By Joanna Bastian
After a column requesting information about Helen Louise Martin, I received a wonderful number of emails from genealogists around the Methow Valley. Everyone directed me to the website, FindAGrave.com. An entry for Helen Louise Martin contains a photo of a similar headstone, with one minor difference: the date of death. The error on the found headstone made it inappropriate for her gravesite at Beaver Creek Cemetery.
I imagine it is difficult to recycle headstones. I can understand why her friend, Willard Brooks, kept the headstone engraved with his friend’s name, but the wrong date, at his home in Twisp.
Helen’s obituary was published in the Methow Valley News on Feb. 21, 2001. The entry describes a person I’d like to get to know. She was born in Wyoming, and moved to Washington state in the 1960s.
Reading all your emails got me thinking about other emails readers sent throughout the year. I’d like to share a few, edited for space, from the mailbag:
Dear Joanna: What would be the flavor of a Lower Valley Turkish Delight candy? Signed, Curious in the Met-Low.
Dear Curious Candy: Good question! Given the number of apple orchards, and abandoned mineshafts used as distilleries, I think the Lower Valley version of a Turkish delight would be “Apple Moonshine.” If anyone has other suggestions, or a tried and true recipe, send it on over and I’ll share it with readers!
Dear Joanna: Is Foggy Dew Trail open for hiking? Signed, Cabin Fever in the Month of March.
Dear Cabin Fever: I’ve heard it said that everything is within walking distance, depending on how far you want to walk. In this case, “walking” distance becomes “skiing” distance. I suppose Foggy Dew Trail might be open if you skied from Gold Creek Road. The road to Foggy Dew is not plowed or groomed. If you prefer a snow-free trail, best wait until July.
Dear Joanna: I stumbled on your piece on Hyas Pretty this evening, and felt compelled to write. Jim Robinson was my grandfather, and there are numerous stories about him and his brother Tom. Alfred Smith was highly regarded by the Robinsons. There is a story about a wolverine which had been caught in Smith’s trap but it retired to a den, dragging the trap with him. Smith went into the wolverine den with a gun, and came out with his trap and the wolverine! In any event, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed being reminded of this little bit of family history. Signed, Jim Robinson’s grandson, Stephen Drummond.
Dear Stephen: Thank you for sharing your family history! The best tales about wolverines are the ones where everyone survives with their face intact.
Dear Joanna: How old are you? Signed, Collector of Random Facts.
Dear Collector: I’m as old as my tongue, and a little bit older than my teeth. Happy Holidays!