By Irene Elizabeth Martin
Birthplace of the state's canned salmon and the cooperative extension move, Wahkiakum County has a old value extending past its borders. at the present time it stands on the cusp of switch because the rural occupations of fishing, farming, and logging, upon which the county has depended, be afflicted by outdoors impacts and demographic shifts.
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Additional resources for Beach of Heaven: A History of Wahkiakum County
For Wahkiakum is a genuinely interesting place to be, full of anecdotes and stories of lives lived despite extremes of climate. While the texts all describe the climate as moderate, and in terms of temperature it may be so, in terms of rainfall it is not. When Lewis and Clark passed through the territory, they spent many of their days in pure misery, due to the constant dampness. " It is water more than any other influence that has shaped the history of the area and shapes everyday life even yet.
Vancouver. 36 The decimation of the Native Americans of the lower river made such an impression on him that he recorded it in his personal memoirs: The Indians, along the lower Columbia as far as the Cascades and on the lower Willamette, died off very fast during the year I spent in that section. . The measles and the small-pox were both amazingly fatal. . During my year on the Columbia River, the small-pox exterminated one small remnant of a band of Indians entirely, and reduced others materially.
But history is not just the accumulation of "firsts," a laundry list approach to the past. The life of the county known as Wahkiakum has provided a consistent voice in Washington state, that of a rural community profoundly connected to its roots. 3 However, change has come even here, as the population increases with immigration from urban areas. This book is written at the cusp of a major new period in the county's story. The standbys of fishing, farming, and logging, which nourished both its economic and historical base, have all diminished substantially within the past decade.