Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Memorial of John Mears


My Christmas present from sister Patty this year was an authentic copy of The Memorial of Lieutenant John Mears dated 30th April 1790 and containing "every particular respecting the capture of vessels in Nootka Sound". The book is a numbered edition published in 1933 and belonged to my grandfather Frank Mullis.

In 1788 Mears purchased land from a local Chief and set up a trading post on Nootka Sound. Then, while Mears was in China, the Spanish, who at that time still sought to control all of the trade from the American west, seized the trading post and some ships preceding the great Spanish armament as well as George Vancouver's Historic Voyage. Mears has been criticized for exaggerating but none the less was instrumental in securing British interests in the Pacific Northwest. He joined the Navy at 15 as a Captain's servant and in 1795 was made a Commander in the Royal Navy. I'll have to read the book now so I can give you the particulars.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Northwest Regional Archives Workshop

Northwest Regional Archives
Hosts Free Workshop
Researching the History of Your Property
Saturday, January 12th, 2008 ~ 9:30 am ~ 1:00 pm
Washington State Archives Building
808 25th Street, WWU campus

Root Cellar of old King Farm With Millstone

The workshop is a half-day training session led by knowledgeable staff that will show you:

*How to access information from local government resources
and title companies

*What research materials are available at the Center for
Pacific Northwest Studies

*How to use resources at the Washington State Northwest
Regional Archives

Staff from the Whatcom Museum Photo Archives and the Bellingham Public Library will give an overview of the resources available at these City repositories.

Registration is required and space is limited. Priority will be given volunteers working on the Preserve America historic resource survey project (must register by Friday January 4th to receive registration priority).

To register contact Susan Fahey, Washington State Northwest
Regional Archives (360) 650-4911

Link to: Preserve America historic resource survey project

Link to: Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Family Christmas Memory

The Mullis House on Argyle

Hidden by a teeming jumble of vegetation the old Mullis house on Argyle is barely visible today but at one time it was among the most prominent homes in the county. Built by my great grandfather George Mullis in 1905 the house was occupied by his family and later by my grandparents Frank and Belle Mullis, my Aunt Ina, uncles Don and Wally, and my mom, Flossie Mullis (McRae-Lang).

Earlier this year I was doing some research on the old house and my mom shared a Christmas memory with me. Ina and Don were the older siblings and in the late 1930s were both attending the University of Washington in Seattle. They came home to Friday Harbor for Christmas one year with a big surprise, a radio! The whole family gathered around the kitchen table thrilled to be listening to a Christmas concert broadcast all the way from New York City!

Flossie Mullis (McRae-Lang)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Fun With Kelp


Photo Credit: This photo must have been taken by Chinmayo.
I'm busy rowing and the dog is clearly meditating.

My friend Chinmayo reminded me that to get the extra special prize winning kelp we went out in a small rowboat on a rather brisk day. She recommends: "Be sure to bring a big dog with you". A good sharp knife and a few plastic buckets for the kelp will come in handy too. I recall that I not only made kelp pickles but I dried the blades.

link to: Tongass Clearinghouse
to find recipes for Kelp Salsa & Kelp Relish
plus more tips on harvesting Kelp.

link to:
to find a recipe for Kelp Energy Bars
plus health benefits of Kelp

link to: Beliefnet
to find a story about the Classic Zen Koan
Does a Dog have Buddha Nature?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Susan Osborn Christmas Concert

Susan Osborn Christmas Concert
Saint David's Episcopal Church
Wednesday, December 19th at 7:30

Susan, and her friends and musical colleagues, Martin Lund, on piano and woodwinds; Gene Nery, on guitar and bass, and Ritambhara Tyson on cello are bringing their concert to Saint David's Episcopal Church (newly remodeled at 760 Park Street) on Wednesday, December 19th at 7:30. It's limited seating so to be sure of a ticket, get it soon!

link to: Susan Osborn

Tickets are $10 and are available at Griffin Bay Bookstore or at the Saint David's office.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Night At The Opera

Performance at the San Juan Benefit Players Theater
Saturday January 12th at 2:00PM
Experience Seattle's operas without leaving San Juan Island!

~ Corinne Stevens ~
"Mi chiamano Mimi" from Puccini's La Boheme
Puget Sound Concert Opera, Seattle WA, October 2007
(photo courtesy of Puget Sound Concert Opera)

Puget Sound Concert Opera proudly presents a concert performance of Verdi's Il Trovatore with some of the Pacific Northwest's premier performers, including Friday Harbor soprano Corinne Stevens (San Juan Singers concert soloist, opera singer with Skagit Opera & San Juan Performing Arts Society)!

Come join us for an unforgettable evening of Verdi's masterpiece including the audience favorites: "Anvil Chorus", thrilling tenor aria "Di quella pira" and Leonora's show-stopping duet with Inez "Tacea la Notte". Cast includes David Barela, Robert W. Corl, Brandon Higa, Ralph Wells, Sharon Karsner, Corinne Stevens, Regina Thomas and coach & pianist Jay Rozendaal of Seattle Opera.

Wieslaw Walkuski ~ Poster for Verdi's Il Trovatore

Puget Sound Concert Opera appears courtesy of the San Juan Performing Arts Society.

link to: Puget Sound Concert Opera
link to: Corinne Stevens
As with all Benefit Players performances, admission is by donation.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wishing Stones

I was pleasantly surprised that my recent post "Fun With Kelp" got more responses both on and off line than any other post so far! We do like our kelp out here and there are so many ways to have fun with it!

One reader had a copy of that same Almanac that she sadly lost track of. At her request I'm posting another page from the 1985 San Juan Islands Almanac Vol 12.

PS. Lindy ~ I'm pleased if not amazed that you remember this. If you will go to my "profile" and email me I would be happy to send you a higher resolution image. Also, you might give Serendipity, Friday Harbor's second hand book store a call at 360-378-2665 and let them know you are looking for this Almanac. I don't know what happened to my first copy but when my sister sent me this copy it seemed like a charming little treasure.

Friday, December 14, 2007

All In The Family

There is still time to adopt an Orca from the Whale Museum for that special gift. One of the great things about adopting a Whale from our Southern Resident Pods is that we know them individually so with your certificate and photo you also get a personalized biography of your whale. I am the proud adopter of J-14, Samish, she is the Mom who recently gave birth to our newest Orca calf. Orca social organization is matrilineal and Samish is the granddaughter of Granny, the grand matriarch of J-Pod. Adopters receive a handsome packet and regular updates on their own special Whale. Adoption includes membership in the Museum.

To see photos an read brief biographies of the Whales link to: Meet the Whales

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pig War Era Holiday Social at English Camp


At Saturday's Holiday Social at English Camp Eric Ellison was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award for his service to San Juan National Historical Parks. Eric, an active participant in the Pig War reenactments "spent countless hours in 2007 assisting the park with everything from interpretation to hauling equipment and creating the traveling forge". Here is Eric being congratulated by National Park Historian and the Park Chief of Interpretation Mike Vouri.

Photographer: Ron Garner

Eric again stepping out on to the dance floor with Julia Vouri...

NPS: photograph

The old-fashioned tree trimming party took place in the old British Royal Marine Light Infantry barracks building -- "just as it was likely done in the mid-1860s when the camp was in its heyday".

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Festival of Whales

Come to our "Holiday Festival of Whales"
on Saturday, December 8th
activities and refreshments all day, for all ages
have fun while you shop for the perfect gift!

Get your photo taken with Oly the Orca!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Festivities at the Whale Museum

5:30 ~ 7:30 PM December 6th

You are invited to join the Whale Museum in initiating Thursday evening late holiday shopping with punch, cookies & hammered dulcimer music preformed by local musician Chinmayo.

The Museum Gift shop will be open with holiday sale prices* 15% off or 25% off for members (sale lasts until Dec 10). You will find the best priced and most unique stuffed animal selection around! Beautiful mugs and travel cups with Northwest Native designs, Whale, Otter & Jellyfish socks, beautifully crafted jewelry, ornaments...and much much more! Or for that hard to shop for person on your list why not adopt an Orca? Orca adoption comes with a lovely informative package and provides the adopter with year round updates on their own special Orca. All proceeds from the Gift Shop and the Orca Adoption Program support the Whale Museum's mission of education and research. Get some holiday shopping done at great prices and save the Whales at the same time!

*sale price does not include consignment art or books

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fun With Kelp

Patient reader, I'll be getting back to you very soon with the story of that firebrand Lyman Cutlar. Meanwhile, in the mail today I got a package from my sister Patty including a 1985 copy of the San Juan Almanac published by Evelyn Burke & Eleanor Howard at Longhouse Printcrafters. Within it's pages are a few contributions from yours truly. Here is one with a few suggestions on how to have some fun with kelp. Here I am bragging about getting a blue ribbon on my kelp pickles.... well, wouldn't you?

I've had fun with kelp all of my life. When we were little girls my grandfather carved faces into the bulb of the kelp to make kelp dolls for my sisters and I. Later, as an adult, when I lived on Lopez Island I learned how to weave baskets out of kelp. The kelp shrinks up quite a bit as it dries but it does dry beautifully. A warning, you do not want to get your kelp basket wet.

I've noticed that even scanning the page from the Almanac in at a higher resolution it is still hard to read. I'm not trying to protect my prize recipe. If you would like the recipe but have trouble reading it leave a comment and I will happily reply.