Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sports.... on Sunday?

As the football season comes to a close this Super Bowl Sunday many Americans will sit down to enjoy a full day of Super Bowl activities, including snacks, dinner and a few beverages with friends.  107 years ago the Palouse Ministerial Association believed strongly that this is a problem.

On May 2nd, 1907 there was a different scourge overflowing the land, the scourge of Sunday baseball.  The Palouse Ministerial Association purchased space to print a column on the last page of the Palouse Republic, the headline ran: ‘Evils of Sunday Baseball.’ 
The Moscow Owls taken in 1938.  Courtesy LCHS 01-11-328.
The Palouse Ministerial Association went on in the article to explain the merits of baseball and the importance of sports, however they contended that: “Our colleges and universities throughout the country have their baseball and football teams, but no school of good repute allows its team to play upon Sunday; and in some states it is against the law to play such a game on Sunday.”  The article contends that boys and young men have been seen carousing in the streets before and after the games on Sundays.  They believe that such carousing could imply to visitors that the city is a rough place.
The Moscow Cubs, taken in 1932.  Courtesy LCHS, 1-11-47.

The Palouse Republic, was a weekly regional newspaper located in Palouse, Washington directly over the state line to the west of Latah County.  The article is quite topical as the Latah County Historical Society recently acquired a Kennedy Ford baseball score book dating from 1926-1930.  Kennedy Ford began as a place to ford the Palouse River, which later became a settlement named after one of the prominent families that lived there T. Kennedy.
The Moscow Cubs, taken in 1930.  Courtesy LCHS, 1-11-34.
  The score book shows the play-by-play score of what transpired in these games along with the date, opponent and place of the games.  The article from the Palouse Ministerial Association must not have made an impact since the score book is filled with records of baseball games on Sundays.  Not all of the games recorded have dates; however of the games with dates, 16 games out of 20 (or 80%) were played on Sundays.

Kennedy Ford Baseball team score book.  This page shows the home scorecard from Sunday April 29th, 1928.  Courtesy of the Latah County Historical Society Archives, item number PAM 2014-07.

As America looks forward to Super Bowl XLVIII it is important to remember that only 107 years ago sports on Sunday was considered a risqué topic.  While sports on Sunday may have been enjoyed by many people in Latah County there were those in the clergy (and presumably still do) who believe it should be a day of rest.

Personally, I can’t seem to watch enough sports, especially on Super Bowl Sunday.   Go Seahawks!

Seattle Seahawks v.s the San Francisco 49ers, on Sunday 1/19/2014.  Photo Courtesy of Zachary Wnek.

As I wrote this post I figured I'd take a moment to introduce myself.  My name is Zachary Wnek and I am the new museum curator at Latah County Historical Society.  I have studied at the University of Oregon, been a historical interpreter at This is the Place Historic Park, taught school in Gambell, Alaska, and most recently have received a Master's Degree in public history from Eastern Washington University.  I am excited to be the new museum curator and look forward to working within such a great organization.  Feel free to drop by the office, email or call to introduce yourself.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Travel by Train Plane or Automobile--to the LCHS Annual Meeting!

Union Pacific depot during World War I, crowd meeting train. (LCHS 01-03-659)

Come join us this Sunday, January 26th from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Great Room of the 1912 Center for our Annual Meeting. Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend! We'll celebrate our volunteers, discuss the highlights of 2013, and our plans for 2014. Please bring a dish of your choice for the potluck portion of our event.

Earl Bennett will be sharing "First National Bank of Moscow: Part of a Noble Experiment," based on original research. The presentation will cover the history of the failed National Banking Act of 1863, and how it affected local communities.

Help us to wish a Happy Retirement to Executive Director, Dan Crandall, and join us in welcoming our new Curator, Zachary Wnek.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Object Spotlight -- Special Guest Post by Ann Catt!

After a brief blog hiatus over the holidays, we are back with a wonderful guest post from the recently retired and much beloved Ann Catt!  Ann's knowledge of Latah County is encyclopedic, and no subject demonstrates that fact better than the family history of Carol Ryrie Brink, a famous local author and resident.  Last year LCHS acquired the wedding chest belonging to Ms. Brink's grandmother, and we knew that no one could tell the story of that object better than our former curator.  Enjoy!

This fall LCHS received the “wedding chest” that had belonged to Caroline Woodhouse Watkins, wife of early Moscow doctor Wm. Woodbury Watkins and grandmother of well known author Carol Ryrie Brink.

Caroline Woodhouse Watkins
Dr. W. W. Watkins
The chest was made for Caroline by her father John Vipond Woodhouse in Wisconsin.  It came to Moscow with her in 1887.  This chest remained in the family eventually being with Tom and June Armour of Lewiston, ID.  Tom was the son of Caroline and William Watkins daughter Winifred and her husband Will.  

John V. Woodhouse, Caroline's father
Mrs. Woodhouse, Caroline's mother

I received a letter about twelve years ago at the historical society from Mrs. Armour.  She wanted us to know that when the time came the family wanted the chest to be here and that she had made arrangements for that to happen.  What a treasure!!  I had looked forward to this donation for all these years.  After I retired last June, Dulce had news from Mrs. Armour that she was moving to the East Coast to be closer to her own son.  Dulce graciously asked me to talk to Mrs. Armour, who by the way is over 100 years old.  What a wonderful visit I had with this true lady whose personal history is as fascinating as that of her locally famous in-laws. In her easy relaxed way she told stories of  “Gran, Carol and Aunt Elsie”. 

Caroline Watkins was the model for Carol Brink’s Newberry Award winning book, Caddie Woodlawn as well as the character of Ann Hawkins in the novel Buffalo Coat. 

Caroline Woodhouse Watkins as an older woman
Caddie Woodlawn’s wedding chest as Mrs. Armour called it is now at home at LCHS.  Stop by and visit this marvelous piece of our history.

Following are some places in Moscow you might like to see that are connected to the Watkins family.  Please remember, these are now private residences not open to the public.

310 South Van Buren:  Home built by Henrietta Watkins Ryrie built after the death of her husband Alexander Ryrie.  These are Carol Ryrie Brinks parents. 

316 – 320 South Van Buren: Site of the original home of Dr. and Mrs. Watkins.  The original home is now gone and has been replaced.  

Watkins home - 320 S. Van Buren, Moscow
315 South Polk:  Home where Mrs. Watkins and her daughter Elsie lived later on.  Carol lived with her Gran and Aunt after the death of her parents left her an orphan by age eight.  Mrs. Watkins lived here until her death in 1940.

You might also enjoy visiting Old Block 7 of the Moscow Cemetery to visit the graves of many members of the Watkins family (yes, Caddie Woodlawn is buried in our own Moscow Cemetery) as well as other well known local historic residents. 

A word of Caution.  Be careful, you may become addicted to Latah County History.

Caddie Woodlawn and Buffalo Coat and other Carol Ryrie Brink books are available for sale at both the Latah County Historical Society Annex and the McConnell Mansion Museum.

-- Ann Catt, happily retired former curator, LCHS

Thank you Ann, for sharing your knowledge with us all!