Courthouse Placed on National Register
Early this summer the county received word that the nomination of the Ferry County Courthouse to the National Register of Historic Places was accepted. This means that it has joined the national list of properties that have enduring significance in our country’s history. For more on this see our website.
The FCHS was represented in this year’s Prospectors’ Days parade by member Madilane Perry who was chosen to be Grand Marshal of the parade. She wore an 1890s style black velvet walking suit and rode in Lloyd Herndon’s replica of a 1931 Phaton driven by Larry Lembcke with the 3-organization “heritage” banner displayed on one side.
Work begins on L. H. Mason Building
Work has begun on adapting our “new” 118-year-old building to house our collection. So far it has been mostly planning and other paperwork. The building has been examined by Ernie Robeson, a Spokane architect experienced in working with historic structures. He and the structural engineer who works with him report that the building is structurally sound. They produced a tentative floor plan for our proposed remodel. Historic masonry expert Mark Liebman also evaluated the building and has made recommendations, including finding a local source for compatible bricks. The Curlew Job Corps center has also been contacted. The architect’s report and tentative plan are available on request from acting President Ray Bilderback.
FCHS members and friends have held two work days at the L.H. Mason building. On the first day volunteers Clifford Cahoon, Judy Jeffry, Madilane Perry, Lorraine, Lance and Richard Wilkie and FCHS President Ray Bilderback removed the old carpet, and moved shelves and cases from the front room, where most of the early work will take place, to the back room, where later work will be done. Volunteer electrician Richard Wilkie removed the more dangerous parts of the cobbled-together electrical system. The old carpet is available to anyone who would like to use it to keep down weeds. It’s not recommended for indoor domestic use.
The second work day concentrated on identifying the construction of the floor, revealing what is under it and starting to dismantle the partial second floor. This resulted in some findings that will delay the actual remodeling project a little. The presence of mold under the floor and bats, mice and their products upstairs requires evaluation by a bio-hazard expert. The FCHS Board is in the process of applying for building permits and adding the L.H. Mason building to our tax-exempt status.
Friends of MacDonald Visit
Fifteen board members and members of the Friends of Ranald MacDonald visited the FCHS museum in Republic, placed a wreath on Ranald MacDonald’s grave at Toroda and visited the cabin where he died. They were greeted by FCHS members and had a delicious no-host lunch in Patterson Park, catered by Freckles Gourmet BBQ.
The Friends of MacDonald (FOM) is an international organization honoring MacDonald’s long-lasting influence on Japanese-American relations. Most of our August visitors were Japanese or Japanese Americans. Two were from Holland, a legacy of the days when the only “westerners” allowed to trade in Japan were the Dutch. FOM can be contacted on line and welcomes new members.
The path to Jennie Lynch’s cabin, where MacDonald died, was cleared by FCHS member Madilane Perry and Kettle River History Club member Tom Amon. Curlew Lake State Park Ranger Rick Sands saw that the family cemetery that holds MacDonald’s grave was well maintained and distributed books to the visitors.
Ferry County Fair
FCHS, The Kettle River History Club and The Husky Car and Truck Museum were represented at this year’s fair by an actual booth on the exhibit hall’s south wall rather than our usual tent. Assigned booths rarely come open and organizations usually keep them for years. We hope to do the same. Historic photographs were displayed. FCHS members Madilane Perry and Ray Bilderback and KRHC members Julie Helmick and Mary Heino greeted booth visitors.
Kauffman Cabin Gets New Ramp
President Ray Bilderback and volunteer John May spent two days replacing the ramp and step at the Kauffman Cabin. The project came in under budget and greatly improves the safety and looks of Republic’s oldest structure.