Posts Tagged ‘Ilwaco history’

Thursday, 14 Sept 2017

We started at a garden just a few blocks east of us.

Mayor Mike’s garden

….with tidying, clipping some errant rose canes and some spent perennials.

Mayor Mike’s front garden

Just as we were finishing there, a parade of many old Dodge vehicles drove by down Lake Street.

Our next mission was chop the myrtles at ….

The Port of Ilwaco


cutting flush to the ground with our rechargeable saw

after. We will make this garden interesting again with divisions from other plants, after some rain comes.

The myrtles will grow back, and I will keep them small.

The sightline in late summer:

22 August: before pruning the myrtles

and today

While Allan pruned, I watered three garden beds.

my favourite port garden

the driveover garden

 Having decided on a midday cultural work break, we parked at the post office.

The deer have discovered the miniature rose in the post office planter.

We walked across the street to the

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

to peruse the Derby Days exhibit. You still have time to see it.

“Join the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum as we explore the history of “Derbyville” and the early years of salmon derbies, recreational fishing, and the emergence of the charter-boat fishing industry on the Long Beach Peninsula. This exhibit will be on view August 4 – October 7, 2017.”

The old Dodges were parked in the museum lot and across the street.

In the museum, we were fascinated with the old photos of the marina…

…and especially by photos showing the shoreline back when our lot was riverfront property.

The river bank is now the meander line, a ditch between us and the port parking lots.

We spent considerable time peering at the photo above, and the one below, trying to pinpoint our lot and the house that used to sit on it.

An old postcard touts the climate that was one of the reasons I moved here:

The water is no longer cheap and the summers are hotter than they used to be.

Allan enjoyed this old photo of Black Lake boating.

The salmon derby camps were along the banks of the Columbia, east of Chinook.

One of my favourite parts of the musuem is their replica street of shops.  It is being changed up with some new finds.

New school room display includes a typewriter like the one I typed a very bad novel on in high school.

tailoring shop

Allan likes the Chinook canoe:

Work called.  In case the rain did not arrive on Sunday, I wanted to get four more of my most favourite curbside gardens watered, and Allan had some hedge trimming to do.

 Port of Ilwaco

port office garden

the marina

I weeded and watered three pocket gardens…

…and the Time Enough Book garden….

…and visited my good friend Scout in the book store.

as always, good books.

I had no intention of buying a book, yet I did purchase this one.

As I walked home, I noted that the meander line ditch is completely dry.  It will soon become a stream again when the rains arrive.

by the community college annex, showing the size the California wax myrtles like to attain.

Meanwhile, Allan had pruned two escallonias down at Coho Charters.

one of them, before

and after


frog in a water barrel (Allan’s photo)

Allan set to his new project, removing old shakes from the shed, which, in WWII years, was an electrical repair shop for small appliances.

Apparently, the shakes were just a decorative overlay. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I rearranged some plants on the patio, accidentally pulling a santolina out of a planted chimney pot.  While transplanting it by Devery’s driveway, I saw that Frosty had gone next door to visit his new bestie, Royal.  Devery was taking photos from her porch while I was taking photos from the driveway.

 Devery and I are both delighted by this sweet friendship, initiated by Frosty.




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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Allan’s day


tulips at the Ilwaco Library


foreground, Tulip ‘Flaming Spring Green’


a tulip at Time Enough Books

Salt Hotel

When I first visited to the Peninsula, the state park by Ilwaco was known as Fort Canby.  It is now called Cape Disappointment State Park; locals just call it Cape D.  Sand Island is the big island offshore.  Even when Allan moved here in 2005, I still slipped up sometimes and called it Fort Canby, as do many “oldtimers”.

cape d.png


I have seen on a historic map that Ruby Island may be the site of the first garden (of potatoes) in the Pacific Northwest.


map by Maureen Mulvey

Salty Talk



A good crowd.  I see Rose who brought me some books a few days ago!

Allan took some photos and some notes.



Center Battery cannon didn’t aim left to right.


Look at the darling cottages in the photo below; they were World War II housing for the military.


Ilwaco is over the hill from here.



on Sand Island: False railroad concealed cannon spotting (not water) tower & barracks


Stairs (to nowhere) still exist up to radar mounts



Building on hill up to lighthouse. (old photo shows only half) housed a powerful spotlight



Coast lights, navigation lights were shut off suddenly after Pearl Harbor. A ship was allowed to ground ashore at night rather than signal it and reveal our capabilities to track vessels.


Small house-upper right was a Canby house that was moved to Seaview, then later torn down. A similar one is behind Hill’s Towing in Ocean Park.

I was completely fascinated when Allan came home with the news that some of the little WWII houses were salvaged and moved around the Peninsula including….forming the complex now known as The Anchorage Cottages, one of our gardening jobs!  I asked Our Kathleen, who used to stay at the Anchorage before she bought her own beach cottage, if she knew about that.  Of course she did, as she does seem to know everything about the Peninsula, and she directed me to the Anchorage website where the story is told.  The “Max” Wilson, according to Allan, is, or is related to Skip Wilson who owns the Bay Trader and who built the bookshelves in our house.  An excerpt from The Anchorage Cottage’s site:

The nearby military outpost of Fort Canby (now Cape Disappointment) had been recently decommissioned with the end of World War II, and Max’s vision found fodder with the sale of the outpost’s officers’ barracks offered at $15 per building. As the current proprietor of a moving and hauling business, Max had the necessary equipment to individually load the barracks onto trucks and cart them up the beach to their present location, where he ingeniously coaxed these rustic 1930’s accommodations into “modern” 1950’s gems.

One by one, each of ten units came together to create the Anchorage Motor Court, which was fully completed by the early 1950’s, proudly boasting “Frigidaire equipment, Simmons beds, and a view of Long Beach’s most recent shipwreck.”


Our garden areas are the courtyards within the array of cottages.

Viburnum at Anchorage Cottages

I am ever so pleased to know the history of these darling cottages at The Anchorage.


Museum director Betsy Millar concludes the lecture.

at home

For dinner, after another day of jello and broth while recovering, I was thrilled to have a delicious and perfectly cooked piece of spring salmon caught by our kind neighbour Jeff Norwood (I assume from his red boat called the Salmonator).



The fish went down a treat.

Tomorrow: back to work, ready or not!


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The Yellow Cottage

The Yellow Cottage

We worked in two places on July 29th. First, we finished the weeding at the yellow cottage on School Hill. I had written about the yellow cottage after working there earlier in the month and got an email which, to my joy, told me of a connection between my house and the adorable little cottage. The email was from Karen, whose mother, Shirley Maki, owned the house where Allan and I now live, the place we bought in October of 2010. Karen told me:

I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed seeing your photos of the little yellow cottage on the school hill. That house used to belong to my Finnish grandma (Mummu) when it was located in the cove. She lived in it from the late 1940’s until she passed away in 1961. The house was moved years later with a new owner. Your photos brought back many wonderful warm memories. I still think of it as ‘Mummu’s house.’ I also enjoy reading about your old house. When I was growing up it was owned by Marty Wiitala, several houses down from Mummu’s house in the cove. As a child I spent numerous visits to that house with my dad. Your pictures and words evoke wonderful feelings and memories of my Finnish heritage.

hydrangeas by "Mummu's house"

hydrangeas by the former “Mummu’s house”

How I loved hearing stories of the yellow cottage and its sister cottage from the Cove (where the boatyard is now), the one I lived in from 1994 through October 2010. Even more special is knowing that Allan’s and my present home has this connection with the yellow cottage. In fact, all three…my old cottage, our new home, and the adorable yellow cottage are all linked. Fabulous and heartwarming.

I wonder what the sort of garden  the yellow cottage had when it was located on the flat land that is now the Ilwaco boatyard.
lace cap hydrangea

lace cap hydrangea

I once had another strong connection to the house we now live in before we ever looked at it:  In summer of 2010, I spent a lot of time scanning a box of vintage photos of Ilwaco people.  I was lent them by Chester of Olde Towne Trading Post Antiques.  Only after we had made an offer on the late Shirley Maki’s house did we learn that the photos had come from a estate sale at her home after she died, the home we were soon to own.
Back to the yellow cottage weeding day!  We had only two and three quarter hours before we would use up the budget for the job.
before and after

before and after

before and after

before and after

All around the trees, we found oyster shells, frugally laid out on top of assorted grocery bags (a substitute for expensive landscape fabric) and grown over with grass.

buried under the grass

buried under the grass

We used them to try to get back the look that the previous tenant had created.



before and after

before and after

Some beds had held up well from when we had weeded them the autumn before.

Euphorbia on west wall

Euphorbia on west wall



I can tell she was a good gardener because she had interesting plants.

a circle of Crocosmia 'Lucifer'

a circle of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

The east side had gotten pretty wild again.

east side before and after

east side corner before and after

east side foundation strip; owner Robin might put some river rock in here.

east side foundation strip; owner Robin might put some river rock in here.

Meanwhile, of course, I dreamed of an alternative life where I live in the yellow cottage.

looking north along the west side of the house

looking north along the west side of the house

two little pups we found by the tiny pond

two little pups we found by the tiny pond

my imaginary room with a view

my imaginary room with a view

and my imaginary view

and my imaginary view to the west

Of course, in my dream, we own that whole huge field and the old Spartan trailer and it is all garden.  Perhaps partly deer park and partly fenced.

Meanwhile, hawks soared overhead…(There were five but I managed just this:)


And then the Life Flight helicopter took off from the pad at the hospital which is just behind the trees.  (That will help orient locals to my dream cottage.)

Life Flight, an all too common sight in Ilwaco

Life Flight, an all too common sight in Ilwaco

Reality intervened as we had to go water the planters in moderately bustling Long Beach town.

The wind was whipping; I had to hold these still for a photo

The wind was whipping; I had to hold these still for a photo

Tigridia profile

Tigridia profile

At the Police station, a beautiful hanging basket going strong…by Nancy Aust of Basket Case Greenhouse.

Nancy's artistry and the Long Beach crew's good watering

Nancy’s artistry and the Long Beach crew’s good daily watering

The planter north of Dennis Co continues to swamp its sitting bench.

The planter north of Dennis Co continues to swamp its sitting bench.

detail:  Coreopsis 'Jive'

detail: Coreopsis ‘Jive’

painted sage going strong

painted sage going strong

By the time we got done watering, the streets were quiet.

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