Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


January 12, 2023

FAFF is sponsoring the Skamokawa Swamp Opera who will be performing on Sunday, Jan. 22nd beginning at 3:00 p.m. at the Naselle Community Center. The cost will be a suggested donation of $10. Refreshments served afterwards. The group is working on a set list centered around songs by and about the people of the lower Columbia River and they will also be selling CD’s after the concert. Contact Barbara Swanson for more information: 360-484-3602.

Did you know the Naselle Clinic has 600 patients that come from all over the area? If you want to enroll as a patient at the Clinic, now is a good time to join the rest of us who are so impressed with the staff there. They are kind, responsive and professional. Currently, the Clinic is sponsoring two important free programs. First a Caregiver Support Group meets on the first Thursday of the month at the Naselle Library from 1-2. For more information, contact: or call 360.642.6330. It’s free and offers a safe place to discuss the stresses, challenges and rewards of providing care for a loved one. The second offering, also free, is a “Weigh-In” group. It is a year long group with the goal of eating healthy, being active and managing stress to lose weight and prevent disease. For more information, there will be a welcome session on Tuesday, Jan 17 from 10-11 a.m. at the Ocean Beach Hospital’s education room. For more information call Molly at 360.642.6308.

Photo of the week: Pearl Blackburn sent a photo of smiling Guatemalan girls wearing dresses made and delivered by Carol Muir from the Dress a Girl program. Pearl reports: “I have reserved the Puget Island Fire Hall meeting room for the second Saturday each month at 10:30 for the local Cathlamet Dress a Girl meetings if there is interest just let me know. We still have our Dress a Girl room at Johnson Park community center in Rosburg, WA where our dresses and donated fabric is stored. Next meeting will be Thursday, February 2, 2023. Check us out on Facebook: Dress a Girl Around the World Oregon/Washington state or check out:

Several folks have mentioned to me that they enjoyed reading about Marie Fauver in last week’s Dispatch. Here’s more from the “Water Under the Bridge” book by Ruth Busse Allingham from her chapter on Marie Klint Fauver: “There were so many fun things as well as hard times. I remember the Christmas tree lights with candles and a bucket of water nearby. I hated it when I was in high school because I had to go to the barn before I went to school. Nothing like feeling sorry for yourself. I had to find the cows in the dark with a flashlight. In the earlier years, my Dad used two coal oil lanterns which I still have. Later we had a flashlight. Seems like those cows hid on the opposite side of the twenty acres. We battled the weather and frozen cow manure in the gutters. About the time you were milking the cow, it would switch a tail in your eye with guess what?

Dad used to pack home-dried stock fish (lutefisk) and soak it in lye or stove ashes, and then he made milk gravy for it. Also in the stairway there was always a couple of little kegs of pickled herring that I would get into it and steal some. I realize now that Mom and Dad probably knew I was doing it. I had to do a lot of the outside work. George and I still laugh about an electric fence. I kept telling him, “There’s electricity in it.” He just told me I was lazy and didn’t want to work. A guy finally showed up and said, “George, the problem is you have rubber boots on and she doesn’t.” We still laugh about him trying to electrocute me. When we kids were older, we pealed cascara bark and picked blackberries to make money. When we were in high school, we babysat. My brother George worked on neighboring farms. Then he went to the woods when he was 12 years old and by not telling his own age, he got a job whistle punking. By the time he was 16 he was setting chokers.

Jim Fauver and I were married in 1950. Our daughter, Elaine was born in 1951. We bought the farm from my mother in 1955. I took care of my mother after she broke her hip in 1956 until she died in 1960. My brother married a girl from Nemah, Donna Gatens and they have a farm in Deep River, and have two grown children. My sister Kay got married and lived in Malone Creek, and then Cathlamet. Her two grown daughters live in Naselle. Kay died in November, 1992. Our daughter, Elaine married Gary Wirkkala, son of Martha and Lauri Wirkkala of Naselle and they had two grown children. Angie married Tim Calvert a local fellow and they live in Olympia. Their boy Marc died when he was 15 years old. Time marches on and things change but it is fun looking back.

Coming Events:

January 17: Naselle GRV School Board meeting at 6:30 in school library.

January 18: Senior Lunches at Rosburg Hall at noon (potluck) at noon.

January 22: Concert with Skamokawa Swamp Opera at 3 at Naselle Community Center sponsored by the Finnish American Folk Festival (FAFF) at 3.

February 2: Caregiver Support Group at Naselle Library with Ocean Beach Hospital staff 1-2

Wednesdays in Grays River: AA meeting at noon at Grange.

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

NOTE: The deadlines for The Eagle are now on Mondays at 5. Get notices of coming events to me by noon so I can get them in the next Eagle.


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