Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wenatchee County Washington

Eastern Washington has hinted several times that they are interested in forming a new state which would include Washington east of the Cascades, and maybe parts of North Idaho and Western Montana, but that has never happened. What has happened was that the very large counties of Eastern Washington were changed over the years to smaller counties. I found an article on the petition to form Wenatchee County in the February 9, 1895 Spokane Chronicle page 1.

So a couple of questions?
Was there ever a Wenatchee County?
What year was this county formed?

Monday, October 27, 2014

WSU: Washington's Land Grant College

Washington State University was established as a Land Grant College in Pullman, Washington, some 75 miles south of Spokane. This means that it is an institution that has been designated by its state legislature or Congress to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. The original mission of these institutions, as set forth in the first Morrill Act, was to teach agriculture, military tactics, and the mechanic arts as well as classical studies so that members of the working classes could obtain a liberal, practical education.

There was great need for agricultural education in the western United States. Pioneers of such education contended that ignorance was one of the causes of soil erosion and land degradation. After much debate over this land-grant-college should and should not be, President Abraham Lincoln signed the principle Morrill Act into law on July 2, 1862.

Ever since that time, the foundation knowledge of agricultural chemistry, soil science, and soil survey was consolidated at these colleges and disseminated to the community through student instruction and extension activities.

Certainly today WSU offers a hugely varied course selection. But at it's foundation, WSU was established as an agricultural institution. To wit:

The WSU Livestock Nutrient Management program targets dairy, beef, swine, and poultry, focusing on whole farm nutrient management. This involves the integration of animal nutrition, agronomy, crops and soils, engineering, and economics. In addition, the program has developed specific outreach for allied agriculture industry professionals. The combined value of these industries in Washington is approximately $2 billion annually.

No need to ever feel anything but great pride that you or your children attended Washington State University..... we all like to eat and thank goodness for those who provide it in every single way!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

TESTING: Who is reading this blog???

This dreary, rainy morning I present to you a test. If you take this test and post your answers (or send them to me) there will be prizes! Just wanting to see who is reading this blog.............. The test is about our favorite Washington mountain, Mount Rainier:

1.  Who gave Mount Rainier it's "white-man" name? (It was known as Tahoma for eons locally.)

2.  When did Mount Rainier become part of the National Park system?

3.  What year did the first automobiles enter Mount Rainier Park?

4.  How high is Mount Rainier?

5.  When did Mount Rainier last erupt?

6.  Do experts think it will erupt again?

7.  Is Mount Rainier one peak or two peaks or three peaks?

8.  Have you ever climbed Mount Rainier?

9.  Have you ever flown over Mount Rainier?

10. Which of these animals has not been spotted on Mount Rainier: Bald Eagle, Black Bear, Elk, Marmot, SeaStar, or Stellar's Jay?

This Mount Rainier photo was taken by my son on a lucky day when he was flying over:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Okanogan County Trivia.... How Much Did You Know?

Bits from Okanogan County HERITAGE, published by the Okanogan Co Historical Society

Summer, 2006, page 18:  The territorial legislature in January, 1888, passed an act creating Okanogan County. It was cut off From Stevens County and originally comprised all the territory west of the Columbia River clear down to the Wenatchee River.  There was some verbal wrangling over which town would become the county seat; Conconully was eventually chosen at a general election on 6 Nov 1888. “For $25 a month a building for courthouse purposes ….was rented.”

By 1892 the white population of the county had reached something over 2500 according to the census roll; the majority of the population was centered around three mining towns, Ruby, Conconully and Loomis. The big silver slump and the great nation-wide business panic of 1893 hit the Okanogan mining camps severely. That, coupled with the completion of the Great Northern railway through the Wenatchee valley and the beginning of regular steamboat navigation on the Columbia River from Wenatchee north, brought Chelan, situated at the foot of Chelan Lake forward as a county seat aspirant, and on 2 October 1894 a petition was brought forth to change the location of the county seat to Chelan. This was finally accomplished in 1889.

Winter, 2006, page 13:  “Minding Mine’s Monikers,”  was a light hearted look at the extremely varied and intriguing names that the old-time miners tacked onto their Okanogan County mines. Most were named after the ladies in their lives…. Names completely through the alphabet from Caroline to Virginia. Next mines were named for the elements:  Gold Ace, Gold Bar, Gold Creek, Gold Dust, Gold Zone, etc.  In the minority but still found were names of cities ranging from big places like Chicago and New York to Kalamazoo, Peroria and Sonora.  The most humorous mine names were the hopeful ones:  Just In Time, Hardscrabble, Olentangy (??), I Live Here and the funniest, Woo Loo Moo Loo (after a town in Australia).

Summer, 2008, page 13:  “Tracing the Origin of ‘Omak’” ……… According to Robert Hitchman’s Placenames of Washington:  “The name origin if form the Indian word, ‘Omache,” meaning “good medicine’ or ‘plenty,’ which was applied to a nearby creek and lake. This was altered to ‘Omak’ at the suggestion of postal authorities, who preferred brevity to history.  The earliest map of the area to reference the name was in 1882, Lt. H.H. Pierce’s “Map of the Indian Trail From Old Ft. Colville to the Skagit River,” which names it ‘Omuk.’ For the next few years, it was ‘Omach’ or ‘Omuk,” and for a brief period after 1900 it was ‘Omache.’ By 1903 the spelling had changed to ‘Omak’ and that stuck.
Name origin from Wikipedia:

The name derives from the Okanagan language place name ukʷnaqín.[1] An alternate explanation from Washington proposes "People living where you can see the top", ostensibly of Chopaka Peak in the Lower Similkameen.[2]

Did you realize?  The Canadian verson is the word is Okanagan; in the U.S. it's Okanogan

Here are some views of the Columbia River heading north from Grand Coulee Dam. This area was flooded with miners in the years just prior to 1900. They panned in the many small rivers that join the mighty Columia.

Friday, October 17, 2014

News Flash: Kittitas County Genealogical Society's Doings

From Donna:  I most humbly apologize for overlooking to post this sooner. I promise to do better in the future!

[sent 29 Sep 2014 by Warren”Tuck” Forsythe, Treas, Kittitas Co Gen Soc]

Kittitas County Genealogical Society


     Fall Series Tuesday Programs
October 7 – “Introduction to Genealogy”
            Presenter – Judy Clayton
October 14 – “Using Library Resources”
            Presenter – Diane Huckabay
October 21 – “Using the US Census”
            Presenter – Erik Bakke
October 28 – “Writing Your Family History”
            Presenter – Mary Christensen
November 4 -  “Illustrating Your History”
            Presenter – Bob Wieking

    7 pm –  413 N. Main, Suite L

   Free and open to the public

Attend any or all that interest you

For information, call  925-5951
    Monday to Wednesday, 10am-4pm

News Flash: Skagit Valley Genealogy Society

Beginning January 2015 SVGS will hold SVGS general meetings on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 1-3:00 PM at the Burlington Community and Senior Center.  As previously noted there will not be scheduled meetings during the months of July, August and December.  Also, Board meetings will be moved to the 2nd Saturday, same location from 10 am to 12 noon.  All meetings are open to members and the general public.
     SVGS Communications (Hazel Rasar)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eastside Genealogical Society's November Meetings

November 13, 2014:  The Eastside Genealogical Society General Meeting will be held (7 to 9 pm) at the Bellevue Regional  Library, Room 1, 1111 – 110th Ave NE, Bellevue.  Doors open at 6:30 pm for networking.  Visitors are always welcome at any of our meetings.

The topic will be using  . Celia McNay will go through the major parts of this website with tips on searches, using information, and tutorial helps.  She will introduce the Family Tree, share the Memories sections and more, as time permits.

Check our website  for FREE genealogical help and for the  times and locations of our Special Interest Group meetings.   

Speaker:  Celia McNay did her first family history project when she was 16 years old for a special church event.  She has been doing genealogy, preserving family stories, and searching out relatives ever since.  Now with a bachelor’s degree in Family History from Brigham Young University and over 25 years of research, she has formed her own research company, Go West Family Research.  Celia is a member of Eastside Genealogical Society, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and is working on her national certification.  Although her first love is picking through old documents, Celia also enjoys teaching others about genealogy.  She has served as a Family History Consultant for the LDS Church for the past 9 years, teaching classes and helping others become excited about their family tree.  She has taught for the Bellevue Regional Library in their ‘Genealogy Boot Camp’ workshops in 2013 and 2014.

About the Program:  Celia will go through the major parts of the website with tips on searches, using information, and tutorial helps.  She will introduce the Family Tree, which is a linked pedigree tree with family group pages.  She will also share the Memories sections and if time permits demonstrate uploading pictures and documents. 

Website and Special Interest Groups:  Our Society website is    .  Check this website for FREE genealogical help and under the “Calendar” tab, find the times and locations of Special Interest Group meetings (Czech/Slovak, German, Irish-Scottish, Italian, Scandinavian, Computer, Genealogy Book Club, Family Tree Maker software or/and the Legacy Family Tree software).  Visitors are always welcome at these meetings, too.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe

Melonie Liening is the Region 2 Rep for WSGS. At the WSGS conference last August in Arlington, she mentioned that she was going to attend The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe convention up in Calgary, Canada. I asked her to send me a spot of information on this convention and this group. Here is her report:

I am  sending along a photo of part of the library on display at the SGGEE convention I attended in August.  The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe (which focuses on German genealogy in Poland and Volhynia) has a yearly convention usually held in August.  The society is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and rotates its convention site between Canada and the US....two years in Canada followed by a convention in the US.  

This year's site was Calgary with about 100 people in attendance.  There are plans in the works for next year's convention to be held in eastern Canada.  The SGGEE library opens on Thursday evening followed by the official welcome on Friday morning.  After two and a half days of speakers and a German themed banquet dinner Saturday night, the convention closes around noon on Sunday. 

More information about this society, researching Germans in Poland and Volhynia, along with information on next years convention can be found on their website,

Here is a screen shot of that opening/home page. The teeny print of one line reads:  SGGEE focuses on the genealogy of Germans from Russian Poland and Volhynia with some help for related regions.

Melonie and I figure that this information might surely be of helpful interest to other Washington researchers besides herself, so here it is for you.

Gates Foundation Visitor Center..... Did You Know About This?

At a recent seminar I attended, and in the tourist-brochure rack in the lobby of the hotel, I picked up a brochure for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center. "Arrive Curious. Leave Inspired." This was the caption on the brochure and it surely grabbed my attention.

"Discover worldwide efforts to help people live healthy, productive lives. See challenges and solutions brought o life through interactive exhibits designed to inform and inspire you."

There are interactive things to do at this Center. For instance, "Lift a 16-pound bucket to really understand the challenge of walking for safe drinking water."

Admission is free, hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10:00 to 5:00. The location is 440-5th Avenue North, just east of the Seattle Center.... near the Space Needle. The website is

Why post this on our WSGS blog? I think most of us Washingtonians are proud of "our" Bill and Melinda Gates and the worldwide work that they're doing. I did not know about this Visitors Center and I was betting that you did not either. Now we do!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Washington State Archives Volunteer Appreciation Event 2014

 Got up at O-Dark Thirty (5 a.m.) to get ready to drive to Ellensburg, Washington for the Volunteer Recognition Dinner at the Western Village VIP Room at the Rodeo Grounds of the Kittitas County Fair Grounds.
Beautiful day for a drive and Mount Rainier was very clear and easy to see from the RyeGrass pass before we got to Ellensburg.

Checking in we all got our pictures taken with Secretary of State Kim Wyman. Before heading for lunch.

This was the WSGS members that were there checking out the program and waiting for lunch. The Rodeo City BBQ catered the lunch, and while just a little spicy it was very good.

The entertainment was David Lundy singing old tunes similar to Burl Ives. Then Kevin Barnhart came up and told some old cowboy poems, very funny ones.

They had a number of door prizes and I did get pretty close, and two of the WSGS members did win door prizes. We all got a glass boot mug with a blue or red kerchief, some candy and a couple of pencils from the state archives.

Last was a surprise for one of the people there a special gift for Rose Banks for being the first person to digitize 100,000 records. This is her getting her picture taken with Kim Wyman and the trophy she got.

This is  Rose Banks,  thank you for all the records you have transcribed. If you want to go to the next Volunteer Appreciation Event, you need to sign up at Scribe .

Monday, October 6, 2014

TCGS & NeWGS Meetings........ If you live nearby, you should go!

NeWGS (Northeast Washington Genealogical Society)

Our next meetings will be on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014. The morning Computer Interest Group will meet in the basement meeting room of the LDS church on Juniper Street in Colville at 10:30am. This is a new location for our CIG meetings. John WIlson is coming from Spokane to give us a demonstration on the popular genealogy program, RootsMagic. 

We will take a break for lunch and then meet again at 1:30 p.m. for our general meeting in the same location. Due to difficulty in scheduling we will not be listening to a "live" webinar. Instead we will listen and view a pre-recorded webinar presented by Geoff Rasmussen from Legacy Family Tree. His subject will be the value of timelines in genealogy research. While he will be demonstrating the Legacy program's version of a timeline all that he teaches can be accomplished in any of the popular genealogy programs as well as the old-fashioned style of pen and paper or computer. I have personally listened to his webinar and learned quite a few valuable tips. We hope you will join us. You will be pleased with the ample parking at the church and friendly atmosphere.  Karen Struve, President

TCGS (Tri-City Genealogical Society)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

CLOVER ISLAND INN435 Clover Island Drive, Kennewick

All members and guests are invited to have dinner together at 5:30 PM
in the Captain’s Quarters, 4th Floor of the Inn.  The meeting follows at 7:00 PM


The program will include talks by Stan Wills, and possibly others from the local chapter of the Sons of American Revolution, about the Revolutionary War.  They also will be wearing authentic replicas of Revolutionary War uniforms.  And if you are a male and your ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War, they will have information on how you can join the Sons of American Revolution (SAR).  It should be a great program for both history buffs and genealogists.

An additional item of interest at the meeting will be a raffle of genealogical-related items.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lake Okanagan's Legendary Monster Ogopogo...... We Saw Him!

We recently spent a week up near Kelowna, British Columbia, which sits right on Lake Okanagan.

This huge, deep lake (721 feet at the deepest point) is home of the legendary lake monster, Ogopogo.

Just like with the Loch Ness monster, no official sightings have been documented of Ogopogo but I wish to share with those of you who live nearby that it's official! We did see him!!

We saw him in topiary form in front of a plant nursery!

We saw him as a metal sculpture on a highway interchange!

And we saw him at a tourist park!

But the best evidence of the existence of Ogopogo was this partial skeleton 
which I found near a partially submerged boat dock on Lake Okanagan.....

Our Lake Chelan, among others, might just be underground-connected with Lake Okanagan so we here in Washington cannot rest easy that Ogopogo would never surface in our lakes. Who knows??