The Hartleys

Lewis HartleySophie Hartley, twenty in 1903, was an attractive student at Oregon Agriculture College studying history, and was engaged to one of Creffield's few male followers, Lee Campbell. Before meeting Creffield neither she or Lee were known to have been of a “religious turn of mind.” In fact, their previous religious affiliation is unknown--Methodist, perhaps. Maybe Sophie’s decision to go camping with Creffield on Smith Island had nothing to do with religious beliefs, but youthful rebellion. Maybe she was doing something wild and spontaneous to upset Papa. Papa was Lewis Hartley, one of the richest men in Corvallis.


Sophie’s mother, Cora Hartley, came to Smith Island that summer too. Why is also not known. It was certainly a mystery to her husband. Why would his wife, forty-four, he wondered, choose to spend the summer living in a wigwam instead of the magnificent new ten-room house he’d just had built for her?


He certainly had no time to spend on Smith Island that summer as he was busy in the Bohemia Mining District managing his claim, the Hole in the Ground. It was different if he opted to live in primitive conditions--it was still sort of the wild west in the Bohemia Mining District--he was a man, after all. That’s what men did. Make sacrifices and work hard to provide a good home for their wives and children.


And he, at forty-eight, provided better than most. He’d come far since 1892 when, en route to Alaska, he was shipwrecked off the Oregon coast. Now his company, Hartley’s Great Eastern Mining Company, had just filed articles of incorporation with capital stock of $1,250,000. One million, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars!


While he was slaving away in the mines--so to speak--he expected his wife to be home taking care of their two children. Except that their two children--Sophie, and Warren, twenty-one--were grown-ups going to college. They were about to embark on lives of their own. What was Cora supposed to do from now on? Sit home alone and bored in their magnificent new ten-room house? Not if she could help it.

Sophie Hartley's Commitment & Asylum Records


Photos on the right are stills from How the Fire Fell, Edward P. Davee’s movie based on the Holy Rollers.

Most were taken by Destiny Lane.


Holy Rollers

Creffield & Holy Rollers

Joe Haege, Maren McGuire, Sara Robbin & Brighid Thomas
as Edmund Creffield Maud and Mollie Hurt and Esther Mitchell


George Mitchell & Maud Hurt
Edmund Creffield
Joe Haege as Edmund Creffield
Lewis Hartley
Edmund Creffield
Joe Haege as Edmund Creffield
FBI Anti Piracy SealThe unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by fines and federal imprisonment