Welcome back to the 'old country' read the note on a gift given us by long time friends last week.
|Back in our 'old country' Washington State|
It was a warm greeting, yet, a bit startling to realize that it applies to us these days. As expats living in Greece for most of the year, Washington State -- particularly this eastern side of the state where we were born and raised -- is for us now, the 'old country'.
|Lake Chelan from The Butte|
By definition, 'old country' is one's country of origin, the homeland, birthplace, mother country, father land. . .all of which fit these days for our Washington State.
A New, Old Country
Manson, an unincorporated village on the north shore of 55-mile-long Lake Chelan, is where we've planted our part-time American roots. I loved finding the announcement pictured above in historical records as I've always wondered how this little place came to be. The downtown 'core' is about two blocks long with eateries and winery tasting rooms occupying the old buildings. While they might have built those 'drug store, hardware store, etc.' back in 1914, only two of those types of businesses remain: a grocery store and hardware store.
Several decades ago when The Scout
first introduced me to this small town, the 20-minute drive between it and the larger Chelan town where he was born and raised, seemed a route into the boondocks as it led through vast apple orchards punctuated with a few scattered residences.
|Planned future residential development|
There are still beautiful views over the lake and a few acres of orchards remain but now the route passes several large residential developments, a casino and four wineries. Construction is booming and home prices are soaring.
|The Lookout development between Chelan and Manson|
It seems many in the metropolitan areas learned during Covid lockdowns of 2020 that working remotely could be done from near or far. Many urban- and suburban-ites are relocating to this rural part of the state. The Lookout, pictured above, fills 63-acres with what seems a continuously expanding nest of new homes. Developers describe this resort community as featuring a 'new urbanism' concept.
Lake Chelan and Wine Country
|Lake Chelan, 55-mile-long glacier-fed lake|
Lake Chelan, a body of water that reaches a maximum depth of 1,486-feet deep in places, stretches from the town of Chelan at its eastern tip to Stehekin at the head of the lake. Stehekin can only be reached by water craft or float plane. The lake has always drawn tourists in the summer months and now winter recreational activities in the oft-snow-covered nearby foothills and mountains are making tourism a year-round industry.
|Washington State Wine Map|
Of course, the burgeoning wine industry here is luring many vino enthusiasts to the area. Lake Chelan AVA, a wine region designation now more than a decade old, has more than 30 wineries and 300 acres of land planted in wine grapes.
Old Country Favorites
|Another orchard gives way to home construction|
While we note with each visit here the continuing changes in the landscape - new residential developments, new wineries, and related businesses -- we also are relieved to see that icons of the past remain vibrant in the communities of Chelan and Manson:
|Manson Grange Hall|
The Grange Hall in Manson is still serving as the social gathering hub of the community. In the U.S. the Grange originated in 1867 as an association of farmers that provided social activities, community service and conducted political lobbying for the agricultural industry. Grange halls were located in nearly every agricultural community in the state. The summer's Farmer's Market in Manson is aptly held in the parking lot here each week.
|St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - Chelan|
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Chelan is the oldest permanent structure in the community. Built in 1897 this log church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. It has been serving congregants since its doors opened. (It just reopened its doors to in person worship this month -having been closed to state Covid closure mandates).
|Inside the Ruby Theatre Chelan, WA|
The doors opened to the Ruby Theatre, just down the street from the church, in 1914. It is a step back in time to go to a movie here and it is one of the most popular places in town.
Small retail businesses now operate out of the building that housed the Chelan Transfer company - a place that served freight, express and stage lines.
|Campbell's the hospitality icon of Chelan|
Campbell's Resort is a sprawling modern complex and popular convention site on the shores of Lake Chelan. The family-owned business began in 1901 and the original hotel building is now home to the resort's restaurant and bar.
We are halfway through our stay in the 'old country' and our explorations here will continue. Hope you'll join us for another look at central Washington State next week. Until then, safe travels to you and yours and as always, thanks for the time you've spent with us today!
Linking soon with:Travel TuesdayOur World TuesdayMy Corner of the World WednesdayWordless Wednesday
Welcome back! All of that new construction is heart-breaking! I'm glad to see that some of the old icons are still standing!ReplyDelete
Yes, it is beginning to feel a bit suburban around here!Delete
It's good to see you having fun exploring the Northwest. We really need to look at adding this area to our travel list. It looks beautiful and historic.ReplyDelete
You two would be able to find all sorts of places to write about if you get out this way!!Delete
OH, I just had a visit to Lake Chelan and Manson and loved the wine touring in the region. It's wonderful to see an old place with new eyes.ReplyDelete