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

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Veterans as volunteer cooks. Photo by Darrell Alexander.

The Rosburg Legacy

Everyone leaves a legacy in their lives that only a few may know or even remember; however, along life's journey there are glimpses of heaven to be seen from Cathlamet to Naselle. I am not talking about the wonderful sights we experience and at times take for granted; I am referring to what really makes life a bit of heaven here, the people. I have had the pleasure of meeting many who have been here for a short time to those who have lived here all their lives.

On one recent occasion I had the honor of spending an hour and a half at the home of Bob and Lois Burkhalter and listened to their story as well as their connection to the Old Grays River Cemetery that is on their 100-acre property. Bob taught fifth grade at the Rosburg School for 20 years while Lois would later do what she loved to do and that was to milk cows. Son Gary is now running the dairy.

When they purchased the place in 1975, the cemetery was overgrown, and cows walked through it until Bob put a fence around it. There was not a road to the cemetery until they built one in 1996. Those buried there were brought in from the Grays River or walked through other paths. Over the years Bob had brought in dirt to fill holes and level the grounds. The Burkhalters have done a marvelous job in preserving this historic cemetery to the extent that they formed the Old Grays River Cemetery Association April 27, 1998. The Old Grays River Cemetery was also called by the names of Brix, Amundsen, or Grays River Cemetery.

Christian Rosburg was born March 1, 1832, in Lauenburg, a town in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated on the northern bank of the river Elbe, east of Hamburg. It is the southernmost town of Schleswig-Holstein. He married Maria Dorathea Wilhelmina Brix who went by Amelia. She was born June 18, 1834, in Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany, and died on October 21, 1913, in Wahkiakum County. Their initial trip from Germany took about three weeks by ship to the Atlantic coast of the United States and from there they immigrated to Iowa, living in several areas before moving to Rosburg.

There, the town is still populated with the descendants of Finns, Swedes, and Germans who came here in the middle of the 19th century. The town was named for him when he assumed the duties of postmaster on January 19, 1893, partly because the locals were tired of having to row the two miles upstream to Grays River for their mail. Christian's son, Emil Andrew Rosburg, born June, 1870, in Keystone, Benton Co., Iowa, was married in 1908 to Louisa. They had Nona Rosburg, born March 22, 1912, and Aaron Rosburg, born October 10, 1913, both in Rosburg. Emil died on December 9, 1949, and is buried in the Carus Cemetery in Oregon City, Clackamas County, Ore. Christian Rosburg died on June 8, 1909, and is buried in the Old Grays River Cemetery beside his wife on Altoona Road about a mile south of the Rosburg Store.

American Legion #111 Pancake Breakfast

Saturday was a remarkable way to enjoy a delicious breakfast and honor the men and women who served in the military. For over 20 years people have brought their family and friends to the annual American Legion Deep River Post #111 Memorial Day Breakfast now at their new location, the Rosburg Community Hall in Rosburg.

All the legion members volunteer their services. Dale and Barbara Rose who were at the door taking donations for breakfast and poppies, have been volunteers for decades. Many local high school teenagers volunteer their community service and get school credit. The menu included all you can eat pancakes with a side of ham or sausage and eggs fixed the way you like them, with coffee, orange juice or milk.


The Wahkiakum Lions Club will have strawberries with no sugar. There will be order forms in Cathlamet stores, Naselle Grocery and One Stop and on Facebook as well as in The Wahkiakum Eagle on June 6. To order now call 360-849-4003. A 14 lb. bucket costs $32; 38 lb. bucket costs $52. Orders must be in by June 15. Delivery date is June 22, and pick-up points are the Wahkiakum High School parking lot, Skamokawa Grange parking lot, and the Rosburg Store parking lot.

West End Food Pantry

Bob and Lois Burkhalter. Photo by Darrell Alexander.

From now until June 3 they are having their "Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive." Help the community by helping them prevent hunger. This has been done to benefit children and families of the Naselle-Grays River valley since 2014. Monetary donations can be sent to WEFP, P.O. Box 55, Rosburg, WA 98643. Follow them on Facebook, email or call 360-465-2344.

Community Picnic

Set your calendar for June 25 from 5-7 p.m. for all ages to the annual Community Picnic and Potluck at the Naselle Timberland Library at 4 Parpala Road in Naselle. Hamburgers, hotdogs, and chips provided. Please bring a dish to share and a chair or blanket to sit on. Participate in a silent auction in the library from June 4 to June 25. Sponsored by the Friends of the Naselle Timberland Library and generously supported by Okie's Select and Johnson's One Stop.


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