Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Early American Sources---1500-1900

 There is a new kid on the block.......... or a new kid to the block is coming!  The June-July 2022 issue of Internet Genealogy,  author Diane L. Richard spotlighted a brand new resource. I quote from her article:

"In 2021, Joseph Thomas Ross created Early American Sources (www.earlyamericansources.org). The website encompasses archives, digital and published sources for the U.S., Canada and Mexico, ( with more to come from this hemisphere.) The object was to make it easier to connect researchers with "primary resources related to the Americas from roughly 1500 to 1900." This website is a work-in-progress (all U.S. states are not yet done; about 1/2 as we go to press). 

To further "tweak your beak," click to


On the right side of this page is a list of national and extensive archives. There is an overview of holdings and then numerous links to webpages of interest for each archives. The left side of the page has a list of select states. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

Did You Mark National French Fry Day?


Who doesn't enjoy a hot, salty french fry? Especially dipped in catsup? Did you know that July 13th is National French Fry Day?

Thomas Jefferson introduced fries to America, it is said. But Google also explains that the dish was discovered by American soldiers in Belgium during World War II......and since the dominant language of southern Belgium is French, the soldiers dubbed the tasty potatoes 'French' fries. (Humm...so perhaps they might should be called 'Flemish Fries?')

Apparently, in old Irish, 'to french' meant to 'cut into pieces.' Perhaps with the Great Potato Famine (1845-1851) the emigrant Irish took 'frenched potatoes' with them? 

There are at least 15 different types of french fries. How many can YOU name? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Mr. Spock Anyone?


One of my favorite TV stars was Mr. Spock of Star Trek. On a whim, I decided to learn more about Leonard Nimoy the man.

 Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 26 March 1931, to Dora (Spinner) and Max Nimoy, who owned a barbershop. His parents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. (My folks came to the US as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens. I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien.”) He had one brother, Melvin. Raised in a tenement and acting in community theaters since age eight, Nimoy did not make his Hollywood debut until he was 20. After two years in the U.S. Army, he was still getting small, often uncredited, parts.

In February 1965, he made his first appearance as Spock in the Star Trek TV pilots “The Cage” and “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” and went on to play the character until the end of the production run in early 1969…… soon followed by eight feature films and guest appearances in later spin-offs in the franchise.

Got his famous role of Spock on Star Trek (1966) in part because discussions among writers and producers of the series about the character of Spock led them to put out the word that they were looking for a tall, thin guy to play the role of an alien crew member. Gene Roddenberry and casting director Joseph D'Agosta remembered Nimoy from his work in Roddenberry's first TV series, the WWII drama The Lieutenant (1963). After being invited to come look at the sets and props, Nimoy was offered the role...and so was born his most famous role and start as a popular culture icon.

Leonard Nimoy first saw what would become the famous Vulcan salute, “Live Long and Prosper,” as a child. The placement of the hands comes from a childhood memory, in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue service in Boston. “This is the shape of the letter shin,” Nimoy said in the 2013 interview, making the famous “V” gesture. The Hebrew letter shin, he noted, is the first letter in several Hebrew words, including Shaddai (a name for God), Shalom (the word for hello, goodbye and peace).

The "Vulcan nerve pinch" concept on Star Trek (1966) was invented by Nimoy when he and the series' writers were trying to figure out how an unarmed Spock could overpower an adversary without resorting to violence.

Leonard Nimoy was twice married and left a son and daughter. He was 6’1” tall, was an avid writer of poetry, wrote many books and he was best friends with William Shatner (only a few days older). He spoke Hebrew and Yiddish and was an advocate for keeping those languages alive.

Mr. Spock passed away on 27 February 2015, one month away from what would have been his 84th birthday. Cause of death was COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). His final Tweet, posted four days before his death, was “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”  (Live Long and Prosper)  He rests in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.

A search with Google will give way more information than I included here.


Friday, July 29, 2022

Spokane's Railroads & Railroad History


How many of us recognize this as the old Great Northern Train Station in Spokane, of which only the Clock Tower remains in Riverfront Park?

Quoting Dale Swant, director of the Inland Northwest Rail Museum in Reardan: "Spokane was a major hub for a number of railroads in the late 1800s right up to today. Companies like the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, Burlington Northern, Milwaukee Road, Union Pacific, Spokane International and Spokane, Portland & Seattle railroads served the area and branched out to almost every community to serve farmers, ranchers and passengers who used railroads as their primary form of transportation and shipping."

Quite likely your Inland Northwest ancestor came via the railroad. Hundreds of books have been written about the railroad history in our area but likely you won't have time to find and read them all. Your best best is to visit the Inland Northwest Rail Museum.  Open Friday-Sunday, 10-5, on Hwy 2 just west of Reardan. Check out their website:


This would be a fantastic family outing! They schedule frequent special events............ stay tuned to the website. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Washington Facts: Test Yourself


Time for a test. Give yourself a pat on the back for each one you know (answers at the bottom):

1. Washington is the _____ largest state in the nation.

2. The highest point in Washington is ________ with elevation of _______.

3. Where is the geographical center of Washington?

4. Washington ranks _____ in the nation for population.

5. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Washington was ______ on _______ at ___________.

6. The hottest temperature was ________  on ______ at _________.

7.  Washington became a U.S. Territory in _______.

8. Washington became the ______st state on _______.

9. Washington's state motto is ______ which means ____.

10. Washington contains _______ counties.

11. Washington's official state name is the ________.

12. Washington's state flower is the _______ and state tree is ______. 

1. 12th largest
2. Mt. Rainier, 14,411'
3. Ten miles SW of Wenatchee
4. 18th
5. -48, 30 Dec 1968, Winthrop
6. 118 on 5 Aug 1961, Ice Harbor Dam
7. 1853
8. 11 Nov 1889
9. 39 counties
10. Alki, meaning "by and by"
11. Evergreen State
12. Pacific Rhododendron/ Western Hemlock

Friday, July 22, 2022

Spokane's Two Milk Bottles


You've driven by them 100 times...... the big white Milk Bottles in the Garland district and downtown just east of the First Presbyterian Church. Haven't you wondered about them??

According the Wikipedia, the big Benewah Milk Bottles are  landmarks in Spokane and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are two milk-bottle shaped buildings, both constructed to accompany a dairy operation's store. 

These "bottles" date back to 1935 and were commissioned by Paul E. Newport, owner of the prosperous Benewah Dairy Company, and were designed to serve as stores for the dairy's products. At 38-feet tall and 15-feet wide, the stuccoed  structures were in large part intended to appeal to children.

Company ads of the day were designed "to build better men and women by making dairy products attractive to boys and girls. No expense will be spared to make these new stores as sturdy and fine as good as the products they represent." 

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

1918 Barn In Wilbur, Washington, Well Worth the Drive To See


How many times have we zoomed out Hwy 2 on our way west, and barely blinked when we went through Wilbur, Washington? And look what we've missed.

Annette Archuleta's photo of this 1918 barn was published in Journey, the magazine of the American Automobile Association in the Winter 2022 issue.  

Victor Whitman had dug up some history on the barn: "According to the Washington Heritage Barn Registry, the farm's original owner, Vic Lauritzen, hired two builders from Denmark to come to Wilbur, and they spent two years constructing the barn by hand. The two weathervanes atop the rood are inscribed with the date 1918."

"Wilbur is in Lincoln County and had a thriving Danish community from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, when roughly a quarter of the inhabitants were first-or second-generation Danes." 

Beside, look what we missed, did we realize that there was a thriving Danish community in Lincoln County? And did we realize that there was a Washington Heritage Barn Registry?? 

There is so much history in Eastern Washington!!!