June and Farrar Burn Papers, 1921-1969  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Burn, FarrarBurn, June;
Title
June and Farrar Burn Papers
Dates
1921-1969 (bulk)
1888-1992 1921-1969 (inclusive)
Quantity
11.0 linear feet
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0005burn
Summary
The June and Farrar Burn Papers at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies comprises an assortment of writings, correspondence, and photographs that reflect the lives of proud Puget Sound residents, June and Farrar Burn. The collection includes stories and correspondence from both June and Farrar that range from their adventures in Alaska in 1921 to their semi-retirement in Florida and Arkansas in the 1960s.
Repository
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
98225
Telephone: 360-650-7534
cpnws@wwu.edu
Access Restrictions

Publication Restriction until 2025: The researcher must receive written permission from the donor or individual authorized by the donor before quotation or reproduction of papers for publication.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the Washington State Legislature to the Washington Women's History Consortium. Funding for encoding the finding aid was awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

June Burn was born Inez Chandler Harris on June 19, 1893, in Anniston, Alabama. She was hired as a staff writer for McCall’s Magazine in 1917, which sparked her interest in writing. June met Farrar Burn (born September 22, 1888) while living in a cabin near Washington, D.C., and the two were wed in 1919.

Because of their mutual love of nature and disregard for the routines of a workaday world, the couple chose to try and find their own island to homestead – a choice that led them across the country to the San Juan Islands in the Puget Sound. They were the last homesteaders in the San Juan Islands, settling on Sentinel Island, just west of the Spieden Channel. It was here that their first son, North, was born. Their second son, Bob (South) Burn was born 29 months later in a hospital near the cabin where June and Farrar had first met.

In 1920 June and Farrar were granted teaching appointments from the Bureau of Education in the Alaska School Service and assigned to Gambell, St. Lawrence Island in Alaska. For a year they lived and worked closely with the Eskimo population there. When June became pregnant with North they came back to the San Juans.

June and Farrar’s adventures took them across the country, and brought them back to a farm on Waldron Island in the San Juans. Prior to settling on Waldron, June and Farrar (and sons) lived in Bellingham, Washington. Farrar built June Acres, two cabins located in the woods surrounding what is now Fairhaven College at Western Washington University. It was during this time that June wrote a daily column for the Bellingham Herald entitled “Puget Soundings,” detailing her own adventures in the area as well as the countless stories of local residents.

The popularity of her column prompted her to create her own weekly newspaper, which was filled with “pictures of this scenic land and with articles and stories by all the writers and leaders of the Northwest.” The paper was popular in Bellingham, but the small audience couldn't justify the costs of the paper. Therefore June and Farrar moved the publication to Seattle for a short time. In all, The Puget Sounder lasted from 1935-1939.

In 1941 June published Living High: An Unconventional Autobiography. Following the success of her book, in 1946 June and Farrar bought a surplus Coast Guard lifeboat and began their “100 Days in the San Juans,” traveling around the islands and collecting stories of the islands and their inhabitants that were printed as a column in the Seattle P.I. The stories were collected together in 1983, and published as a book by the same name.

Later in their lives Farrar traveled the country lecturing on “How to Be Happy, Anyway,” and June taught for a short while at the University of Washington. Their adventures led them all across the country, where they spent time living in New York, Washington D.C., California, Florida, and Arkansas.

In 1967, after deciding not to return to Sentinel Island, June and Farrar moved to a small farm near Fort Smith, Arkansas – Farrar’s home town. June died there in 1969, followed by Farrar in 1975.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The June and Farrar Burn Papers at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies comprise a wide assortment of writings, correspondence, and photographs that reflect the lives of Puget Sound residents, June and Farrar Burn. The papers range from 1888-1992. With the exception of the materials produced during their Alaska School Service with the Eskimos at Gambell, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska from 1920-1921, the bulk of the materials date between 1941 and 1962.

June’s personal papers contain correspondence, journals, writings, notes, poetry, radio transcripts, and includes research. Correspondence includes letters from Eleanor Roosevelt and the White House, writer, W.E. Woodward and extensive communication with life long friends Katherine Fulkerson and Marion Lapp. The collection has over ninety of June’s titled writings including several versions of "How to be Happy Anyway." Scrapbooks contain June's newspaper columns “Puget Soundings” and “100 Days in the San Juans". Research materials pertain to topics including eye health, nutrition, organic farming and soil research.

Farrar’s papers include correspondence, writings, and several of his songs and drawings. Songs contain published titles: "I Wanta Yes-Yes Baby!," "Come Back to Me" and "Cascade Range: Out Where the Swift Rivers Flow" as well as several unpublished compositions, all dating from the 1920s to the 1960s. Farrar's papers also hold an audiocassette recording of an interview conducted by June of Farrar in 1949 and three LP sound recordings created by Farrar in the 1940s.

Burn Family papers contain materials produced by and about June and Farrar's sons, North and Bob (South), including correspondence dated 1940-1991. Writings include copies of June and Farrar’s joint project, the newspaper The Puget Sounder, dated May 1935-March 1939. Family papers also contain Sentinel Island property agreements, and a small watercolor painting entitled “English Camp, San Juan Island.”

June and Farrah's 1920-1921 Alaska trip is well-documented in June's journal entries, correspondence, writings including "Romantic Adventure in Behring Sea" and various Eskimo folk tales. Farrah Burn's papers and Burn Family papers also include correspondence and other materials pertaining to the Alaska School Service.

Family photographs dated 1888-1975 reflect many aspects of the Burn family's life and travels, including images of Waldron Island, the San Juans, and St. Lawrence Island, Alaska.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

June and Farrar Burn papers, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Personal Papers, circa 1902-1992Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Sub-series 1: June Burn
1914-1968
Legal/Financial Information
Box/Folder
1/1
Agreement regarding “One Hundred Organic Farms and How They Operate” by June Burn
1955 April
1/2
Copyright, Legal Agreement, and Extra Book Covers for Living High
1957-1958
1/3
Wishes Regarding Her Death
1965 July 12
Correspondence
Incoming
Box/Folder
1/4
Addresses
Undated 1952
1/5
Bob Burn
Undated 1943-1949 1961
1/6
Farrar Burn
Undated 1920-1967
1/7
North Burn
Undated 1946-1966
1/8
Kathryn Fulkerson
1925
1/9
Phil Lovering
Undated
1/10
Raymond and Motier (June's sister)
Undated
1/11
W.E. Woodward
1927-1937
1/12
Eleanor Roosevelt and White House
1941 1943
1/13
General
Undated
1/14
General
1920-1947
1/15
General
1950-1960
1/16
General
1960-1968
Outgoing
Box/Folder
2/1
Bob Burn
Undated 1945-1965
2/2
North Burn
Undated 1945-1962
2/3
Katheryn Fulkerson
Undated 1924-1939
2/4
Katheryn Fulkerson
1940-1966
2/5
Katherine Fulkerson and Marion Lapp
Undated 1924-1926
2/6
Marion Lapp
Undated
2/7
Phil Lovering
Undated 1929-1941
2/8
Motier (June's sister)
Undated 1966
2/9
W.E. Woodword
Undated 1935
2/10
General
1920-1966
2/11
General
Undated
2/12
General
Undated
2/13
General
Undated
Writings and Notes
Titled Writings A-Z
circa 1920s-1960s
Box/Folder
3/1
A-E
3/2
F
3/3
G
3/4
H
3/5
I-J
3/6
K-M
3/7
N-O
3/8
P
3/9
R
3/10
S
3/11
T-U
3/12
W
3/13
Y
Untitled Writings
Box/Folder
4/1-4/2
Untitled Writings
Undated
4/3-4/10
Fragments of Writings and Notes
Undated
Columns
oversize-box
1
“Puget Soundings” – from The Bellingham Herald
1930-1933
oversized-box
3
Scrapbook of “100 Days in the San Juans” (original publications from the Seattle Post Intelligencer)with correspondence
1946
Box/Folder
5/1
“Side Roads”
1950
5/2
Features, published and unpublished
1950-1951
Books
oversize-box
1
Living High: An Unconventional Autobiography (autographed copy)
1941
Poetry
Box/Folder
5/3
Poetry
circa 1930s-1960s
Radio Transcripts
Box/Folder
5/4
Bornstein Seafood
1949 August 6-1949 October 6
5/5
Bornstein Seafood
1949 October 11-1950 January 31
5/6
“Joe Needham on an Island Farm” or “Tater Patch Holler”
circa 1940s-1950s
5/7
Untitled and “Democracy and the Soil”
circa 1940s-1950s
Research
Dr. Bates Eye
Box/Folder
5/8
Dr. Bates Eye Essays
Undated 1961
6/1-6/2
Dr. Bates Eye Lectures
circa 1950s
Box/Folder
6/3
Donkey Trip (Mule Trip)
1951
6/4
Herb Royal Pamphlets
1957
Nutrition
Box/Folder
6/5
General Nutrition Notes
circa 1940s-1950s
6/6
Nutrition Articles
Undated 1948-1955
6/7
June Burn Health Studio Materials
1955-1956
100 Days in the San Juans
Box/Folder
6/8
Biographical Information of Island Residents
1946
6/9
Correspondence-Outgoing
1946 April-1946 June
6/10
Correspondence-Incoming
1946 January-1946 July
6/11
Correspondence-Incoming
1946 August-1946 December
6/12
Information Regarding Locations and People Visited During the Trip
1946
6/13
Maps and Charts
1946
6/14
Notes on History of the Islands
1946
7/1
Proposed layout of book: “The San Juan Islands of Puget Sound: A Guide Book, Text Book, Souvenir, and Rhapsody”
circa 1940s
7/2
“San Juan Postscripts, Waldron Island, and Two Stories We Missed”
circa 1940s
Organic Farms
circa 1950s
Box/Folder
7/3
Organic Farms
circa 1950s
7/4-7/5
Organic Farms in England, Crown Scrapbook (contains photographs)
1957
Soil
Box/Folder
7/6
Dr. Albrecht’s Soil Lectures
1951
7/7
Dr. Albrecht’s, “Our Soils and Ourselves” (as translated by June Burn)
1951
7/8
Dr. Albrecht’s Essays
1954
7/9
Soil/Fertilizer Articles
1947-1961
Education
Box/Folder
7/10
College Transcripts
1914-1951
7/11
Bureau of Education Alaska School Service Assistant Teaching Appointment
1920
7/12
Teaching Evaluations-Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College
1937
7/13
Corbett-Bates Teaching Association
1945-1955
7/14
Program from University of Washington’s “The Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference
1945 August 6-10
7/15
School of the Living, The Interpreter and The Green Revolution Articles
1951-1965
Journals/Diaries
Journals
Box/Folder
8/1
Journal
Undated
8/2
Journal
Undated
8/3
Alaska Journal Entries
Undated 1921
8/4
Journal Entries
Undated 1941 1962
8/5
Journal
1938
8/6
Journal
1946
8/7
Journal
1946
8/8
Journal
1950
8/9
Journal
1954 1955 1958
oversized-box
1
"A Transcription of Handwritten Journal, 1954-1959, written by Pacific Northwest author, June Burn" by Harriet Thompson
2006
Box/Folder
9/1
Journal
1956
9/2
Journal
1957
9/3
Journal
1958
9/4
Journal
1958
9/5
Journal
1959
9/6
Journal
1959 1960
9/7
Journal
1959 1960
9/8
Journal
1962
Diaries
Box/Folder
9/9
Dream Diary
1945
Sub-Series 2: Farrar Burn
1902-1972
Biographical Information
Box/Folder
10/1
Social Security card
1902 1954
10/2
Career information – Naval service, civil service commission, Alkaline Salt Workers Union card
1920-1923 1951
10/3
“The Heritage,” Official Publication of the Crawford County Historical Society, with biography of Farrar Burn, Distinguished Citizen
1972 July
Correspondence
Incoming
Box/Folder
10/4
Bob (South) Burn
Undated 1941-1947
10/5
June Burn
1962 May-1962 June
10/6
June Burn
1962 July-1962 September
10/7
June Burn
Undated
10/8
General
Undated 1920-1967
Outgoing
Box/Folder
10/9
Katheryn A. Fulkerson
1925-1962
10/10
Katheryn A. Fulkerson
1963-1964
11/1
Phil Lovering
1929-1936
11/2
General
1920-1963
Writings
Box/Folder
11/3
Poetry
Undated
Songs
Published
Box/Folder
11/4
"I Wanta Yes-Yes Baby!," "Come Back to Me"
1927
11/5
"Cascade Range: Out Where the Swift Rivers Flow"
1928
Unpublished
Box/Folder
11/6
Unnamed Song
Undated
Unpublished Drafts
Box/Folder
11/7
“A Christmas Barrel”
1952
11/8
“The Patient is Never Told"
Undated
11/9
“Rhyming Around the United States”
1960
11/10
“A Visit to the Reindeer Camps”
Undated
Box/Folder
11/11
Radio Broadcasts
Undated
11/12
Notes and Drawings
Undated 1920-1921
Education
Box/Folder
11/13
Bureau of Education Alaska School Service Teaching Appointment
1920
Daily Planners
Box/Folder
11/14
Daily Planner
1950-1951
11/15
Daily Planner
1959
Artifacts and Audio-Visual Materials
AV materials include three LP recordings, which may have been sent to North Burn while recovering from polio in the Philippines after WW2.
Box
12
Slide Whistle
circa 1928
Sound Recordings
Box
12
Audio cassette recording of June interviewing Farrar
1949
13
Songs of Farrar Burn, 33⅓ rpm, Microgroove
undated
13
No. 1 Philco Tab Edge Carbon Paper – “Bub” Burns
undated
13
Bub Baxter Burns Five Minute Audition
1949 May 4
Sub-series 3: Burn Family Papers
1921-1992
Biographical Information
Box/Folder
14/1
Bob (South) Burn Certificate of Birth
1924 May 20
Legal/ Financial Information
Box/Folder
14/2
Property Agreements (Including Sentinel Island)
1928-1959
Correspondence
Incoming
Box/Folder
14/3
Farrar and June Burn
Undated 1921-1940
14/4
Farrar and June Burn
1941-1960
14/5
Farrar and June Burn
1961-1968
14/6
North Burn
Undated
14/7
Bob (South) Burn
Undated 1978-1985
14/8
General
Undated 1926-1992
Outgoing
Box/Folder
14/9
Farrar and June Burn
Undated 1920 1958-1959
14/10
North Burn
1939 1940 1950
14/11
Bob (South) Burn
Undated 1942-1991
Writings
oversize-box
1
The Puget Sounder (June and Farrar Burn Joint Newspaper Project)
1935 May-1939 March
Box/Folder
14/12
Barbara Burn, “International Exchange-Pitfalls and Pleasures”
Undated
14/13
Bob (South) Burn, “Autobiography”
Undated
Journals
Box/Folder
14/14
Journal (June and Farrar)
1956
Visual Materials
Box/Folder
14/15
Original watercolor entitled, “English Camp, San Juan Is.”
undated
14/16
Alfred Taiée Print
undated
Clippings
Box/Folder
14/17
Newspaper Clippings
1926-1992
14/18
Newspaper Clippings
Undated

Series II:  Photographs, circa 1888-1975Return to Top

Scrapbook of Early Life contains photographs mounted on numbered pages with June Burn’s typewritten narration included on each page.

Container(s) Description Dates
Prints
Box/Folder
15/1
Arkansas House
1967
15/2
Cabin-in-the-woods, Washington DC
circa 1923
15/3
Covered Wagon Trip (Mule Trip)
1954
15/4
Donkey Trip
circa 1923
15/5
Farrar’s Family
circa 1880s-1940s
15/6
Florida
circa 1965
15/7
Forks, Washington
1955
15/8
Gravestones (Van Buren, Arkansas)
1970 circa 1975
15/9
Health Food Store, Bedford St., New York City
1955
15/10
June Acres
circa 1930's
15/11
June’s Family
1914-1954
15/12
June and Farrar with Family
1954-1966
15/13
Minstrel Trip
circa 1928
15/14
North and Bob (South)
circa 1922
15/15
Portraits of Farrar Burn
circa 1910s 1943-1973
16/1
Portraits of June Burn
1907-1959
oversize-box
2
Portraits of June
circa 1920s
2
Portraits of June and Bob
circa 1920s
Box/Folder
16/2
Portraits of June and Farrar
circa 1930s-1960s
oversize-box
2
Portraits of the Burn Family
circa 1920s
Box/Folder
16/3
San Juanderer Trip-From 100 Days in the San Juans
1946
16/4
Sentinel Island
circa 1920s
16/5
Trip to St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
1921
16/6
Trona, California
1952
16/7
Waldron Camp
1954
16/8
Waldron Island-Early
circa 1930s-1940s
16/9
Waldron Island
circa 1954-1960s
16/10
Waldron Island
circa 1954-1960s
16/11
Waldron Study Cabin
circa 1950s-1960s
Negatives
Box/Folder
16/12
Marianna, Florida
circa 1950s-1960s
16/13
Waldron Island
circa 1950s-1960s
Scrapbook
Box/Folder
16/14
Scrapbook of Early Life
circa 1920s-1940s

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Agricultural conservation--United States--History--Sources.
  • Eskimos--Alaska--Saint Lawrence Island--History--Sources.
  • Folk music--United States--History--Sources.
  • Frontier and pioneer life--Washington (State)--San Juan Islands--History--Sources.
  • Herbs--Therapeutic use--History--Sources.
  • Natural history--Washington (State)--Puget Sound region--History--Sources.
  • Organic farming--United States--History--Sources.
  • Soils--Environmental aspects--History--Sources.
  • Women journalists--Bellingham (Wash.)--History--Sources.
  • Personal Names :
  • Burn, Bob (South)--b. 1924.
  • Burn, Farrar--1888-1975.
  • Burn, June, 1893-1969.
  • Burn, North.
  • Geographical Names :
  • Bellingham (Wash.)--History--Sources.
  • Saint Lawrence Island (Alaska)--Social life and customs--History--Sources.
  • Sentinel Island--San Juan Islands--Washington (State)--Description and travel--History--Sources.
  • Waldron Island (Wash.)--History--Sources.