Monday, September 15, 2014

Upcoming Genealogy Classes Taught By Miriam Robbins

Miriam Robbins, an eager-beaver EWGS member, is again offering classes to us through the Act 2 (Community Colleges of Spokane) program for seniors. Here's what she's offering in October:

"Whether you are a beginner of have already started exploring your family tree, learn to use online genealogy resources for research. Discover tricks and frugal tips to expand your research and stretch your budget. A working knowledge of the computer and Internet is required. All classes are held at the Magnuson Building, 2917 W. Fort George Wright Dr., Room 148."

Online Vital Records - M200 - 7 Oct - 6:30-8:30 - Cost $8

Online Obituaries & Cemetery Records - M201 - 14 Oct - 6:30-8:30 - Cost $8

Online Census Records - M202 - 21 Oct - 6:30-8:30 - Cost $8

Organizing & Preserving Your Genealogy - M203 - 28 Oct - 6:30-8:30 - Cost $8

Finding Your Canadian Ancestors Using Online Records - M204 - 4 Nov - 6:30-8:30 - Cost $8

Find more information and register at or call 509-279-6030.

Miriam is a knowledgeable and energetic teacher of genealogy subjects and just completed the course to become a Certified Genealogist; you will enjoy and learn from her classes.

Friday, September 12, 2014

EWGS & KSPS .... again a successful partnership!

On Monday evening, September 8th, eleven EWGS members gathered at the KSPS-Public TV station on South Regal to take pledge calls for PBS and to enjoy each other's company for the evening.

Cheryl Beck is our "great leader" who coordinates all the arrangements between EWGS and KSPS.

Here is our official KSPS station group photo. Don't we look good in our EWGS vests? 

One of the programs airing that evening was a remembering music of the 1950s and 1960s. I polled the group asking their favorite singer:  Cheryl-Paul Anka;  Dani Lee- Tennessee Ernie Ford;  Janette-Ricky Nelson;  Pat-"too many to say!";  Tony-Roy Orbison;  Jeanne- "too many to say!"';  Dianne-Everly Brothers;  Evelyn-Elvis;  Doug-Kingston Trio;  Oweta-"too many to say!"  I would have to say that my favorite singer is from the 1970s:  John Denver.

We enjoyed a fun evening and I'm sure did a good job for our public TV station. I hope when Cheryl Beck puts out a call for volunteers for the next pledge-call-taking-event that you  will want to join the group.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Doug & The Rabbit Ear

When my father died in 1973, I found in his belongings an old sepia-colored photograph of a stark desert setting.  The most conspicuous features were a pair of low hills, distinctive mainly because the surrounding area was so flat.

My father grew up in the northwestern corner of the Texas Panhandle, just across the state line from
Clayton, New Mexico. Nothing on or with the picture indicated where it was taken, but I suspected it was in the vicinity of Clayton, an area which Dad sometimes mentioned.

A year ago, I found myself driving through that area. I’d spent a couple of days poring over records  at the Dalham County Courthouse.  I’d also located my great-great-grandparents’ graves at the Texline, Texas, Cemetery. After all that searching, my wife and I were headed west, out of Texas, and braced for a full day’s drive to Salt Lake City.

Then something caught my attention. The unwavering horizon had a slight deviation after all. The closer we got to Clayton, the more clearly a couple of mounds stood out, making a memory flash appear in my mind of that old photo of my Dad’s. When the hills were close enough to register a strong match with the image in my head, I pulled over and took a picture.

Back home in Spokane, I dug out Dad’s photo and verified that I had located the same place. A little time with Google filled in some blanks.  The early Spaniards called the two hills Orejas de Conejos, or Rabbit Ear, and when the Santa Fe Trail became a significant route from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Rabbit Ear was a landmark that alerted wagon trains to a surprisingly good supply of water, food and grass.  

In the 1920s, my father and his family pushed on to the Pacific Northwest with its towering mountains, so different from the flat monotony of the Great Plains. Dazzled as he was by the Cascades, my father found enough meaning in his memories of the Rabbit Ear that he held onto that photo the rest of his life.  I probably will too.

Story & Photos shared by EWGS member, Doug Floyd 

WSGS Volunteer Award for Lola McCreary

Probably one of the best reasons for joining a genealogical society is the people you meet, and the volunteers that help run the society are the best. So I was glad when EWGS nominated Lola McCreary for the Volunteer award that WSGS gives out at their annual meeting. Sadly Lola did not attend this years meeting so here she is receiving her award from WSGS vice president Donna Potter-Phillips.

EWGS First Fall Meeting

There was a goodly September crowd that turned out for the 6 September 2014 EWGS meeting. Speaker Ann Corwine explained her Family Heritage classes (offered through the local college's seniors program, Act 2) and gave tips and how-tos for preserving our family histories.

Several new EWGS members and many visitors were introduced and committee chairs gave reports on their groups' activities. EWGS is a triving, growing, most worthwhile group!

Visit the EWGS website:  and sign up (look to right of screen) to receive notifications of new posts to our EWGS blog.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Early Spokane History Marker Early City Hall

In the September- October 2014 issue of Nostalgia  Magazine pages 18 and 19 is the article titled: Early Spokane History Marker Installed at the First Intersection in Spokane. It tells about installing this marker in Riverfront Park just east of the Rotary Fountain: 
Here is a close up of the city hall that was built here in 1894 and torn down in 1913 to build the Union Pacific Railroad depot.
They also have a picture that shows what this spot looked like from across the river about 1900.

Another view from across the river.

The dedication picture in the magazine included 4 persons: Tony and Suzanne Bamonte, Chuck King and EWGS member Doris Woodward.

Here is the Rotary Fountain:


Monday, September 1, 2014

Forts George Wright and Worden Used the Same Building Plan

Things we take for granted today were not widely used 100 years ago. Take window screens. They were invented in the early 1800s, and were plentifully in use by the late 1800s but some windows used other methods to deny nature's entry.

I snapped these photos during a tour of the Commandant's house on Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington, when I visited there in August. Was this really the bathroom of the 1905 house? Pretty nice. But then the Commandant's home had to be extra nice. The window was open and I noticed the spike-strips nailed on the outside window sill. I assumed they were to keep away the pigeons and other birds?? I've seen these strips used on the outsides of public buildings to keep away the pooing-pigeons but never on a window sill. How about you?

This is "my" house out on Fort George Wright. I say "my house," because in 1956 it was auxiliary base housing for Fairchild Air Force Base. We had moved with the Air Force to Spokane and Dad drew housing in THIS HOUSE! (It's now the Nelly Mosher guest house on Mukogawa.) I share this picture to show you that the house I toured at Fort Worden was built on almost the exact same floor plan:

I found it most interesting to note that here in Spokane they built the fort buildings of brick and over in Port Townsend they used lumber...... and the construction period is nearly the same.

Gives me pause to wonder if other military forts of the period used the same building plans? Makes sense that they did.