Big Gift, Big Opportunity

The last two issues of the Nugget have discussed the Society’s need for more space to store, repair and exhibit our large collection. We planned to build a new structure on land adjacent to the J.W. and Elizabeth Slagle house and had begun to raise money for it. Due to an amazingly generous gift from a local family, our plans have changed. At this year’s membership meeting, March 27th, John D. Anderson, representing the family of pioneer Republic merchant, Charles E. Anderson,
gave us a building!

L.H. Mason Building in the 1920s

This is the building that was Andersons’ Feed Store, more recently Hank’s 2nd Hand. It is not only Republic’s first brick building, it is the only one made out of locally produced brick. Pioneer merchant L.H. Mason built this two-story brick building, known at that time by his name, .sometime between the fire that leveled half the business district in June of 1899 and the summer of 1901, when it appears as ““The only brick block in town”,” on a banner from an Athletic Club event. Mr. Mason’s general store occupied the ground floor while the second floor housed offices and lodge rooms. In its long career it has housed many businesses. The second floor was remodeled into apartments, probably sometime in the 1930s or 1940s, and
was removed in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

As might be expected from this long and varied career, the remaining story of the L.H. Mason Building will need a lot of work before it will be ready to house our collection. This effort will take the labor of more people than the Historical Society membership. We need the help of anyone who is interested in having an eye-catching historic display on our main street.

L.H. Mason Building today

Benefit for “New” Building

A fine example of the kind of effort needed to upgrade the L.H. Mason building was the benefit held at the Republic Brewing Company on March 25th. Food was catered by Freckles’ Gourmet Barbecue with the usual delicious results. Over $ 1,000 dollars was raised towards the purchase of the building. Since the building was given to us two days later, these funds will go towards the work necessary to make this a main street attraction. Twenty volunteers signed up, offering services ranging from ”anything” through carpentry, grant writing and docent services to electrical, brick and stone work. Ernie Robeson, a Spokane architect experienced with historic brick construction has examined the building and says that it is basically sound.

Dance Like it’s 1918!
Attend the Centennial Celebration on June 30 in downtown Republic.

Feedback from Rishiri

Last year’s visitors from the high school on Japan’s Rishiri Island sent us a copy of their illustrated booklet on the trip to the U.S. to visit places significant in the life of Ranald MacDonald, Japan’s first English teacher. It includes photos taken at MacDonald’s grave and the cabin where he died at Toroda and in the basement of the Republic Presbyterian church where the panels depicting MacDonald’s life were temporarily on view. The booklet has not yet been translated from Japanese to English.

Rhshiri High School also sent an attractive booklet covering the whole five years of student tours. FCHS member Arsumi McCauley has given us the following overview of the booklet: “The five years summary report of MacDonald study Tour”
This booklet was produced by the MacDonald Scholarship Fund support group in Rishiri Island. The Island has been facing depopulation and community leaders created a short tour to America for high school students to attract more students to the island school.

The booklet includes the following: the support group officer’s message; Students and teachers thoughts and thanks; American side support officer Mr. Yatabe and Ms. McCauley’s message, and memorable photos of their activities. There are a few beautiful photos of the mural panels by Charlene Payton-Holt, Schools at Curlew, Colville and Republic, Stonerose, Dick Slagle, Madilane Perry and more.

In 2012, Rishiri Island community launched a program called “MacDonald scholarship Fund”. It is a study tour for two Rishiri High School students and a teacher to visit Ranald MacDonald’s birth place in Astoria and his grave site near Curlew. The first week, they are hosted by Mr. Yatabe and visit Japanese Consulate Office in Portland, famous Portland sights & Astoria High School. The second week, they fly to Spokane and are hosted by Atsumi McCauley and visit Gonzaga University, Colville High School, Republic, Stonerose, MacDonald’s grave site & Jennie Lynch’s descendants. The first study tour was in October 2013 and it has been continued successfully every year.

It has been mentioned by students, teachers and the support group many times that they are grateful to have such wonderful people in Astoria and Republic. Every student wrote about what he/ she has learned about Ranald’s courage and humanity in first hand. Their experience has changed them in positive ways.

August 22 Friends of MacDonald Visit

On August 22 members of the Friends Of MacDonald (FOM), an organization dedicated to studying, preserving and promoting Ranald MacDonald’s international legacy will come to Ferry County to visit MacDonald’s grave. The 17- member tour, led by FOM President Matsaru Yatabe, will include leaders of local FOM chapters from Japan and the Netherlands. This year marks the 125th anniversary of Ranald MacDonald’s death, a number important in the Buddhist faith. The FOM delegation will lay a wreath on his monument in the family cemetery at Toroda.

To give a donation towards hosting a lunch in the park or at a local restaurant for our FOM guests, please contact Madilane Perry at (509)- 775-2605 or mail to FCHS, P.O. Box 287, Republic, WA 99166

Download the PDF version of the Spring 2018 Nugget Newsletter

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