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Volunteers Unearth Gems

In Gorge Heritage Museum news

With the help of our volunteers, small gems continue to appear as we redefine the inventory of the collections in the Gorge Heritage Museum.

Found in a folder this month were several pages from the Hood River Glacier of July 27, 1905, which contained articles about Amos Underwood, a picture of the nearly new Enterprise building and an item about the quality of the crop from Strawberry Mountain. Also found, with some edge tears, is a print of a 1907 photo taken from Burdoin Mountain overlooking Bingen, White Salmon and the Columbia River, an early souvenir from the White Salmon Valley Bank.

Paper items like these are being copied on archival paper, repaired or conserved to save the information they offer. It is to the credit of those "savers" of the past that items such as these are available to provide the history of West Klickitat County and surrounding area for future generations.

It is not uncommon, when an old structure is demolished, to find old newspapers that were used as insulation in the walls. Such finds may help recover a lost piece of local history, as readers who enjoy historical articles or early photos in The Enterprise will understand.

Readers should know the Museum desires to include items and photographs from current events in its collection. The new bus garage at Columbia High School, the new Bingen Fire Hall and the in-lieu site west of the Hood River bridge are good examples: we would like to have photographs of the structures and/or the sites they have replaced.

Imagine the appearance of SR 14 from Bingen to the bridge in another year. Have you recognized the remains of the 1910 County Road or the stone foundation of the Ziegler home site just east of the bridge approach? Such will be gone by next year, but the museum has photographs of these sites from earlier times, which document change in West Klickitat County.

Your snapshots or photos may be important, so please allow us to copy your photographs to preserve our history.

It is in this vein of recounting local history that the museum will offer a showing of the Myrtle Overbaugh slides of the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding area.

A one-hour presentation of her scenic slides, many taken in the 1950s from the old Columbia River Highway, have not been shown for a number of years.

This event will be at the White Salmon Valley Library at 7 p.m. on March 26 and is open to the public. There will be some "collectible" door prizes to be given to those non-members who attend.

The Gorge Heritage Museum was established in 1984 and depends on memberships and volunteers. If you wish to help, you can be an individual member for the 2003-4 year for as little as $5.

If you have information, or items to donate to the museum, you may call 493-3111 or 493-3228 to leave a message at the museum, or contact one of the board members: Judy Farrell; Herb & JoAnn Hardin; Janet Holen; Mildred Lykens; Cheryl Mack; Betty Schmid; Barbara Sexton; Terry Trantow; Margaret Walker; and Anne Ward.

An answer to last month's query about the full name of the B. & W. Club of 1936 was received from Loleta Zumwalt of Goldendale, who celebrated her 90th birthday in January. She remembers that the group started out as the Bingen and White Salmon Club. Thank you, Loleta.

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