News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle
June 3, 2021
Memorial Day: Was this not the best Memorial Day we've had in a long time? Gorgeous weather, people coming together after a year of non-contact. So fun and it looked like a family reunion or party was going strong at the Covered Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Cars and people on Sorenson side of the bridge and kids splashing and swimming in the river. Visitors from all over. When heading to the Covered Bridge, check out the new family sign at corner of Loop Road and Covered Bridge Road to see Ahlberg family descendants listed. Great idea; thanks Sorenson Family.
Volunteers everywhere: The American Legion's pancake breakfast was, as usual, a hit with the best pancakes anywhere. The Naselle Fire Department's Garage Sale was very successful. Both events were in support of Doug Sandell's health expenses. The cemeteries looked so pretty all decorated with colorful flowers and, of course, the American flags honoring our servicemen and women, especially those who gave their lives during war time.
Naselle Community Center Outdoor Market: The Naselle Community Center is having an Outdoor Market one Saturday morning each month from June through September. The first one will be June 26. Vendor applications can be found at https://nasellefinnfest.com/naselle-outdoor-market-2021.
Senior Community Lunches in June: CAP Lunches for June are as follows: June 3: Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake, Spinach Strawberry Salad, San Francisco Veggie. June 10: Swedish Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Sliced Carrots, Mandarin Oranges. June 17: Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli Normandy, Sliced Peaches. June 24: Southwest Turkey Bake, Cheesy Potato Hash, Spring Blend. Twice a month, lunches are also offered to seniors on Wednesdays by the Senior Lunch Club. June 2nd was the first one, and I will get information on the date for the second one. Both activities are held at Rosburg Store at noon.
West End Food Pantry: Thursday afternoons, the West End Food Pantry is open from 1 to 5. Call (360) 465-2344 with your questions. Clean out your pantry regularly and keep their pantry well stocked!
Finnish Midsummer Tea: On June 12, at the Appelo Archives Center, a Finnish Midsummer Tea will be offered at the Center for $15. Reservations for seats at the tables may be made by calling the Center at (360) 484-7103. Or "To Go Boxes" will be available so call to reserve one if you are not able to attend in person. Seating is limited, so call soon.
Car Show on the 5th: Car Show at the Fairgrounds in Skamokawa. Can't miss it if you like cars!
Photo of the week: Linda and Brian Elliott are the fifth generation of Elliotts to live in the beautifully restored and renovated Dahlia House B&B at the end of Altoona/Pillar Rock Road. I visited them last Thursday to learn more for this week's Dispatch.
In 1970, Brian inherited the house from his mom. An Elliott has always lived in the 1895 house, so Brian and Linda are keeping that tradition alive. They first moved from Cathlamet to Dahlia (name of old town there) 10 years ago. The wind blew through the old windows and walls. There was no fireplace and the floor was too far gone to save. Brian continued his work at the Wauna Mill for four more years while Linda began the work of sanding, designing, and looking for new windows and do all the prep work she could before Brian was home to help. The house was painted its same white color; a gazebo was brought from their yard in Cathlamet; a bigger bathroom was built to also serve as laundry room; a new foundation was built, and eventually two bedrooms and two bathrooms were added upstairs for guests.
They have been living there 10 years now. Their "soft" opening was in 2013, then by partnering with Air B&B, their business grew quickly. By 2019 their days were filled with guests and reservations. This year the house is open Friday through Tuesday with Wednesdays and Thursdays closed for cleaning and getting some rest. Brian is the main cook, and Linda takes care of bookings and prep work for guests. Brian said, "I like it when guests come downstairs for coffee in their PJ's and slippers early, then sit with us at the breakfast table and visit with other guests. I grew up in this house. I remember my mother always having people here and visiting with all kinds of folks. It's a good feeling to see that tradition continue."
Linda loves to talk with guests from all over the world who come to get away from the city or celebrate an anniversary or be on their honeymoon.
"At first," she remarked, "it was hard to get used to people being in the house," but clearly that has changed because one of her favorite things is having guests who have become friends come back over and over. Even the new asphalt driveway is a joy to behold. The Altoona Road has some erosion issues, and hopefully the county will be able to help work on those places along the road's edge as they are getting worse. But it doesn't stop people from traveling the 9.8 miles from the state highway to get to Dahlia House.
There are other lovely B&B's along the road now, but you can't miss Dahlia House. It has an English conservatory ordered from England (all metric). It was a challenge for Brian to build it and follow the big book of directions. It not only provides a lovely place for guests to visit, it also heats the house when the sun comes out because it is all glass. I drove out there in rain and wind and was glad to arrive. The cat welcomed me as warmly as Linda and Brian did. Since my maiden name is Elliott, it's natural for me to be there, too. I help keep the Elliott tradition alive for them. To see all the rooms, check out their web site at Dahliahouse.com.
NOTE: Since I get notices of events here and there and not always in time for the paper, I most heartily encourage everyone to read – or at least skim over – Kay Chamberlain's column. She is the queen of events and scheduling. If you truly want to be informed of everything, like the bull riding, the car show, the Whitetail Run, Bald Eagle Days, then read Kay's info. I have such admiration for her as she reminds me of Mrs. Meserve who published the Grays River Builder with reports on who went where to visit and who traveled where. Many of us depend on Facebook, but things get missed, and all I can say is, just read Kay's column as she graciously remembers us, as well as all her folks in Skamokawa. I'll put in what I hear and what folks send me, but do depend on Kay, she's the voice of all valleys in Wahkiakum County!
Word for the Week: Gratitude