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Friday, March 18, 2016

Neighbors of the Valley

Looking Towards Heaven (Pictured above is a well-loved man, named Dad and Grandpa.)

**Note** 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 family

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:
Entiat #1
Entiat #2
Entiat #3
Entiat #4
Entiat #5
Entiat #6 
That Old House 
Entiat Pioneers 
The Newcomer

     After fifty years away from the Entiat Valley, it is hard to recall exactly the names of those who called it home up to that time.  The homes were about a quarter to one mile apart.
      The road progressively extended from the old townsite on the river bank about one half mile upstream from the mouth of the Entiat. Bult by the settlers, the roads were barely adequate for the small wagons used to bring supplies from the nearest store.  Some settlers set up small stores along the way to tide them and neighbors over times of bad storms.
     Few Bridges were built across the river, so places the road hugged the hillsides past the river bends.  Most of the early homes were log cabins built from the abundant supply of pines, firs and cedars on the flats that alternated from one river bend to the next.  our home was ten miles from Entiat.
     I recall the names of some of those who lived beyond us. I believe the Burns family were near the upper end.  I also remember the Deckers, whose homestead was up there.  Split rail fences lined their property for miles.  Then there was Johnny Mott and wife who not only farmed but also were known as the "purveyor of exotic beverages" during the prohibition years.
      Another family were the Bill Roundy's.  Bill carried mail from the Entiat Post office to the end of the rod until the 1920's, when Riley Albin took over.  I remember folks saying that when Bill's horse stopped at each mail box, Bill woke up, tossed the mail into the box, then went on to the next.  The Brief post office was located not far from Roundy's.  There was also a small one room school there.  Several other families lived near Brief.
     I believe William McKenzie homesteaded that location.  The McKenzies, a Scottish family, were from Canada.  My folks enjoyed visiting with them; especially my mother, who was descended from a Scottish family in Ohio.  It was said that Mother spoke with the Scottish Burr when there.
     Will McKenzie's son, Jim became a ranger for the Forest Service at Stelico Ranger Station near our home.  Another son, William, was known as Billy.  The family told about Billy's first deer hunt with his father.  When they saw a large buck nearby, Billy was given the first shot.  Billy just stood there shaking all over saying "If I only had an, old rope!"  Then his father said "What's the matter with your gun, Billy?"  Then the buck slowly walked out of sight.
     Billy's sister, Elizabeth married Bert Bonar, who also had a homestead near us (nfrom whom my father bought his place nearby.)  They had four boys, Ralph, Lynn, Gordon & Bert, known as Brick because of his red hair.
     Below Brief, a large canyon called Muddy Creek, merged with the Entiat.  Charlie Harris, built a sawmill about three miles up the Muddy Creek.  A one lane roadway clung to the hillsides down to the Entiat Valley Road.  There were a few wide spots, called turnouts, along the way for those brave enough to venture their way to the mill.  I remember some of the earliest logging trucks, Old Macks with hard tires that rolled down the road without stopping, because brakes were not capable of stopping with heavy loads.  Most of the mill workers came from the families that lived on the Entiat. 

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