James Cousins was born in 1834 in County Armagh, Ireland. He came to the US in 1863 on an old East Indian square-rigger. He landed in New York penniless, as his pocket was picked on board.
James worked on a farm in New Jersey for a bit, then moved to Canada where he met his brother Robert, and William and Thomas Graham, to whom they were related. (The Grahams were nephews of the Cousins. Their father married Jane Cousins, and Robert was married to the Grahams’ aunt, Ellen.) The Cousins brothers moved to Ohio, then on to Iowa around 1867.
In 1883, the family moved to Lopez at the urging of William Graham, who had settled in Richardson in 1877. They traveled by train to San Francisco, then by ship to Esquimalt, Port Townsend, and finally to Lopez.
Cousins homesteaded 160 acres and bought an adjacent 40. He hired Jasper and John Coffelt to build a small family home. The house was moved south on the property to its current location in 1898. Joe Groll, who had a lumber mill on Fisherman Bay, built a major addition at that time.
The farm produced fruit, grain, and cattle. After James’ death in 1921, sons Jimmie and Willie inherited it. They worked it until 1945, then sold it to William (Tom) McCauley.