The Daily Chronicle from Centralia, Washington on July 1, 1976 · Page 31
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The Daily Chronicle from Centralia, Washington · Page 31

Centralia, Washington
Issue Date:
Thursday, July 1, 1976
Page 31
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The Daily Chronicle. Bicentennial Edition, July, 1976 C-11 A mossy rock was namesake for central Lewis County town KNOWN AS "The Oiurch on the Rank." it served as a meeting ploce for people of ihe Ajlune-Mossyrockorea in the early 1900s. The old church house, which Sill Sands today along the Jarvis Rood between Ajlune and Wossyrock, gol its name from the plank-covered rood nearby, the main highway at that time. S.H. Auvil, pictured about 1920, was a Baptist preacher who "brought his family from West Virginia in the early 1900s. Hi* sermons were delivered regularly at "The Oiurch on ihe Plonk" foryeors. Ta/e of kneeling cornels gave A/June ffs name The community which today is Ajlune was named in 1914 by G. Ghosn who immigrated to this country from Lebanon in 1905. He established a store at Ajlune and obtained the first post office there June 29ofthatyear. The history of Ajlune, which is also a city in Chora's native Lebanon, dates back considerably farther than 1914. The name was derived, according to myth, from the year 1» B.C. when the Mother of Gods appeared in a dream to Ptolimis the Fifth, King of Egypt, who at the time was ruler of the Lebanese territory. According to the legend, the king dreamed he was to take a camel into the desert, decked out in jewels and fineries. When and wherever the camel knelt, a temple was to be erected. Since the king had six sons, the camel was to kneel six times. Plolimis paid no attention to the dream at first, but after the dream occurred a second and third time he called together his princes and told them. The decision was made to gather an army. The army, together with a camel properly attired, went forth into the desert. The camel fulfilled its role by kneeling six times and six temples were erected. One is still standing and still bears the original Dame, Ajlune. It was earned for one of the king's sons and is one of the oldest Christian churches still located there in Ajlune, Lebanon. The town of Mossyrock is central Lewis County was apparently Darned after» ciossy rock or ledge oa a hillside at the east end of Klickitat Prairie. The first white settler on the prairie, named by the Klickitat Indians, was Henry Bucie, also spelled Bucey and Busie. Bucie located a donation land claim on the west end of the prairie io about 1852. About the same time, a man tamed Mitchell settled on a claim at the east end of the prairie, part of which is now the present townsite of Mossyrock. Under the U.S. Donation Land Act, homesteaders were permitted to stake a claim of 640 acres (a section) for a married man, or 320 acres for a single man. Some say a man by the name of Halland named Mossyrock in 1852. OMtimers have disputed this, however, saying Halland did not arrive in the area until about 1865 or 1867, and that he was tie first postmaster for the comm-jaity. Other settlers came to the prairie following the Civil War, including the four Berry' brothers, the Hendricks, the Dosses and the Millers. Bucie and Mitchell were the first known white settlers in the valley and reached their claims by a trail from a trading post on the Cowliti River Prairie to a point near the mouth of the Tilton River. There they found a wide, shallow riffle in the CowliU by which they were able to ford the river. That brought them to the bottom of the steep hil] which is a short distance below the present state Salmon Hatchery'- Climbing the hfl], they came upon the western edge of Klickilat Prairie. In the winter of 1879-80, the first bridge was built across the Cowlitz River at Mayfield. The wagoa road which crossed the bridge, one old settler remarked, "was a purty good road because there was only one mudhole but that began at Mossyrock and ended at the Chehalis depot." The puncheon road that came later is now the White Pass Highway. One of the Berry' brothers, Capt. James Berry, settled on part of what was later the Birley place. He was a surveyor and was a successful bidder on government contracts for surveying public land in the valiey, where he eventually did most of the survey work. Up to this time, the settlers had been allowed to stake their claims at will but DOW they were req-jired to conform to the ne» survey lines. After the bridge was constructed at Mayfield, many homesteaders came to the area who were called "brush settlers" because they took out claims in the brush or timber. Early post office records indicate Mossyrock's office was officially established March 15. 1875, by Laurie Winston. As the position cf postmaster changed hands often, the post office was at numerous locations as it was generally located in the home or business of the new postmaster. Atone time, before the post office was moved into its own building in the mid 1930s, it was attached as a lean-to on aa existing building. The present Mossyrock Post Office is on the south side of Main Street only a few yards from several of the earlier locations. The first post office established en the upper Co»flu, Mossyrock first received mail from the outside on a Iri-veeUy basis from Napavine. An anticipated railroad to Mossyrock never materialized so early carriers rode horseback over crude trails and ferried across the CowliU at Mayfield. Daily service was finally granted in 1892 between Winlock and Mossyrock. Later service included two star routes from Morton, one of which was discontinued in 1SS3 with the demise of a sta ge line due to d w ind lin g p a trona ge. As the town of Mossyrock grew, so also grew the realization that progress costs money. Modern utilities were desired. ; The best way to attain these dreams seemed through incorporation as a city. Early in 1*1 r, investigation of the legal processes for this action were begun. Six community leaders appeared before the Lewis County commissioners with a statement signed by 6S peop.'e asking for incorporation. These men were Lewis Duncan, William F. Snw, Ed Goodrick, Lowell J. Redmon, Uoyd F. Carson and Fred Leslie. An election was held Dec. 2,1948, for a vote on the proposed incorporation and dec lion of city officials. The economic base of the community has changed over the years. Productive tie and sawmills which dotted nearby hills for many years have been replaced by berry, dairy and beef farms in tLe valley. Today, Mossyrock is a town of about 450 residents. In addition to a school and post office, the town has two restaurants, a motel, thre« grocery' stores, two service stations, a building supply store, a hardware store and a beauty shop. Swofford Volley, near Moss/rock, once had post office, drug store The Swofford Valley, a Central Lewis County farm community about four miles to the southeast of Mossyrock, was named for the Thomas Swofford family. Tom F. Swofford migrated to the valley that bears his name in 1887, purchasing 160 acres in the center of the x valley. He came from Desota, 111., with his wife, Jennie, his son, Harry, and daughter. Henrietta. They had operated a store in Illinois and arrived here with the Fay Harrington family. Swoffcrd established the first post officeanddrugsloreinSwoffordin 1890. The Swoffords, and other pioneers in the valley, which is mostly flooded now by a fish rearing pond, raised vegetables and hogs, driving them to market in Chehalis. The round trip over the dirt road, across the wood bridge at Mayfield and across the Cowlitz Prairie took a week. Tom Swofford later moved to Mossyrock where he died. His son Harry, attended the University of Washington, married Susan Hendricks and moved to Chehalis in 1905, their permanent home. Harry served as Lewis County Auditor (or a time, as state representative and later as a state senator. He and Susan both died in 1970. July 4th feted in 1901 in Swofford In June of 1901, the citizens of Swofford met at the Sulphur Creek School house and started the ball rolling for the grand celebration they eipected to have July Fourth. The meeting Saturday was well ai- tended and was called to order by Harry Swfford, after which A.G. Stinson was elected chairman. The following committees were appointed: Harry Swofford. John Kelly, O.K. Jordan, Bob McMurray and John Doss, speaker's committee; Miss Henderson, C.N. Jordan, Miss Estell Hipp, and Mrs. Nannie Young, music committee; George Schoonover, Jessie Baugh, Miss Marie Swofford, Miss Nina Stinsoo, Miss Liza Riffe and Jim Shacer, decoration committee. Others appointed to committees were Mack Hunt, Ed Hipp, Jessie Baugh, Manue! Belcher, and Mrs. Bob McMurray, soliciting committee; Johy Kelley, Tom Jordan, and Miss Verne Riffe, reception committee; Mrs. Jennie Swofford, Mrs. Kelley. Mrs. Cotwe'J, Mrs. Fay Harrington and Mrs. Wilson, table committee; and Tale McMahan, Perry Adkins, George Schoonover, Asa Swigart and Arthur Barley, sports committee. It was decided to iix all gentlemen who put up a stand of any kind £.50 help pay the expenses. Family albums provide history of Mossyrock Memories From Family Albums, a history of the Mossyrock area compiled by the Mossyrock Grange Historical Committee, is selling well but there are still copies available. The 475-page history was published in early May in loose-leaf form with red plastic covers. The binding is easily disassembled so that those who par- chase the history can add additional pages if they wish. "Frequently we heard the comment, 'We should write the history of the area before the old timers are all gone,'" said Marjorie Aldrich, chairman of the historical committee. The Grange com m ittee accepted the challenge. The geographic area covered ia the history includes Salknm, Silver Creek, Harmony, Mayfield, Winston Creek, Salmon Creek, Mossyrock, Ajlane, Swofford, Green Mountain, Riffe and Nesika. Some of these communities no longer exist as they were covered by reservoirs behind Mayfield or Mossyrock Dams. In addition to family histories, the book includes articles on agriculture and industry, schools, post offices, the hydroelectric projects, cemeteries, Mossyrock's community celebration and area telephone companies. The members of the historical committee, in addition to Mrs. Aldrich, include Doris Myers, lillie Clowe and Marilyn Annit. The photos ia the history were reproduced by Earl Clowe. Typist was Joan Bud ai. The history can be obtained from any of the committee members or by ordering them through Pinter's Store ia Mossyrock. Copies are priced at $8 each and 1,000 were printed. The history has been sent to people as far away as California and Oregon, Mrs. Aldrich said. A BICENTENNIAL SALUTE FROM MOSSYROCK CINEBAR SALKUM Walville Irked assessors Walville, a former lumber town straddling the Lewis-Pacific County line, was once a troublesome spot for the county assessors of the two counties. The county line dividing tie two comities went through the center of the community ind even divided a large sawmill. The name WaMle came from the two owners of the sawmill who were Walworth and Neville. They tool the first part of ooe of their names and last part of the other owner's name to create a new name which was given to the town and post office established ia 1903. Wild cattle in Chehalis An item in a pioneer Chehalis newspaper, printed in 1X92, told of a herd of wild cattle that had been roaming around this a rta for several d ays. The cattle bad ooce belonged to a troop ol soldiers who were stationed in Cbehalis valley. When the military post was abandoned, the soldiers left cattle, post and an. The newspaper iletc said the soldiers were stationed in the Chehalis valley some lime before toe arrival of the first white settlers. Before that time, the plant was much smaller and went under the name of Rock Creek Lumber Company, the owners at various times being F.B. Hnbbard and Charles Gflchrist, of Centralia. W.C. Miles, who later started a sawmill at Globe, and then the Me- Cormick Lumber Co., which had a mill two nfles further down Rock Creek. The county assessors were not the only ones that had troubles in Walville. The town had to have a Lewis County schcolbocse as well as oce for Pacific County. The story is told of oc* borne that housed two school youngsters. The county line cut through the house so one bedroom was ia Lewis County and the other bedroom in Pacific County. As a result, one boy went to school in Lewis Coonty wMe his little sister had to go to the Pacific County school. Around 19J5, many of the large sawmills had financial difficulties. The large mill in Walville closed then. A half- dozen of the original homes are stfll standing. The post office has been closed and patrons served on Pe Ell star route. The school problem was solved nicely, too, throsga coascWatJoo with youngsters on both sides of the cconty line in the area now attending Pe EU schools. KEEN HOWARDS, m, "We Like To Help You Build Mossyrock Centralia 983-2633 736-7692 McDaniel Telephone Co. Serving Central Lewis County BERNARD'S SERVICE Expert Lube Service Tires, Batteries, Tire Studding Propone and Ice for Campers SALKUM-985-4431 Valley Construction Co. MELVIN ULERY Complete Service · Residential and Commercial Buildings, New Work, Repoir*, Concrete Work CINEBAR-985-2176 E J GROCERY Mossyrock 985-2233 CHRISTINE'S STYLING Open Tuesday - Saturday Mossyrock 983-2625 STAN'S AUTO SERVICE Complete Automotive Service Tune Ups · Major Overhauls Auto Electric Service · Auto Parts Stanley Baron, Owner Mossyrock - 983-2485 MOSSYROCK ARCHERY OLLIES FABRICS Monday Ihru Saturday 9-7 Sunday 12-6 Mossyrock 983-3461 MYERS TEXACO General Auto Repair Mossyrock - 983-2623 RASMUSSEN REALTY P.O. BOX 98 SALKUM, WASH. 98582 985-5370 BIRLEY PETROLEUM PRODUCTS Richard Birley Mossyrock 983-2023-983-2028

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