A Stehekin Family History - the Moores and the Courtneys

book cover

Waking up to the sound of Granddad splitting kindling for the morning fires, my sister and I huddled under the quilts in the living room, waiting for the heater stove to warm the cabin. After he lit the kitchen stove, I heard the squeaky handle of the pitcher pump as Granddad filled the hot water reservoir and a couple of tea kettles on the wood range. Soon, the pleasant aromas of coffee, wood smoke and Prince Albert tobacco filled the cabin.

In these days of mobility and shifting populations, where most everyone is from someplace else, I am in awe that six generations of our family have lived at this end of the lake, five of them here in the Stehekin Valley on this homestead (four generations have attended the Stehekin School.) When you have roots that go back that far, it is easy to develop a sense of belonging; of pride and caring, not only for the land we live on, but for the entire valley and even the mountains around it. Today, as my wife and I take our frequent walks down the road past the old place, my thoughts are flooded with memories of why this place means so much to me.

Skiing home from school one day, Ray and I were approaching the cabin when dad opened the front door to greet us. The snow was deep and sloped down onto the porch Without hesitation, we skied right down onto the porch and into the house. Dad thought it was hilarious and all three of us were laughing. He was just like one of us kids at times but mom didn't think it was so funny. We all got scolded for getting snow all over the floor.” ~June Courtney Barnhart
The homeplace

This little incident, told by my mother June, is typical of the fun and hard work she experienced growing up deep in the mountains of the North Cascades in the 1930’s. That lifestyle became an obsession to me as a child growing up in town—I just couldn't get enough of it.

This book is a collection of stories and photographs of my family dating back to 1889 when they first arrived on upper Lake Chelan. ~Mike Barnhart

ISBN 978-0-9702153-8-3


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