Wednesday, November 27, 2002
Trout Lake Newswriters
Sandi Thygesen, 395-2318
Terry Scott, 395-2760
The Trout Lake Community has a history of neighbor helping neighbor. This year the Northwest Service Academy stepped in to help provide the Trout Lake Thanksgiving Feast and Potluck. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped cook the turkey, dressing mashed potatoes and gravy which make up a traditional Thanksgiving feast. This tasty dinner was served on Nov. 21, in the Trout Lake School. Families in the community provided desserts, breads, salads and side dishes. We all had a good time gathering with those we knew, meeting the new folks and eating from a delicious display of tasty foods.
Throughout our United States and Canada, Thanksgiving is a legal holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in our country and the second Monday in October in Canada. Our American holiday commemorates a harvest celebration held by the Pilgrims of Plymouth colony in 1621. (Most of us remember learning this in school.) Each year every president proclaimed the holiday, beginning with Abraham Lincoln. Finally in December 1941 a joint resolution of congress specified the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
While we are looking back have you ever wondered what precipitated the Trout Lake Fair and the Trout Lake Arts Fair? I did. So I asked the ladies who meet on Mondays and quilt. It all began in the 1960s when there were many large family dairy farms in Trout Lake. To show their cattle, the farmers needed to transport their animals to Puyallup, which took them five days total away from their farms.
In 1966, Betty Schmid and Bernice Duke asked for permission to start a Dairy Fair in August in Trout Lake so they could show their cattle in the State Fair. The cattle couldn't be shown in the State Fair unless they earned a blue ribbon in the County Fair. (At that time, the County Fair in Goldendale was held too late for this to occur.) The women were given permission and Trout Lake became the official Dairy Fair.
The first year the Dairy Fair was held at the grange. 4-H participants involved in sewing were led by Betty Schmid. The students modeled their garments inside the grange. The cows were shown outside the grange on the grounds. Bernice Duke was in charge of the 4-Hers and their animals. Local dairy farmers were judges.
Everyone had a grand time. There was a chicken chase. The chickens ran and hid under the post office. The porcupine race was wild. The participants had to wear heavy gloves and not touch the porcupines yet herd their porcupine into a circle. This and the greased pole contest gave everyone an exciting show. Chances were sold on a bull calf to earn money for the next fair. Next year, the fair was held at the old Trout Lake School. The cattle were judged on the east side of the school and the horses on the west side. Today we have the Trout Lake Fair, which consists of a parade, a cow milking contest and exhibits and booths -- all held on a Saturday.