Wednesday Nostalgia

Ever been to The Brick in Roslyn? I know the place from my favorite TV show, Northern Exposure. But The Brick has a cool history.

In 1889, John Buffo and Peter Giovanni opened a tavern in this location. The tavern was rebuilt in 1898 using 45,000 bricks and took the name “The Brick”.

Want to read more about this famous Washington saloon? Click to  Lots of good stuff there.

Today The Brick looks a bit sad and sorry………..  too bad.

Wednesday Nostalgia

Might can you identify the “Triangle of Fire”….. as it pertains to Washington history?

The great Washington history website,, gave me a super article on this topic: “Triangle of Fire: The Harbor Defenses of Puget Sound (1897-1953)”

The triangle of forts included Fort Worden (Port Townsend), Fort Casey (Whidbey Island) and Fort Flagler (Marrowstone Island).  I’ve visited these places……. all have beautiful walking beaches. (smile)

I think we, as Washington residents and tourists in our own state, need to understand fully about WHAT it is we’re looking at and walking around upon. HistoryLink will further your education in that department.

Wednesday Nostalgia

Many of us are bird watchers. Some casual, some hard-core. Me, I’m casual but I do enjoy Close Encounters of the Avian Kind.

My son, Timothy, took this photo of baby barn swallows on the cusp of fledging (they were gone next day). Momma built her nest in a hollow of an upright dock-holding-log on Lake Coeur d’Alene.  Barn swallows, with their blue and white coloration, and forked tail, are widely recognized all over the U.S. Might say they’re everybody’s most-recognizable bird. Did you know they can swallow 60 insects per hour? Or a whopping 850 million in one day??

Don’t you think our ancestors were bird watchers too? I’ve read diaries where New England,  Atlantic seacoast transplants and immigrants from forested countries to the mid-western prairies missed their birds (among many other things). There were none-to-few trees and hence, no birds. Another culture shock for sure.

Wednesday Nostalgia

On my way home to Spokane, I stopped in Roslyn (big farmers’ market going on that day) and was double-delighted that the Roslyn Museum was open!

Roslyn town began in 1886 with the discovery of coal which was mined from 1886 to 1963. The railroad was the biggest buyer of Roslyn coal until the 1950s. Some 460,000,000 tons of coal was dug out of the mountains, “but only abut 15% of what’s available,” said Larry, the docent of the day on duty. “A 22-ton piece of coal was shipped to Chicago in 1893 for the World’s Fair.”

The museum has wonderful memorabilia and “stuff” pertaining to Roslyn mining history. BUT. It’s the “wonderful” Rosyln cemeteries that draw folks. “The most visible legacy left by Roslyn’s early immigrants can be found in Roslyn’s Historic Cemeteries. The cemetery complex covers 19 acres and is unique as it consists of 26 separate cemeteries formed prior to the turn of the 20th century.”

You really must, MUST visit Roslyn on your next I-90 driving trip………… especially visit the cemeteries.

Wednesday Nostalgia

Goiter. Ever heard of this condition/disease? A goiter was a non-malignant growth on the thyroid gland. It was only ugly and not a problem unless it grew large enough to impinge on the esophagus or windpipe. Nobody has goiters today….. know why?

This photo, ca 1900, was of a lady living in Wisconsin. She obviously has a horrendous goiter. Here’s the story, as I understand it:

People living along the seacoasts ingested plenty of iodine….. salt water, salt spray, etc. But those living in the Midwest had no such natural source of iodine and it was iodine deficiency that caused goiters. That’s why today we have iodized salt.

Now you know.

Wednesday Nostalgia

Ever heard of handfasting? In times past (long times past) trial marriages were popular with the young couples all along the border regions of England and Scotland. That area was so unruly that very strict laws were made on those living on either side of the border about marrying without the consent of the English and Scottish officials. In 1587, some couples were even hanged because they had not obtained permission to marry. So the custom of handfasting, or trial marriage, was introduced. At the annual fair, the couple would join hands and be “married” until the next year’s fair. Or forever, if they chose.

Marriages were conducted in this way well into the 19th century when the requirements were relaxed. Today, Google handfasting, especially Images, and you’ll see it’s a popular thing to do today but not for the same reasons as for our ancestors.


Wednesday Nostalgia

Ah, summertime. Double ah, ice cream time. How come summer and ice cream go together? And so many flavors! What is your favorite? According to a bit in the Tidbits grocery-store-newspaper, here are America’s Top Ten Ice Cream Flavors:

  1. Vanilla
  2. Chocolate
  3. Cookies N’ Cream
  4. Mint Chocolate Chip
  5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  6. Buttered Pecan
  7. Cookie Dough
  8. Strawberry
  9. Moose Tracks
  10. Neapolitan

Notice the common thread of CHOCOLATE here?? My favorite would be something called Mississippi Mud…… it was like frozen fudge. Ohmy, ohmy.

Wednesday Nostalgia

I love summer; to be more exact, I love the going-into-water that summer brings. John and I spotted this at a little public park last January in New Zealand. The park, lake and playground was empty because it was their winter and was a cold-to-them 70 degrees.  Would you have loved a lake-playground place like this? Or maybe you had one?


Wednesday Nostalgia

You already know me to be a bit quirky (don’t agree too quickly!) but was reading an article about the evolution of the porch on early Colonial Dutch homes. A photo of the Van Cortland Manor House (in New York) looks so much like the Chief Factor’s House at Fort Vancouver, don’t you agree?

So does this prove anything? Well perhaps to a deeper-digging scholar than I am today. But oh so interesting.