuilding — alongside people they knew in Croatia. They built their homes alongside old neighbors, with many south island Croatians settling together in Ichville, on Eagle Harbor’s south shore, and several north island Croatians putting down roots on the harbor’s north shore.
Along with Croatians who settled in Tacoma, Vashon Island and Anacortes, Bainbridge’s foreign-born fishermen built Puget Sound’s first true fishing industry, Winther said.
“They changed fishing in the Northwest,” she said.
Croatian immigrants are credited with introducing a more aggressive approach to fishing than the sit-and-wait tactic the Sound’s gill-netters used. Piloting larger, faster vessels, Croatian fishermen stalked schools of fish before surrounding them in large purse-like nets. The Sound’s Croatian fishermen also ranged farther, pursuing prized salmon runs into the Bering Sea.
The book’s title comes from an inside joke shared among the island’s Croatian fisherman. During a fishing excursion in the 1920s, Croatian-born Marko “Mr. Mike” Martinolich’s net caught on something in the depths. With the drowning death of his friend Louis Bozanich fresh in his mind, Martinolich hopped over to the side of the boat, peered into the water and yelled “Let it go, Louie!” The line caught on. Generations of Bainbridge fishermen yelled the same request to Louie whenever their nets snagged.
When the fishing season ended, the island’s Croatian fisherman busied themselves on Eagle Harbor’s shores, drying and mending nets and constructing new boats for bigger catches.
“This book isn’t just for Croatians,” Winther said. “It’s for anybody who’s interested in the Northwest’s fishing and boatbuilding history, or what life was like here in the early 1900s.”
While the book is aimed at a wider audience, Winther knows the book will mean the most to the sons and daughters of Ichville.
One old timer by the name of Art Mirkovich had been anxiously awaiting the book ever since Winther and Loverich began work on it five years ago. Hearing that he had fallen ill, Winther sent a draft section that recounted the Mirkovich family’s history. Mirkovich’s daughter read it to him in the hospital. A few weeks later, he died.
“His wife said that he had been holding on until the book came,” Winther said. “That touched me very much.”
I’ve got a few of my own books in the planning stages but building my business is a higher priority at the moment. They will have to wait for my retirement