Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ford, Washington

A lonely stretch of highway near Ford, Washington.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

The old Ford school.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

Site of the Tshimakain Mission.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

On my way home from work this afternoon, I took a long detour through Ford, Washington in order to visit a relative on the Spokane Reservation. Not too much happens in Ford, that I can tell. They have a store and an old school. Across the creek on the reservation there's a "smoke shack," an abandoned casino, and a seasonal fireworks stand.

I never think too much about Ford, except as I pass through to get someplace else, and yet this little settlement has a unique history of some consequence to my life.

More than a hundred years ago, the Reverends Elkanah Walker and Cushing Eels established a Protestant mission on the site of present day Ford, Washington: Tshimakain (Chimokane). They resided only ten years among the Spokane without much missionary success, but their presence set the stage for later cultural contacts. I believe they abandoned our country shortly after the Whitman Massacre.

My ancestors settled in the general vicinity, and I'm sure they must have had some contact with the mission at Tshimakain (Chimokane). My ancestry runs deep in that area.

Fast forward a hundred years or so, to about 1990, and I attended one of my first winter ceremonies in the old Ford school with Evaleen Corral. It was a very memorable experience for me.

Today I drive through this tiny place and think how looks can deceive. You would never guess the importance of this place on the events of my life.

1 comment:

Chelle said...

Off of I-90 there is a little building/school. I heard someone say that the building used to be used as haunted house during Halloween. We should go check it out somtime.


Related Posts with Thumbnails