The following data is extracted from History of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington, 1889.
JAMES McCURDY. - This gentleman, who worthily bears the name of his honored father, Doctor Samuel M. McCurdy, was born at St. Andrews, New Brunswick, in 1840. He was early sent to school, and spent his time to advantage until as a lade of fourteen he began the work of his own maintenance, finding a suitable position in the general merchandise store of Vose & Joyce at Robbinston, Maine. Four years later he engaged as clerk at New York. In 1859, however, he determined to join his father upon the Pacific coast, and reached Port Townsend, Washington Territory, in September of that year. He employed himself there in the study of medicine in the office of his father, and also acted as clerk in his drug store.
From 1862 to 1873 he indulged a love of change and adventure by following a sea-faring life. Returning from this uncertain employment, he began the systematic development of lime works on San Juan Island in partnership with the late N.C. Bailey. Upon the death of his partner two years later, Mr. McCurdy conducted the business very ably and profitably, and succeeded in building up a large manufacturing industry, which he continued until the autumn of 1886, when he sold advantageously to a California company. In 1888 he established the lime works on Orcus Island, conducting them successfully, and still retaining in them a leading interest.
Source: History of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington, 1889