Republic News-Miner Files
For over a century, the Republic News-Miner was Ferry County’s leading, and usually only, newspaper. Publication ended in 2013 but the back issues continue to be an important resource in local history. Former News-Miner Editor Dick Graham offered the newspaper’s back files to the Ferry County Historical Society and the board accepted. The files are not complete due to a fire in the 1980s. The surviving Files are too heavy to be stored in the Whittaker/Fletcher House’s attic. FCHS members Bryan and Dianne Bremner have volunteered to store the back files temporarily.
Ranald MacDonald Panels Moved
In February, the Curlew Job Corps Trades Program gave the FCHS a big assist by carefully removing the three panels that normally occupy a site on the Kettle River Road near the Job Corps Center.
The panels, beautifully rendered by local artist Charlene Payton-Holt, tell the story of Ranald MacDonald’s life and his brief but significant career as Japan’s first English teacher. They have been in place, exposed to the weather, since 2000 and need repair. Charlene PaytonHolt, assisted by FCHS members, has volunteered to restore the panels and their protective covering. Beth and George Sherry have generously loaned their garage as workspace for the restoration.
Historic Home Opens, Work Continues
The J.W. and Elizabeth Slagle House will be open for limited public viewing on alternate Saturdays beginning June 28 and running through August. The house is one of three Republic structures on the National Register of Historic Places and the only one to be open for public viewing.
The J.W. and Elizabeth Slagle House was the residence of pioneer druggist and Republic mayor J.W. Slagle, school teacher Elizabeth Moore Slagle and their family. The house was occupied until1969 and was donated to the FCHS by the Slagle family in 2008. It was placed on the National Register by FCHS President Madilane Perry with assistance from Susan Boyle and Mary Peck of Bola Architecture in Seattle. The house was deemed eligible to the National Register due to its association with major historic trends prior to WWII, its association with significant local historical figures, and its nearly unaltered state, complete with furniture and household equipment. The last substantial remodeling work that “modernized” the kitchen was done on the eve of WW II and nothing has been changed since. The house shows what home life was life in the Depression era and before for a local middle-class merchant family.
The FCHS is grateful to Milt Chambers for his donation of the architectural design for the reconstructed wash house and restroom that make public visits possible. Wash house construction was funded by a grant from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation. Although the J. W. and Elizabeth Slagle House will be open for public viewing this summer, restoration work continues and the site is a work in progress. Thanks go to FCHS members for their volunteer hours of cleaning and restoration work and to Jon Hooper for his work on the chimneys and the tedious wallpaper restoration
in the bathroom and an adjoining room.
Westerners to Visit Ferry County
The Spokane Corral of the Westerners will visit Ferry County in late July. The Westerners is an international organization founded over fifty years ago to “Stimulate interest and research in the history of the North American West” and to promote communication and cooperation among people with interest in western history.
The proposed itinerary will include the Ansorge Hotel Museum, and the Husky Car and Truck Museum in Curlew and Ranald MacDonald’s gravesite near Toroda Cr. In Republic they will take in the FCHS Museum in the Whittaker/ Fletcher house, Stonerose, the Republic Drugstore and the J.W. and Elizabeth Slagle House. If time permits they will also visit the carousel at the fairgrounds.
New Museum Sign
The new sign at the FCHS Museum in the Whittaker/Fletcher house was up in time for our Memorial Day opening. FCHS members and Stonerose staff installed the new sign which was sponsored by Emily and Billy Burt of the Republic
The back panel of the new sign replaces the one next to the museum door that read “Stonerose” and caused a certain amount of confusion. The center panel was removed from the old sign and reinstalled on the new panel.