Wednesday Nostalgia

Last Friday, I took some 90-year-old-nearly-blind friends on a road trip up to Newport, Washington, to see one last time where they had grown up. We had a delightful lunch in the Owen’s Grocery & Deli. There I spotted this:

How many of us remember begging Mom for a nickel (a Buffalo head nickel likely) to buy an icy-cold glass bottle of Coca-Cola from a big red tin box like this and then snap off the cap right there on the front of the machine? If you do have a memory of this, please share it!

Tuesday Trivia

Wheat. Other than eating it, what do you know about wheat, especially Washington’s wheat??

There was a big article titled “Growing Grains,” all about wheat farming in eastern Washington, in last Sunday’s SpokesmanReview newspaper. The article began:  “Long before Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks or Amazon, Washington was known for world-class agriculture. Our soil’s ability to grow so many types of crops makes it one of the nation’s most important farming states.”

Here are some statistics: There are “hundreds of varieties of wheat but they can be classified into six categories: Hard Red Winter, Hard Red Spring, Soft Red Winter, Soft White, Hard White and Duram. The major difference is the protein content and the gluten toughness.” These differences make the difference in bread, bagels, pasta, etc.

Washington beats out the other Northwest states in the number of bushels produced; some 157,200,000 million bushels last year. Some 79% of our wheat is white; and we are fourth on the list of Top Ten Wheat producing states but we exceed nine of them in “average yield of bushels per acre.”

Picture a big semi-circle drawn around the southeastern corner of Washington, encompassing parts of 17 counties; that’s our Washington wheat growing area. This really is a big deal.

Our Washington wheat is exported to markets mainly in the far East….. to the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Guatemala and even Yemen.

As you peanut-butter your bread for lunch, do thank a Washington wheat farmer. We’re tops!

Northeast Washington Genealogical Society Civil War Tombstone Dedication

On Saturday, July 1st, NeWGS held a very special dedication ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery in Colville to honor and memorialize the burials of four American Civil War veterans. Extensive research by our Evergreen Cemetery Chairperson, Lora Rose, had turned up four Civil War soldiers who are definitely buried in Evergreen but the exact location is unknown since they have no headstones.With the assistance of our local monument maker, Colville Monument Works, a new headstone was created honoring those four soldiers. Emceeing the ceremony to dedicate that stone was Gordy Struve, a member of NeWGS and Sons of the Union Veterans of the CivilWar. Also participating in the ceremony were the Washington CivilWar Association, Artillery Division, and Boy Scout Troop #921. General Ulysses S. Grant (aka Don McConnell) was even in attendance. The stone was placed in the plot already dedicated to honoring our CivilWar soldiers highlighted by the Corse monument originally erected in 1912 through donations by the local school children.

Monday Mystery

Shucks. Nobody won a WSGS cupcake from answering last week’s mystery question. Nobody knew where the “Scrappy Sasquatch” was located. WELL! It’s in Elbe (near Mount Rainier, west side) and is in a personal roadside sculpture park on State Route 706 on your way to Paradise Lodge and the park. Google “En Nihilo Spirits of Iron Sculpture Park” to see all of Daniel Klennert’s creations.

Today I have a mystery for you of a totally different ilk. I found this wooden carved “thing” floating in Long Lake. This is the Spokane River where a lake has been formed (Long Lake) behind a dam (before continuing on its way into the Columbia River).

The blue glass is there for size comparison. Doing a bit of research, this is the ancient Hindu elephant god Ganesha, “one of the best known objects of devotion in the Hindu religion.” Notice especially the legs and feet positions. It’s carved from some very dark wood and must not have been in the water too long for it was not weathered or rotten a bit.

The mystery is how on earth did THAT get to be floating in Long Lake????? Especially in the lower end stretch, way past the houses and nearer to the dam, floating at lake’s edge amidst the weeds, plastic and driftwood. If you care to make up a story solving this mystery, I’d love to hear from you with said story!

Northwest Genealogy Conference Speakers

The Northwest Genealogy Conference is August 17-19 and features four major speakers, but also several other excellent speakers. Wednesday the 16th will be a free day for beginning genealogists and local society information. More information on that here.

Here are three of the speakers that will be at the Northwest Genealogy Conference in August:






Over time, we tend to remember the events that occur in our country based on how much publicity and attention they receive. If we make a point to revisit some of the lesser known times, there is a lot to learn. We are fortunate to have our Society Vice-President, Larry Turner, among folks who has investigated this time in history in conjunction with his genealogical research. He will be sharing his findings and several genealogical sources at our August meeting.





August 10, 2017

Visitors are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


While on-line newspaper vendors like and are terrific resources, these databases often do not have newspapers for the geographical area you are researching. When online sources fail to find an obituary, what is a person to do?

One excellent resource to check with is the local public library in the city, town, or county in which your ancestor died. Provide them with the name, the date of death, and ask them if they have newspapers for that period that they can search for you. Sometimes this query can be done via the local library’s web site. And some local libraries even have links to an obituary index that you can search.

Libraries might charge a nominal fee for this service, but some may provide it for free, especially when they can email you a scanned image of the obituary, rather than mailing it to you.

So don’t forget the local library in the area where your ancestor lived or died can be a valuable resource

Seattle Genealogical Society News


Seattle Genealogical Society runs on volunteers. It is with this volunteer support that SGS is able to provide ever current, significant support to our members in their genealogical research – from book and online resources available at the SGS library, as well as numerous free classes – from DNA to Irish and Scandinavian special interest groups research, to extremely instructive seminars. SGS is able to provide all this great assistance because of its invaluable volunteers. The more SGS members who volunteer, the easier it is to provide this support, along with making the volunteer experience more enjoyable and productive for all.

SGS is in need of a few more volunteers. Several critical Board of Directors positions remain open. The Vice President (provides support to the President), Director of Technology (does not require significant computer skills, but does include updating of email addresses), and Director of Volunteers (includes working with volunteers in the library) still need to be filled. The work these positions entail is not overly burdensome, but will involve a monthly meeting with the other directors.

Also, the SGS Nominating Committee (the committee that annually assembles for election the list of those interested in being on the Board) currently has 2 members, but needs two more members.

If you have any questions, or are interested in any of these open positions, please email , or call the main SGS phone number at 206-522-8658 and leave a message.

In an ongoing effort to fill these open Board positions, the SGS Nominating Committee will be contacting SGS members by phone or email. Please consider volunteering for one of these positions. Help continue to make SGS the great volunteer organization that it is today.


Puget Sound Society Summit


In the spirit of collaboration, a number of society leaders from around the Puget Sound area met on June 22, 2017, to share success stories and concerns for the coming year. All agreed that greater cooperation would benefit all, particularly in cross-advertising our various activities. Represented were Whatcom GS, Eastside GS, Fiske Library, Tacoma-Pierce County, South King County GS and Seattle Genealogical Society, host. Our immediate goal is to advertise ourselves to each other at the Northwest Genealogical Conference in Arlington, WA, sponsored by the Stillaguamish GS.



71st Annual Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering,
Enumclaw Expo Center,
45224 284th Ave SE,
Enumclaw, WA
July 29-30


Enjoy Highland dancing, piping, drumming and Scottish athletic events. Always a July favorite. More info at:

NW Genealogy Conference 2017,
Arlington, WA
August 16 – 19

The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society is putting on their annual four day conference. Visit their website for more information, to register for the conference, or to register for the free day:

Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS),
2017 Conference – “Building Bridges to the Past”,
Pittsburgh, PA
August 30 – September 2, 2017

Ready for a road trip? This conference is open to anyone with an interest in family history. FGS is teaming up with the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society to put on this four day events. There will be various tracks to suit the individual researcher; beginner to experienced.

For more info visit :

SGS 2017 Fall Seminar
Speaker: Dick Eastman
Fairview Christian School,
Seattle, WA
October 21, 2017

Registration will open in early September. Mark your calendar.



Unless otherwise indicated all programs will be at the SGS Library, 6200 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle. Check the SGS Web Site for additions, changes, and corrections. Programs may be canceled or postponed because of inclement weather. The Family Tree Interest Group with Lou Daly will not meet in July, August, or September. The Irish, German, and Canadian Interest Groups do not meet in June, July, or August; they will return to their regular schedule in the fall.




Tuesday, July 18, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm, Technology Tuesday, Bring your laptop or mobile device, and enjoy discussions centered around technology and genealogy – software, genetic genealogy, internet research and more. Hosted by Lisa Chan.

Saturday, July 22, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Crown Hill Cemetery Tour, join Amber Brock and Lisa Oberg as they lead you through beautiful Crown Hill Cemetery, 8712 12th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117. Founded in 1903 to support the rapidly-growing Ballard community, Crown Hill is set on 10 acres in the heart of the city shaded by old maple trees. Explore the stories of some of the people buried in this serene country setting. We’ll meet up near the Cemetery Office, which is at the main entrance. The cemetery entrance is on 12th Ave NW, near the intersection of 12th Ave NW and NW 87th.


Saturday, July 29, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm, DNA SIG, this group meets at the Wedgwood Presbyterian Church. 8008 35th Ave NE, Seattle. For more information contact Co-chaired by Cary Bright and Herb McDaniel.



Sunday, August 6, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, Scandinavian Interest Group, Karen Knudson, leader.

Saturday, August 12, 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm, Family Tree Maker (FTM) Users Group, members helping one another with Family Tree Maker (FTM) the tool long associated with; Reiley Kidd and Betty Ravenholt are the leaders.

Wednesday, August 16, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Beginning Genealogy Class with Linda Fitzgerald, If you’d like, feel free to bring a brown bag lunch.


Friday Serendipity

Couple of years ago, when the WSGS confernce featured David Rencher and was in Ellensburg, I took the opportunity to visit the Central Washington Branch of the Washington State Archives. While there I scanned through whatever looked interesting to me.

The M.W.A.K. Columbia (the Mason Walsh Atkinson Kier Company, builders of Grand Coulee Dam) was a newsletter for the citizens of Mason City. This city was built for the workers and their families. The first issue announced a contest with prizes of $1 up to $10. The contest asked for “a list of the four most dangerous hazards which you have observed and suggest how you would correct each of them.” (Meaning working conditions. Never found the results.)

That issue also touted that “Mason City, only three months ago a sage brush waste is now an ultra modern city with 64 homes, businesses, a soda fountain, a bank and a general store.”  And “free typhoid fever inoculations offered!”

Another item: “The workers’ payroll runs to $121,000 per week…mid Feb to mid-Mar there were 3218 employees…and 157 accidents, including two fatal ones.”

The April 1935 issue featured an anatomical drawing showing the workers where the pressure points were on the human body to use in an accident to stop the bleeding.”

Will continue with this theme next week………….