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A Little Bit Of Heaven

Connie Kelts

A wanderer by nature, my art reflects my passion. Wild places and the wonders of nature are my inspiration. My unconventional history has molded me into what I am today.

August 23, 2021

A Little Piece of Heaven

This was my childhood church. It’s only maintenance has been a new coat of paint, other than that it hasn’t changed in 60 years. I went to school just up the hill so the bus drove by it every day.  I have to admit as a kid it wasn’t always easy for my mom to get me to dress up to go to church. Yes that was back in the day when you got dressed up. The ranch was a 40 minute drive one way so by the time you got ready, drove to town, listened to the sermon, visited with friends and drove home the day didn’t have much daylight left. I do have to thank my mom for being persistent. To this day I think this is what a church is supposed to be. After moving to Texas and exposed to mega churches I knew why I loved my little church.

Our school was just up the hill and had all twelve grades in one building. From first grade to the ninth I never had more that 9 kids in my class and some years there were less. It’s easy to see why moving to Texas and into a class of 300 plus was terrifying. I was truly a fish out of water.

I took some liberty with this painting and added some trees in the background but the building is as it was when it was built in the early 1900’s.

My grandparents were active Grange Members and I still have my copy of “Pioneers of the Columbia”.

As of the census of 2000, there were 306 people, and 135 households residing in the zip code.

Some Hunters, Washington History

Hunters was named after John Hunter who came to the area in 1880. He established a home and a successful farm. Valleys, springs and creeks were plentiful and the land was known as good cattle country. The Post Office was opened in 1885 and people started making Hunters their home. The first store was opened in 1890. Mr. Latta platted the town in 1890 and sold lots from five to twenty-five dollars a piece. A school was started above the Sorghum Mill. Soon another school was built to accommodate the growing population.

James and Effie Bayley of Fruitland among others wanted their children to have a high school education. In 1917, with the help of Jess Hergesheimer, the county superintendent, a high school was built to provide higher education to all the surrounding towns. The building cost $14,000. The school was successful and soon school busses were running.

Other businesses in Hunters included: A ferry that operated from 1895 to 1939, a creamery operated by W.H. Quimby, the Hunters Exchange Bank, a Hotel and Mrs. Love owned a hat shop. In 1910 Hunters got telephone service. In 1912 a fire burned most of the business district, but the town was rebuilt into a bigger and better town. Hunters boasted of the only weekly newspaper in Southwestern Stevens County, the Hunters Leader. The Greenwood Park Grange was organized in 1915. Later this grange organized a park on the lake that is still used by families today. The Grange also published a very important book called Pioneers of the Columbia.

Many successful mines were located near Hunters. In 1894 the Cleveland Mine found a large vein of silver and lead ore with some antimony. The mine was sold for $150,000 and returned good profits. Another mine, The Deer Trail Mine, produced galena ore and silver. By 1903 over a million dollars of worth of ore was removed.

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