Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle

From Nick Nikkila on Facebook:

"Far and Wide" has now compiled a list of "America's Coolest Small Towns by State."

'For the state of Washington, it must have been a difficult decision with Deep River in the running, but Friday Harbor, established in 1909 with a population of 2,747 was selected. The town's description was given as: Washington State's best-kept secret is its San Juan Island archipelago. Waters filled with orcas, seals and sea lions surround charming islands brimming with cuteness in boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. Friday Harbor, located on San Juan Island, is the commercial center of the islands. From here, visitors can depart upon sea and land adventures, including visits to the Whale Museum and the San Juan Islands Museum to learn more about this blissful spot on earth."

I imagine Deep River was high on the raters' list and can envision the description they might have pondered. The town of Deep River established circa 1870, population eight to fifteen (depending on how many people actually live in Gloria's house) is located at the north end of the main channel of Deep River. It's a feast for the eyes as visitors slowly cruise the one and only street exclaiming, "Oh, look at that small pile of lumber in the brush. That used to be where the doctor came every few weeks so people could get checkups. Oh, look back that way. That pile of lumber used to be a house where the famous Appelo family resided. See that flat area on the bank? That was the site of the Appelo Store. It had a quaint little toilet on a platform where people could poop in the river. You just don't see things like that anymore. With a pool hall, a hotel and a movie theater this was quite a town in its day and a perfect example of how nature in the Northwest is able to quickly restore itself. Lucky visitors with perfect timing will be amazed at the sight of water running over the street carrying someone's firewood out to sea. Deep River should be on everyone's bucket list. Just make sure the bucket is empty so it can serve to help bail."

I read that and burst out laughing. Good job, Nick! The Deep River Church was dedicated last Sunday with a lovely service of prayer and gratitude. Folks wore their native costumes and those who helped restore the little building were honored. On December 3, the Deep River Church will offer its annual Christmas Service at 1 p.m. For two years, covid kept the doors closed at Christmas, but I'm sure all of us will be happy to be together again for the annual gathering in our own "Little Church in the Wildwood." A tour of homes will follow with a soup supper to end the afternoon. Thanks, Eva Malerich, for putting the event together.

On Facebook, Ron Forberg posted an old Grays River town photo showing the Appelo Store. At the time it burned, it was full of historical inventory such as old shoes. I often wonder what those shoes looked like and how old they were. Ron said, "Grays River, Just a Wide Spot on Wash State HWY 4 showing: Appelo's Shopping Center; Tony's Barber Shop; Valley Tavern; Methodist Church and Parsonage; Western Wahkiakum Telephone Office; Axmaker's 76 union; PUD Office; Darigold Creamery; Grain Building; GRV Grange Hall; a half dozen private homes; Post Office attached to Ken Jean Calhoun's home; Ervie Holden's two little shacks and Gaten's Market was all there was to the little town of the mid-1950's many remember as home. A comment from Darrell Sorenson to add to Ron's list: "Add the county electric company, it was next to the creamery and a nice little church next to Appelo's."

Dale Rose is one man who brings many memories to our minds. He is currently in the hospital and I hope we will all remember him in our prayers. He is doing ok. I am sure he would appreciate us holding him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

On October 9, on KMUN public radio, Cathlamet's own Dayle Olson will interview local historian, Irene Martin, on the River Writer's program at 9 a.m. Irene has a new reprint of one of her earlier books, "Storm Damage, Sad Years and Glad Years," available at Redmen Hall in Skamokawa and soon I hope, at the Tsuga Gallery in Cathlamet.

Photo of the Week: When driving through our area on SR 4, we have all seen the two old RV's dumped along the highway, one near the Rosburg Store and one at the top of Salmi Hill.

Last Friday or Saturday night, someone torched them both and they burned down to nothing but metal. I contacted the Sheriff's Office to see what they could tell me. I learned it's a State highway, thus the State patrol's issue. The name of person or persons who set them alight is unknown, but the fires are being investigated. The mess left behind will, I assume, be easier to dispose of than before they were burned.

Calendar of Events:

Mondays/Wednesdays: Balance Class at Naselle Community Center 2-3.

Tuesdays: Naselle Lutheran Church sponsors morning quilters and knitters in afternoons.

Second Tuesday: Johnson Park Board meeting at 10.

Second Tuesday: American Legion meets at 6 at Rosburg Hall.

Third Tuesday: Naselle Grays River School Board meets at 6:30 in school library.

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

First and third Wednesdays in October: Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall at noon. 4 th and 18 th .

Thursdays: CAP Senior Lunches are located at Rosburg Hall at noon on 1 st and 3 rd Wednesdays.

October 8: Carl Wirkkala with Whistle Punks at Naselle Community Center at 4.

October 14: Bingo at Rosburg Hall.

October 17: Naselle GRV School Board meets at 6:30 in school library.

October 28: Annual Christmas Bazaar at Rosburg Hall supporting Rosburg Community Club.

October 28: Halloween Celebration at Naselle Community Center. More info coming.

November 4: Appelo Archives' Harvest Auction and Dinner at Rosburg Hall at 5.

November 5: Krist Novoselic and Jennifer Goodenburger at Naselle Community Center at 4.

Words for the Week: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


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