Visitors from Japan’s Rishiri Island

Our 2017 visitors from Rishiri Island High School in Japan are English Teacher Miss Saori Aizawa, and high school juniors Mako Sato and Jin Hiranuma. They are shown here in front of the photographic reproductions of the panels illustrating Ranald MacDonald’s life that will soon replace the original panels at their former site on the Kettle River Road. They will be installed under a shelter built by Mark McGaffey as his Eagle Scout project. The guests from Rishiri also visited the grave of Ranald
MacDonald, Japan’s first English language teacher.

A Future for Our Past

The Ferry County Historical Society (FCHS) and its collection could and should play a more significant role in the county’s rapidly developing tourism industry. We just need to figure out how. The first step is to decide where we want to go from here and how to get there. In order to do this the FCHS board, assisted by the WSU Extension Service, is holding a visioning session, “Honoring our Past, Creating Our Future”, where all interested parties can propose their visions for the organization’s future. The session will take place January 26th, 2018 from 5 to 7 P.M. at the Presbyterian Church at 605 S. Keller in Republic, in the Fellowship Room. This event will include a potluck dinner at 6:00 and a chance to state what role you or your organization would like to see Ferry County’s historic heritage play in its future. All members are encouraged to attend but attendance is not limited to members.

Come and bring a dish to share and your ideas on how our past can be used to enhance our future.

$ Building Fund Drive Begins! $

Last Fall’s Nugget announced the Ferry County Historical Society’s plan to build a structure, called a repository, to house its collection, provide work space and display the larger items in the collection, some of which weigh several tons. Last spring’s issue announced the opening of an account at the Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union to fund the project. This issue marks the opening of the formal fund-raising campaign.

Our minimum goal, one third of the estimated cost of the project, is $25,000. This amount is intended to be used as part of a match for a grant from the Washington State Historical Society. The WSHS Heritage Capital Projects grants require a two-thirds match from the applicant. Half of this can be in cash and half in kind, including both materials and services. Any funds not used in construction will be used to start an endowment fund for the maintenance of the repository. To make tax deductible donations to the Credit Union account and pledges for materials or services contact FCHS President Alana
Strauch at (509) 775-3508 or Outreach Coordinator Madilane Perry at (509) 775-2605. The Credit Union account balance as of last week was $3928.00. Any funds not used in construction will be used to start an endowment fund for the maintenance of the repository.

Our Visitors

The documented visitors to the FCHS Museum in the Fletcher/ Whittaker House for the calendar year 2017 totaled 862. This is a very conservative estimate produced by counting signatures in the guest book. It is often impossible to tell how many individuals are represented by a single signature. It was assumed that a plural surname indicated two individuals. For those signing as a family and not specifying numbers 3 individuals were allowed. Since either sort of signature could represent more than three people, the actual number of visitors is probably considerably higher. This also does not account for single signatures representing a school class or other group.

Visitors came to us from the following areas: Western Washington, 329 (38%); Eastern Washington 270 (31%); Oregon 36; British Columbia 35; California,16; South Dakota 12, Alaska,11; Idaho 9; 7 each from Arizona; Maryland and Montana; 6 each from Alberta and Oklahoma; 5 each from Colorado, Florida Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio; 4 each from Hawai’i, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Wyoming and Texas; 3 each from Indiana, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada and Vermont; 2 each from Iowa, and Pennsylvania. The following states were represented by one person each: Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Four signatures did not include a location. Overseas visitors totaled 30, or less than 1% of our visitors. Germany sent the most with 9 people. Australia came next with 4. Japan*, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Switzerland were each represented by 3 people, Thailand by 2 and the Czech Republic, Iceland and Scotland by one person each.

Slagle House

The J.W. and Elizabeth Slagle House was open on four Saturdays through the summer. Forty-five visitors enjoyed guided tours of this pre-WW II single family time capsule. The Slagle House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is Ferry County’s only National Register property that is open to the public for interpretive tours. Due to space limitations tours include only six people at a time.

Download the PDF version of the Winter 2017-18 Nugget newsletter

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