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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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Posts from — January 2013

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