Wednesday Nostalgia

Last summer Cheryl Elder, Maureen MacDonald and I spent four wonderful delightful days at the Fiske Genealogy Library under the helpful hands of Gary Zimmerman. One of the things he offered to us was a tour of the upper floors of the Fiske Library building…….where the various pioneer organizations house their treasures. These photo are of things in that upstairs museum room:

Did you ever (or, lucky you, do you today) get to sleep in a bed like this? Keep in mind that while it’s huge and grand, it’s only a small-ish double bed. Bet you wouldn’t like that.

Share your memories of “Grandma’s Feather Bed?”  (Thank you, John Denver.)

Wednesday Nostalgia


Little coin-operated-table jukeboxes……. who remembers dropping a quarter into one?

According to Wikipedia, “coin-operated music boxes and player pianos were the first forms of automated coin-operated musical devices.” Jukeboxes were most popular from the 1940s through the mid-1960s, particularly during the 1950s. By the middle of the 1940s, three-quarters of the records produced in America went into jukeboxes.”

Jukeboxes were cheap entertainment and we used to calculate the popularity of new music. Like Elvis. Like so many stars of Back Then.

What was your favorite song to plug in a quarter and play as you waited for your hamburger, shake and fries???

Wednesday Nostalgia


Dandelions. The bane of a pretty-lawn-seekers existence. What earthly good are dandelions?? WELL!

According to the magazine Birds & Blooms, Apr/May 2017, dandelions make a dandy drink…”Pharmacists in 19th century England made tea from roasted dandelion roots; the drink is still trendy today, thanks to a coffee-like taste and color without the caffeine.” Google dandelion tea for many hits………. even today it’s a desirable drink.

Bet you did not know that dandelion flowers can reach heights of 6 to 24 inches and their roots can be as deep as 10 to 15 feet………..which I can attest to! Every spring, my digger, bucket and I go on a killing spree…….. but now I know why the rascals always come back.

From blossom to root, 100% of this plant is edible “for most people.” (Humm….what might that mean?)  A cup of chopped raw dandelion greens provides 112% of the daily requirement for Vitamin A at only 25 calories.

Wednesday Nostalgia

Do you see the penny? The very un-shiny, battered up, old penny trying to hide in the grass and sticks? Can you guess my point in sharing this photo with you? 

Sometimes (perhaps every time!) we MUST look harder, longer, more carefully to see the clues that are right there before our eyes when doing our genealogy. The evidence is there (so is that penny) but can we see it? Can we find it? Only if we keep looking!!

Wednesday Nostalgia


My dear friend in Richland, Margie Beldin, graciously allows me to share her dilemma: What to do with all this STUFF? Much of it, she explained, was hubby’s from his Air Force career and she wasn’t sure what he wanted done with it. But here she looks sadly on a big basket and two boxes of her own memorabilia, and sighs. And sighs a second time. 

The problem Margie faced is totally understandable by most of us. We have centered our time and energy on gathering facts and possible facts and have paid scant attention to how to evaluate all of that accumulated STUFF. Not to mention the true artifacts.

Sorry, I can’t tell you how Margie’s coming along on this project. My only hope with sharing her story with you today is to hopefully motivate YOU to do SOMETHING with all your STUFF. Before your children toss is all out when you’re gone. And they will. If you don’t have time to do it now, yourself, why do you think they will take the time???


Wednesday Nostalgia

Did you realize that there was a German POW camp in Washington state? It was in the way northeast, at Sullivan Lake. Can’t say that this is a correct picture but it looks likely:

According to The Northest Legacy: Magazine of Local History, March 1977, article by Faith Wentz,  “in 1944 America had been at war for three years. The farms and processing plants faced a great labor shortage during the war due to the fact that most able-bodied men were wearing a uniform and doing their part in the war effort.”

“At that same time, six million POWs were in Allied hands; many of these POWs were brought to the U.S. to help in the harvesting of the crops necessary to sustain the soldiers fighting on the front lines. For this reason several POW camps were established in the Northwest.”

One camp in the Chelan area helped with the apple harvest. Most likely the Sullivan Lake camp helped with lumbering. These ex-German soldiers helps with the corn and sugar beet harvests.

“Not all Americans were happy with this situation….. of having around 2500 German POWs in their midst. But no serious incidents were ever recorded.

“Apparently the prisoners were glad to be in America and away from the war. They were unfamiliar with the work they were asked to do but were eager learners; they were paid in script they could use to purchase such things as cigarettes and candy. Most of them had never eaten corn before and when they were given corn on the cob “they became Americanized.”

“In 1945 the war was over and the POWs left the valley………. ” I wonder what became of these nearly 2500 young German men?

Wednesday Nostalgia

I spotted this gem in Apple Annie’s in Cashmere last fall. This is a glass IV medical bottle, in use from about WWII to the 1970s. What about it took my breath away was the SIZE of it and the SIZE of the opening…. liquids would gush from this thing into a patient’s arm! 

Another dandy good reason I’m thankful my surgeries were more recent! Any of you remember a tube from a bottle like this going in to your arm???

Wednesday Nostalgia

Raise your hand if you know what a “plank road” was? 

“In days past, heavy rain could literally stop traffic in its tracks. The plank road was a tremendous improvement over unreliable, rutted and muddy dirt roads. Wooden planks were laid wide enough to accommodate a large wagon or rig but when two met going in opposite directions, it was up to them to resolve the problem of who had to make way for whom. Meaning, who had to go off into the mud! A plank road was usually a toll road. The cost for a 1-horse cart was 25 cents; a two horse cart was 40 cents. A horse and rider were 13 cents.” 

Wednesday Nostalgia

Dorothy Petry is “THE” mover and shaker behind the Borderlands Museum, aka the Okanogan County Historical Society, almost to the Canada border in Oroville. I asked her for a sketch of “her” museum:

“Museums come large or small, formal or informal, specialized or general. Having visited and enjoyed many museums in the U.S., Canada and England, I find that the 1907 Old Great Northern Railroad Depot Museum here in Oroville is a good mix for visiting and working.”

“All Aboard” and enjoy a quick tour of the depot. The Ladies Waiting Room has become the Visitors Information Center. Next is the telegraph room now the Railroad Room with many of the original items still in place and also houses a small but growing research area. Down a short hallway, with restrooms on one side and office/kitchen area on the other, is the room that once served as the men’s sleeping quarters. Lastly, we step into the freight/baggage area that today is the main museum display area. Here is where yesteryear’s tools become today’s artifacts where education and memories await the visitor.”

“Behind the museum is a small army of volunteers; this group has a serious and fun time planning, researching, collecting, building, assembling and overcoming the challenges of creating a viable historic museum.  Do come visit!!”

Do come visit especially if you have ancestry in the northern part of the Okanogan Valley. 

Wednesday Nostalgia

I never trek from Spokane to Port Angeles to visit family without a stop at the Port Gamble Cemetery (properly Buena Vista Cemetery). Established in 1856 the folks resting there arrived from many varied and distant shores.

Gustave Englebrecht was born in Germany and lies resting half way around the world here in Port Gamble. His tombstone reads “COX U.S.Navy, Indian Wars, November 23, 1856.”  His must have been one of the first burials here.  So stop by the next time you just skip on through this lovely historic old town.