Friday, March 17, 2017


Named the Fulda, Laurel or Lowell Cemetery

From the  findagrave website for A.J. Lowell
The above photo of the grave marker is from the findagrave website for A.J. Lowell
As I rush back and forth from Glenwood to White Salmon, via Gilmer Valley I pass this small, white, fenced cemetery.  It contains apparently two graves.  One small and unmarked except for a metal stake in the ground.  The other grave is marked by this stone.  It reads...

DEC. 16, 1827
JULY 19, 1890
Gone but not forgotten

I have stopped several times, climbing up the bank, to read the stone, only to forget the name.  I have been told several stories of who is buried in the little white fenced cemetery.  The most common story has been,... a mother and child rest here.  Like all history, the stories are questionable, and what I write here is questionable, but I have tried to accurately research my information.  

Abram Jay Lowell is illusive in history.  Thanks to Jeffrey Elmer for finding this tidbit in the July 25, 1890  Portland Oregonian and documenting it.  It is the only reference I have been able to find about Mr. Lowell's death.

"The dead body of Mr. A. J. Lowell, of the same section, just south of Mount Adams, was found in his field on last Saturday by some of his neighbors.  The family were all away from home at that time, at their milk ranch in the mountains, and it is the general supposition that he died from heart disease."

Before I continue on with the life of A.J. Lowell, I want to clarify that he did not live across the road, where the Whitcomb-Cole cabin once stood. His farm was north, down the hill on Kreps Lane at what most of us know as the Willy Gribner farm. I suspect he was buried up on the hill away from the bottom ground that flooded in the spring.

A.J. Lowell was born December 16, 1827 to Elinor White and Nyrum Lowell at Lowell's Corner, New York State. There is a book titled:

"The Historic Genealogy of the Lowells of America from 1639 to 1899"

The Lowells were a prominent and well educated family on the east coast.

In 1863 A.J. is living in Black Hawk County Iowa and on September 17, he marries Ella or Elicy Francis Mitcheltree Walker. Elicy, was born in Pennsylvania in 1824 to James Mitcheltree. When A.J. marries her, she is a widow with three children. She was previously married to Rynear Walker in 1852. In the 1860 Iowa census Rynear and Elicy have three children. Kate, James and George.
Rynear enlisted July 1, 1861 with Company E, Iowa 5th Infantry Regiment organized at Burlington, Iowa. Mustered into Federal forces on July 15, 1861. The unit had a strength of 1067 men. It suffered 250 fatalities and 299 wounded. Rynear died of sun stroke on June 29, 1862 in Mississippi. He is buried in the Union National Cemetery, Corinth, Mississippi.

I found no information as to why A.J. was living in Iowa, but he marries Elicy in 1863 and on February 29, 1864 he enlists into "I" Co of the Iowa 16th Volunteer Infantry.
In August of 1864, their son A.B.J. Lowell is born.
Abraham's unit fought in Vicksburg and accompanied Sherman's army through Georgia. In the battle at Atlanta, they ran out of ammunition and were captured. The prisoners were sent to Andersonville. The men were exchanged in September, fought through the Carolinas and eventually mustered out at Louisville in July 1865.

A.J. must have been injured at some point in battle, because in 1877 he files for an invalid's pension. I think he must not have received it, because Elicy files for it after his death.

In 1878, the family is living in Tipton Nebraska. Listed as children are A.J. Lowell Junior age 13 and George Walker age 19. I have not been able to find information about the other two Walker children. They were older than George and probably living on their own.

In the 1887 Census, A.J. Lowell age 60 and Ella Lowell age 64 are living in Camas Prairie, Klickitat County.  With them are ABJ Lowell age 22 and George Walker age 28.  
I have no idea what brought the family to Camas Prairie.  There are names in his Infantry Unit that are familiar, so I wonder if A.J. knew a Civil War veteran who had settled here in Camas  Prairie.    I plan on checking out some of those names.  Also, there are Walkers who came early to the Oregon Territory.  There are some indications they were relatives of Rynear Walker.  

What happens to the family and farm after the death of A.J. Lowell??   

Sunday, October 2, 2016


Today was the first Sunday of October, which means there was a Camas Prairie and Vicinity Pioneer Association meeting at 1:00 at the Glenwood Pioneer Memorial Church.

It was a small group.  There were twelve of us in attendance, including guest speaker Henry Balsiger 
who explained his process of preserving photos for individuals, families and museums.

Henry from a 2007 Ruralite Article

The meeting started with the traditional blessing before the potluck meal, traditional good food, a traditional song led by Hazel Parsons, which is usually "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" followed by the business meeting.  
As I said, it was a small group.  Compared to this 1915 gathering at the Colburn Hotel in White Salmon, we were  a very small group.

The September 15, 1955 issue of the Mt Adams Sun made an effort to try and identify the Camas Prairie and Vicinity Pioneers in this photo.
Thanks to  Jeffrey Elmer, this list is easier to read.

"Editor's Note
     With the help of John Wyers, Mrs. Jennie Stump and Mrs. O.V. Lemley, the SUN has been able to identify most of the persons pictured in the above photo of the Camas Prairie and Vicinity Pioneer Association. 
     The picture of the annual reunion was taken by C.C. Hutchen in front of the old Colburn Hotel, White Salmon, June 11, 1915. 
     For the benefit of our files, the editors will appreciate receiving any names of not included in the following lists. Reading from left to right:
In Front of Fence
     Elna Cavin and sister, Alex Miller, Georgia Thomas, William Miller, J.A. Morris, Jake Prahl; Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Wright and children, Bernice and Lawrence; Al Bertschi, Mr. and Mrs. George Purser and son, Elliott; Claus Staack, Betsy Leathers, C.W. Moore, John Wyers, Mrs. Jim West, Mrs. Jake Prahl, Mrs. Tillie DeVoe and Margaret.
Behind Fence
     Johnny Quaempts, Marion Locke, George Rankin, Charley Quaempts, Gilbert Knutson, Pete Thams, William Jebe, Stanley Locke, Henry Restorf, Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Larsen, Wm. Fordyce, Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Borde, Herman Bertschi, Paul Kuhnhausen, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Jewett, Lila Bartholomew, Mrs. Frazer, Mrs. N.M. Wood, Kathleen McClintock and brother, Mrs. Victoria Waldron, H.D. Cole, Wade Dane, Georgia McClintock, W.B. Cole, Mrs. Jasper Gunning, Kate Lane, Mrs. Al Bertschi, Mrs. Bob Fordyce, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hunsaker.
Top Porch Steps
     C.L. Colburn, Mrs. Frank Frazer, William Wright, Orpha Leaton Duus, Anna Coate, Mary Brown, Mrs. Jenny Stump.
On Porch
     Mrs. Plank, Mrs. Maude Robertson, Jack Stump, Bert Diamond, Oliver and Maggie Kreps, G.A. Thomas, Abe Groshong, Mrs. T. Wyers, Sr., Mrs. Rhoda Kreps, Mr. and Mrs. Matt Wilkins and Mrs. Lydia Colburn."

You will notice the beginning year for the organization was 1901,  which means this year, 2016 was the 115th anniversary of the organization.  There were members in attendance who are descended from some of the above names.  

From a previous history written in 2002 about the beginnings of the organization......

"The Organization started with 53 people signing the roll call on January 1, 1901, whom became the Charter members.  From this organization's summer picnics in June came the Glenwood "Ketchem Kalf" Rodeo Association and annual rodeo......The Organization met January 1, and the second Friday in June.  We now meet the first Sunday in May and October.    As we know to date, we are the oldest historical organization that has been meeting continually in Washington State, for almost 100 years....."

In years past, if you weren't born and raised in the valley, it was tough to become a member of this organization.  I moved to Glenwood in the fall of 1970.  I was 22 years old and shy, but I loved history, so I got up my nerve to attend the following spring Camas Prairie Pioneer meeting.  All I wanted to do, was sit in the corner like a quiet mouse and listen to the history of the area.   One of the older "born and raised in the area"  members, made a point to state that newcomers were not allowed to join.  I went home with my head bowed in embarrassment and never went back.  Until last year.  
After 45 years,  and no longer shy, I decided I wanted to become a part of the local history.  

Some think, because of the small number attending the meetings,  the organization should be disbanded.  Some think that pioneers no longer exist, so the organization should be disbanded.
I believe that those early pioneers made an effort to gather and preserve their history because they recognized they had something important and something special.  I don't believe they wanted their names nor their history to be disbanded and forgotten.  

I debated on adding photos of the meeting, but finally decided it was history.  Thanks to Henry Balsiger for the photos.  Speaking of history....the meeting took place in the portion of the church that was built in the 1890's.  It originally stood  just east of  the  old Grange Hall.  Once the town of Glenwood became more established it was moved up town.

Hazel Bertschi Parson led us in the traditional opening of a song.  Hazel's traditional song is, "She'll  Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain."  Hazel has some extra verses that I have never heard before.  But, that isn't unusual for Hazel.

We had fun discussing our memories of "did we have a barn where we grew up?"
Teunis is not having as much fun because he is missing Sunday Football.  Hazel Parsons said her father and grandfather were responsible for many of the barns in the valley.  She lived on the Bertschi farm out by Lakeside where there were two large barns, since torn down by the Refuge.  Frank Ward used some of the timber beams from those barns in his new home along Bird Creek.
Hazel later moved to the "flat", which is by C&H shop and helped her father build the barn that is still standing there.  Her brother and father built the barn that has since fallen down.
 Henry Balsiger, who grew up on the Bingen bottoms,  saw his barn floating down the Columbia River in the 1948 flood.
Teunis Wyers says, when he was a child,  his grandfather tore down a barn in White Salmon and moved it across the river to their home in Hood River.  His grandfather thought they needed a milk cow and if they had a cow, they needed a barn.
There are 19 barns in the Gilmer Valley and they all have names.  Timber smith Michael Low is helping restore one of the barns.
Tillie Williams said when she and Rich came to Glenwood to visit his parents, they lived on the old Chris Restorff place where there was a large barn.  Ben Langfield lives there now.
Bonnie Parsons Harris said she lived at several of the Bertschi farms here in Glenwood that had barns and then she moved to BZ Corners where there was a log barn.  She said the log barn is still standing.
Wanee Kuhnhausen, said she and her husband Manuel Gravelle built the house that is across the street from the church.  They also built a barn but it caved in with one of the heavy snows.
Jerry Ladiges said he had one of the old barns in his field torn down before it fell down on the cows.  The Ladiges home originally sat out by that barn and was later moved along Ladiges Road.
Laurene Eldred,  (that's me) grew up in Washougal on the original Tanner donation land claim.  Tanner was related to the Elisha Tanner who came into Camas Prairie in the 1860's with his milk cows.  We had a large dairy and hay barn built in a swamp which my dad decided to tear down, then wished he hadn't.
Joann Sheridan Hutton said she had baby pigs under a heat lamp in her family barn called "the old Radford Place", which caught the barn on fire.  She said some of the barns on the north side of the valley were built by Ivan McCumber.  He used a lot of tamarack in his barns.
Brent Hart said she didn't have any barns where she grew up, but she married someone who likes to restore old barns.

I do have a GLENWOOD HISTORY PHOTO PAGE which features some of the old barns in the Valley.

President Joann Hutton, Treasurer Teunis Wyers, Vice President/Secretary Bonnie Parsons Harris.

History is based upon the words of the story teller and sometimes I fall into the trap of believing the words. Henry Balsiger says..."History is based upon the last story teller".

Wednesday, August 31, 2016



I recently spent some time in Chicago.  We stayed on the north side of Chicago, near the western shore of Lake Michigan.  I rented a car, a Volkswagen Beetle, and with the help of the lady inside of my phone I was able to navigate around Chicago pretty well.  One navigation aid, that I discovered by studying the map, was Sheridan Road.  It ran north/south along the lake Michigan shore line. 
My husband and I were staying near Howard Park, on Lake Michigan, so one day without the help of the nice lady inside my phone, I decided to venture down Howard Street to the park.
I parked on Sheridan Road and while we sat on a park bench enjoying the water activities of children swimming and adults paddle boarding,  I googled through my phone learning about Sheridan Road.  That is when I discovered the road was named for Phil Sheridan.  
The Phil Sheridan I was familiar with, had galloped around the Pacific Northwest fighting Indians, before galloping off to the Civil War to become a general.
As a kid, I had spent summer days at the Phil Sheridan Days Rodeo in Sheridan, Oregon.  West of Sheridan, in the area of Grande Ronde, is the Fort Sheridan/Yamhill/Sheridan House Historic Site.  

I knew that Phil Sheridan was stationed at Fort Vancouver during the 1856 Cascades Massacre  
near present day Cascade Locks/Stevenson and arrived in haste to protect the remaining white settlers  who were under attack by Klickitat/Yakima Indians.  Lawrence Coe  gives an eye witness account of the ordeal.
Today, Sheridan Point, is an area  of land downstream from the Bridge of the Gods, where Native Americans build their fishing scaffolds to dip salmon.
Sheridan Point below Bridge of the Gods

On the Upper side of the Bridge of the Gods, down a short rocky trail, lies the gravestone markers for Emily and her brother,  Norman Palmer.   Young Norman suffered a tragic death during the Cascades Battle.  Norman and Emily's life story is told by the Iman family of Skamania County.

Tragic deaths, during the Cascade uprising,  were not just on the side of the white settlers.  Lieutenant Sheridan and his command of men, gathered up the Cascade Indians and executed some of them.  One of them being Chief Chenowith.  Some stories say the Cascades were involved in the attack, some stories say they were innocent bystanders, while the guilty Klickitat/Yakimas rode off to safety.

Phil Sheridan rode off to the Yamhill country to fight more Indians and left in charge of the Cascades area, Lieutenant Lear.  Lear "married"  Chief Chenowith's daughter Ellen.  They had a daughter Isabelle, who married Ed Underwood.

Isabelle's life story is told HERE.

Like William Lear, I had always understood that Phil Sheridan also had a Native American wife and child, whom he left behind when he galloped off to the Civil War.
Now,  I am not so sure about that, but,  I will leave that story up to  Wayne Kigerl who has done extensive research on the topic.

Wayne Kigerl and His Blogs about Lt. Philip Sheridan, Indian Wars....and Lovers

In Wayne's blog photo you will see a statue.  That statue takes us back to Chicago, from here in the Pacific Northwest, to there in the Midwest,  where I am sitting on a park bench along Lake Michigan, learning about Phil Sheridan.
Evidently during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871...."As military commander of the Great Plains, Sheridan was headquartered in Chicago at the time of the great fire, and it was at this time he "saved" the city not once, but three times...."

The Chicago Tribune can tell the story better than I.
With a road, a statue and a fort, Chicago honored Civil War Gen. Philip Sheridan. Here's why. 

So, the next day, found us taking a drive south on the road to find the statue, which was OK, because I wanted to see Wrigley Stadium....Home of the Chicago Cubs.  It wasn't the best day to view Wrigely Stadium.  There was a home game, which meant, lots of blocked streets, lots of pedestrians, lots of traffic and the lady inside my phone got really tired of  me not turning on the streets she told me to.
As for the statue, it just is not in a convenient place for viewing.  I doubt if Chicagoans even see it.

Here is my snapped shot while sitting at a red light.

"...Originally named “Rienzi,” the horse was given to Sheridan by a fellow officer in 1862. Two years later, General Sheridan was the commander of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomoc in Virginia. On October 19, 1864, when away from his troops briefly, he heard the sounds of cannon firing in the distance. He quickly rode to Cedar Creek, where his men were defending against a surprise Confederate attack. This monument shows Sheridan looking over his shoulder, arm outstretched and hat in hand, rallying his troops to regain control of the battleground. His ultimate victory at the battle was so significant to Sheridan that he changed his horse’s name to “Winchester,” in honor of the town nearest the fight. After “Winchester” died in 1878, the horse’s body was preserved and presented by Sheridan to a military museum in New York. It is now part of the collections of the Smithsonian Institution. 
Borglum went on to make one of the most famous monuments in America—the giant sculpted faces of American Presidents on Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota...."

Like our old Fort Vancouver Apple Tree this statue sits between busy streets and a highway.  No longer a peaceful park.

Much to the relief of my husband, and the lady in the phone, I went around the block and headed north up Sheridan Road, leaving behind hectic Chicago, and meandering through the mansions of Evanston, past the beautiful campus of Northwestern University, 

Through the curves past the Bahai House of Worship

Through the town of Fort Sheridan. 
After the Haymarket Riots of 1886, wealthy Chicago businessmen felt relief that a military facility was not far away, along the well traveled Sheridan Road.

We turned around at the Wisconsin border and ended our tour of
Sheridan Road. 

History is based upon the words of the story teller, and 
sometimes, I fall into the trap of believing the words.

Friday, May 6, 2016


May 6, 2016.

First attempt and hopefully I can easily edit since I expect I will make many errors and have new thoughts  and information to add.  I have posted information on my Glenwood Washington Weather site and have sometimes felt sad when I deleted and the information sailed off into the never never land of cyber disappearance.  It reminds me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  Some think it has disappeared forever, others believe nothing ever really dies.
Well, I didn't really want my barn photo to disappear nor here goes #1.

I was in Leavenworth, (not the prison, but, the German looking town in Washington),  for a few days and while walking along Front Street I stepped into an artist's small  gallery.  The painting below,  immediately caught my eye.  The artist is Doug Miller and this is what he says...

"With Mt. Adams in the distance, this countryside comprises the southern Washington area. Right after I did a plein air sketch of the barn, the farm owners started a fire to clean up dead grass, etc. The fire was a perfect addition to a cool scene."

And that answered my question to what I thought was an odd title for the painting.  
Do you know what he said about the Glenwood Valley?  It is Washington's best kept secret and we have so many interesting old barns.
And....yes I bought the painting.

This is a photo of the barn taken by photographer Darlisa Black
during the Autumn season.

And a winter scene by photographer Pavel Boxan.

In 1890 this property belonged to Oscar Kuhnhausen. The land patent was issued March 3, 1891 for section 22. That section today,  includes 4,  90ยบ corners on the BZ Glenwood Highway.  
In 1913 the farm was owned by R.O. Timmerman.  Oscar had moved to where Glenn and Mary Pierce now live and built a new home and barn which is now listed on the Washington State Register of Historic Barns.  
In 1934 the property was owned by Columbia State Bank.
The 1940 census shows  George and Marcellana Lyle living there with 4 year old Don. 
Cynthia, who lives there now, says those up and down boards are one solid piece and the upper loft is solid and sturdy. 
Any guesses where the lumber was cut?  Did it come from the James Shaw Mill on Bird Creek?
You can read more information about Oscar and family at 
Glenwood History Photos