Tuesday Trivia

I have a whole stadium full of New England ancestors  and I’d bet that many of you do too. Reading a book titled, Sightseeking: Clues to the Landscape History of New England, by Christopher J. Lenney, 2003, I learned about  what he called The China Syndrome.

Between about 1787 and 1849, in New England, there were many  towns with exotic names such as China, Poland, Denmark, Palermo, Belgrade, Rome, Corinth, Alexandria and Brunswick (“to flatter the House of Hanover”). Lenney quotes Wilbur Zelinsky as stating that he believed that these exotic names for towns showed “the extroverted buoyancy and expansiveness of spirit that many observers identify today as American.”

Lenney states that “the general flowering of exotic names in the early republic” shows that “the United States was a new nation that had lately assumed its station among the powers of the earth; perhaps in token of this, the names of its towns began to scintillate with the brilliance of the firmament in which it was the newest star.”

Thinking about this, it wasn’t only a New England phenomena ….. think Frankfort, Cairo, London, etc. Interesting trivia, don’t you think?

Tuesday Trivia

For those of you who might have early Spokane connections, The Spokesman-Reivew has published a pictorial history of early Spokane…..as shown in the images of past issues of the newspaper.

While I have no Spokane connections, hubby’s family does. John Peter Oswald married Mary Ethel Leverich in 1911 at her home in Illinois and then came to Hillyard where he worked on the locomotives. When expecting their first child, John’s mother Esther, they bought land west of town and raised their five children there, born 1913-1925. So I’m ordering this book for his Christmas!


For ordering information, click to www.Spokane.PictorialBook.com. Cost before Dec 8th is $29.95 (plus tax/shipping) and will be $15 more later on.

Has the newspaper in your ancestral home towns published such a history? Have you checked????

Tuesday Trivia


This maybe is kinda silly/crazy, but my eyes popped when I saw it.

Alaska Airlines is the only airlines with a “salmon” plane….. and I spotted it in Seattle. Would it fly differently….wiggling its tail?  Ha!

Tuesday Trivia

Ever heard of Apple Annie’s in Cashmere, Washington? Ever been there? How long did YOU spend there? Cheryl and I had a date with the Okanogan Genealogical Society on a Saturday and then planned the next day to head to Seattle to spend time at the Fiske Library. Of course, Hwy 2 goes right through Cashmere, only ten miles out of Wenatchee.

Apple Annie’s is open 9:00 to 6:00, a full 7 days a week and has “70,000 square feet of fun” under one roof. Are you looking for something you loved in your childhood? Or a kitchen tool that great-gramma used? Believe me, you just might find it at Apple Annie’s.

And, there is an onsite ’59er Diner offering yummy burgers, fries and milkshakes, aka 1959.

After a wonderful two hours, and with our tummies full of hamburgers, we were off to Seattle and SO GLAD we stopped.

Tuesday Trivia

Just read a new term……….. remember how folks tongue-stumble to explain adopted family, real family (which I HATE), birth family, etc. Here is a new and seemingly proper term:  Umbilical line. Cannot argue with that, eh?

Tuesday Trivia

In the recent past, I’ve posted several bits from the workers’ newspaper in Mason City, the little town formed for the workers on the dam in the 1930s. I never really knew where it was but viola! Stopping at the Grand Coulee Dam Visitors’ Center, and then walking both ways across the highway bridge there, I found out!  Mason City is shown below:

Tuesday Trivia

I found this totally fascinating:  While at the Fiske Library in Seattle, I browsed some old issues of a New England periodical I’d heard of but had never taken the time to view. The Vol. 1 issue of The Essex Antiquarian was published in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1897. Paging through this first volume, I spotted a query posted by somebody from Castle Rock, Washington! In 1897!

The query read:  “Wanted, date of birth of William Baker, of Ipswich, who married in 1686 to Sarah Fitts.” (Signed) Mrs. E.R.H., Castle Rock, Wash.

Wonder if Mrs. E.R.H. ever found her William Baker??

P.S. Castle Rock was incorporated in 1890.

Tuesday Trivia

Many of us, including hubbies, are golfers. At the recent Northwest Genealogy Conference in Arlington, two of our meals were at the nearby golf course and I spotted and photo’d this there. It is the history of golf balls!  “For hundreds of years prior to 1850, golf balls were made of a leather covering stuffed with feathers.” In case you cannot read it, at the “11:00 position” it reads “Wooden Ball, ca. 1600.”  Next (12:00) is the “Feathery, 1600-1848.” Kinda interesting even if you’re not a golfer. Who would have ever guessed that early golf balls were stuffed with feathers??

Tuesday’s Trivia

While I was out of town for those weeks, I had the great opportunity to visit the Hibulb Cultural Center, museum of the Tulalip people, near Arlington. Folks have done a really superb job with that museum and I learned so much about those early Washington peoples.

Two prominently displayed quotes caught my eye:

The salmon, they are not really fish at all; they are salmon people and they live in a village under the sea and come home to our rivers year after year.”

And this really, really good one appropriate for all society presidents:

“A true leader is a slave to the needs of his people.”

This really hit home to me for at that conference in Arlington, both Ginny Majewski (WSGS president) and I presented Society Management talks. A major point of my talk was that if you accept being on your gene society board, then you accept that for a period of time you will be a “slave” to your members……… you will be constantly thinking and planning for the betterment of your society. Your duty to your society will be #1 on your mind all the time. Or so I do believe.

Tuesday Trivia

Reading a wonderful book that I highly recommend to you: Visible Bones by Jack Nisbet, 2003. He is a pre-eminent author of Pacific Northwest history. The chapter I just read really grabbed my attention: Did you know there were condors in the skies over the Columbia River in the early 1800s? Lewis and Clark likely spotted them on their 1805 journey down the Columbia but never having seen one before, but recognizing that they were HUGE and new and different dubbed them “a large buzzard.” Lewis wrote in his journal, “I believe this to be the largest bird of North America.”

Nowadays we only see condors flying over Grand Canyon in Arizona. But in days of yore, these 25-pound, distinctive-headed birds, with a wingspan of over nine feet and a bill-to-tail measurement of four feet, could be seen all along the Columbia River as far north as into Canada.

So what happened to them? Check out a copy of Visible Bones.