Looking Towards Heaven (Pictured above is a well-loved man, named Dad and Grandpa.)
My Grandpa, Alfred Tennyson Vaughn, wrote several articles that were
published before his death July 25, 1999. We
didn't know they existed, until I did some family searching on the net
and they came up. They were published in 2000 after his death and are
no longer available/searchable. Recently, My mom gave me a stack of
Grandpa's poems. There are literally hundreds of them. In that stack
are several continuing stories about his growing up in Entiat and his
Needless to say, since I didn't know these were out there, I was in
tears when I saw them. They are a cherished gift from Grandpa, who was a
wonderful writer and poet! We love and miss you Grandpa!
You can find the first parts of these series here:
That Old House
Not all of the acts of the pioneers find their way into historical books or records. Nor is it all in the retained in the memories of those who grew up and lived in the Entiat Valley. Bits of it are lost with the passing of each generation.
Hettie Bonar Martin, who taught school in the early years, appreciated their value and spent much time to gather records and legends for posterity. Those records are preserved in the Historical museum, now located in Cashmere, Washington.
I am glad that I had the privilege of meeting many of those early pioneers because my parents came to the valley at the start of the century. While I was still young, my parents visited in the homes of those that helped build Entiat from the beginning.
Hettie Bonar Martin was active in the 1920's and in 1930's in organizing and holding annual meetings of the pioneers. She wrote many poems and songs commemorating the early days. She and others shared personal experiences with the gathering. Among her personal collector items were letters she received from President Abraham Lincoln during her first years of teaching.
Because I have been away from the valley since late 1939, when I went into the Alaska Communication Ssytem, I do not have a full recollection of it's history. However, I do want to relate some of those memories for my children and their families that maybe of interest to them.
Father sometimes related "happenings" that occurred before my arrival on the scene. During the developing years of the Northwest, lands were sold by "developers". They took prospective buyers on tours of lands available for home-steading. Sometimes, the same piece of land was shown and sold to more than one person by approaching it from different routes. Then same was true of potential mining claims. Sometimes the gullibler buyers bought property "sight unseen" because of the imaginable descriptions of the salesman.
Father bought our place from a homesteader named Bonar. It was located next to property owned by his uncle Dan and it lay along the Entiat River about ten country miles from the town of Entiat at the mouth of the river.
In those early days, the settlers depended partly on the supply of fish and wild game to supplement they could grow on their land. The Indian Tribes also hunted the same areas. One year, dad was badly injured and was unable to till the land, and barely able to care for our livestock. When Indians he had befriended heard of it, they came to our place bringing fish, bear and venison. Mother had not prepared bear meat before. The fat and gamey smell of the meat was repulsive to her; but because of the need, she used it as best she could. The venison and fish was much more enjoyed. Sometimes there were hunting accidents. Dad told of a man named Bonner, who accidentally shot and killed another hunter. He brooded over the accident so much that he lost his mind within a year.
When we boys were teens, Dad taught us how to handle rifles for target practice and for hunting.
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