History buffs to tour area historical treaty council, battle sites

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To honor Walla Walla history on the ground where it happened, local history scholar Daniel N. “Dan” Clark will offer a three-session Walla Walla Treaty Councils & Battles, 1855-56 class.

The focus will be on the famous Walla Walla Treaty Council of May-June 1855, the subsequent Battle of Walla Walla in December 1855 and the little-known Second Walla Walla Treaty Council & Stevens Skirmish in September 1856. Each session will take take place at or near one of these events, and involve a tour of the actual site, Dan said in a release.

He will teach the series through the Walla Walla Community College Quest program from 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays, May 7, 14 and 21.

Session one will be at the Heritage Park shelter on Main Street, which is part of the historic council grounds. Class members will read aloud key portions of the official transcript of the Council, which has been described as having “in general importance and difficulty, never been equaled by any council held with Indian Tribes of the United States.” There are 16 voices. Prior to the session class members are asked to review excerpts of the transcript at bit.ly/153FJO1 and suggest voices they would like to read. Chairs should be brought for the session. As context for the Council, class participants may also read pages 157-161 from the excerpts of the first history of the Walla Walla region, written by Col. Frank Gilbert in 1882, available online at bit.ly/123snyw.

Paper or email copies of the transcript and Gilbert excerpts are available for those needing them by sending Dan your email address prior to the first class.

Session two, the Battle of Walla Walla, will be at the new shelter at the Frenchtown Historic Site, 8364 W. Old Highway 12, a portion of the battlefield. The class will discuss the Yakima-Walla Walla Indian War that began three months after the 1855 Treaty Council, including the Battle of Walla Walla, said to be the longest Indian Battle in the history of Washington Territory. Class members will tour the Frenchtown Historic Site and visit other portions of the battleground. Participants are invited to read the remainder of the Gilbert excerpts, pages 161-185 for details of the battle and its context. Dan recommends reading the book, “A Little War of Destiny—The Yakima Walla Walla Indian War of 1855-56,” by John C. Jackson. Chairs will be needed for this event, unless otherwise instructed.

The final session, The Second Walla Walla Treaty Council and Stevens Skirmish of 1856, will begin at the Rooks Park shelter, then participants will walk or drive to the Mill Creek Diversion Dam and canal, from which they will view the point where Gov. Isaac Stevens and his party with 38 wagons, 80 oxen, 50 teamsters, 69 Washington militiamen and 50 friendly Nez Perce Indians were attacked by tribesmen at midday on Sept. 19, 1856. Class participants will follow their path to where the wagons were circled and fighting continued through the night and into the next morning, in the only battle in which Gov. Stevens fought Indians.

Participants may review detailed first-person accounts of what took place as well as a map of the skirmish points on the instructor’s Walla Walla Treaty Councils website, bit.ly/158FT7g. Paper or email copies will also be available for those needing them.

The cost for all three sessions is $24.60 plus the Quest quarterly registration fee of $15 or equivalent for anyone younger than 50 wanting to take the class, identified as Q151/Quest051. To register, call 527-4443 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday or online go to bit.ly/12UIUnh. Dan is available at 522-0399 or clarkdn@charter.net for more details.


Members of the Providence St. Mary orthopedic team experienced a few travelers nightmares while en route to Ebeye, a Marshall Island 5,018.35 miles from here as the seagull flies.

Their plane was canceled twice and three days in a row they awaited the plane at 2 a.m. before reaching their destination at 11:40 a.m. They ignored the fatigue and got to work unpacking crates of supplies and equipment, setting up their operating room, saw patients and scheduled surgeries for the following day.

“The islanders are so laid back. They were amazed at the team’s energy and high spirits,” said Jacque Spence, co-founder of Canvasback Missions (Bencia, Calif.), the non-profit organization that sponsored the team.

Along for the two-week mission were Providence Medical Group orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Henderson and his recruited 13-person team that included Walla Walla Clinic pediatrician Dr. Kay Henderson; anesthesiologist Dr. Ted Skaarup ; and registered nurses John Bleth and Maryanna Nelson.

Keeping a killer pace, they examined 277 patients and performed 32 surgeries. The total value of their services exceeds $727,250, according to a release.

“On this isolated island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, pain is a way of life. People wait for months to receive care. The waiting room and hallways at the Leroij Kitland Memorial Health Center in Ebeye were overflowing with patients needing orthopedic care. One of their first patients broke her hip at Christmas and waited for two months for the team to come and do surgery. Another case was a teenage boy who had fallen off a truck and broke his radius (one of two forearm bones) just five days before the team arrived.”

“The young man was fortunate that the team was there in time to help. His case was difficult and chances are if we hadn’t been there, his fracture would have healed improperly,” Richard Henderson said. “The cases are challenging. I did an excision of an advanced giant cell tumor that distorted the anatomy of the patient’s hand. Here in the U.S., I rarely see cases as advanced as the ones in Ebeye”

Dr. Kay Henderson saw patients in the clinic, consulted with the local pediatrician on several difficult cases and assisted with hospital rounds.

Common among island children are devastating diseases such as rheumatic fever, severe asthma, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, nutritional rickets and cerebral palsy. Resources are very limited. “I feel privileged to have been part of the team committed to bringing hope and healing to the people of Ebeye,” Kay Henderson said.

The team also provided total knee replacement surgery and arthroscopy.

“Normally, a patient would never be able to get this type of surgery on the island of Ebeye,” said Spence. “We were able to provide these services because of the generosity of companies like Zimmer Inc and Americares, Cardinal Health, DePuy Inc., and Polar Products, who donated the implants, medications, and surgery packs.

“Providence St. Mary donated a great deal of supplies for the mission. All the supplies and equipment were shipped in a 20-foot sea freight container donated by Matson Navigation. It truly does take an effort of a village to make a mission successful.”

The non-profit Canvasback Missions operates a Diabetes Wellness Center in Majuro, Marshall Islands, where more than 50 percent of the adult population is diabetic. The company sends six to nine teams annually to the islands in Micronesia. For more information about volunteer and donor opportunities see www.canvasback.org.


More than the ivories will be tickled when the Walla Walla Senior Citizens Center raises the funds needed to buy a player piano currently ensconsed in its dining room. It’s been on loan there at The Center at the Park, 720 Sprague Ave., but the owner needs to sell it, according to the Center’s April newsletter.

To help purchase the piano and its music rolls and to do a little repair work, contact the center. About $500 is needed in the next two months to keep it there.

Volunteers are sought to assist in the gift shop, which operates weekdays from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Training is promised, “and it is not difficult. You’ll get out of your home and meet nice people at the center.”

The Adult Day Center will host an open house from 3-5:30 p.m. April 25 and 28. The staff will show examples of the crafts, literature, newsletter, light refreshments and more to give visitors a feel for the services it provides.

Two new classes are featured, the newsletter reported: beginning tai chi taught by Leonard Gong, and hands-on digital photography over three days, starting May 6. Participants will take their cameras outdoors and get real-world experience and training from Larry Goodhew.

For any of these activities, call the Senior Center for further details at 527-3775.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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