By Erika Kar
This mish-mash of Mazama news is coming to you live from Ventura. Not Ventura, California, but Lost River, formerly known as Ventura. The other day I ran into longtime Mazama resident, Kevin Petty, at the Mazama Store. After some general chitchat, I asked him if he had any good news that I could use for this very column.
He mentioned that he had recently learned via an old Metsker map that upper Lost River used to be known as Ventura. I figured that if Kevin hadn’t known this, perhaps there are others that also were unaware. I went home and got out my book, “Mazama: The Past 100 Years,” compiled by Doug Devin. Sure enough, Doug mentions Ventura: “Just up from Yellow Jacket Creek is an area known as Ventura, which served as a large tent city for Colonel Hart when he was building the Harts Pass Road. Speculation that a town would develop at this site was obviously quite premature, if not entirely incorrect.”
Also in Doug’s book is an illustration of the Mazama area done by none other than Eric Burr. Eric’s map also shows Ventura just down from Robinson Creek on the north side of the current road.
You may remember that I had written a couple of weeks ago that Martha Stewart did not have a home in Mazama. Maybe “It’s a good thing” Martha does not have a home here, but as Louise Stevens pointed out, there indeed was a Martha Stewart who lived in Mazama. Louise sent me a picture of the 1979 Mazama Community Cookbook which includes two recipes submitted by Martha Stewart. Upon further investigation, I found in Doug Devin’s book information and a picture of our Martha. According to Devin, Martha came to the Methow as a young girl in 1902. Much of the information that is included in the book came from Martha’s recollections.
Louise, the Mazama Community Club secretary, and June Fitzpatrick, the Mazama Community Club media manager, both emailed me to help spread the word of the campaign to Save the Historical MCC Outhouse. This little red outhouse was originally used by the school that now houses the community club. If you are interested in participating, join the Facebook group, Mazama Community Club. There you will see links to contact Louise Stevens or Midge Cross, the ladies that are spearheading this project.
If you have not joined The Mazama Community Club, it is really easy to do so. You don’t even need to leave your home. Just go to www.mazamacommunityclub.com and follow the links. You can even pay online through Paypal. I just did it and it took all of about two minutes.
Two minutes is probably how long it took to read my little mish-mash here. A couple things to note:
There is a newer version of Doug Devin’s book. It is called “Mazama: The Past 125 Years.”
Ventura is a pretty great name. Maybe someone wants to resurrect that?
One of Martha Stewart’s recipes in the Mazama Community Cookbook was for a cake that was made with a can of tomato soup and had cream cheese frosting. If you have made this, I’d sure like to know how it tasted.