The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


April 18, 2019

Darrell Alexander

Ed Wirkkala and Bob Zeismer

Loggers are Awesome

The 9th Annual Loggers' Reunion at the Appelo Archives Center last Saturday in Naselle was a wonderful experience not only for the memories that were shared, but also for the little glimpse into the past brought to us by 95-year-old Ed Wirkkala and 90-year-old Bob Zeismer. These men were part of a time when men went through the school of hard knocks to learn their craft to become teachers themselves to others to continue the dangerous tradition of being a logger. They were also part of an era when they were cutting down the giant trees. It took a different skill to cut these as opposed to the small trees we see today being logged. Their combined injuries would include broken ribs, back injuries, and leg injuries. They are true pioneers in a way that only they and those who have worked in the woods understand.

In a hundred years those who are here will want to know your stories even if you were not a part of the early pioneering families. You and your stories are important in preserving our cultural heritage. Help keep The Appelo Archives by volunteering or donating to a very worthy cause.

Westend News

Grays River Grange #124 is proud to announce that on April 25 at 7 p.m. Giants in the Trees will have their record release benefit concert with a suggested $5 donation to benefit Moon and Sol Mertz through a time of medical issues. There will be Grange food available too.

Giants in the Trees have just released their new record "Volume 2", which can be heard on most music streaming services. If you have not heard them before then you are in for a treat. Compact discs and cassettes are available at

This is an opportunity to meet new people and get to know the community. The Grange has been serving western Wahkiakum County since 1902 when it only had 36 charter members. It is located just west of Duffy's on State Highway four. The Grange added the new sign for Meserve Park. It was made from salvaged redwood donated by Erik Ervest. Grays River Grange #124 would also like to thank the Rayonier Company for their financial contributions to the Grange and the sign. The Grange would also like to thank Brian Fleming of Longview for providing the powder coated letters. Soon the Sani-can will be arriving for the season at the park courtesy of Wahkiakum West Telephone. Meserve Park is a Grays River Grange property, and another project to provide public benefit.

Grange Master Krist Novoselic is the one to contact about Grange activities, meetings, or rental of the Grange. Anyone interested or wanting more information can call the Grange at 360-465-2268.

The Naselle/Grays River Valley Seniors luncheon meets every Wednesday at noon for all those who are 55 and older; also the potluck will be at the Valley Bible Church on every fourth Wednesday. Anyone inspired to volunteer or would like further information, please contact the Naselle/Grays River Valley Seniors' president Diane Hollenbeck at or phone her at 1(360) 465-2991. Anyone interested in renting the Rosburg Hall is encouraged to contact Sonja Kruse at 465-2251 or Barbara Rose at 465-2251. Thursday luncheon at noon at the Rosburg Hall is sponsored by the Community Action Program (CAP) out of Kelso/Longview. Thursday's menu consists of baked potato chili, sour cream/salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, and a tossed salad. Any questions, contact Denise Rae at (360) 425-3430 extension 259.

Just a little reminder for those of you who are new to the area and are in need of food, then I suggest you go see Shonda Ware at the West End Food Pantry or call (360) 465-2344. The food for you is free at no charge.

The Wahkiakum County Fire District 3 is always looking for volunteers. If you are seriously interested please call Fire Chief Robert Maki at (503) 298-8101 for information on how you can be of service to the community. These community minded people are looking for those who are at least 18 years of age or older to serve as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or a fire fighter or both. All ambulance and fire calls in Wahkiakum County are organized by volunteers.

Do not forget to set the date on your calendar for April 28 at 3 p.m. Valley Bible Church at 4723 State Route 4 West is presenting the Dress a Girl Around the World Fashion Show and Tea Party. Women from all around southwest Washington have been creating dresses for Dress a Girl to give to high risk girls in poverty around the world. After the fashion show, the dresses will be sent to a distribution center in Iowa. This is also a fundraiser for the Van Winkle family from Lacey who lost their home due to black mold. Their 6-year-old daughter Sophia is suffering from Pans Disease as a result of the black mold and has seizures. Visit Sophia at Also visit Tea and pastries will be served. Tickets are $10. For information or tickets contact Diana at (360) 465-2800, Becky at (360) 465-2260, or Pearl at (360)465-2347.

The next event at the new Naselle Community Center, located at 14 Parpala Rd, is coming up May 4. This is the second concert to be held at the center and will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by desserts and coffee downstairs. The concert will feature original country music songs on acoustic guitars by Carl Wirkkala and his cousin Lucas Homgren. Also featured will be Kim Angelis on violin and Jennifer Goodenberger on piano. They will share numbers from their recent tour, including some piano music from the famous Finnish composer John Sibelius. Also featured will be Pastor Anna Haugen from the Naselle Lutheran Church and her woodwind ensemble from the Astoria Philharmonic. Donations are greatly appreciated to keep the new community center open. This will be a benefit concert to help offset costs for upgrading the new center. Contact Barb Swanson for more information: 360-484-3602.


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