Norman R Smith's son Chester V Smith died on November 9, 1918, of pneumonia at Camp Colt, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; this appears
to be the inspiration that drove his devoted father to begin a series of diaries, titled "The Bridge," written from 1918 through
1938. Smith recorded daily activities, including the weather, from his Moonstone Beach retirement home as he boldly visioned
the future development of the town of Trinidad. The diaries also were a vehicle for Smith to express his continuing grief
at the loss of his son, as virtually every entry contains a variant of this (from Jan 1, 1933): "…My Dear Dad: Trust God and
hold fast onto me. I am with you and the Lord is with You. Be not discouraged nor cast down, all is Well…..Chester". Norman
R Smith was a well-traveled surveyor and engineer "with pipe dreams." His father, Victor Smith, of the town of Port Angeles
WA, was lost on the Brother Jonathan shipwreck off Crescent City. Norman Smith also wrote a family history: "Victory: Biography
of Victor Smith" was published serially in the Port Angeles Evening News in 1950.
After a very full and eventful life primarily in California, Washington (D.C. and State), Alaska and British Columbia, Norman
R. Smith, born in Ohio in 1857, "retired" to the "summer resort community" that he had developed at Moonstone Beach, Humboldt
County from his base in Red Bluff, California about 1914. This was near where his father, Victor Smith, well known in Port
Angeles and Port Townsend WA, was lost in the wreck of the Brother Jonathan off Crescent City in 1865.
Norman studied civil engineering in San Francisco and worked as a surveyor in Port Angeles and Port Townsend before returning
to California. He married May Smith in 1890; both had been previously married. Confusingly, May's first husband was also named
Smith (George Venable Smith), and they had a daughter, Lois, born in 1883. Lois lived with Norman and May and their son Chester
V. Smith, born in 1891 in Port Angeles. Chester worked closely with his father in the development of the Moonstone Beach property;
unfortunately, he died on November 9, 1918 of pneumonia at Camp Colt, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, having just been accepted
in the Service. Victor's death appears to be the inspiration that drove his father to begin the series of daily diaries that
he titled "The Bridge."
Norman, May and Lois continued to live in both Red Bluff and Moonstone Beach, where they each occupied different houses. Norman
had great visions for the major development of an "Industrial Colony on Trinidad Harbor," as he described in a 20 page "booster"
publication in 1924, complete with photos by Lois Smith.
In 1934, in response to a request from his sister Nellie in Berkeley, Norman wrote her a series of letters detailing the family
history, and in particular the exploits of their father Victor Smith and his relationship to the town of Port Angeles, WA.
These letters resurfaced in 1950 when Jack Henson from the Port Angeles Evening News interviewed Norman and published them
in the newspaper from June 9 through October 1950 as "Victor: Biography of Victor Smith." Norman died in 1954 at 96; he was
preceded in death by May in 1946 and Lois died in 1968.