Five years ago this October, Dan and I decided for better or for worse, to call Republic, Washington, home. We began our cross country move in an older Winnebago filled to the brim with household goods and 3 large dogs. Amber, our 12 y/o paraplegic Retriever mix. Gracie, our 4 y/o pure bred German Shepherd and Otto, our 5 y/o Pit Bull mix. We were a motley crew indeed, and that does not include the dogs!
“Why,” you might ask? Well, for Sparky the answer is fairly easy and rational. He lived in Washington State for many years and had hunted, camped and fished all over the northeastern side of the state. He knew for many years that he wanted to retire over here.
Me? Well….this is embarrassing, but I might as well just spit it out and you can laugh away. As a 6 y/o girl living in Fredonia, NY, as far away from the wild west as I could get, I fell in love with Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza. That’s right, a t.v. show. Sunday nights. Pa, Hoss, Adam and Little Joe. Riding his Pinto Pony, Little Joe rode into my life and stole my 6y/o heart and the hearts of many little girls who dreamed of moving out west and riding horses and living on a ranch and having adventure after adventure, just like Sunday evenings on that great make believe television series. How serious a crush was this, you might ask? I remember only too well, after we moved from Dunkirk to Fredonia that year, crying my eyes out on my mother’s lap, sobbing that I did NOT want to live in Fredonia. When Mom trying to console me, asked where I did want to live, I blubbered out that I wanted to live on a ranch in Texas and ride horses with Little Joe! My sainted mother did not, you hear me, did NOT burst out laughing at her young daughter though she probably was dying inside! She held me and rocked me until I stopped crying and then I hopped down and went about playing in the yard on Berry Road. I don’t know why I remember this incident so vividly, but it has stayed with me all these years and I never lost my vision of living in the wild west. So when Sparky asked me if I would consider living out here in Republic, Washington, I knew without a doubt that I had to go. And that’s my story! Some dreams take longer to fulfill than others. The idea I guess, is to never loose sight of your dreams!
And here is what I see all day every day. Mt. Elizabeth from my kitchen window.
And so here we are, smack dab in the back of the beyond, in Ferry County, Washington. High in the northeast corner of the state, 20 miles from the border with Canada and 10 miles outside the tiny western frontier town of Republic, population about 1,073 according to the 2010 census. But I dare say there have been more than a few souls who went to God since then and there are not a lot of folks moving in. Deer out number the residents up here and bear might too but I haven’t checked their numbers. Suffice it to say that it is quiet around here.
Beyond the barns and up the hill. Deer, coyote, bear, cougar and turkey all call it home. Not always a peaceable kingdom, but it is the process of natural selection and well…..some selective hunting too.
But, I really want to show you all around our town of Republic. We have everything you need to survive and thrive up here. Everything any small town has, we have. Maybe nothing too fancy, but this is the wild west where cowboy boots, Stetsons and Western Shirts stand side by side with high heels, skin tight leggings and gauzy tunic shirts..
Republic. Originally given the name of “Eureka Gulch” by gold miners after close by Eureka Creek. Scene of a gold rush in the late 19th century. The name was changed to Republic honoring the great Republic Mining Claim after the name Eureka was denied as another town had claimed it. Whew!!!! That was a sentence and a half! Republic is located at the top of the San Poil valley surrounded by the Okanagan Highlands to the West and the Kettle Ridge mountains to the East. And a beautiful valley it is.
Gold found this town and still makes Republic run to this day. Both the Hecla and the Kinross mines have contributed to keeping Republic on the map.
How many City Halls do you know that are log constructed? And surrounded by gorgeous murals depicting the progression of life here in Republic?
Andersons Grocery has been faithfully serving residents for over 100 years! We all shop there and are grateful for their presence.
The Republic Drug Store has been in the Slagle family since 1904. And the next generation is in the wings. Thanks Rob and Patty! 2 of this worlds best Pharmacists!
The PUD. Public Utility- Making sure our community has electricity to power our homes and businesses!
How about your need for clothes, crafts, quilting supplies and more? Arwen at the Outfitters will call you by name and personally assist you in your choices. Can’t get that service at big box USA
If Arwen doesn’t have it, she will send you down the street to Taggs and Carla will do the same! If she doesn’t have it, Carla will send you to Arwen. Can’t do that in the city.
Need a place to stay? The Northern Inn is the place to be. Built to resemble an old west hotel, Kathy will make you feel right at home.
And yes, we have restaurants serving good, hardy, soul satisfying fare by people who really care if you like you meal!
Need hardware? Well…Hardings has it or if not, they will have it for you Wednesday! This place is the best. A smallish store crammed with just about anything you need and a lot of things you didn’t know you needed. And truly, they will bend over backwards to get you that piece of pipe to fix your only water supply!
Speaking of the wild west……The Wild West farm and garden store supplies all you need to raise chickens, feed your goats and sheep and plant all the flowers and vegetables you can imagine.
And what, you say about your medical care needs? Well, we have a critical access hospital here. Staffed by knowing and caring professionals who can treat treat anything that arrives at their door. Routine? No problem. Got ya covered. Not so good? They will get you stabilized and air flighted to Spokane for treatment. We are truly blessed to have this facility and even more blessed to have it staffed by dedicated professionals.
Yeppers…..even NAPA is here!
And if you have been not so good, we can handle that too! 🙂 Jail is in the back…just saying.
Eich’s! All things for out doors like fishing, hunting and Radio Shack and river floating and UPS shipping.
And this is how Republic relaxes. Billy and Emily own the Brew Pub. Not just a bar, but a place to play Scrabble, or listen to live music or have a birthday party or a painting class. Bring your own food and stay for the evening.But yes, the beer is fantastic!
Churches also seem to outnumber the residents of Republic, but this one church deserves special recognition. 125 years old! Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church and the beautiful little church that Dan and I attend. Locate on the hill overlooking the town, it is a reminder of what our founding fathers felt and knew to be important.
A look down Clark Street from one end of town to the other. Not much there but everything is there. And just look at the mountains heading down the valley. Home. This is home.
Thanks for stopping by today my friends. I hope you enjoy reading my stories even half as much as I enjoy sharing my life with you. Wherever your journey leads you today, I hope it is one step closer to fulfilling your dreams!
Hugs and much love from me,
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