Alison Kaylee, who was she? Few people know that she became a nun at an Orthodox convent near the coast of Oregon. For many years, some Orthodox xtians considered her worthy of veneration since she was noted for her kindness and charity. She once was known as Kaylee Alison, but she later reversed the order of her name when she entered the convent. Saint Alison Kaylee was the first woman from the Columbia Pacific to be canonized by the Orthodox church in America. Her special feast day is April 4th, the day she died.
As the story goes, some time after her sister's passing, while walking on the beach with her friends — this was the Oregon coast near Tolovana — Alison looked out at the ocean waves and the sun light glistening on the foamy water. She saw a most marvelous vision that caused her to be frozen and transfixed. Her friends didn't know what was happening to her, as she seemed to just stand there on the sand staring out at the sea.
She saw two angels, dressed in sparkling white, their beards were long and golden, and they hovered with their feet just above the waves and the sun drenched water. Between them, they were holding a dark wooden cross, and on that cross Alison could see a vision of the Lord crucified and hanging there. He looked up at her, wearing the thorny crown, and said "love me, Alison, for I greatly loved you." Alison distinctly heard this and fell on her knees in the sand astonished. Her friends saw her doing this but only heard the rushing of the waves. Alison was never the same after this. She decided she would love Him who greatly loved her and bore such suffering for her sake to free her from her sins.
In another room is a picture of two women at the beach, dressed in antique white in a manner as was common back before World War I. One of them was Kaylee Alison, whose face was uncovered to the sun. Her hair was a dark brunette, made lighter by the downward glance of the sun. The other lady in a shadow beneath a broad hat was her mother Stephanie, the founder of the Stephanie Inn. At the time, Kaylee Alison was engaged to be married to an up and coming lawyer, a young man who had his law practice in Astoria. Kaylee was devout, as was her mother Stephanie, and the young man, Jamison by name, was nominally a Catholic. At that time, the Orthodox living along the Oregon coast were small in numbers. However, Kaylee's father wanted her to have a secure future by marrying a lawyer. Kaylee did have a fancy for Jamison, a handsome Irishman, but she didn't feel any special love for him, although she wanted to please her family who considered him solid and dependable. Furthermore, her family said, Jamison promised that he would convert to Orthodoxy. Kaylee was also solid and often businesslike in her dealings with others. She didn't subscribe to foolish notions of romance and "love conquers all," and the other kinds of nonsense being spread by the suffragettes and progressives.
But everything changed that day when she had the astonishing vision on the beach. She knew who was truely worthy of her devotion. This was a difficult thing for her family to accept at first. But her mother Stephanie was convinced that the vision was real, and she finally convinced Kaylee's father to allow their daughter to enter a convent. Poor Jamison had to choose another bride from elsewhere.
It has been rumored that St. Alison wrote a short book, or possibly a journal, during her years in the convent, and some reports have it that the book was entitled "The Little Flowers." Unfortunately, shortly after her death, the metropolitan ordered the convent to be relocated, and in the ensuing shuffle, some of her personal effects might have gotten lost; or possibly, the sisters sold it at a yard sale, not realizing how just how valuable it might be. In any case, it is difficult to guess what the book was about, assuming it still exists. Maybe it was about the botany of plants along the Oregon coast? At this point, the book has yet to be found, although I have been making a diligent effort to find it.
Now I have heard it said that Jamison's first name was actually Floyd. And other stories have it that Jamison, after losing Kaylee Alison, never recovered from the loss and died in grief, and somehow the seagull is the forlorn soul of Floyd Jamison still hanging around her chapel in the hope of getting back his stolen fiancée — hence, the name "Floyd" for the pertinacious seagull. However, I think these stories are quite fanciful, and as far as my investigations can determine, Jamison left Astoria shortly afterwards to take part in gold prospecting, either in the Klondike or Alaska. Beyond that, I have not been able to track down any further record of his whereabouts.