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Help Need With Cemetery Decisions

Trout Lake News for August 18

By the

Trout Lake Newswriters

Sandi Thygesen, 395-2318

sandiray@gorge.net

Pat Arnold, 395-2233

greenpastures@gorge.net

Bonnie Reynolds, 395-2527

bonnier@gorge.net

Laurie West, 395-9330

aussie@hopdownunder.com

The Trout Lake Grange has been operating the Trout Lake Community Cemetery for many years. As you probably know, this is a beautiful, peaceful place with a strong sense of history. It really hasn't been in use for very long, probably less than 100 years, but there are many different surnames and family groups, some familiar, some not. There are several generations of some families, and just one plot for others. There are old and young, sometimes with a story on the headstone, but sometimes you just have to make up your own story to go with the dates. It's a little like looking at successive maps of land ownership. There's a rock in my front yard, probably brought by a lahars 30,000 years ago, but ownership of my place has changed hands at least four times since it was built in the early 1900s. We come and we go, individually, in pretty short time spans, but a place like the cemetery preserves part of our common memory.

The Grange is asking for help with the cemetery. Our fire chief Steve Koenig and his wife are carrying the operating responsibilities for the moment, but more help is needed. Some decisions need to be made about long-term operations and organization. For example, should the cemetery be incorporated as a non-profit, stay as it is, or become a cemetery district?

The real task is preserving and keeping this unique piece of our community. The Grange would like to find a group of people to take on this task. So far, no one has stepped forward, but we are sure you are out there. You can be new to the community or have deep roots. The qualification is that you want to help take care of the cemetery and this little piece of our history and our hearts. So call Betty Schmid and let her know you want to help.

Fair warning -- Betty and I (Pat) agreed that after Labor Day we will start calling you, if you haven't called Betty by then.

The Underwood Conservation District will be hosting informational sessions about some of their programs in late August, and everyone is invited to attend. For those that don't know, the conservation districts, along with what used to be called the Soil Conservation Service, were formed nationwide in response to the dust bowl, an environmental disaster that likely might have been avoided. Their mission is to preserve our soil and water, the basic resources upon which all our lives depend. One specific agenda item is the availability of technical assistance and cost-share funds for water quality improvement work, but the meetings are also a good chance for people to get to know the UCD and its fine work. Please join the UCD either in Trout Lake -- Aug. 25, 6-8 p.m., at the Trout Lake Grange Hall; or in White Salmon -- Aug. 31, 6-8 p.m., at the White Salmon Library. There are also meetings in Carson and North Bonneville. Call the UCD at 493-1936 for more information.

The following fair wrap-up is provided by Ray Thygesen on behalf of the Fair Board.

The 2005 Trout Lake Fair is now history. Judging from the crowds, from all the smiling faces and all the compliments the fair was an enormous success! The Fair Board, on behalf of the community, is very appreciative and thankful to all the volunteers who made our Fair successful. Thank You!

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