It is hard to remember a more beautiful early October than this year's. I I would guess that this photo of the 1936 Tumbling Team was taken in early fall. The weather looks fine at the time, but soon they would experience the extreme bitterly cold winter of 1936. This photo was given to Peggy Whitmore by her cousin for the Entiat Museum. Linda Olin identified Don Olin's stepmom Rexene Shamley Olin, class of 1939 as the girl in the middle balancing another girl on her shoulders. Peggy also identified her aunt Hazel Long Kahn, class of 1937 as the blond on the shoulders of the girl left of center. Who knew Entiat once had a tumbling team! Can you identify others? Be sure to notice the location, the few houses, and classy cars!
Which brings to mind the incredibly good day we had at the Hydrofest and Antique Car Show this July! It was the busiest Saturday of the season but all throughout the summer, we met so many interesting people from many diverse places. Over 500 visitors from places near and far came to the Entiat Museum this year. On the last Saturday of the summer, Megan Webster and I greeted an extended family from Romania. Two of the young teens told us that the kitchen with its woodstove reminded them of their grandmother's kitchen in Romania. We also had a visit that day from Frank Friedlander, a descendent of Chilcosahaskt from another family line than Wendell George. Frank and his wife Deborah made a special trip to Entiat from Nespelem especially to view the Last Chief Standing exhibit.
The Opening Day event featuring a talk by Wendell George brought perspective of our connection to the deep past, of the people who lived here before the first settlers arrived, and their descendants' continued presence. May we always search to better understand history from each other's experiences. An upcoming project will be the gathering of family histories of Latino families who have lived in the Entiat community for many years. We would like to hear and share their stories at the Entiat Museum.
The improvements made to the museum have been notable. We have a new HVAC system that will allow for meetings, special events, and ongoing work to happen in comfort, while protecting the artifacts from the effects of damp and cold. Wi-Fi is enabled, making sales of books and sundry items simple, with our square device. The bathroom is now operable with good plumbing. Last spring's cleaning and rearranging opened up the space with new cabinets and display areas. We are so very thankful for the support of the City of Entiat, and are now under their umbrella for our connection to the Chelan County P.U.D. The construction of the new building which will be a representation of an old mercantile is underway and will be exciting to watch be completed this spring.
All of this progress could not happen without those who put time and love into telling of the story of the Entiat Valley. We have lost our irreplaceable leader, Wayne Long this spring, but his legacy will live on and inspire us. He would sometimes ask the question, "Why would a person want to become a member of the Entiat Community Historical Society?" The answer that draws me to the group is to recognize the privilege it is to live in this beautiful valley. Learning the history of the interesting people who have lived here is a constant surprise and delight. The museum is the best place to capture the stories of life here.
We are hosting another open meeting on Wednesday, October 18, at 5:00 PM. We would love to have a good attendance and grow the size of our group. Please feel welcome to join us at the Entiat Museum that night for a fun meeting. There is a lot happening, and we are grateful for your continued support and interest. We do need you.
Now back to the story of the winter of 1936. Bruce Foxworthy describes the terrible dilemma his family was in when their recently picked boxes of fruit, had to be stored in the only place available to them - their home, when in late October, the temperature abruptly dropped to single digits. "In part of one day and night, 1600 boxes of apples was stored in the house". The question became, would the fruit survive the thawing temperatures. The eventual loss was devastating, all fruit was lost, and there was permanent damage to their recently built house, but according to the reporter who wrote about them in the Daily World, their fortitude stood out "like a lighthouse on a mountain. A lot of people could learn things from this young couple." We don't have the same challenges in modern times, but undoubtedly, future generations living in Entiat will need stories of survival and of keeping good humor in hard times to help them to navigate their own challenges. They can be found in all of the books listed below:
Making Do and Hanging On, by Bruce Foxworthy
Under the Guard o Ol Tyee", by Albert Long
Nuggets of Entiat's Past by Phyllis Griffith
Last Chief Standing, by Wendell George
Skiiing Uphill, by Pat West Turner
These books will be available to purchase at the ECHS booth at this year's Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Thank you for reading! Happy Fall, but no tumbling!