By Irene Elizabeth Martin
Birthplace of the state's canned salmon and the cooperative extension circulate, Wahkiakum County has a historical importance extending past its borders. this day it stands on the cusp of swap because the rural occupations of fishing, farming, and logging, upon which the county has depended, be afflicted by open air affects and demographic shifts.
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Extra resources for Beach of Heaven: A History of Wahkiakum County
They spoke an upriver dialect, they lived on the salmon runs, and they gathered roots, nuts, and berries. 26 Scum-ar-que-up (henceforth spelled Skamokawa) was the Wahldakum chief when Lewis and Clark came through the country. 27 Their journals note that Skamokawa wore a double-coned rain hat. The double-coned hat could be an emblem of Wahkiakum County, with its one hundred and more inches of rain per year. The official emblem of Wahkiakum County, however, is the beaver, found in the county seal.
34 The population was Page 18 dramatically reduced by the "fever and ague" epidemics of the early 1830s. On August 20, 1841, the Wilkes Expedition anchored near the Wahkiakum village at Pillar Rock. " 35 In 1853 Ulysses S. Grant served as an army officer at Ft. 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.
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. , driven out by poverty and political unrest and attracted to free or cheap land. They formed communities with a strong ethnic identity. The community's growth is now coming from development as a retirement and bedroom community.
Beach of Heaven: A History of Wahkiakum County by Irene Elizabeth Martin