By Sarah Schrock
Some of the mystery has been solved. Last week, I wrote about a business card depicting a parlor house run by a S. Virginia Moore in Twisp in the 1920s in hopes of information into this piece of history. Nora McCloy and Anita Lince-Maling contacted me to let me know that in fact the business card was for the establishment we now know as our beloved Methow Valley Inn.
Once known as the Moore Hotel, the historic inn was operated by Sally Virginia Moore.
It turns out Anita Maling, born Lince, grew up in the valley and has a particular interest in this story as she is writing a biography of S. Virginia Moore. Moore was widowed in 1903 and left alone with a young infant on a rugged wilderness ranch known as Rockview Ranch near the present day Big Valley.
Sally Virginia Moore needed a means of survival. To get by in the Wild West, women had few options. So in 1912 she moved to Twisp and built the Moore Hotel, which was said to be a classy place prior to it falling into the hands of later proprietors who tainted its reputation as brothel. According to Anita, Virginia Moore was a socialite, an artist who married at the age of 30 to a man from Chicago who had an interest in the Slate Peak Mine.
Anita has been researching the life of this mysterious, courageous woman and would appreciate any more information that valley residents might have related to her life. Please contact Anita Maling at firstname.lastname@example.org with any more information regarding the life Sally Virginia Moore or the Rockview Ranch, where she was lived prior to moving to Twisp.
The valley has never been shy of courageous women who fearlessly follow a path of their own. Lisa Baldwin, a member of the Calvary Chapel here in Twisp, recently returned from Germany where she spent three weeks grappling to understand and assist in the chaotic influx of Syrian refugees to Europe. Baldwin is an English-as-second-language teacher who felt her skills could be of use.
Drawn by a long calling that began as a young girl to be of aid to the myriad of refugee crises across the globe, the images that became viral last year of Syrians crossing the Mediterranean and flooding into Europe struck a chord in her. Through months of networking, emails, conversations with friends in Europe, Lisa packed up her bags in August and headed to an international conference in Austria for missionaries working on the refugee crisis. Lisa studied some Arabic in college and had lived in the Middle East earlier in life. She felt her experience with Muslim culture along with her solid foundation in teaching English could help bridge some cultural barriers and allow the process of humanity unfold.
With an open heart and no agenda other than to be of help, Lisa found her way to a small town south of Frankfurt where she spent a week in an old three-story post office that is now home to about 100 Syrian refugees, some nine to a room. Many families are separated from loved ones who didn’t make it out, or only made as far as Turkey or Greece.
Lisa describes her experience as humbling, because despite the trauma, displacement, and loss, the people she met shared their hospitality as if they were still in the comfort of their homes. After English instruction activities during the day, Lisa would join in coffee and tea with families to hear their stories in the evening. In a language triangle that bounced between German-English-Arabic stories began to unfold.
Lisa will be sharing some of these stories and her experience in an informal talk at Calvary Chapel on Thursday (Sept. 15) following a church potluck at 7:15 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend both the potluck and talk. She is also working on a larger public presentation to be delivered later in January. Her hope is that Americans will begin to shed the fear associated with the influx of Muslim refugees and begin to see them as the people they are: people just like us.