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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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Don’t Miss the Recycled Arts Festival!

One of the best events of the year in SW Washington is the Recycled Arts Festival in Vancouver at Esther Short Park. This year’s festival is Saturday, June 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 120 artists will be featured. Here is the ZEST blog post from the 2010 Festival.

Remember, this is recycled text so some of the Web sites previously listed have been removed because they no longer exist. But the Festival will be creative and fun, nonetheless, with LOTS of vendors. See you there!

10 Lessons Learned at the 2010 Recycled Arts Festival

Rebar. Plastic bags. Gasoline cans. Art? This weekend, there were dozens of artists at the Recycled Arts Festival in Vancouver who have transformed the rusted, the plastic and the bound-for-the-landfill into collector’s items. Esther Short Park was lined with more than 80 vendors displaying remarkable reuse talents. Thank you Clark County Environmental Services for a great event! A few lessons stood out:

1. I don’t have to feel guilty about those (now rusty) garden tools I left in the rain.

Rusty tools can create great yard art

2. Plastic bags can become a thing of beauty.

If you can crochet, you can create beautiful bags and rugs from plastic bags

Lots of products available through Molly J Walter

3. Those splintery chopsticks from my favorite Chinese restaurant can have a new life.

Who knew that chopsticks were so versatile?

There are lots of choices to purchase at Kwytza Chopstick Art .

4. The bowling balls I have been collecting are just begging to be beautified.

Way more interesting than Victorian gazing garden balls

Visit Ta-Dah Handmade about artwork and classes.

5. My collection of out-of-style sweaters could become in-style, felted hats.

These sweaters look great as hats!

Visit Sweater Heads for a great selection.

6. You can teach an old, red gasoline can new tricks as a dog.

Low maintenance pet – perfect for empty nesters

7. A cigar box wants to make music.

These cigar box instruments can even be amplified

Alan Matta at Hammered Frets has the details on his instruments at

8. Wine bottles recycled into jewelry can be way more interesting than gemstones.

Beautiful glass beads made from wine and beer bottles

Learn about hand-torched, glass bead jewelry at Late Night Lampworks

9. Vases, light fixtures and other glassware can become stunning, luminescent statues for the garden.

These glass art pieces will never stop blooming in your garden

10. Every nut and bolt deserves another chance.

Nuts and bolts start new lives

More work available at Fairy Forge.

Got stuff? Avoid the landfill. Get out there and start re-creating!

June 28, 2013   No Comments

Celebrate May in SW Washington – 28 Ways!

The lilacs are blooming. Wildflowers are coming out in the Gorge trails. Outdoor events like the Hazel Dell Parade of Bands and the World’s Longest Garage are happening. And the wineries are ready to serve you. Celebrate our active corner of Washington State this month! Here are 28 ways to get out there:

May 1-4Shadowlands at Magenta Theater – The play based on C.S. Lewis memoir of his life with American poet Joy Gresham is beautifully presented at Magenta Theater in downtown Vancouver. Buy tickets here.

Beautiful grounds at the Hulda Klager gardens

May 1-12Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens – Celebrate gorgeously hybridized lilacs at the historic Hulda Klager home in Woodland. Tour the Klager home and smell those lovely flowers. Author Jane Kirkpatrick will be at the gardens on Mother’s Day. Her new novel about Hulda Klager, “Where Lilacs Still Bloom,” will be available for purchase in the gift shop

May 2Weldon Wagon Road Hike with Friends of the Columbia Gorge. It’s time to explore the Gorge and see those gorgeous wildflowers! Go on a seven mile hike near Husum. Check out the Friends Web site for lots of hikes. Register here or call 971-634-2028.

Checking out the galleries at the First Friday Artwalk

May 3Downtown Vancouver Artwalk – The galleries, restaurants and brewpubs will be open in Downtown Vancouver.  Lots of openings. Join the crowd. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

May 3Camas First Friday “Treat Yourself Right” Night – Downtown Camas. Lots of food, wine, music and pampering. Learn about the services and participating shops here. 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

May 4May Day is Lei Day  – Ke Kukui Foundation.  Lei contest, the Royal May Day Court, Hawaiian Food, Shave Ice, and Arts & Crafts, Thomas Jefferson Middle School. 3000 NW 119th St.  Vancouver, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

May 4-5Loyalty Days – Ilwaco. Not only does Long Beach have the World’s Longest Garage Sale (see May 24-27 below), it has the “longest consecutively running Loyalty Day celebration in the nation.” The two-day event includes a children’s parade, blessing of the fleet, oyster feed (yum!), grand parade and cowboy breakfast. This event is always the first weekend in May.  Saturday schedule here. For Sunday’s schedule, go here.

May 5“It Happened at the World’s Fair” – Columbia Theatre, Longview – The Rainy Months Series presents plays for 3 to 9 year olds and their families. Two 6th graders take a trip to Seattle Center.  But, after encountering a mysterious elevator operator they step out of the Space Needle elevator and, somehow, it’s the year 1962! Buy tickets here.

Nan Evans

Full Circle

May 11Contra in the Couve – Put on your dancing shoes. Vancouver has a contra dance, held on the second Friday of every month at the Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave. Nan Evans will call the dance. Portland/Port Townsend band Full Circle will play with Nan Evans of Port Townsend calling. Lessons at 7:30 pm. Dance 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Chelatchie Prairie Train

May 11-12Chelatchie Prairie Railroad Steam Mother’s Day Special – Take a ride on the delightful Chelatchie steam train. You’ll travel from Yacolt to Moulton Falls and back. Make your reservation here. Noon and 2:30 p.m.

May 11Museum Collection Open House – Fort Vancouver – Explore the lives of fur trade families at Fort Vancouver on the second Saturday in May. Two tours occur during the day: one at noon and 2 p.m. Tours are limited to 15 people. Children over 10 years old are welcome. Register in advance for a Museum Collection Open House tour by calling 816-6255.

Cathlapotle House

May 12“The Lewis and Clark Wildflower Discoveries” – The Cathlapotle Plankhouse, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge – The Second Sunday Event Series will be kicking off with a presentation by Joan Hockaday, garden historian. Guided tours of the Plankhouse and children’s activities will be available from 12-4pm. The Cathlapotle Plankhouse is a full-scale Chinookan Plankhouse located on the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain

May 14-July 2Lady Washington Public Tours and Excursions – Various Columbia River ports. The brig Lady Washington, the Official Ship of Washington State, and the topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain will have a seven-week tour of Columbia River ports. Visits include tours, evening sails and three-hour Battle Sails featuring booming cannons, close-quarters maneuvers, and a taste of 18th century maritime life aboard tall ships. Check here for the complete schedule and tickets.

May 17Paula Poundstone – Columbia Theatre, Longview – The Boston Globe says, “Poundstone improvises with a crowd like a Jazz musician…swinging in unexpected directions without a plan, without a net.”  Buy tickets for the very funny stand-up comedian’s show here.

May 18“Trains, Dames and Prohibition” – Centralia –  Lots happening on Saturday, May 18 with a special historic walking tour  in the downtown Centralia historic district plus feature film showings and a celebration of 100 years at the Centralia Timberland Library.

May 1817th Annual Mt. Adams Endurance Ride – Events for all levels of trail riders: 12-to-25 mile trail rides for beginner endurance riders to 50-75 mile divisions for the more experienced competitors.

Follow the garden path at Pomeroy

May 18-19Herb, Vegetable and Sustainable Living Fair – Pomeroy Living History Farm – It’s the perfect time for a country drive out to the Pomeroy Living History Farm, which is north of Battle Ground. Thousands of plants will be for sale. There will be a farm cafe, vendors and entertainment. This is a lovely destination. Directions here.

May 1949th Annual Hazel Dell Parade of Bands, Vancouver – If it’s the third Saturday in May, you can count on a whole lot of music happening in Hazel Dell. Dust off the lawn chairs..The parade route follows Hwy 99 North to 78th St., west to Hazel Dell Ave., south to 63rd St. and back to Hwy 99. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m

SW Washington Wind Symphony

May 19 –  “British Masters” with the SW Washington Wind Symphony –Union High School Performing Arts Center. Music by Holst, Gregson, Grainger and more. 3 p.m.

May 22“Finding David Douglas” – Volcano View and Brews from the Mount St. Helens Institute – Tommy O’s, 8th and Washington, Vancouver. Speaker Lois Leonard and special presentation of the new documentary movie on David Douglas, the intrepid 19th century Scot botanist who trekked through locations in Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia. Learn about the film here. Happy hour is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Program is at 6:30 p.m.

May 23 –  “Finding David Douglas” – Volcano View and Brews from the Mount St. Helens Institute –Kelso Theater Pub, 214 S Pacific, Longview. See program description above.

May 24- June 2 Annie Get Your Gun – Journey Theater Arts Group –  Annie Oakley lives. Washburn Performing Arts Center, 1201 39th Street, Washougal. Buy tickets here.


Moulton Fall Winery at the Train Stop

May 25Chelatchie Prairie Railroad Wine Run Special – Travel to Moulton Falls Winery on the Chelatchie Prairie steam-powered train for some great wine. Stop at the winery for a sampling in the beautiful tasting room at the end of the ride. Noon. Buy tickets here.

May 25-26The Infinite Power of Music and Young Artists Concert -Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – The VSO ends the season with Prokofiev’s masterpiece symphonic salute to the Russian Prince Alexander Nevsky. The  Oregon Repertory Singers perform. Also featured will be the winners of the Young Artists Competition, Andrew Yoon (piano), Megan Yip (violin) and Isabel Skau (clarinet).

Grapes at Bethany Vineyards

May 25-27Clark County Wineries – Memorial Weekend – Visit the wineries of Clark County on Memorial Weekend. You’lll need to entire weekend to visit all the local wineries! Click on the Web site for a map to the 14 wineries in Clark County.

May 25-27Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Memorial Day Weekend Winery Open HouseWineries in the Columbia Gorge will be offering open houses for Memorial Day Weekend with huge discounts, food pairings, new releases and fun surprises. for a list of participating wineries and specials, map and hours.  For a wine touring map, click here.

May 24-27World’s Longest Garage Sale – For more than 20 years on Memorial Weekend, the garages, yards, patios and other flat surfaces of the Long Beach Peninsula have been filled with treasures for, count ‘em, 28 miles! Get out your most comfortable shoes and lots of dollar bills.

May 31-June 2White Salmon Spring Festival – Rheingarten Park, White Salmon, WA   Featuring entertainment, parade, food and drink, games, competitions, gear swap, and lots of family activities. Complete schedule here.

See you out there!




May 1, 2013   2 Comments

March in Southwest Washington: Music, Theatre and More While Wishing for Tulips and Dry, Sunny Days

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”  Pablo Neruda

Spring is nearly here. The weather is unpredictable, the ground soaked and cold…but our first dandelions suggest that April flowers are soon to bloom. Whether it feels like spring, or not, let’s pretend that it is here…and get out there!

March 1First Friday in Camas – Find the Lucky Leprechaun/Go Green Event Start your celebration of St. Patrick’s Day early by finding leprechauns hiding in downtown Camas shops. An cco friendly, Go Green Fashion Show will be hosted by and at Diamonds & Rust Gift Shop on 4th Street next to the Liberty Theater. Molly Malone’s Irish Dancers and more! 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

March 1First Friday Artwalk in Downtown Vancouver – Artist KC Madsen will be hosting a reception at Vancouver’s City Hall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the galleries will have their new exhibits on display. Check out Angst, Aurora, Art on the Boulevard (7th anniversary), Dunbar’s Fine Art and Design Studio (inside the Academy), Gallery 360, Heritage Gallery, North Bank Gallery, Nouspace Gallery, The Hidden Courtyard, Rand Jewelers and Erik Runyan Jewelers.   Click here for a printer friendly map

March 1-2, 7-9Rent – Clark College – The acclaimed Broadway musical will be performed at Clark College.

March 7-31 (various, specific dates) – Razor Clam Digs –  Long Beach Peninsula and other locations- Plan to clam! Go here to read a past ZEST blog post on clamming. For dates and details read the official WDFW announcement. And mind the rules!

March 8Ryan Stiles and Friends Night of Improv – Columbia Theatre in Longview – Ryan Stiles of Two and a Half Men and Comedy Central will bring his improv show to the beautiful Columbia Theatre. 8 p.m.

March 8-31 –  Proof – Serendipity Players presents the Pulitzer Prize and Tony award winning play, “Proof,” by David Auburn. 500 Washington Street in Vancouver. Various times.

March 10SW Washington Wind Symphony ConcertUnion High School Performing Arts Center, 6201 NW Friberg-Strunk Street, Camas. The wind symphony will present 20th century American composers including Bernstein, Ticheli and Clifton Williams. Free! 3 p.m.

March 10Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition – This annual competition is a joy to watch with 10 extraordinarily talented and poised young artists competing for scholarships and performance opportunities with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Emceed by Jessica Martin, Executive Producer of OPB’s Oregon Art Beat. A delightful and cost-free way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Trinity Lutheran Church, 309 NW 39th Street in Vancouver. Check here for a ZEST blog post about the 2010 VSO Young Artist Competition. 1 p.m.

March 10 – Deadline for reserving Girl Rising screening ticket. See March 17 below.

March 15-16 18th Annual Peninsula Quilt Guild ShowColumbia Pacific Heritage Museum – Head to the coast to see the annual quilt show by local fabric artists. The museum is always great destination in Ilwaco.

March 16St. Patrick’s Day Tea – Pomeroy Living  History Farm – Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a high tea at the farm. Prepaid reservations are required. Check out the menu and cost here. Tea time is noon.

March 16Junior Symphony of Vancouver Spring Concert – Join Southwest Washington’s young classical musicians as they present an Irish-themed program at Faith Center Church, 10702 NW 117th Street in Vancouver to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Details here. 7:30 p.m.

March 16-17Vancouver Farmers Market – Hurray! The Vancouver Farmers Market opens on March 16 at Esther Short Park. Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. One of ZEST’s very first blog posts (in 2009!) was about picking out bouquets at the Farmers Market. Check it out here.

March 17Girl Rising Special Screening – The new documentary Girl Rising will be shown at Regal City Center 12 in downtown Vancouver IF enough reservations are made by March 10 for the film. Girl Rising is a groundbreaking film, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses. Go to to view the trailer and reserve your seats for the local showing. 7:30 p.m.

March 18Annual Women’s History Month Luncheon at the Clark County Historical Museum in Vancouver. Guest speaker is “Calamity” Jan Pierson, co-author of “Prohibition, Prostitution and Presbyterian Pews.” How could you go wrong with a title like that?!  Call (360) 993-5679 to reserve your ticket. 11 a.m. book signing followed by lunch and a talk.

March 19Volcano Views and Brews: Hiking Washington History – Judy Bentley, author of Hiking Washington History, speaks at Tommy O’s in downtown Vancouver. Sponsored by Mount St. Helens Institute. 6:30 p.m. (Happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.)

March 21Volcano Views and Brews: Hiking Washington History – Judy Bentley, author of Hiking Washington History, speaks  at the Smokehouse Pub at the Hop and Grape in Longview. Sponsored by Mount St. Helens Institute. 6:30 p.m.

March 22-2448th Annual Home and Garden Show – Centralia Southwest Washington Fairgrounds. Spring is coming! Get ready by attending this annual show.

March 23-24Maryhill Winery Spring Release Weekend – Enjoy entertainment, food and, of course, Maryhill’s great wines in a spectacular setting in the Gorge. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

March 23Rachmaninov: Vespers, Op. 37 –  St. Joseph’s Church in Vancouver. This classic choral work will be sung in Russian and by candlelight  by the Bravo! Chorale. Buy tickets here. 7:30 p.m.

March 23Iveria Georgian Dance – Columbia Theatre in Longview.  Experience the acrobatic Georgian dance and rich harmonies and poignant songs from the southern slopes of the Caucasus mountains. 7:30 p.m.

March 23-April 7Spring Break at the World Kite Museum – Long Beach – Pack the kids up and head to the World Kite Museum in Long Beach.. “Spring fling” events for children and parents.

March 293 Leg Torso  in Concert – Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson Sponsored by the Skamania Performing Arts Foundation. Modern chamber pop music from this acclaimed Portland group. Should be a lot of fun! 8 p.m.

March 30 – All Washington State Parks are free today! From the Pacific Ocean through the Gorge, Southwest Washington has many beautiful state parks. Start with this regional parks map and end your month by visiting one of the parks for free!

See you out there!

February 27, 2013   No Comments

Shops to Love: Kazoodles

Assignment: Find fun birthday gifts for our two-year-old granddaughter.

Perfect Location: Kazoodles in east Vancouver.

Result: Mission accomplished!

If nominations were solicited for the happiest store in the area, Kazoodles would be at the top of the list. Filled with “kid-powered toys,” store owners Mary and Bob Sisson bundle fun and education together with high-quality products for children of all ages. They opened the original Kazoodles store in downtown Vancouver in 2006 and later moved to their current location at 13503 SE Mill Plain Blvd in east Vancouver. (Click on the photos for a larger view of the shop.)

Mary, Bob and Luka Sisson

The store is beautifully organized by age and interest. Wise advice for toy selection is readily available.

A store filled with goodies for kids, parents and grandparents

Can we buy a little of everything?

A reading corner offers children’s books and a comfy place to read. Storytimes for pre-schoolers are held on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Check the store calendar for other events like “Crafternoons.”

Reading corner

Groovy Girls waiting to be adopted

Fun way to wake up!

Puppets on a Stick

Three-headed dragon

The store Web site offers lots of gift ideas and is organized by age and interest. Another great feature is free gift wrap. Thanks, Bob!

Free gift wrap!

While the store is filled with fun and games, sometimes a shop dog just needs a nap.

Every shop needs a dog or cat

Kazoodles goal is to offer toys that are stimulating, safe, well-made, and most of all, fun. Whether you have toys, games and books on your shopping list, or not, check out this charming store!

A great place for ALL ages!

February 18, 2013   No Comments

February in SW Washington – Celebrate Chocolate and Wine, Horses and Year of the Snake!

February is here. It’s a short month with lots to celebrate – Groundhog Day, the Lunar New Year (Year of the Snake), Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Cherry Pie Day (Feb 20) , even National Tortilla Chip Day (Feb 24 – I’m on it!) among many, many other unique days. Don’t let the dark and rain get you down. Make a pie, preferably cherry! Eat Chinese (or Korean or Vietnamese or Thai and so on) to celebrate the Year of the Snake! Buy a bag of corn chips! And get out there and explore Southwest Washington.


February 1 A Chocolate and Wine Affair –  Downtown Camas will celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early with chocolate, wine (and  chocolate martinis) in local shops, restaurants and bars. 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

February 1 First Friday Art Walk – Downtown Vancouver –  The galleries will have new exhibits. Restaurants and bars will be open. Don’t miss the glass blowing demonstration at Firehouse Glass at 6th and Main Street. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

February 2New Shanghai Circus – Columbia Theatre – Longview – A very special circus is coming to town! The circuses of China are like no other as they combine amazing feats of strength, skill and balance. Extraordinary acts will include Diablo (Chinese Yo-Yo), Bicycle Tricks, Pole Climbing, Plates Spinning, Human Top, Chair Stack and more.

February 8VOCA People – Columbia Theatre – Longview – This acclaimed international group features will perform more than 70 a cappella and beat box versions of popular songs.

February 9 –  Tet Festival –  The Vietnamese Community of Clark County will celebrate the Vietnamese New Year at their annual Tet celebration. Music, carnival games, Lion Dance, Tet food, and more. Noon to 5 pm. Salmon Creek Elementary School in Vancouver.

February 9Chinese Rod Puppet Theatre – Clark County Historical Museum – Dragon Art Studio performs traditional Chinese folk tales and other stories with traditional Chinese rod puppets that are hand-crafted by the puppeteers. 2 p.m. All ages will find their performance enchanting. Happy New Year! Celebrate the Year of the Snake!

February 9-10Asian New Year Kite Celebration –World Kite Museum – Long Beach – The museum’s collection of Chinese hand painted kites and artifacts will be on display. A calligraphy table will be available for trying Chinese brush strokes.

February 10Miss Nelson is Missing! – Columbia Theatre – Longview – Children’s theater for 3-9 year olds and their families. This Rainy Months Series production offers the California Children’s Theater’s musical comedy about a teacher who pretends to be an evil substitute to show that she her students that she is a good teacher.

February 14Valentine’s Day Dinner at Niche – Vancouver. Lots of restaurants will be offering special dinners for Valentine’s Day including Niche in downtown Vancouver.  Chef David Hickenbottom will prepare a 5-course meal and Niche will offer its popular port tasting plus an evening of wine and dark chocolate pairings for those who want an after-dinner drink or nibble. To reserve your spot at the dinner, call 360-980-8352 or check out your favorite romantic restaurant!

February 15-17Washington State Horse Expo – The perfect place for horse people including workshops, exhibitions and “The Extreme Cowboy Race.” Food and live music at the Buckaroo Bash on Saturday night!

February 15- March 2 – The Cemetery Club – Magenta Theater Company – Vancouver  A comedy about three Jewish widows who gather at their husbands’ graves each month and what happens when one starts dating.

February 16-17Vancouver Symphony Orchestra –  “Love Notes for Melissa” with special guest soprano Carol Walterman. Should be a romantic way to continue the romance of Valentine’s Day. Skyview High School. Music by Barber, Falla and Bizet.

One of the prize-winning wines of Three Brothers Winery

February 16-17Valentine’s Wine and Chocolate Tour –  Clark County’s many wonderful wineries will celebrate Valentine’s Day with two days of touring and tasting. Check the Web site for the list of wineries and directions. Some wineries may be open on February 15, too.

February 16-18Columbia Gorge Winegrowers President’s Day Weekend Winery Open House – More wine! Wineries in the Columbia Gorge will be offering open houses for President’s Day Weekend with discounts, food pairings, new releases and more surprises.

February 22-23, March 1-2, 7-9Rent – Clark College – The acclaimed Broadway musical will be performed at Clark College.

We’re heading toward spring! See you out there!

January 29, 2013   2 Comments

Appelo Archive Center: Naselle’s Gem of a Local Museum

Labors of love. You can feel that sentiment when you enter the community museums of Southwest Washington. These are the spaces that preserve and celebrate the most local of histories. They tell the stories of early residents, preserve artifacts and traditions, and provide educational resources.

The Appelo Archive Center and Memorial Library is one of a number of interesting museums in the area including the Knappton Cove Heritage Center, Fort Columbia National Historic Site in Chinook, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park, and Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco. Other nearby historical museums including the Pacific County Historical Museum in South Bend and the Northwest Carriage Museum and Willapa Seaport Museum in Raymond. This is an area rich in local museums!

The Appelo Archive Center tells the story of logging and life, with a special focus on the Finnish roots of the Naselle/Gray’s River area. It was founded by local resident Carlton Appelo, 90, who has donated many items from the collection of his family. His father, Carl Arthur (C.A.) Appelo, emigrated to the U.S. from Finland in 1906. He moved to the Deep River, WA area in 1912 and become Deep River Postmaster, a position he held until 1960.

Located on SR 4 in Naselle, about 30 minutes from the Long Beach Peninsula, the museum also serves as a visitor’s center “for those passing through the area needing assistance and a good cup of coffee,” says museum co-founder Karen Bertroch. A new cafe is opening this month in the center.

Karen knows the history of the museum well. “Carlton has always loved history. He has been saving documents, newspapers, books, interviews, research materials, etc for years,” she shares. “The collection was stored in one of the Appelo family’s general stores in Naselle. He has always had the idea of making it available to the public. It was set up as nonprofit in 2005 with the Wahkiakum Community Foundation, then set up as an independent organization in 2010. Now almost 91, Carlton’s memories and life’s work still are an important factor in the Center’s development.”

Site Manager Samanatha Hollo is in the process of scanning the archives extensive and growing photo collection of more than 3,000 photos using PastPerfect museum software. The photos are then filed in binders for easy research and ordering by museum patrons.

Main Floor Lobby

The memorial library has an extensive section where people can research their families including genealogical and cemetery records. The research area includes books, newspapers and oral histories, many of which are transcribed. “Carlton has loved sitting down and talking with people and he always has a tape recorder or video camera going,” says Samantha.

Lobby Exhibit

The Appelo Archive also publishes books about the area including the latest title “When Logging was Logging – One Hundred Years of Big Timber in Southwest Washington.” Other books by local authors plus Pioneer Voices booklets are for sale in the shop. Books and photos can be ordered from the museum’s online store.

Poster for the Center

Along with the expansive photo collection, the diverse collection preserves the local heritage with items like a desk from the original Naselle school, the original switchboard from Deep River and a plethora of logging artifacts.

Local furniture on display

The local telephone switchboard

Logging and store artifacts

Partial view of the research library

One charming exhibit includes dresses from the Appelo family and others including the wedding dress of Agnes Appelo.

Local dresses on exhibit

Finnish ex-patriot costume worn by Americans of Finnish descent

The photo collection documents the rich history of the area.

Deep River Log Dump - Photo courtesy of the Appelo Archive Center

When trees were serious trees! Photo courtesy of the Appelo Archive Center

The power of a local museum is felt in this gem. “The Center has certainly given the community of sense of renewed pride in their heritage of logging, their Finnish tradidtions and awareness of the importance of educating school children about their own local history,” Karen Bertroch reports. The Center sponsors the “Old Timber Loggers Reunion” on the last Saturday in January each year.

That local pride will continue as the Archive Center expands with a cafe, logging displays moved from the second to the first floor and a new exhibit on living through hard times in Washington history (on loan from the State Historical Society), which will be on display July through October 2013.

Driving through Naselle? Don’t miss the Appelo Archive Center! Visit the Web site and Facebook page for the latest information.

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January 23, 2013   No Comments