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By Alyssa, Omak Public Library

This week in history we will be looking at The Oroville Weekly Gazette publication of June 25th, 1909. It is amazing what you can find in old newspapers when you start to dig around. Luckily we have access to Washington Digital Newspapers to allow for us to read these pieces of history. The resource offers free online access to articles dating back to territorial times and contains more than 6,500 articles and 50,000 reels of microfilm. 

While poking around for articles to read I found two very interesting ones. 

The first is a tragic tale of four men who drowned in the Columbia River while crossing over the Goose Berry Ferry. Two of the men were members of the Webber family who were settled in Pine Creek, a small community outside of Tonasket. They were moving their families to look for field work when they stopped to cross the upper Columbia using Wild Goose Bill’s ferry. Their wives were the first to go over and made it safely. However, when the Webber men and two other unnamed men — one was hired help and perhaps the other was the ferry operator — went to cross with the rest of the supplies they met tragedy when the weight of their load was too much for their rope and it snapped. The rapids quickly carried the men and their load away, their wives unable to do anything but watch. 

This sort of thing occurred a lot when crossing rivers. It was dangerous and something early settlers knew to take great caution with due to the risks. You can read the actual print if you want more details of this tragic story. 

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This other article is amusing to read. While reading it, the article offers nothing but praise for this Canadian officer. His name is C.J. Bunburry of Greenwood, B.C.. The article describes the man as a true police officer who stops at nothing to apprehend the bad guys. He is described as “not much of him in pounds and ounces, but what he is made up in sand, and the toughest citizen hunts his hole when Bunburry hits his track.” It is a short article to read but it is amazing to think how someone wanted to stop and write this article to praise this officer for just doing his job. They do not describe any of his cases or what he has done, only that he is a man of the law who is feared by the guilty.

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