Grays River Grange news

Plenty of events happening at the Grange in western Wahkiakum County.


March 14, 2024

On March 23, 7:30 p.m. Grays River Grange will host an old time movie night. “Natural Timber Country” is a 1972 film telling the story of the logging industry. We're setting up an old film projector in our hall to watch the reel of this historical documentary. Local historian Rex Ziak will lead a discussion after the screening. Popcorn and refreshments will be served. There will be no charge to watch the film.

“Natural Timber Country” was filmed by Oregon native Ron Finne and is the story of old-time logging in the forests of the Northwest. The film reel was originally available only by mail order from the director’s home in Springfield. (We’ll be watching one of these!) The film lacks a traditional narrator, instead giving us interviews with loggers taped in the field or in their homes. To help us visualize the words of the loggers, Finne edits them together with shots of the Northwestern wilderness, both in Oregon and Washington. Also featured is old footage and photographs of loggers stump-rigging trees, skidding felled logs down greased tracks, and one of the first mechanical improvements in the logging business — a steam powered engine for moving larger timber. Also recalled are stunts and jokes of the loggers, such as standing at the very tip top of a limbed and topped tree, or jumping from one log to another as they rolled down a hill. Above all, the message of the Natural Timber Country is an environmental one. As one man says at the outset of the film, “Timber all around you, you just never figure you’d use it up.”

The evening is sponsored by Rayonier. The company is in the timber business, however, their motto is “More than trees”. Check out for the various projects and endeavors of this company. Rayonier is a longtime supporter of Grays River Grange and has financially contributed to our projects; such as maintaining both Meserve and Ahlberg parks, our Grange hall, and the Grange cemetery.

Meserve and Ahlberg parks, exist for public benefit. These are private properties. The Grange is thankful to all of the community members, including Rayonier, for helping us support our properties for public enjoyment. Grays River Grange leaders recently met with County Commissioner Gene Strong and Port 2 Commissioner Austin Burkhalter to discuss how these public entities could help with the maintenance of the parks. One issue is the rising cost of insurance. The two commissioners are speaking with their respective boards about how to pitch in.

There are plans for a mini-Finn Fest this year at the end of July. Grays River is participating. We are considering a dinner in our hall and also to set up the Farmer’s Market. Darbury wants to create another tapestry show — with work not seen at her Naselle Community Center exhibit last year.

Now that the clocks have “sprung forward”, and spring is soon approaching, it is time to enjoy longer and warmer days in our beautiful part of the world. Be positive among the natural wonder. Keep connected with your family, friends and neighbors. Carry the spirit of civic participation. Let’s make 2024 a great year!


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