Just as this year’s Washington apple crop is shaping up to be the second most productive season on record, a new Washington Rural Heritage collection documents our state’s long history of agricultural abundance in the heart of apple-growing country. The Foodways & Byways of North Central Washington Collection illustrates how the production, acquisition, and distribution of local food has played a central role in the history and development of North Central Washington.
For its 2011-2012 LSTA grant project, the North Central Regional Library (with a service area comprising one quarter of Washington State’s geography) partnered with the Wenatchee-based Initiative for Rural Innovation and Stewardship (IRIS). The partnership hosted five community-based digitization events at NCRL branches in early 2012, where more than 100 historic photographs from private collections and local historical societies were digitized for the collection. Bringing together a wealth of unique material from Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, and Okanogan counties, the collection topics range from hunting & fishing, to the fruit and grain industries, to herding and range management.
- Apple orchard and packing shed photos from Manson, Washington, including the undeniably iconic photo shown above as well as another great image of the same apple picker taken that year.
- 1940s and 1950s-era photos of camping and fishing Lake Curlew in Ferry County. The trout fishing looks to have been excellent, not to mention the porcupine hunting (note: pan to the bottom of this image to see ‘Madilane and her porcupine, 1958’).
- Wheat planting and harvesting photos from Grant County, including this happy harvest photo and a 1908 family harvest photo from the Low Gap area.
- Hunting images from throughout the region. We especially like this one from Republic, Washington.
- Group portaits by Frank Matsura, still held in a private collection by a family member with deep roots in Okanogan County. This photo features Matsura himself, joining in on an Omak-area watermelon feast.
Congratulations to the North Central Washington Heritage partners–they join more than 80 cultural institutions in 30 communities throughout the state that have digitized material with assistance from the Washington Rural Heritage initiative. Washington Rural Heritage sub-grants are made possible with Library Services and Technology Act funding provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.
For more information about Washington Rural Heritage, contact Evan Robb, Project Manager: (360)704-5228, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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