The FCHS Museum in the Whittaker/ Fletcher House across from the park in Republic will be open on the same schedule as last summer, beginning Memorial Day weekend. And ending Labor Day. The hours will be Friday through Monday, 10 a. m. to 2 p. m.
Due to last year’s late start (July 4th) and the impact of the pandemic, we saw only a little over 120 visitors. This is a very conservative count because groups that sign the guest book as “family” or a plural last name can include several people. In past years we have had as many as 1000 visitors from all over the world. This year’s visitors haled overwhelmingly from the Pacific Northwest with a sprinkling of visitors from California, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah and Texas. The rest of the world was represented by visitors from Poland and Bolivia.
The J. W. and Elizabeth Slagle House Museum will also be open to the public for the first time since 2018. The hours are Saturday June 25, 11 A. M. to 3 p.m.; Saturday July 23, 11 A. M. to 3 p. m. and Saturday August 27, 11 A. M. to 3 p. m. This is a time capsule of Republic’s history seen through one family’s story from 1909 through WW II. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit Republic’s past!
Stonerose has Moved on, We Can Move in!
The Stonerose Fossil Interpretive Center has vacated the addition on the south end of the Whittaker/Fletcher Museum! This frees up enough space to house the FCHS collection now stored in the old Masonic Lodge room above the Republic Drug Store. Expect a call for volunteers with strong backs and pickup trucks sometime in June when the collection will be moved.
Stonerose’s outstanding comparative collection of local fossils will continue to be stored and studied in the addition’s basement until the new Stonerose building is ready to house it.
Volunteers keep our museums staffed. We can’t do it without you, please volunteer! Training will be provided. Our visitors are interesting people. Come and meet them.
The first Annual FCHS Membership Meeting since 2019 was held at the Republic Brewing Company on April 28th. An excellent meal-size buffet was catered by 18 North Restaurant and Bar next door.
The brief business meeting included the introduction of Board members. A report on the reopening of the Whittaker/Fletcher House Museum for a short season last year, with a call for volunteers, and the proposed reopening of the J.W and Elizabeth Slagle House this summer was given by Board President Madilane Perry. There was also a brief report on the L.H. Mason Building and the fact that FCHS now has a written agreement with the City for operation of the Whittaker/Fletcher House Museum. Crystal Strong was nominated for one of the two vacant board positions, accepted, and was unanimously voted in by the 23 members attending. A silent auction of donated items, held concurrently with the meeting, netted $505.00, with an additional $145.00 in “Buy-A-Brick” contributions.
The Ferry County Historical Society now has 157 members in all categories of membership.
L.H. Mason Building
Ernie Robeson, of Spokane, the architect working on the rehabilitation of the L. H. Mason building, has retired. The FCHS Board has contacted another architect from the Spokane area. Architect Terry Mourning, who is also working on the rehabilitation of the Cheney railroad depot, met with Board members at the Mason Building May 25th. He will be returning soon with a structural engineer for a more detailed look at the building now that all the interior walls and other later m alterations have been removed and the actual structure of the building can be evaluated. The Heritage Capital Projects grant awarded to the FCHS by the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation will pay in part for his services.
One unexpected result of the architect’s visit was discovery of a square hole in the roof which required immediate attention. FCHS member Billy Burt of the Republic Brewing Co., provided his own ladder and got up on the roof to assess the situation. He found what appeared to be an inspection hatch with an absent cover, probably blown off by recent high winds. Burt provided temporary repair with a piece of plywood from his own stock. Now we need a roofer. Thanks and a tip of the hat to Billy Burt!
The Ferry County Historical Society is a nonprofit organization 501 ( c) (3) which places its primary emphasis on preserving & exhibiting artifacts related to the rich history of Ferry County. Visit our small self-touring museum, located at 15-2 N. Kean Street in Republic ( across from the city park). Mining and geology displays are featured, along with a Native American exhibit and an array of interesting photographs of local turn-of-the-century businesses and activities.