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Gates Ajar, Vol.1 No. 2 Winter 1988-89 – ARCHIVES

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

Eagle Scout Dick Slagle, second from right


1938  FOM MEMBER Richard M. (Dick) Slagle of Republic, WA, was in the party which placed a cast concrete marker on the grave in 1938.  He took photos of the ceremony with his “little $1 box camera”.

“I was a recent high school graduate,” he writes, “and in June of that year was approached by our local scoutmaster …  He had been asked to have the Boy Scout troop participate in a ceremony at a grave and to make a marker.  Not having any other information and only several days’ time, we set about the task of making a cement cross.  When the cement was poured we scratched in the name as neatly as we could:  “Ranald MacDonald”.

“On the day of the ceremony we loaded the cross into a school bus and rode to the Kettle River location, about 30 miles north of Republic.  It was a warm summer day and about a dozen or so people assembled in the little Indian cemetery on the edge of a bench.  It overlooks the Kettle River, the mouth of Toroda Creek and the ranch where Ranald MacDonald was visiting at the time of his death.


Jennie Nelson Lynch, circa 1938

  “Among the people gathered were Judge William C. Brown of Okanogan, a man with a lifelong interest in regional history and especially the history of the native people.  Judge Brown had organized the event and as he spoke I first heard the story of Ranald MacDonald.  “However, the high point of the program was to hear Mrs. Jennie Lynch (the former Jennie Nelson).  At that time she was probably in her 70’s, an active Indian lady and a favorite of her uncle Ranald.  As our group stood on this spot and looked over the scenic Kettle River valley she told the story of her memories of her uncle and his fondness to visit their ranch and of his last trip and final illness … “ … in 1894, Ranald died in the arms of his beloved niece, Jenny Lynch, saying “Sayonara, my dear, sayonara”.

ワシントン州リパブリックのFOMメンバー、リチャードM.“ディック”スレーグルは、1938年にラナルド・マクドナルドの墓にコンクリート製手作りの十字架/墓標を設置する式典に参加した。その時、彼は「小さな 1ドルのボックスカメラ」で式典の様子を写真に収めていた。 「私は最近高校を卒業しました」と彼は書き出し、更に「その年の6月に地元のスカウトマスターから連絡があり・・・彼曰く、ボーイスカウト部隊で墓標を作って用意し、式典に参加するよう頼まれた・・・と云ってきました。」と。他の情報はなく、ほんの数日で、セメント製十字架(墓標)を作る作業に着手しました。セメントが枠に注がれ終わった時、私たちはできる限り丁寧に名前を刻み込みましたRanald MacDonaldと。 「式典の日に、私たちはコンクリート製十字架をスクールバスに積み込み、リパブリックの北約30マイルにあるケトル川の近くの場所に辿り着きました。暖かい夏の日で、小高い丘の端にある小さなインディアン墓地に十数人ほどの人々が集まりました。そこはトロダクリーク河口のケトル川、そしてラナルドが亡くなった時に訪れていた牧場が見渡せる場所でした。そこに集った人々の中に、ウィリアムC.ブラウン裁判官が居りました。彼は 地域史に生涯関心を持つお方、特にオカノガン地域の先住民の歴史に関し。ブラウン裁判官がイ ベントを組織し、彼が話し始めた時私は初めてラナルド・マクドナルドのストーリーを聞きました。しかし、 プログラムのハイポイントはジェニー・リンチ夫人(旧姓 ジェニー・ネルソン)の話を聞くことでした。当時 彼女はおそらく70歳代だったでしょう。活動的なインディアン女性で 叔父ラナルドのお気に入りの姪でした。彼女は、風光明媚なケトルリバーバレーを見渡しながらいつも彼女たち所有の牧場訪問を楽しみにしていた叔父ラナルドとの思い出や彼の最後の旅、最後の病いの話等を語ってくれました。    『・・・1894年にラナルドは姪ジェニー・リンチの腕の中で息を引き取りました「サヨナラ マイ ディヤ― サヨナラ」と云って・・・』  

Gates Ajar — FALL 1994 Toroda Tour

Saturday, October 1st, 1994

It was a great tour to Toroda!

by Mas Tomita, FOM Chairman

IN SEARCH OF RANALD MACDONALD: AUGUST 11-14, 1994~~~ Our exciting bus tour left the Oregon Historical Center at 8:30am on Thursday, Aug. 11.  Once en route, our 22 tour participants introduced themselves and explained why they are intrigued by Ranald MacDonald.  Tour Leader, Steve Kohl and OHS Director Chet Orloff provided historical background about Ranald’s life and Northwest geology as we passed many points of interest on the way to Spokane.

We were joined at a welcome dinner in Spokane by an enthusiastic group of seven members from Seattle led by Ken Nakano.  Also joining us for dinner were Glen Mason, executive director of the Eastern Washington Historical Society, and his wife;  Ed Tsutakawa of Mukogawa Institute, a U.S. branch of a Japanese Women’s college; and Dr. Watanabe and Denny Yasuhara of the Japanese American Citizens League.  We enjoyed good food, good conversation and a video presentation.

Friday, we visited Mukogawa Institute to see its new Ranald MacDonald building, recently dedicated to his memory, and the nice display which Ed had set up in the lobby.  We then visited Cheney Cowles Museum to see its MacDonald materials.  These included Ranald’s copy of the original McLeod manuscript – based primarily on Ranald’s recollections – which was the basis for the 1923 publication of Ranald MacDonald, edited by W.S.  Lewis, then director of the Eastern Washington Historical Society, and Naojiro Murakami.   The MacDonald files are part of a collection of papers left by Lewis, who did much research on Eastern Washington history.  We could have spent the day there but had to move on.

Four hours later, we arrived at Republic and were greeted by Dick Slagle, a long-time Friends of MacDonald member.  We first visited the Stanton family farm and saw firsthand the old log cabin where, in 1894, Ranald died in the arms of his beloved niece, Jenny Lynch, saying “Sayonara, my dear, sayonara”.  We got a special feeling as we touched the wall of the cabin and looked about us at peaceful fields and hills.

We left the farm for Ranald’s grave site where, in the late afternoon breeze, some 30 people stood waiting for the ceremony to begin.  It was a beautiful and memorable ceremony.  FOM Vice Chairman Bruce Berney, as master of ceremonies, stood by Ranald’s grave, which was flanked by U.S. and Japanese flags.  A kilt-clad bagpiper from Canada opened the centennial observance with the spirited call of the pipes, reminding us of Ranald’s Scottish ancestry.  A beautiful bouquet was placed at the grave site monument by Jean Murray Cole, also from Canada and the great-great-great-granddaughter of Archibald MacDonald, Ranald’s father.  Rika Matsubara read a message from Consul-General Saito of Japan.  Takeo Terahata read a message from Hyogo Gov. Kaihara.  A JACL resolution honoring Ranald was read by Ken Nakano.  FOM Chairman Mas Tomita made a speech recognizing Ranald’s inspiration beyond time and place.

Chet Orloff presented distinguished remarks.  Local historians and families were introduced.  The bagpipe’s solemn lament concluded the wonderful gathering of about 50.

A banquet at Republic followed the ceremony and provided a great opportunity to meet local friends and historians; we all enjoyed a cool evening, a considerable contrast to the hot daytime temperatures.  We learned that Washington State Governor Mike Lowry had formally proclaimed August 12th as “Ranald MacDonald Day” and that Secretary of State Ralph Munro had paid a brief tribute to Ranald on the previous day when he visited the grave site.

On the third day of the tour we drove south and crossed Lake Roosevelt by a small ferry.  Spectacular landscapes greeted us en route to Grand Coulee Dam, Dry Falls and Yakima.  Dinner that evening at the Yakima Indian National Culture Center in Toppenish was accompanied by Indian storytelling and dancing.

The fourth and final day of the tour included another visit to the Toppenish Museum.  Then we moved on to The Dalles Dam for lunch and a visit to Indian petroglyphs which had been removed from the canyon before it was flooded.  Our final stop was at Fort Vancouver, where Ranald spent some of his boyhood.  Throughout our bus ride, each of us in turn was able to comment and share interesting information.  It was a great learning experience!

I think all of those who participated, in person or by message, for their contributions to the success of our tour.  A big “thank you” to Adair Law for coordination and arrangements and to Barbara Peeples for her help with planning.  It was a great trip in search of Ranald MacDonald.  As he said at the last of his Narrative, more than 100 years ago, “Let us hope of a better day for Peace on earth!  Good will to all men!”

Tour participants had a good time.  Their comments bode well for future travels and tours:

” … I thought it was a good trip, both memorable and profitable.  I hope the others felt the same way” – Dr. Steve Kohl, tour leader

” … All those present at the ceremony and dinner say that they had a wonderful time and look forward to a closer association between local residents and MacDonald’s far-flung friends.  The MacDonald family members involved were delighted.” – Madilane Perry, Republic [ Madilane also reports that the Ferry County Historical Society will place a MacDonald exhibit in the local library.]

” … it was one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had.” — Katie Gordon