Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle

One week from today, August 25, will be September 1 and the first day of school for students at Naselle/GRV school. It’s been a short summer for many of us because it seemed summer didn’t truly start till mid-July. The helianthus and dahlias are blooming so that’s a sign of late summer.

Photo of the Week: As I left Finn Fest, I stopped to take a photo of Valley Bible Church’s flags on their sign. I have seen both flags, our national flag and the flag of Finland, several times hanging there. This time was different for me. The sign for the church, the United States flag, and the Finnish flag, both moving in the wind, the beautiful blue sky, which you might not see in The Eagle photo, impacted me as never before. Together, it represents our area so well. We are a proud community of American citizens, believers who hold God close to ourselves and our families, and we share and live out Finnish traditions, whether we are Finnish or not. Many of us are descendants of other Scandinavian countries, but we’re all value driven by common beliefs in hard work, family as the central core of our lives and service to others as a way of life. Not every person may agree with me, but that’s ok. I truly love seeing this image. Like the Finnish costumes, this sign and the flags describe so well who we are. I hope Valley Bible will continue to fly the freedom flags for us to remind us of all we hold dear in our little corner on the Columbia. And to say a prayer of gratitude.

School News: I hope all the kids are excited about school. They get to meet their teachers and see all their friends again. Our area is blessed to have such a good school and teachers. The good news for this school year is that masks will not be required. This is great, not only for the students, but for the teachers and administration. The best part is that everyone will be able to see their smiles now. The report from administration is that they were able to keep teachers employed so even with the closing of the Youth Camp, no teachers had to leave. Hopefully there will be news coming about the future of the camp before the end of the year. Both football and volleyball teams are already practicing for the fall sports season.

Rosburg Store: The Rosburg Store news is that it appears to be in the process of being purchased, which as you can imagine takes time to work through, but I am thinking it may have a future again soon. Most of us miss it when it’s closed, so here’s hoping there’s more to the story.

Halo TV: Wahkiakum West’s new TV company is now up and running, so anyone who wants to switch to their new service can call Wahkiakum West to sign up. Halo replaces Direct TV or Dish TV. I have chosen Halo’s Basic Plan which includes channels from Portland, as well as others, for $50 per month. The plan that offers more channels is more expensive, of course. This service replaces cable or satellite TV. It is a private video network and is a nice option since many of us already have streaming apps for our programming. Call Wahkiakum West if you want more info and to sign up at (360) 465-2211. Reminder, Halo will include a local channel with local programming. The interviews I’ve been doing for “Take a Break with Karen,” will be up soon featuring a monthly interview that will be shown several times over the month. The local channel can also feature information about events, advertising for local businesses and hopefully, some school programs as well.

Frank Oman: Lately, I’ve been reading from “Glimpses of the Past: Oral Histories of Naselle” by Ruth Busse Allingham. Chapter 15 on Frank Oman. Frank’s story is long, but full of fun and good information. In 1996 or so, Ruth interviewed him when he was 91 and bright as a penny. His main topic was splash dam logging, but his childhood stories are wonderful. His father came from Sweden and his mother from Lapland. His mother came to Astoria and worked at a boarding house for $12 a month. She bought the boarding house, met Frank’s dad there, and they got married. His dad was a fisherman as all Swedes were. He was planning to build fish traps at Chinook. In the fall of 1880, they came to Washington. One boat was going to Knappton and one to Chinook. Frank said, “Dad wanted to go on the boat that went to Chinook, but my mother got him on the boat that went to Knappton. She was more interested in buying land. The fishing trap business meant you might catch, and you might not. She had that in mind. They came to Naselle and bought their land from Ike Lane, a rich bachelor from New York. They bought part of his homestead. Otto Hills’ folks did, we did and so did the Simmonses and the Hundises. We had 400 acres and at times, we milked 24 head of Jersey cows. We cleared it ourselves. Helwig’s Tavern was in our pasture.” Keith Metcalf told me that Helwig’s Tavern is now Hunter’s Inn. The Oman’s pasture included the Hardware Store and Real Estate building, and of course, the Appelo Archives building which used to be the big Appelo Store.


August 25-27: Salmon Derby in Cathlamet.

September 1: Naselle GRV School’s first day of the school year.

September 5: Labor Day holiday.

September 7: Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall (Wednesday group).

September 9-11: Farm to Fiber Festival at the County Fairgrounds in Skamokawa. Times: 9-5 on Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday. For more information, call (360) 703 7291 or (360) 904-6065.

September 20: Naselle/GRV School Board meeting at 6:30.

September 22: Fall equinox.

October 1: 4-H Covered Bridge Dinner at 4:30. Get tickets soon.

October 1: Loggers Reunion at Appelo Archives Center at 11 a.m.

CAP/Thursday Senior Lunches at noon are now inside Rosburg Hall.

Word for the week: Integrity


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