Friday, August 5, 2011

Off to Historic Rosyln, WA

interesting building in Roslyn, WA
We had some grocery shopping to do today but when we spotted a Chamber of Commerce little building on our way into the town of Cle Elum, we stopped to see if there was anything going to be happening in town this weekend--a festival maybe? We LOVE those books that say, "101 Things to Do in ________". We found out that after three major festivals three weekends in a row, this weekend was going to be a slow weekend. Well, not really, my brother is getting  married, but until Saturday, we thought we might find a farmer's market or something else to pique our interest. The lady at the Chamber said be sure to check out Roslyn, the location for the TV series years ago called Northern Exposures. I never saw that series but once or twice, but we thought we'd go see the town anyway...It used to be a big mining town in its day.....

What a great little town! It's what I call a REAL town, not the full of tourist stuff that overwhelms the senses, costs an arm and a leg, and it all comes from China. No, siree...this an old coal mining town with LOTS of history, a cool little museum, and 26 separate cemeteries that tell the history of America repeated all over small towns, here in the small town of Roslyn--the coming of immigrants to work the mines, and the mining disasters that foretold the end of mining for this town in the 1960's. Even the deceased residents have stories to tell in the cemeteries. Their stories are in the monuments and headstones and the variations in the artwork on the headstones. The language and the symbols used (like a lamb to symbolize innocence), the way the plots are shaped and organized tells the customs of the town's residents. Many of the individual plots are raised above the earth with concrete or stone borders to separate the sacred grounds from the more earthly surroundings. So we walked around the 26 cemeteries a little bit to see some of the history of the town from a different perspective.

We talked to a couple of old timers in the museum, and they had some interesting stories....One was that this town was the location for a badly made movie called "Joyride" made in 1977, starring the sons of Desi Arnaz, and the daughters of Tippi Hedren and June Lockhart. Apparently, after the cast left town, checks bounced all over the place!

Another story told to us was that a man named Tony worked in the mines for eleven months at the back breaking job of coal loader before anyone found out that the guy was really a 19 year old girl named Gloria! They found out one night after "he" had been drinking in a tavern with the guys and went to use the ladies room!..Newspaper clippings were posted about this feisty gal..(It was a state law at the time that a woman could not work in the mines.) There were tons of really great items in the museum and we spent quite a bit of time looking at all the interesting stuff. Something that caught my eye was an electric curling machine designed to give gals in the twenties a "bob" if they didn't have naturally wavy hair. A photo of Miss America in 1926 in the chair getting her hair curled said that she had to endure the procedure for 12 hours to get "the look" in that day!  (Remember those smelly home perms, gals?) We learned that "your number's up" came from the miners who hung their tags every day on a board as they went down into the mines. If your tag was left on the board at the end of the shift, that was not a good sign!

Number 9 mine entrance on the winery grounds
We learned a lot about the mines, the men who worked there, how dangerous it was, the equipment they used, the explosions, the history.....We took some photos of the buildings in town, not knowing which ones were on the TV show, but maybe somebody who watched a lot of that show, will recognize some of them. You can see the mine entrances at a beautiful resort area called Suncadia. That is an amazing resort! Miles of hiking/bike trails in the forest, homes, condos, lodge, restaurants, golf, etc. The entrance to the number 9 mine is there on the resort grounds at the Swiftwater Winery. That's another place we stopped in and looked at. There's a beautiful restaurant at the winery as well, but we didn't sample the menu, just checked out the beautiful facilities there.....

After the trip to Roslyn, back home again to head over to the cabin for preparations for Charlie's wedding. I worked on cleaning it inside from top to bottom and then hung curtain rods and curtains. They did a great job refurbishing the trailer--all original woodwork and appliances except for a couple of storage bins and a new fridge. Charlie had it sandblasted and repainted on the outside and here it is...waiting for some homey touches!

Here is the infamous little trailer, about finished with the inside touches, the Aloha trailer that's going to be Charlie's honeymoon suite. It was originally made in Beaverton, Oregon.  I'm gonna call it "The Love Bug".
It was fun fixing it up for them! I'm going to get a table runner or mats today, get some flowers, some wine and glasses and put the final finishing touches on the "Love Bug" today. The wedding is tomorrow, but family is coming in tonight and we're all going to have dinner at the cabin tonight! The weather is going to be great for an outdoor wedding and the cabin (Charlie and Kris's friend loaned them the use of the cabin for the weekend) is GORGEOUS! The wedding will take place at the river's edge.....It's gonna be a GREAT day!  See you Saturday at the wedding! (Might not be a blog published till Sunday morning if we are enjoying ourselves late into the evening!)


  1. Good post. Roslyn will be on our list of places to see if we ever get up that way.

  2. The Love Bug is definitely as cute as a bug!!
    I'll bet they will have a GREAT time in her.

    I used to LOVE Northern Exposure. One of the few series I ever actually watched on TV. The stories you heard in Roslyn there were terrific.
    I had no idea about "your number's up".