Monday, August 31, 2015

Report from the annual EWGS retreat, 30 August 2015

While this photo is a year old, it is a lovely picture of our "Tuesday Gals" and Spokane Public Library Director Andrew Chanse (back left). (Mayor David Condon also appears in this photo, wearing the yellow tie.) 

And the "gal" right in the center is Patricia Bayonne-Johnson, who at the retreat announced that she is willing to become the next EWGS president, subject of course, to the election of the membership. That news was received with smiles and applause.

Another item of business came from Mary Holcomb and Barb Brazington (both at top right). Apparently the Spokane Public Library is having a "feasibility study" on the usage and space for materials at the downtown library. Big thanks to all the Tuesday Gals, and especially Barb and Mary, for keeping on top of these sorts of developments because they greatly impact EWGS.

Most of the Board and Committee Chairs were in attendance and the programs for 2016 were discussed and decided upon. We promise you great programs for 2016 so please stay tuned. 

Personal note from Donna:  EWGS could not function without the dedicated volunteer help of 30-some EWGS members who are always giving of their time and talents for the cause of promoting EWGS. They are the heart and soul of EWGS; I thank them all.

And if you are asked to accept a position to be of help to EWGS, please accept and know that you are joining a great team.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Serendipity Monday

Serendipity Monday

Highlights of today’s post:
·         Using Pinterest for Genealogy
·         Association for Gravestone Studies
·         Flipster
·         Spotlight on Wilbur, Washington
·         “Skulls among Goodwill donations.”

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) magazine, American Spirit, carried an article by Maureen Taylor in their Sept-Oct 2014 issue. Titled “5 Ways to Use Pinterest for Genealogy” it was a good read. Taylor offered these five ways to use this social media website:
·         Follow your favorites…. Like Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilyTree Magazine, etc. “These sites’ boards feature abundant research tips.”
·         Keep track of your sources for research…. Keep images of books you’ve checked, or want to check.
·         Create boards for ancestors….. quoting Taylor:  “Create a photo album of your ancestors’ lives using photographs, documents found online (if allowed) and links to images of places they lived….” 
·         Document local history……… could do a “come visit this area and do genealogy” by listing/showing the repositories in your area.
·         Compile a virtual family history cookbook……..

If this “piques your beak,” as they say, click to and order a copy of Thomas MacEntee’s book, Pinning Your Family History, for your Kindle for a whopping $2.99.


Ever hear of The Association for Gravestone Studies? This is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of grave markers. Founded in 1977, AGSincreases public awareness of the significance of historic grave markers and cemeteries and links groups and individuals that share its interests. For a membership of $20 annually, you will receive their annual journal, Markers, their quarterly magazine and their monthly newsletter. Contact them at  The group is headquartered in Greenfield, Massachusetts.


Flipster is now available…. This fun app is available for free from your community library (maybe). Some 40 e-magazines are available from any computer, laptop or mobile device as long as you’re connected to the Internet. This is a free digital magazine service provided courtesy of your library. The Flipster app manages your magazine online from the Flipster website for anytime viewing on your iPad, computer, or mobile dvice. The magazines you know and love are  available digitally…. All you need is your library card. Check to see if your library offers this service.


If you’ve ever driven to the westside (or home to the eastside) on Highway 2, then you’ve gone through the town of Wilbur in Lincoln County. The town was named for founding father, Samuel Wilbur Condon, and was finally incorporated in August 1890. Old Samuel claimed he discovered the site in the 1860s and established his ranch on Good Creek. Samuel Wilbur Condon died in January 1895 in a gunfight over a woman…… he had been married and divorced from two Indian women and was the father of three sons. Another claim to fame for Wilbur is that M.E. Hay, Washington governor from 1909-1912, was born in Wilbur.   The Big Bend Historical Society Museum, just off the main street, has many items on display including the gun taken from the dead hand of Samuel Wilbur Condon. 

In August of 2014, our paper, The Spokesman Review, carried an article from the Seattle Times“Skulls among Goodwill donations.”   Quoting the article:  “Three human skulls turned up last month among the donations to a Goodwill store in Bellevue. Employees at the store found the skulls in a donation bin. Once workers realized they were human, they reported the find to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.”  The article ended with, “The Medical Examiner’s Office is seeking help from the public to track down the person who donated the skulls to Goodwill……….”   Yah, I guess so!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Might EWGS help to find owner of this bracelet??

    Our local paper, The Spokesman-Review, carried this most interesting article:

    Spokane woman seeks to identify owner of engraved bracelet
    The Spokesman‑Review
    9 hours ago - Kevin 9-22-1966. • There are no stamps or marks on the bracelet, which is probably made of brass. If you know whom the bracelet belongs to,  ...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2015 Rest Stop Fundraiser a Glowing Success!

Kathy Bowen and Charlotte Sullivan pose on Saturday afternoon at the Westbound Sprague Lake Rest Stop.
Photographed by EWGS member John Wilson. Used with permission.

Saturday and Sunday, August 1st and 2nd, members of Eastern Washington Genealogical Society manned the free coffee station at the Westbound Sprague Lake rest stop along Interstate 90, about 40 miles west of Spokane. Supplied with gallons of coffee and tens of dozens of cookies, the volunteers brought in $671.08 in donations that weekend! It was a great opportunity to meet with people from not just all over the Inland Empire, but from around the continent as well! Questions about genealogy and family history and about our society were answered, and people were invited to either attend one of our own meetings or to contact their local public library to discover where a genealogical society in their home town meets.

Not only were our volunteers dedicated, they were brave. A wildfire just a few miles east of the rest stop grew into 600 acres and burned up to the interstate in some places.

The monies we raised will help to fund and increase our wonderful genealogical collection (books, CDs, microfilm, loose files, and more!) housed on the third floor of the downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library at 906 West Main Avenue in Spokane.

Miriam Robbins, Rest Stop Fundraiser Chairperson, would like to publicly thank the following individuals who volunteered in some capacity or another, whether it was purchasing or baking cookies and/or manning the station (or both):

Pat Ayers
Janette Birch
Tony Birch
Dianne Bongarts
Kathy Bowen
Jeanne Coe
Dan Cotton
May Cotton
Nancy Denton
Doug Floyd
Oweta Floyd
Leah Hansel
Charles Hansen
Janet Ingram
Patty Jenkins
Juanita McBride
Lola McCreary
Ernie Preedy
Jan Preedy
Linda Rainey
Betty Rhoda
Tammy Rizzuto
Evelyn Small
Charlotte Sullivan
Clarinda Troeme
Landa Vierra
Fran Wicht
Linda Wilke
John Wilson
Jeanette Zeromski

We have such a wonderful group of caring people who are so willing to give of their time and money to keep our society growing!

Monday, August 10, 2015

EWGS Volunteers at KSPS Pledge Breaks

August 9th, 2015 several of us from EWGS took pledges at KSPS our local PBS station. It helps KSPS and we get a plug online and also in their program guide. Since they have went to computers for the pledges it goes a lot faster, but you can still use the cards if you are computer shy, so volunteer next time someone asks.

September Meeting, Scholarship & Peaches

Hello again. The next EWGS meeting will be on Saturday, September 12th (yes, a bit late due to Labor Day), 12:30 at the downtown Spokane Public Library.

Our program begins at 1:00. Collin Harris, a licensed funeral director, is coming to conduct a Q&A session and tell us more about how this work (all areas) is done. Will be most interesting for most all of our ancestors are dead, right?

Did you know EWGS offers a scholarship to EWGS members who might cannot afford the price of a seminar? Case in point, our October 3rd Fall Workshop with Cyndi Ingle. The cost to members is $25; if this is a hardship for you, please compose your scholarship request and send it to (This scholarship fund was provided anonymously by a member.)

How much history do you know about peaches? This luscious fruit originated in China some 3000 years ago so say the experts. The Spanish missionaries brought peaches to the New World in 1571, first to St. Simon's Island in Georgia. 

A peach is a type of fruit known as a drupe. Other similar fruits are nectarines, apricots, plums and cherries. And no, a nectarine is not a cross between a peach and a plum but is a genetic mutation all on its own. 

If you really have an empty spot of time, click to and do a search for "carving peach pits."

Enjoy the rest of summer but know that EWGS is coming!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Gehrke Windmill Garden at Grand Coulee

Emil Albert and Stella Veva Gehrke had lived in the Grand Coulee area since 1958. In 1965 Emil began his unusual occupation of making windmills from scrap metal. The couple traveled some 62,000 miles picking up thrown-away materials to create over 500 windmills, whirligigs, and merry-go-rounds in their yard. Emil died in 1979 and Stella followed in 1980. Some 120 of their many windmills were acquired by the town of Grand Coulee and are displayed at North Dam Park as a memorial to the Gehrkes.

I visited this unique Washington garden last weekend and signed the guest book…. bottom photo…. even the guest book cover is made from an old rusty 8×11 pan. Do  stop whenever your travels take you through Grand Coulee. You will enjoy seeing this, I guarantee.

P1120332 (640x480)
P1120333 (640x480)
P1120336 (640x480)