Wahkiakum Historical Society Museum

Wahkiakum Historical Society Museum Long before James Birnie's family settled in Cathlamet in 1846 there were Chinookan tribal members living, hunting and fishing in the area. The mouth of the Elochoman River was a prime spot for fishing for Salmon.
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We open each season the first full weekend of May on Saturday (Saturday and Sunday 1-4 pm) and until the last Sunday in October. During the Winter call the Curator at 360-849-4353 for an appointment, please give 3-5 days notice if possible because we are a volunteer organization. Featured displays: "Koshe Nanitch" Chinookan rock carving, logging camp bunk house, "Totem" Columbia River fish buying boat, Columbia River commercial fishing wharf, Crown Zellerbach No. 6 locomotive, farming and logging equipment, Dr. Harold Fritz's office. Over 1000 photographs and a large genealogy section of past and current county families.

Operating as usual

09/08/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Board of Directors of the WCHS is pleased to announce that public opening hours for the Wahkiakum Museum have been extended Saturdays (1-4 pm) through the end of September. This decision has been made following the successful reopening of the museum (subject to covid guidelines requiring masking and social distancing) on Saturdays beginning August 1st.

"Museum Saturdays" have been well-attended since August 1st, and the Board determined to authorize additional Saturday hours in response to good attendance and appreciation expressed by the public, as very few museums in SW Washington have reopened.

The public is welcome to visit the Wahkiakum Museum on Saturdays, 1-4 pm, on the remaining 3 Saturdays of September (September 12th, 19th and 26th). Hand sanitizer and masks are required and available, and social distancing outside family units is required.

Pioneer Birnie Cemetery - Land was donated by James & Charlot (Beaulieu) Birnie for the use as a cemetery from their Don...
08/31/2020

Pioneer Birnie Cemetery - Land was donated by James & Charlot (Beaulieu) Birnie for the use as a cemetery from their Donation Land Claim in the 1850's. The cemetery includes all early residents of the Cathlamet regardless of the color of your skin or your status in life. Only about half of the burials have headstones. The other half maybe a cedar slab pushed into the ground wit the person's name written on it. Time washes off the name and the weather and mowing breaks off pieces of the slab. This slab is from the Seal River Cemetery for a Rova daughter. Deep River Cemetery has current upkept cedar slabs painted white and the surname of the person buried.

Old newspaper articles can be a good source of county history or genealogy.  Recently found an article written by Alexan...
08/27/2020

Old newspaper articles can be a good source of county history or genealogy. Recently found an article written by Alexander Duncan Birnie for the Morning Oregonian 30 Dec 1904. He mentions John Whallaka (Wha-la-kee Walaka Wallika Whallika Wallishe) who was his father, James Birnie's slave. John was a Haida tribal member from Queen Charlott's Island in British Columbia. County stories talked about Charlot (Beaulieu) Birnie having slaves but noting of James. Now joined researching skills with B.C. researcher for Haida tribe Jan Fisher, our local author Irene Martin and Birnie descendant Nancy (Pyner) Anderson to research subject further. This photo is from David Hansen collection.

H. B. & A Logging Co. on Top of Log about 1917Grays River, Wahkiakum County, WashingtonOn the back written in pencil in ...
08/27/2020

H. B. & A Logging Co. on Top of Log about 1917
Grays River, Wahkiakum County, Washington

On the back written in pencil in a horizontal row: L. R. Grant, C. William unreadable but could be Meserve, unreadable, Valentine Sijota. 10” x 12” dark brown cardboard backing with 9.1” x 7.217” B&W sepia.

If William Meserve it should be William N. who lived on the Grays River. Valentine Sijota was born January 1894 in Langlade County, Wisconsin. He came with his father Joseph and siblings to Lincoln County, Oregon where they had a farm. Valentine did his World War I Draft Registration in Wahkiakum County October 1917. He served in Company A, 316 Engineers, 91st Division and was discharged April 1919. He returned to his father’s farm in Kern, Lincoln County, Oregon where he died in January 1957.

From: Unknown #1000-8204

Columbia River Sun - 4 June 1931 microfilm
08/26/2020

Columbia River Sun - 4 June 1931 microfilm

Columbia River Sun - 4 June 1931 microfilm
08/26/2020

Columbia River Sun - 4 June 1931 microfilm

Columbia River Sun - 4 Jun 1931 from microfilm at WCHS.  We only have the older reader machines that used to be at the V...
08/26/2020

Columbia River Sun - 4 Jun 1931 from microfilm at WCHS. We only have the older reader machines that used to be at the Vista Park Library. No printer. Can take photo of the screen but can be hit and miss how it turns out. Curator bought for personal use a Kodak Mini Digital Film Scanner but the screen is 2" and camera shot is 4 per page. Really need a machine the Family History Centers have to digitize the microfilm probably att $1,500 now.

Cathlamet Grade School1888Left to RightFront Row-Sitting: 1.Henry Scarborough, 2. Willie O'Brien, 3. Alex McMath, 4. Jim...
08/24/2020

Cathlamet Grade School
1888

Left to Right
Front Row-Sitting: 1.Henry Scarborough, 2. Willie O'Brien, 3. Alex McMath, 4. Jim Scarborough, 5. Clarence White and 6. Unknown.
Center Row: 7. Unknown, 8. May Chase, 9. Addie Chase, 10. Winnie McMath, 11. Ellie Chase, 12. Unknown, 13. Christopher West, 14. Jim West and 15. John West.
Back Row: 16. Unknown, 17. Ed Winkler (in hat), 18. Flint Chase, 19 Maude Kimball, 20. Henry Hayes, 21. Mandy Albright, 22. Alice Scarborough, 23. Mabel Albright, 24. Lottie Andrews, 25. Minnie Andrews, 26. Hazel White, and Teacher Marie Copperthwate.

From: Unknown #1000-4383
Digital Photo: 1888 Cathlamet Grade School 1000 4383.jpg

Front row sitting they accounted for 5 names and there are 6.
Back row they list 17. Ed Winkler as the boy with the hat but 16. Who is unknown also has a hat. #20 is identified as Henry Hayes but it is a girl and would say a Scarborough with 21 probably also being a Scarborough. There is 25 in that row and they have 26.

Smalley Farm & Moline TractorEden Valley, Wahkiakum County, Washington1920Frank Smalley owned the farm in Eden Valley in...
07/29/2020

Smalley Farm & Moline Tractor
Eden Valley, Wahkiakum County, Washington
1920

Frank Smalley owned the farm in Eden Valley in the 1920’s. Large wooden dairy barn with their Moline tractor in the field. If you look to the left side of the tractor you will see Leonard Smalley dodging the photographer. At the time the photograph was donated the farm was owned by Oris Smalley. The tractor is sitting in front of the museum.

From: Bonnie (Scott) LaDoe #251-7631

07/29/2020

WAHKIAKUM HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM
ANNOUNCES LIMITED REOPENING

Museum will open Saturdays - 1-4 PM, August 1st through September 5th

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Kari Kandoll, WCHS Curator [email protected] (360) 849-4353
The Board of Directors of the Wahkiakum County Historical Society Museum is pleased to
announce a limited reopening of the Museum. The Museum will reopen to the public Saturdays
only, 1-4 pm beginning Saturday August 1st through Saturday September 5th.

The Museum is able to reopen on a limited basis due to technical and financial assistance from
Wahkiakum County and the Town of Cathlamet, each of which provided essential supplies and support to install safety shields at the front entrance to the Museum as well as a sufficient supply of hand sanitizer and face masks.

Under applicable Covid-19 related health restrictions, all visitors to the Museum must sign in, apply hand sanitizer and wear face masks while in the Museum. There is a limitation of six or fewer visitors allowed inside the Museum at any given time. Groups larger than six must split up and take turns entering once first entrants have departed. Volunteer Museum hosts will oversee the process to ensure safety for all.

WCHS Curator Kari Kandoll stated: “We are very grateful to the Wahkiakum County Board of Commissioners and the Town Council of Cathlamet for providing essential support to enable the Museum to reopen, even on a limited basis. We look forward once again to welcoming visitors to safely enjoy the Museum on a limited basis, and to join us in appreciating the unique history of Wahkiakum County on display there.”

Sincerely

Volunteer Curator & Genealogist

Makah Woven Basket with Ducks & Sunburst Lid donated by a Mrs. O. E. Watson.  Is 3.5" wide and 1.25" high.  Would like t...
07/22/2020

Makah Woven Basket with Ducks & Sunburst Lid donated by a Mrs. O. E. Watson. Is 3.5" wide and 1.25" high. Would like to find out who she is along with O. E. Watson? The written record does not say how she acquired the basket.

07/17/2020

Does anyone have the book "Lives Lived West of the Divide: A Biographical Dictionary of Fur Traders Working West of the Rockies, 1793-1858" by Bruce McIntyre Watson, copyright 2010 that they can donate to the Museum? Has a lot of good information on many of the fur traders who shaped our area. Have been using a PDF but it does not scroll down to different pages easily and printing over 500 pages isn't possible to pick out the pages we need.

1916 Puget Island School: We need help putting faces to names. No row order given on photograph.  GIFT, Miss Marit Sette...
07/09/2020

1916 Puget Island School: We need help putting faces to names. No row order given on photograph.
GIFT, Miss Marit Settem, Halvor Rodal, Arnie Meiier, Ernest Raaum, Harold Enge, Eric Vog, Stanley Tholo, Ruth Olsen, Harvey Seaberg, Olza Johnson, Giskin Bjorge, Magda Vog, Haakon Peterson, Leonard Peterson, Rolf Didrickson, Alfreda Didrickson, Ruth Tholo, Borghild Quale, Alice Westerberg, Inga Johnson, Sigrid Seaberg, May Brandt, Gerhart Raaum, Aina Meiier, Clara Westerberg, Arthur Olson, Hazel Olson, Nellie Sandvick, Phillip Gisselberg, Margaret Sandstrom, Ingrid Meiier, Huldur Sandvick, Gladys Rasmussen, Elsie Vog, Lucy Brandt, Selma Svensen, Fritzoff Enge, Augusta Didrickson, Maurice Bjorge, Oscar Sandvick, Martin Olson, and Alvar Olson. From Olga (Johnson) Henni collection, Digital file: 1916 Puget Island School #158-787.jpg

James & Charlot (Beaulieu) Birnie - He was born 1796 in Rathen, County of Aberdeenshire, Scotland; died 21 Dec 1864 in C...
07/05/2020

James & Charlot (Beaulieu) Birnie - He was born 1796 in Rathen, County of Aberdeenshire, Scotland; died 21 Dec 1864 in Cathlamet. She was born 1805 in Red River Indian of East, Province of Manitoba, Canada to Joseph Beaulieu a French Canadian Métis voyageur and Josephte from Koontenai tribe. James worked for the Hudson Bay Company before retiring and establishing a home in Cathlamet.

07/05/2020

NEWS! The Wahkiakum County Historical Society on June 25th teamed up with the Town of Cathlamet and Wahkiakum Cemetery District No. 1 in the second phase of a Heritage Capital Grant proposal to the Washington State Historical Society for grant funds to restore and update the historic Cathlamet Birnie Pioneer Cemetery.

The Town submitted a preliminary qualifying Stage 1 grant application April 23rd, and was cleared to proceed ahead to the Stage 2 competitive application round with a deadline of June 25th. On that date, the WCHS (manager of the Wahkiakum History Museum) and Cemetery District No. 1 (manager of Pioneer and Greenwood Cemetery sites) joined the Town's project team in the Stage 2 grant requesting funding for ornamental ironwork and entry gate (to replace the current cyclone fence), headstone repair and restoration, and an earmarked amount to honor otherwise-unmarked Chinookan tribal graves at the site.

The ornamental ironwork will restore the early look of the cemetery, where the Birnie family headstones (James Birnie founded Cathlamet, 1846) originally were separated from other monuments by wrought iron fencing. The requested funding for headstone repair will allow for re-setting or repair of numerous headstones which had broken or subsided into the soil over many years. The budgeted portion for a Chinookan memorial will honor the many unmarked graves of tribal members and those of tribal descent, including Queen Sally, the tribal figure well-noted in the early history of the Town for whom Queen Sally's Well and Spring are named. This effort will also dovetail with Chinookan Heritage Signs already being developed for placement in Cathlamet under a separate Lewis & Clark Trail Foundation grant to honor indigenous Chinookan heritage including Queen Sally and the Wahkiakum band.

In addition to Cathlamet Town Councilor David Olson, the Pioneer Cemetery Grant project team now includes WCHS Curator Kari Kandoll and Cemetery District Secretary Stephanie Olsen. Going forward, the Cathlamet Pioneer Cemetery grant request enters a competitive phase where all Heritage Capital Grants submitted throughout the state will be ranked by outside evaluators and a list of finalists created (August). If the Cathlamet Pioneer Cemetery grant is included among the ranked finalists, the Washington Legislature will be asked to appropriate funds, and work can begin, hopefully this time next year!

It is hoped that the Pioneer Cemetery grant will lead to additional restoration work at other historic Wahkiakum County cemeteries. The project team notes that the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation plans to reopen an Historic Cemetery Grant program in 2021 (subject to funding) and it is hoped that further phases of the Cathlamet-Birnie Pioneer Cemetery project can be developed, as well as funds requested for other historic Wahkiakum County cemeteries much in need of renovations and repair.

"The Morning Oregonian", 30 Dec 1904 written by A. D. (Alexander Duncan) Birnie, there is no K. D. Birnie.  From Evelyn ...
06/27/2020

"The Morning Oregonian", 30 Dec 1904 written by A. D. (Alexander Duncan) Birnie, there is no K. D. Birnie. From Evelyn (Morris) Huerd #610-7778

"Gill's Chinook Dictionary", 1933 Published by The J. K. Gill Company of Portland, OR.  Donated by Wallace Bjorge #780-1...
06/22/2020

"Gill's Chinook Dictionary", 1933 Published by The J. K. Gill Company of Portland, OR. Donated by Wallace Bjorge #780-1687 Photograph of book will be in the display case with preservation of book in book box in storage. Arrangements with curator to view can be made prior to a visit to the Museum is needed.

06/20/2020

Historical venues throughout Washington submitted recommendations to the Governor's office on the 10th of June regarding procedures for inviting the public to visit to keep family/volunteers, paid staff if applicable plus the public safe. The Washington State Historical Society has not notified us as to what the final requirements are yet. We'd like to thank the Town of Cathlamet and Wahkiakum County Commissioners for providing $1,500 each for a 2-piece sneeze guard for the front counter, disposable masks for the public, cloth masks for family/volunteers along with board members, sanitizing stands that will hold the masks, sanitizing pumps. Once we have guidelines then the board will need to vote on opening the museum.

06/20/2020

Facebook decided to change WCHS to a different view in the middle of May, making it impossible to log into the account. Very frustrating would prefer to change settings on our own, not with their "help".

1923 Concert Theatre flyer for "My Wild Irish Rose" that was located in Skamokawa, Washington.  Was a 1/2 sheet of writt...
05/07/2020

1923 Concert Theatre flyer for "My Wild Irish Rose" that was located in Skamokawa, Washington. Was a 1/2 sheet of written on a full sheet of white or ivory paper. Does not tell us where the theatre was located. No donation number on the item #1000-8172. If anyone has information please share, thank you.

Dorcas Society Congregational Church - 1926Cathlamet, Wahkiakum County, WACathlamet Congregational United Church of Chri...
05/06/2020

Dorcas Society Congregational Church - 1926
Cathlamet, Wahkiakum County, WA

Cathlamet Congregational United Church of Christ – 100th Anniversary 1895-1995 prepared by Myna A. Martin: "The Dorcas Club, headed by Lettie Warren, was organized in 1926, and through all the years of its existence, regular meetings were held. By 1990 their membership dwindled to only a few. Faithful members died and other moved away. Their contributions to the church in the form of money, gifts, and much hard work was recognized. "

Lettie L. (Smith) Warren is the second one on the left top row and she died in 1960. None of the other women were identified. From: CharlesH. & Frances (Haslem) Mooers #55-4325. Digital file: 1926 Dorcas Society Congregational 55 4325.jpg

1930's Congregational Church Sunday School ClassCathlamet, Wahkiakum County, WashingtonFront steps of what is now the Pi...
05/04/2020

1930's Congregational Church Sunday School Class
Cathlamet, Wahkiakum County, Washington

Front steps of what is now the Pioneer Church. The boy in the very front holding the dark hat 1. Billy Mack, 2. Fred Seaburn but don’t see a number. 3. Is Billy’s Mack’s teacher but she is not identified and we don’t see a number. Reverend William Wilkie Head (retired pastor) and his wife, Eliza Depree (Filer) Head Sunday School Superintendent on the left.

From: Wahkiakum County Assessor’s Office #200-8169
Digital file: 1930's Congregational SundaySchoolClass Steps 200 8169.tiff

Young Men Dressed Up in Skamokawa 1900-1910 from Unknown #1000-8148.  Basically 2 rows of young men & a bit older ones t...
04/08/2020

Young Men Dressed Up in Skamokawa 1900-1910 from Unknown #1000-8148. Basically 2 rows of young men & a bit older ones too. The blur is moving and the guy behind him isn't much better. Boy on the right side is sitting on wooden keg in rows 3&4. Would like to identify some or all if we are lucky, please help.

"Nel's Living Quarters" that we posted earlier this week.  Left to right on the photo: two guys sitting, two ladies in t...
04/04/2020

"Nel's Living Quarters" that we posted earlier this week. Left to right on the photo: two guys sitting, two ladies in the center, couple on the right. The cropped version really is out of focus because the scan that we were sent wasn't a high enough resolution. In hindsight we probably should have bought the original postcard but we can't afford it and we turn down 2-3 requests each year to purchase items.

1930's Congregational Church-Children’s Sunday School Classes with Rev. Head -CathlametOn the front steps of what is now...
04/04/2020

1930's Congregational Church-Children’s Sunday School Classes with Rev. Head -Cathlamet
On the front steps of what is now the Pioneer Church. Reverend William Wilkie Head is at the very back and we are assuming his wife, Eliza D. (Filer) is on the left. None of the other persons are identified. From: Harold & Blanche (Heron) Bradley #861-8147

We always like to have as much identification of the places and people of the photographs in our collection. We have cropped this one down so you can see faces easier. Any help given will be appreciated.

Our Saviours Lutheran Church-Puget Island, WA  Close-up taken in 1948 shows outside stairs and old tower, is on plain pa...
03/31/2020

Our Saviours Lutheran Church-Puget Island, WA Close-up taken in 1948 shows outside stairs and old tower, is on plain paper-not displayable copy. The no stairs was taken in 1955 and is on a higher quality paper and is passable but would like higher quality original(s) to scan of similar photos.

1914 "Nels' Living Quarters" Grays River, WA - Writing on back says this was a stopping place for Middle Valley fisherma...
03/31/2020

1914 "Nels' Living Quarters" Grays River, WA - Writing on back says this was a stopping place for Middle Valley fisherman and Stanke, Oatfield and Carlson are in the photo. John Chaix of Eugene, OR is a collector of old postcards who buys and sells them and e-mailed a photo of the photo in 2007. Not high enough quality so if zoom in faces get distorted. Would like to identify who everyone is.

Address

65 River Street
Cathlamet, WA
98612

Opening Hours

Saturday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

+13604313374

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Our Story

We open each season the first full weekend of May on Saturday (Saturday and Sunday 1-4 pm) until the last Sunday in October. During the Winter call the Curator at 360-849-4353 for an appointment, please give 5 days notice if possible because we are a volunteer organization and may need to find a volunteer to open the museum. Featured displays: "Koshe Nanitch" Chinookan rock carving, logging camp bunk house, "Totem" Columbia River fish buying boat, Columbia River commercial fishing wharf, Crown Zellerbach No. 6 locomotive, farming and logging equipment, Dr. Harold Fritz's office. Over 1000 photographs and a large genealogy section of past and current county families. 2020 has seen some challenges with Covid-19 and we are unsure about opening with so many of our volunteers being retired with higher health risks. We will follow county and state guidelines.

Comments

Are you guys open this coming up Sunday? If so what are the hours and price?
A post card I inherited from my grandparents.
Going through a box of my dad’s stuff. Found a group of these invoices and some letters. My dad grew up in Cathlamet. Not sure what to do with these documents. Any ideas?
I'm trying to find phone books for Skamokawa, years 1910-1920; do you have any? Thank you.
Kari, may I call you? I have a shadow box of a very long Marine & law enforcement history, that should accompany the white dress uniform in the museum. Assembled by friends & family. Thanks.
Do you have any pictures from the WS Brooks family, Alger, or Marshall families? Thanks much.
Greetings from Upstate NY. My late (adoptive) father's 2nd great-uncle was Washington S. Brooks, elected County Commissioner of Wahkiakum in 1871. I'm looking for information on Bessie Ruth Marshall 1887 Skamokawa - 1906 Los Angeles, CA, granddaughter of WS Brooks. Her parents were William Wesley Marshall 1846 OH - 1918 Skamokawa and mother Sarah Louisa Brooks Marshall 1849 MI -1916 Skamokawa. I don't believe Bessie had any other siblings. All buried in Fern Hill. I would love to find Bessie's obituary, also information on the family - if they had any other children - and any other information relevant to this family. Thanks so much!