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About this City Journal

A detailed look at life in rural countryside, urban cityscapes, and the deep contrasts of the two. A living world.

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USA Patriot

Wenatchee Ridge

Population: 8,019

Incorporated: 1973

County: Joseph County

Map Location:usljosephcounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Known for being "almost" the halfway point between Monitor and Republic, Wenatchee Ridge is a little getaway on the verge of dry country. The small community has sprouted around gas stations and now a small commercial core to keep the residents happy. The town has a reputation for their views over Joseph County, hence the name, "Wenatchee Ridge." The town is located on a ridge that overlooks large portions of the county and the Apache River far below. While still located in western Joseph County, which is considered green land, the town is just a stone throws toss from scrublands. The summers here are hot, and the area receives far less rain then much of the state. The Chase Mountains provide a lovely snow capped framing for the town if looking at it from the east, towards the west.

The main town is sprawled out along the highway with all the amenities that locals need including the ever growing retirement and time share community, benefiting from the warmer weather. Also an arts community is begin to grow, and embrace native culture. The town is adorned in native art, even on streetlights. Downtown has community favorites including a local diner, a few gas stations, a grocery store, McDonalds, and other smaller businesses. Many are predicting that Wenatchee Ridge will see increased growth within the next twenty years, and possibly becoming one of the top three biggest towns in the county. New housing is being built around the town, especially along the ridge.

A big portion of the residents in Wenatchee Ridge are wealthy and there are many nice homes around the town. Vacation homes dot the townscape and there are many full time residents as well. The town has a elementary school and a high school, as well as a private school. Numerous churches dot the town.

Wenatchee Ridge has a municipal police station that serves the community. There is a division called the "Senior Patrol" which attracts many retired seniors to drive around in marked patrol cars and do crime prevention. They also will provide extra security at schools and town events. A fire station is also located in town with a few full time employee's and volunteers. Located in town is also a medical clinic.

It is not uncommon to see wildlife roam the streets of Wenatchee Ridge, as it has kept a nature friendly charm, but with the recent growth and expected growth, will the town be able to still pride itself to being one infused with nature? Only time will be able to tell, as Wenatchee Ridge has big hopes to fulfill.

LOCATION: Wenatchee Ridge is more dry then nearby Chane and Northwood Counties by a long ways. It falls within the rain shadow of nearby Chase mountains to the west. It is located south of Monitor and northwest of Republic. The Apache River is located down the ridge from town and is to the east.

HISTORY: A far more recent community, Wenatchee Ridge was not settled until the 1930s. A few businesses opened shop alongside the newly built highway and soon a few homes followed. It was not until 1973 that Wenatchee Ridge was incorporated.

ATTRACTIONS: The Apache River and 290 days of sunshine a year. Warm temperatures during the summer months and nearby to other attractions.

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Wenatchee Ridge, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Looking west over Wenatchee Ridge.)

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Wenatchee Ridge, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Looking south over town.)

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Wenatchee Ridge, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The commercial heart of Wenatchee Ridge has been growing in recent years.)

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Wenatchee Ridge, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Some commercial buildings separate from downtown at the south end of town when entering from the highway.)

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Wenatchee Ridge, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Some homes and condos on the edge of Wenatchee Ridge with great views of the Apache River some 400 feet below. There is a large elevation change.)

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Wenatchee Ridge, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Ridge High School is located in Wenatchee Ridge.)

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Wenatchee Ridge, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The main intersection in Wenatchee Ridge. Recent plans are calling for a road widening and re-zoning for mixed use development to create a "village" feel at the base of the Chase Mountains. Possible perfect idea being right next to the mountains and Apache River.)

USA Patriot

Granite Bend

Population: 4,784

Founded: 1894

County: Chane County

Map Location:chanecounty.jpgnorthwoodcountyusl.png

ABOUT TOWN: Located off the Chase Pass Highway by about four miles, some would consider Granite Bend off the beaten path. That was not true in the early years when it was a rough and tumble mining town. The name of the town came from the many granite mines and quarries that once dotted the mountainsides. In current times, the town is quiet, and content.

Many of the downtown businesses are boarded up, but maintained. The parking in downtown is located in the center of two main streets, with the commercial businesses straddling the main road. It is a unique town core that the town enjoys. The downtown street once continued on several block further then they do today, but in the 1980s were torn down in hopes of attracting new commercial land for developers. That of course never happened, and to this day, the former downtown lots remain empty and filled with grass. Only a few historic buildings remain in these grassy "fields" around town. Volunteers mow the grass throughout the summer, but at times, it becomes overgrown.

Most people commute to work or do shopping in nearby Weldman. The handful of people that work in Granite Bend work at the local shops, volunteer, or work at mill. The mill employs a good amount of people in the town, and provides decent wages for hard workers.

A historic railroad station is located in downtown and still attracts a few riders daily.

Students go to one of the town's elementary schools or high school. The Beecher Valley Community College's main campus is located north in Weldman. A branch campus is located in Chaneville, about 20 miles southwest.

The town of Granite Bend has a small municipal police department that runs mostly second hand patrol cars. The department does have two barbecue's a year to get to know the public and they are popular events filled with food and festivities including an open house of the station and city hall. The town has a Fire Department which hosts an Easter Egg hunt every year, and a small medical clinic. The Chane County Sheriff's Office has a few units patrolling around the town, since their office is located in Chaneville, not too far away.

People look to the future for Granite Bend, whether it is progressing or not. The locals enjoy what they have, and seem content with it. A deadly blow would occur if something were to ever happen to the town mill, but as long as the steam keeps coming out of the chimney, everything will remain the same, just how they like it.

LOCATION: Located a few miles off the Chase Pass Highway, Granite Bend is located at the northeast corner of the county, south of Weldman, northeast of Chaneville, and west of Monitor. It is located within the easternmost portion of the Beecher Valley. Mt. Chancelor is located southeast of town.

HISTORY: The town grew around the granite mines in the mountainside. The workers needed a place to relax, so makeshift tents sprouted up and the name Granite Bend was used. Soon a railroad was built and the town grew to more permanent structures. While this occurred during the 1850s, the town was not incorporated until 1894. An avalanche took place at one of the quarries in 1902 and claimed 32 lives. This is well documented at the Beecher Valley Historical Society in Weldman or the Granite Bend Museum, downtown.

ATTRACTIONS: The nature around the town, and the hiking trails to Mt. Chancelor.

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Granite Bend, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Heavy rains do occur, and it often causes slides over the old quarries and mines. It is good to contact the local ranger's office before exploring into the wilderness.

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Granite Bend, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Granite Bend has seen better days. Some of the older neighborhoods around town can look rather run down, and some portions of the town has abandoned homes.

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Granite Bend, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The "cut-off" as it is known by locals. At this point is where the downtown was bulldozed during the 1980s to make room for new commercial development. Of course that never came and it remains empty fields to this day.

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Granite Bend, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A view of downtown and the "cut off."

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Granite Bend, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Downtown Granite Bend has seen better times, but the community does their best to keep it maintained.)

USA Patriot

Apache River

Population: 7,895

Founded: 1888

County: Joseph County

Map Location:usljosephcounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located to the north of Monitor by about 12 minutes, Apache River is suburban/rural town located on the eastern shore of the Apache River. The town is home to many vacation homes. The considerably drier weather here and 300 plus days of sunshine make Apache River a popular vacation get away for camping and water sport. Also being close to Monitor, the city is within reach of "big city" services. With this combination of isolation, closeness, and natural beauty, Apache River has become a growing and popular destination.

Hargrove Road is the main road in and out of Apache River that branches off the highway. There are a few gas stations and businesses in town, enough to keep the residents happy, including a grocery store. There are no chain stores located in town besides the grocery store. The small downtown street has a few shops for the locals to enjoy including a Asian cuisine eatery, a antique shop, general store, and book shop.

A big portion of the residents in Apache River are wealthy and there are many nice mansions along the riverfront. Vacation homes dot the townscape and there are many full time residents as well. The town has a elementary school and a high school as well.

The city hall is located by the waterfront across the street from the boat launch and marina. Located within the city hall is the Apache River Police Department and Apache River Fire Department. The Joseph County Sheriff's Office also has a boat unit parked at the marina all year round in case needed. Located in town is also a medical clinic.

LOCATION: Apache River is more dry then nearby Chane and Northwood County by a long ways. It falls within the rain shadow of nearby Chase mountains to the west. It is located on the Apache River and sits within a valley known as the Apache River Valley north of Monitor.

HISTORY: The area was settled in the early 1850's, and earlier by the indigenous people. The site was actually the location of a large tribal village up until the 1870s when white settlers began to move in more. The town was incorporated in 1888. The town had a reputation for lawlessness in the 1880s-1890s, but that subsided when more people moved to Monitor.

ATTRACTIONS: The Apache River and 300 days of sunshine a year. Warm temperatures during the summer months and nearby to other attractions. During the summer months, wildflowers grow all around Apache River and become a popular attraction.

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Apache River, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A riverfront mansion north of Apache River. The wealthy enjoy vacation homes along the river often with private boat launches.)

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Apache River, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The Apache River Community Church is well known for it's grand view over the town, the Apache River, and Chase Mountains to the west. The small red building below the hill on the right was originally the first city hall in town. Today it is a historic landmark.)

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Apache River, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The small business district of Apache River. Some plans for future growth will possibly allow businesses to be built along the highway.)

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Apache River, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Downtown Apache River.)

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Apache River, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Water Drive goes along the Apache River and showcases some of the nicest homes in the town.)

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Apache River, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Residential homes within the town of Apache River. The city is nicely kept up and known for it's lush landscapes.)

USA Patriot

Monitor

Population: 91,873

Founded: 1860

County: Joseph County

Map Location:usljosephcounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located to the east of Weldman by about 35 minutes, Monitor is the largest city, county seat, and economic heart of Joseph County. Monitor is surrounded by a mix of forested hills, scrublands, and irrigated farmland along the Apache River. To the north of Monitor is the farming suburb town of Apache River and the south, Wenatchee Ridge. Monitor's population continues to increase and the addition of migrant workers to the local fields has helped increase growth.

From the downtown streets of Monitor, it is easy to view the densely forested moutnains of Northwood and Chane County. Joseph County is more populous then both it's neighboring counties to the west, though has more smaller rural farming communities. Farming has been the biggest source of employment in the county and still remains important even with the ever growing service sector.

The Apache River Mall is located east of downtown across the highway. It is the largest shopping center in the county and that stat is true for many surrounding counties. All the big chain stores people love to shop in can be found in the Apache River Mall area. In the historic downtown, things still run at a slower, harkening back the earlier days of Monitor's past. Sadly many historic buildings have been removed, but some still survive, and the town's iconic central garden remains in the heart of town. A large farmers market located in downtown has fresh produce 365 days a year for people to enjoy.

Rail lines, river barges, and highway networks have made Monitor an important crossroads for many supplies. Many packing facilities and warehouses are located in and around the city, with fresh produce and crops from the local fields being sent to other markets.

Monitor has big city services including the Apache River Medical Center and the smaller Monitor General Hospital. There are numerous schools throughout the city as well as a municipal airport, the Joseph County Regional Airport. Next to the airport is the Joseph County Motorspeedway, a fully paved and banked racing facility. It is one of a handful throughout the state, and handles many local events, concerts, Saturday and Sunday races, and much much more. Beside the track is the large city run, Monitor Hills Park. The park features trails, numerous soccer fields, and two baseball fields with lights for nighttime play.

Located east of downtown is the Joseph County Sheriff's Office. The main courthouse is located by the Apache River Mall as well as the jail within the same building. This is the Joseph County Sheriff's Office main headquarters, though another important station is located in Republic down south. A few substations exist around the county. Monitor also has a municipal police force recognized state wide for their professionalism. The Monitor Police Department has two stations within the city, one downtown, and one to the north. There is also a Everson State Patrol office south of town right off the highway. The Monitor Fire Department has a major aerial unit located at the Joseph County Regional Airport as does the state patrol.

Monitor is home to the Apache River College and Monitor Community College. Apache River College is the largest college in a large radius.

Numerous local channels transmit and broadcast from Monitor. Monitor is also home to two local news channels that focus on the region around them including Chane, Northwood, and other counties. They are the farthest east news channels in Everson State. There are many radio stations that broadcast from the city.

LOCATION: Monitor is more dry then nearby Chane and Northwood County by a long ways. It falls within the rain shadow of nearby mountains to the west. It is located on the Apache River and sits within a valley known as the Apache River Valley.

HISTORY: The area was settled in the early 1850's, and earlier by the indigenous people. When white settlers moved in, the area was transformed into farming land. The first population boom for Monitor started in the 1860s with the opening of river boats that sailed up and down the Apache River. The railroad was constructed to help move timber out faster. With the construction of Chase Pass in the 1920's, Goods were able to move by trucks west across the mountains. It also allowed people to drive across the Chase Mountains for the first time.

ATTRACTIONS: The hillsides around the town and the mountain views. Town festivals and close to recreation. Downtown shops provide a unique flair with many outdoorsman, hunting, and inns. The Apache River Mall as well as the Joseph County Motorspeedway. The Apache River has many recreational activities.

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Monitor, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(An aerial of Monitor proper as it stretches along the east side of the Apache River.)

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Monitor, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Downtown Monitor looking to the southwest.)

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Monitor, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Located on Monitor Hill, the Joseph County Motorspeedway is located next the the Joseph County Regional Airport. Both are located north of town.)

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Monitor, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A packing facility located outside of Monitor.)

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Monitor, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The main highway as it makes it's way southeast into Monitor. A common site will be farmland on both sides, as well as large trucks taking goods to other markets.)

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Monitor, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Apache River Mall shopping area. It is the largest shopping district in many counties.)

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Monitor, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The central square in historic downtown Monitor.)

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Monitor, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Downtown Monitor.)

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Monitor, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Many historic and larger buildings were torn down in the 1960s to make, "more modern and sleek" buildings in Monitor. Sadly a lot of history was lost, but much still remains.)

USA Patriot

Mount Chancelor Wilderness

County: Chane County

Map Location:chanecounty.jpg

topochancelor.jpg

(Mount Chancelor topographical map.)

ABOUT REGION: The Mount Chancelor wilderness area includes all the forested land around the mountain and Chancelor Creek, near Mayer. It is a mostly uninhabited region with a few vacation cabins and even fewer permanent residents. It is a popular hot spot for fishing, cross country skiing, hiking, hunting, and other outdoors activities. There are two ranger stations for the area, one south of Chaneville, and one near Mayer. It is always advised to contact the ranger station for the latest on the weather, and if it is safe to travel the small backroads.

For those who do not wish to touch, but see from above the region, helicopter tours take off from Chaneville and Weldman. For a reasonable price, anyone can enjoy the splendor the Mount Chancelor and the Chase Mountains.

Mount Chancelor rises above the landscape and is 8,093 feet above sealevel. By far it is not the tallest mountain in the range, but it looks imposing because it is not clustered with the rest of the Chase Mountains. The weather can change in an instant as well, so being prepared if going into the backcountry is key. Wildlife are the residents of this region, so one should be ready for anything.

Chancelor Creek by Mayer is a very popular river for fishing. Fly fishermen love the area for the many types of fish they can catch from these pristine waters.

There are two local radio stations in Weldman, both of which play music. One plays country music, and the other is a mix of contemporary music and country. The town picks up into the Monitor City market of television and radio.

LOCATION: Mt. Chancelor is located just west of the town, Mayer and south of Chaneville. The mountain sits separate from the rest of the Chase Mountains, but is still within the mountain range boundaries. It is located in the south east corner of Chane County.

HISTORY: The area became busy with miners looking for gold in Chancelor Creek. Very little gold was ever found, but a few homesteads still popped up in the thick forested wilderness. Some timber industry has occurred on and off, but for the most part today, remains untouched by timber companies. Mount Chancelor reamins as remote as it was in the pioneer days, and is a favorite hotspot for cross country skiing, fishing, and hunting.

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Mt. Chancelor Wilderness (AJM SC4)

(As you reach the summit of Mt. Chancelor, conditions can be challenging. Rarely do tours go in heavy snow, but a few charters will do it.)

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Mt. Chancelor Wilderness (AJM SC4)

(In the circumstances when someone is in need of help in the wilderness, the Chane County and Northwood County Sheriff's Office often work together and use one of their two helicopters for search and rescue missions. They have been trained for white out conditions and can handle a helicopter even in some of the worst conditions.)

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Mt. Chancelor Wilderness (AJM SC4)

(On a clear day, Mount Chancelor can be seen rising above the forest. At 8,093 though, it is not one of the tallest mountains in the range.)

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Mt. Chancelor Wilderness (AJM SC4)

(Mount Chancelor west of Mayer.)

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Mt. Chancelor Wilderness (AJM SC4)

(White water rafting is easily possible on Chancelor Creek near Mayer. A few cabins dot along the riverside.)

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Mt. Chancelor Wilderness (AJM SC4)

(Chancelor Creek is popular with hiking, hunting, swimming, fishing, and rafting. It is also a good river for a canoe ride. There are many wonders one can see while going down stream. Nature surrounds you on all sides, birds chirp, fish jump, and the air is smooth and refreshing.)

USA Patriot

Weldman

Population: 28,857

Founded: 1899

County: Northwood County

Map Location:northwoodcountyusl.png

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ABOUT TOWN: Weldman is the most populated city in Northwood County and in neighboring Chane County. It is the commercial center for the Beecher Valley and is known for being a haven surrounded by mountains. It is on the cusp of heavily forested land and scrublands. Not too far east the landscape and climate become all together different, becoming more dry. Weldman is the county seat of Northwood County.

The town is a bustling and growing community that strives to be a perfect mountain getaway for so many people. Homes are built on hillsides, and surrounded by nature. Never is someone too far away from wildlife in the city. It is typical to see wildlife wandering into the outskirts of downtown.

Downtown Weldman has been doing an impressive ad campaign luring people to the area for recreation such as fishing, hiking, and cross country skiing. Downtown streets are lined with unique shops, cafe's, and diners. Small inn's and hotels provide for any travelers headed deeper into Chase Pass. Also numerous chain stores line the Chase Pass highway for the more average shoppers who live in the city. As the locals would say, their "isn't a bad seat in town." There are numerous town events each year, including a music festival in August.

There is a railroad station in the town as well as an airfield outside of town. The town serves as the economic heart of Beecher Valley and Northwood County. No other town in the county even comes close to the size of Weldman. All services come from Weldman, as the rest of the county is very rural and remote.

Students go to one of the city's elementary schools or high school. Some students from smaller communities like Ridgeway and Simon and bussed to Weldman's high school. The Beecher Valley Community College's main campus is located in Weldman. A branch campus is located in Chaneville, about 20 miles southwest.

The Northwood County Sheriff's Office is the main police force for the entire county. There are no substations in the county, so all units start from Weldman and work out to the more rural towns each day. The sheriff presence is large in Northwood County. The city also has a municipal force, the Weldman Police Department. The town also has a fire station and a large medical center known as Weldman Hospital. A helicopter pad is located at the hospital incase emergencies are located in rural areas, they can fly out to locations.

There are two local radio stations in Weldman, both of which play music. One plays country music, and the other is a mix of contemporary music and country. The town picks up into the Monitor City market of television and radio.

LOCATION: Weldman is located in Northwood County within Beecher Valley. It is the largest town in the valley, and servers as a commercial center for the region. It is located north of the Chane County town of Granite Bend. A little further to the east, the regions climate becomes more dry, and the tree's become more sparse as it becomes scrublands. It is one of the easternmost towns along Chase Pass.

HISTORY: The area was settled in the early 1850's, and earlier by the indigenous people. When white settlers moved in, the area become important for mining and timber. The railroad was constructed to help move timber out faster. with the construction of Chase Pass in the 1920's, timber was for the first time moved by trucks. It also allowed people to drive across the Chase Mountains for the first time.

ATTRACTIONS: The hillsides around the town and the mountain views. Town festivals and close to recreation. Downtown shops provide a unique flair with many outdoorsman, hunting, and inns.

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The train station in Weldman is a popular tourist destination. A dinner train drives through the Chase Mountains and attracts a good number of people yearly.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Weldman is considered an attractive mountain town filled with shops that cater to recreationists and leisure lovers.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A downtown view of Weldman.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Many neighborhoods around Weldman border the forested wilderness and are tucked along mountain hillsides.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Typical of most towns in North America, Weldman has a wide array of chain stores for shopping consumers.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(While partially in a rain shadow from the Chase Mountains, Weldman does get it's share of rain, though it rains less then on the west side of the mountains. Weldman does get snow.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The Art's District is a small area of downtown that attracts people to the area. Many local galleries are run by local artists and attract daily wanderers.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Downtown Weldman is known for it's historic buildings and quaint town charm. Many shops line downtown streets.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(County government buildings are located downtown. The Northwood County courthouse considered too radical for the town when is was completed in 1992. It moved from a historic building to this newer building. The black building across the street is further county government offices, city hall, and a library downstairs.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Passenger train service also goes daily to the city of Monitor, east of Weldman.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(One of the scenic residential neighborhood's in Weldman. Most of the residential areas in the city are heavily wooded.)

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Weldman, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A view of the Chase Pass Highway as it rushes by Weldman.)

USA Patriot

Ridgeway

Population: 251

Founded: 1901

County: Northwood County

Map Location:northwoodcountyusl.png

ABOUT TOWN: Located in Northwood County, one of six counties in Everson State that border Evergreen State, Simon is a tiny mountain town. Despite being close to the Chane County town of Lawson, Simon has kept it's small town charm. It is located just southwest of the town Simon, one of two Northwood County towns located in the Beecher Valley.

The town receives police service from the Northwood County Sheriff's Office out of Weldman. Deputies will often have to drive along Chase Pass to get to an emergency in the town, but because of the low population in both Simon and Ridgeway, rarely are police services required. With that in mind, there are a few sheriff deputies that patrol the area as part of their shift a few times a week.

The town's main street faces the railroad tracks. The fire station, gas station/mini mart, post office, and antique shop are located on the main street. A small train depot located at the end of downtown now sits empty, but was the center of debate in the early years between Simon and Ridgeway.

The town has a volunteer fire station. Most Northwood County students living in Simon and Ridgeway are bused to the nearest high school in Weldman which is a little over 40 miles away. The county is working with the state to possibly open another high school in the county for the more rural students to have such a long drive. In a single day, the buses put on over 80 miles to bus the students from Ridgeway and Simon alone.

Most other services such as media, shopping, and medical is all located in nearby Lawson, which is located in Chane County to the south. The town is only a few miles from Chase Pass, but has a peaceful serene location.

LOCATION: Located in Northwood County, one of six counties in Everson State that border Evergreen State, Simon is a tiny mountain town. Despite being close to the Chane County town of Lawson, Simon has kept it's small town charm. It is located just southwest of the town Simon, one of two Northwood County towns located in the Beecher Valley.

HISTORY: The village was settled in by Michael Ridgeway when he had a disagreement with fellow settler Tom Simon. The two settled away from each other and tried to start rival communities. Neither town prospered much, but Ridgeway was able to get a railroad station while Simon was not able too. Ridgeway, despite having the railway station, never grew much. It was larger then Simon up until 1974 when Simon grew due to forestry and the ranger station.

ATTRACTIONS: The hillsides around the town and the mountain views.

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Ridgeway, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The town of Ridgeway.)

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Ridgeway, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Ridgeway is the end of the road if heading north. It connects by side roads to Simon and eastern Northwood County. Also connection to Chance County and Chase Pass.

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Ridgeway, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Ridgeway's main street. The old railroad station is located to the left at the end of the street. Recently the county repaved the town's main street.

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Ridgeway, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Homes in Ridgeway are old and often cabins. The area never developed as much as the original founder had hoped.)

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Simon

Population: 338

Founded: 1901

County: Northwood County

Map Location:northwoodcountyusl.png

ABOUT TOWN: Located in Northwood County, one of six counties in Everson State that border Evergreen State, Simon is a tiny mountain town. Surrounded by forest on all sides, and railway tracks that touch the southern tip of the town. Despite being close to the Chane County town of Lawson, Simon has kept it's small town charm. It is located northwest of the town Ridgeway, one of two Northwood County towns located in the Beecher Valley.

The town is in the rain shadow of the Chase Mountains but is located high enough in the foothills that it can receive some snow. A rather interesting phenomena in the town is because of it's rain shadow, that it can be snowing on the mountains above the town, and about a mile from the town east, but not actually snow in the town itself keeping it dry. It is called the "Simon Pattern" after the town.

The town receives police service from the Northwood County Sheriff's Office out of Weldman. Deputies will often have to drive along Chase Pass to get to an emergency in the town, but because of the low population in both Simon and Ridgeway, rarely are police services required. With that in mind, there are a few sheriff deputies that patrol the area as part of their shift a few times a week.

The town has a volunteer fire station, and located in the same building is the community center. Town meetings are held here every other month. The fire department also has an annual summer potluck the second Saturday of each August. There is a small elementary school in the town. Most Northwood County students living in Simon and Ridgeway are bused to the nearest high school in Weldman which is a little over 40 miles away. The county is working with the state to possibly open another high school in the county for the more rural students to have such a long drive. In a single day, the buses put on over 80 miles to bus the students from Ridgeway and Simon alone.

Most other services such as media, shopping, and medical is all located in nearby Lawson, which is located in Chane County to the south. The town is only a few miles from Chase Pass, but has a peaceful serene location.

LOCATION: Located in Northwood County, one of six counties in Everson State that border Evergreen State, Simon is a tiny mountain town. Surrounded by forest on all sides, and railway tracks that touch the southern tip of the town. Despite being close to the Chane County town of Lawson, Simon has kept it's small town charm. It is located northwest of the town Ridgeway, one of two Northwood County towns located in the Beecher Valley.

HISTORY: The village was settled in by Tom Simon when he had a disagreement with fellow settler Michael Ridgeway. The two settled away from each other and tried to start rival communities. Neither town prospered much, but Ridgeway was able to get a railroad station while Simon was not able too. Simon instead had citizens jump on the train as it slowly passed the town. This resulted in a death the first year of trying this. The town petitioned for a station, but never got one. The town finally built their own station, but the trains never stopped, which in turn resulted in the station being torn down 2 years later. Simon saw some growth when the forestry department wanted to build a station in the town in 1972. Lumber trucks often rumble through the town to lumber operations deeper in the mountains.

ATTRACTIONS: The hillsides around the town and the mountain views.

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Simon, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A forestry road heading east from Simon. Trucks often take these roads to forest operations higher up in the Chase Mountains.

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Simon, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The "Simon Pattern" seen here as snow covers the hillsides beside the town, but not actually hitting the town itself. This is because of the barrier the Chase Mountains provide for the town.

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Simon, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The tiny town of Simon, located in Northwood County.)

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Simon, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A good view of Simon showing the town's "main street" as well as the school, fire hall, and general store.)

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Mayer

Population: 1,432

Founded: 1881

County:Chane County

Map Location:chanecounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located far off the beaten path, Mayer is a small town at the base of Mount Chancelor. The town is located a 60 miles down a county road to the county seat of Chaneville. That is also the nearest for the county sheriff. The town is considered fairly isolated because of it's distant location. It is far from Chase Pass and the hustle and bustle of the thriving Beecher Valley.

The town is held closely knit by the locals who carry on events throughout the year, including an event that attracts tourists from outside the town. Every June the town has a folk music festival that closes down the main street of downtown. Vendors and bands fill the streets as up to 5,000 people attend the event and crowd the tiny streets. The town is lit up during Christmas with a large locally cut Christmas tree in the center of the town's round-a-bout. The local high school also has a well respected baseball program.

The town is home is a local medical clinic and a small police force of made up of 3 cars and 7 officers. The main economic staples for the town are local business, the timber industry, and government. Industrial buildings related to the timber industry dot the tiny towns landscape and large lumber trucks rumble by. The town is a good sight to see after over an hour of driving without so much as a cabin alongside the road. Numerous Campgrounds surround the town, because Chancelor Creek, a popular fishing spot, is nearby.

LOCATION: Located far off the beaten path, Mayer is a small town at the base of Mount Chancelor. The town is located a 60 miles down a county road to the county seat of Chaneville. That is also the nearest for the county sheriff. The town is considered fairly isolated because of it's distant location. It is far from Chase Pass and the hustle and bustle of the thriving Beecher Valley. The town is surrounded by forest which slowly becomes less dense as you head east and southeast. The town is also located near Chancelor Creek which is a popular fishing spot.

HISTORY: In the 1860s the town was settled by Europeans who felt it was a good place to make a home. Their homestead was built along Chancelor Creek. After a few harsh winters, they moved their homestead inland more as their home continued to flood from the river. That new location became the official town site. People eventually moved in and started in the lumber industry, as well as some mining. The town thrived and at one point was said to have had 2,000 people living in the town.

ATTRACTIONS: Historic downtown and recreation in the Chase Mountains.

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Mayer, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The town of Mayer under the shade of Mount Chancelor and the Chase Mountains.)

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Mayer, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A view showing a majority of the town.)

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Mayer, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Downtown Mayer takes great pride in their heritage. They also are very proud of their downtown round-a-bout which has the city hall and police station at the end of Main Street.)

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Mayer, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The end of downtown and the Mayer School which has all grades up to 12th grade located in the sam building.)

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Chaneville

Population: 11,219

Founded: 1855

County:Chane County

Map Location:chanecounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located within the Beecher Valley along the Chase Pass Highway, Chaneville is the county seat of Chane County. The elevation is 844 feet above sea level. The city is located about 18 miles southeast of Lawson and 20 miles southwest of Weldman, the largest city in Beecher Valley and the county seat of northern county, Northwood County. Chaneville is the largest community in Chane County and is home to all the government within the county. County government, courts, and the sheriff's office are all located in Chaneville. It is considered the most urban community in the county.

Chaneville has the most modern shopping of any town in Chane County, but is dwarfed by nearby Weldman located just north of the county line in Northwood County. Chaneville is home to a good amount of chain stores in the region including a Lowe's home improvement store, Albertsons grocery store, and a few other department stores. There is also a good selection of motels and hotels in the town including a Holiday Inn.

The county government buildings are located in downtown including the county courthouse which is in a historic building across the street from the Chane County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office shares a building with the Chaneville Police Department, and a very small sub station for the Everson State Patrol. City Hall is located next to the courthouse as well as the town post office.

The South Beecher Valley Hospital is located in Chaneville and is the largest hospital in Chane County. It is smaller then the hospital in Weldman, located 20 miles away, but bigger then the hospital in Lawson just slightly. The town also has numerous schools and a small community college called, Beecher Valley Community College, which is a branch campus for the full sized campus in Weldman.

LOCATION: Located within the Beecher Valley along the Chase Pass Highway, Chaneville is the county seat of Chane County. The elevation is 844 feet above sea level. The city is located about 18 miles southeast of Lawson and 20 miles southwest of Weldman, the largest city in Beecher Valley and the county seat of northern county, Northwood County. From Chaneville, the county seat, is it approximately 100 miles to get to Surprise Valley, which is located in the Chase Valley. To reach the farthest town from Chaneville, which is Connelly, it is 114 miles. From Chaneville to Mayer, an isolated town to the south, it is a long 60 miles drive around the mountain range to get to the town. The county is very broken up, and relies heavily on the Chase Pass Highway as the main lifeline for the county.

HISTORY: The city was established in 1855 and battled with Lawson for many years to become the county seat of Chane County. Early on, the Beecher Valley was used for farming, and Chaneville grew the goods for the region and county. Strong crops helped the town thrive, until many harsh winters took their toll on the farming business. Weldman surpassed Chaneville and became the principle city of the valley, but the county line split the two cities, and Chaneville was able to retain some of it's prominence, at least within it's own county.

ATTRACTIONS: Historic downtown and located along the river. Close to many attractions and Lawson, as well as the Chase Mountains.

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Chaneville, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Aerial view of Chaneville.)

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Chaneville, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Chase Pass is actually still considered within the pass as it goes through Beecher Valley, because there is still another set of the Chase Mountains the road goes through. Here is the Chase Pass Highway going past one of the exits through Chaneville.)

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Chaneville, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Some of the government and county offices in Chaneville. The Sheriff's Office is seen on the bottom and the courthouse is across the street. On the right side of the small white courthouse building is the city hall.)

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Chaneville, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Life in Chaneville is quite peaceful and the quiet residential streets prove it.)

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Chaneville, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(South Beecher Valley Hospital.)

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Chaneville, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Commercial Street is lined with all the big chain stores in town. It can get quite busy at times.)

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Chaneville, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Downtown Chaneville.)

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Chaneville, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A few historic churches sit in Chaneville including the Church of Christ located in downtown Chaneville. It is the most prominent building on Main Street. Across the street is the fire station.)

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Chaneville, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Main Street through Chaneville has many historic wall to wall buildings.)

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Lawson

Population: 7,102

Founded: 1860

County:Chane County

Map Location:chanecounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located in Beecher Valley along the Chase Pass Highway, Lawson is a historic community and important economic community for the valley. The town is located about 18 miles northwest of the county seat, Chaneville, which is the largest community in the county. Lawson is the second most populated town in the county behind Chaneville. It is also home to one of the county's biggest tourist attractions, which is its historic western downtown, left unchanged from it's pioneer days.

Lawson's location in Beecher Valley place it in a rain shadow, so the community see's more dry and sunny days then most other towns in the county. The historic downtown is left unchanged from it's historic past. Buildings have been kept up and line Pioneer Street, the town's main street. Many shops and attractions line the street. There are numerous museums to explore with historical data on the surrounding area and the mining history. There are two principle exits off the Chase Pass Highway, and both have modern shopping conveniences including fast food and strip malls. Located on Lawson Hill is a community Safeway store, the first major grocery store chain one will see if heading east from Surprise Valley, nearly 80 miles away.

Located on Lawson Hill above the old historic downtown is "Pioneer Village" which is a collection of historical homes and houses from the pioneer days. Some homes are open for the public to view, and others are lived in. Near Pioneer Village is the historic Cason smelter, which melted down materials found in mines in the surrounding area.

Foothills Medical Center is a small hospital located in town, and serves most of the remote communities around Lawson. After Surprise Valley, there is no hospital or medical clinic for 80 plus miles. The community of Peak relies on this medical center or the one in Surprise Valley. A small landing strip is located a mile south of town. The town's police services are provided by the Lawson Town Marshal, which is a glorified name for the tourists. It is a small police force that chooses the name "marshal." They also have a mock station in old town that is open to the public with a historic police car parked out front. Tourists can go into this station and lock themselves in the jail and check out historic artifacts on the town. The town has a fire department.

The town is located only 18 miles from the county seat, and some people commute to Chaneville. A County bus line (Chane County Transit) runs from the county seat to Lawson, but does not head over the pass.

LOCATION: Located in Beecher Valley along the Chase Pass Highway, Lawson is a historic community and important economic community for the valley. The town is located about 18 miles northwest of the county seat, Chaneville. The Rapid River flows a few miles from town. The town's elevation is 932 feet above sea level.

HISTORY: In 1860, Gunther Oreman founded Lawson by building a general store. The following year, a cluster of buildings were built around his store, and that helped form the towns main street. In 1863, a smelter was built providing more jobs to the area. A bid for a railroad was completed that year, but instead the rails ran to the north of town by Simon and Ridgeway. Still, materials were loaded off the tracks in Simon and sent to Lawson to be melted down in the smelter. In 1900, Lawson had a population of 1,290 people. It served as the county seat until 1920 when Chaneville was elected as the new county seat. Lawson has since been an important town for Chane County.

ATTRACTIONS: Historic downtown and Pioneer Village are nice attractions. he Cason Smelter is open for tours. Hiking and other recreation is well known in this area.

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Lawson, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Chase Pass Highway and Exit E1 leads to the towns main fast food and modern shopping area.)

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Lawson, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Exit E2 in Lawson.)

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Lawson, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Historic Downtown Lawson.)

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Lawson, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(An Aerial of Lawson. Chase Pass Highway can be seen to the right of this image.)

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Lawson, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Downtown Lawson and Pioneer Village on Lawson Hill.)

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Lawson, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Lawson's community Safeway grocery store.)

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Lawson, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Historic Downtown Lawson is a principle tourist site for Chane county.)

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Lawson, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(In Pioneer Village, historic churches and a school can be seen with a sweeping view overlooking old downtown. An old cemetery is also located on the hill with gravestones from the pioneers of the town.)

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Peak

Population: 53

Founded: 1922

County:Chane County

Map Location:chanecounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located at the Summit of Chase Pass at an elevation of 4,562 feet, Peak is the smallest incorporated community in Chane County. The community has very little modern luxuries. Cabins can be rented in town and are often used by people wanting to hike or do cross country skiing. Electricity is not supplied in most of the rentable cabins and have to be set up with a generator. A small gas station and convenience store share the same building and right next door is a volunteer fire station. The ranger station is across the street from the two, and this makes up the bulk of the community. Homes are hidden within the thick forest. There is no schools, and no children living in the community as of the last census. The nearest medical center is located either 42 miles west to Surprise Valley or 40 miles east to Lawson. Police services are provided by the Chane County Sheriff's Office which come from Connelly or Chaneville. Chase is the most used pass to get through the lower Chase Mountains. There is a small church located along the highway, and services are held every two weeks among the town locals. It also serves as a meeting house and is open to the public daily from 10am to 5pm.

Winters are harsh and often white out conditions blanket the area. It is a mountain climate. Road crews do their best during the winter to keep the pass open all year long.

LOCATION: Peak is located at the summit of Chase Pass which runs through the Chase Mountains. It is at an elevation of 4,652 feet, which is the highest road point of Chase Pass. It is centered almost exactly 40 miles away from Surprise Valley to the west and Lawson to the east.

HISTORY: The town formed in the 1880's with railway construction through the Chase Mountains. It was a base camp for all the workers. The town was not officially incorporated until 1922. Life after the railway construction jobs left have made the community stay small and quiet. Harsh winters have sometimes threatened the town, and railway crew still often make their base at the community to reach harder to get areas of the railway. The latest known date was the winter of 2008, when a snow slide blocked the rail line for nearly a week.

ATTRACTIONS: Cabins can be rented for life out in nature. A small campground is located east of the town, and a bigger one is located 7 miles west of town. Snow is common, so snow shoeing and skiing is popular in the area, even though no formal ski resort has been made. A 5 mile hike off of mile marker 48 East will bring hikers to Wilmalta Falls, which drops 65 feet into the Wilmalta River.

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Peak, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A completely clear day is rare in Peak, and fog is a very common occurrence for the area.)

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Peak, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Rain is everyday life in Peak.)

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Peak, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Chase Pass runs through the town of Peak. It is the only "significant" community for nearly an 80 miles stretch of road.)

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Peak, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Peak's "downtown" is a gas station and store, next to their fire house and across from the ranger station. It is the only has station for 60 miles.)

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Pello

Population: 234

Founded: 1854

County: Dennison County

Map Location:ajmusldennisoncounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located near the upper Wishcana River, Pello is the northern most community within Surprise Valley. It is surrounded by the Chase Mountains. It is located about 30 miles northwest of the town Surprise Valley on the small and rugged Surprise Valley - Pello Highway. The town of Pello is one of only two towns located in Surprise Valley that are part of Dennison County. There is no way to reach Pello by car without driving through Chane County, as there are no roads connecting it to the rest of the county. The mountains are too steep for any roads to bypass them and connect the towns with the rest of the county.

Pello is a small and isolated community on the foothills of the Surprise Valley. Located at the base of Mt. Chifton, Pello is in complete shade during evenings. The climate is mild, but very wet, often with bone cold and snowy winters. The Surprise Valley - Pello Highway is often covered by mudslides, downed trees, or is blocked by other debris during the winter, completely cutting the town off from the outside world. Because of this risk, some citizens move away during the winter, which can reduce the towns population to as low as just over 150 people. High school students in Pello are bused to Surprise Valley and have online services if they are not able to make it to class. Elementary school students have a small school in town built in the historic old town hall. All police services come from Surprise Valley's Dennison County Sheriff's Office. There is a small volunteer fire department in town with one pump unit and one medical unit.

Pello is home to the Pello Mine that closed in 1911. A small gauge rail line was built to Pello from Surprise Valley to connect it to the main line in 1870, but all was lost during a major mudslide in 1888. This resulted in a huge down turn for the town economy. Today Pello is serviced by a small general store, a hardware shop, and one building that is vacant for rentals by the community and used as a meeting hall. There is a gas pump in town at the volunteer fire department, and to use the pump, citizens need to call someone, or make prior arrangements. Usually on Saturdays the station opens from noon to 3pm to give citizens gas for the following week.

Much of Pello's historic mine still stand today surrounding the town.

LOCATION: Located near the upper Wishcana River, Pello is the northern most community within Surprise Valley. It is surrounded by the Chase Mountains. It is located about 30 miles northwest of the town Surprise Valley on the small and rugged Surprise Valley - Pello Highway. The town of Pello is one of only two towns located in Surprise Valley that are part of Dennison County.

HISTORY: There was a small scale gold rush that took place in Pello in 1840. This resulted in people flocking to the area the Pello Mine being formed in 1841. It was named after Walter P. Pello, a strong Englishman who moved to the nation for a better future. The mine operated every year with good profit. In 1854, the town was incorporated and named after the mine that expanded along the hillsides around the town. After the gold was cleaned out, mining turned to coal and rock. A small gauge rail line was built in 1870 to connect the mine to Surprise Valley and the main line. Before the rail line, all the material was hauled by donkey and wagons to the Wishcana River and sailed downstream. In 1888, a bad winter struck the town and destroyed the rail line. The big wigs of the rail line decided not to rebuild the line claiming they could get better profits from other lines. This left the citizens of Pello distraught. Once again they were cut off from the rest of the world. Attempts were made by the citizens to build their own line from their own pockets, but they built less then 700 feet before quitting. A rough dirt trail connected Pello to Surprise Valley, and it was left that until 1900 when the county government decided to expand the trail into a road for wagons and motor cars.

the Pello Mine that closed in 1911. This resulted in a huge down turn for the town economy, and many of the towns businesses boarded up. The main streets buildings were torn down to bring wood and other supplies over to the growing town of Surprise Valley. For a period, Pello had only 22 citizens living in the town. It was not until 1917 did a entrepreneur by the name of Conell Edwards open up a tourist attraction in the town. He purchased the Pello Mines and opened it for outsiders to experience. At the time there were no safety concerns for aging buildings and people were allowed to explore it at their own risk. This helped the town thrive for a few years until a building collapsed and killed a tourist. The tourist operation closed in 1920. The town had it's ups and downs but remained firmly in place the following years. The mine continued to get older, as did the town, but the citizens had a strong pride to bear through it all. Today the town is lived in by mostly people wanting to live a quiet and peaceful life away from it all. Most of the buildings are still from the original miners that came to the town in the 1800s.

ATTRACTIONS: Hiking, hunting, and fishing are some main attractions for the area. There is a small camp ground about 2 miles south of Pello. A ranger station is located near Surprise Valley. The Pello Mine is located at the town, and is highly frowned upon by the government to explore, because it is dangerous. People still explore them all the time though. Nearly every building in town is from the 1800's including the main street and the historic Christ Church of Pello built in 1871.

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Pello, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Hidden within the Chase Mountains is Pello.)

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Pello, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(One of the buildings from the Pello Mines.)

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(In the evening, Pello is in complete shade from Mt. Chifton.)

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(According to the record books, it rained 93 days in a row in 1992 in Pello.)

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Pello, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(There are no street lights on Pello's roads. The school and volunteer fire station do have lights though around the buildings.)

Pello, Everson State (AJM SC4)

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(The Pello Mine being reclaimed by nature.)

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Pello, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The majority of Pello's business is on 2nd Street. There are only five registered streets in the town. )

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(The Pello Mine sits decaying on the mountainside next to the town. It is dangerous to explore and frowned on by local government, but nothing it blocking people from checking it out.)

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Pello, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The Pello Mine is constantly being worn down by the elements.)

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Surprise Valley

Population: 8,415

Founded: 1914

County:Dennison County

Map Location:ajmusldennisoncounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located along the banks of the Wishcana River, Surprise Valley is the central community for the Surprise Valley Region. It is surrounded by the Chase Mountains and the Surprise Valley Highway runs through the town. Drivers can choose to drive north to the isolated town of Pello, or continue on through the Peak Summit Pass eastward. The town of Surprise Valley is just west of the Chane County line and because of that, is located in Dennison County. It is one of only two towns located in the Surprise county that are part of Dennison County. There is no way to reach Surprise Valley or Pello by car without driving through Chane County, as there are no roads connecting it to the rest of the county. The mountains are too steep for any roads to bypass them and connect the towns with the rest of the county. So instead, Surprise Valley has a highway that goes through the valley and Chane County and connects it to the rest of the county via the town of Lesson or Proell.

Surprise Valley is the largest community in the Surprise Valley and serves the small towns of Mitts and Connelly in Chane County as well. Surprise Valley has a small medical center and a local airport, which is the only of both in the whole valley. The airport serves mainly for private plane owners. Helicopter rides are also provided for people wanting to explore the area from above, as well as a medical service helicopter lift if needed. It has the eastern station for the Dennison County Sheriff's Office which services all the roads and Pello in this part of the county. It is made up of four different patrol officers and a volunteer search and rescue squad. Surprise Valley also has a small police department that serves the town of Surprise Valley. A well equipped library and community center keeps citizens happy as well as a handful of churchs, an elementary school, and high school. Buses actually pick high school students up from Pello everyday some 30 miles north on the small backcountry road to the town. If weather or road conditions are too poor, a online student program is in use for students commuting from Pello. There is no college in town, but all local services such as shopping, clothing, and food stores can be found in the town. There is a ranger station 4 miles north of Surprise Valley on the Surprise Valley - Pello Highway. The town also has their own fire department. There is also a train station in town, which heads east and west.

LOCATION: Located along the banks of the Wishcana River, Surprise Valley is the central community for the Surprise Valley Region. It is surrounded by the Chase Mountains and the Surprise Valley Highway runs through the town. Surprise Valley is located in Dennison County and is the farthest east town in the county.

HISTORY: Surprise Valley is the name of the valley that the town of Surprise Valley is located in. Numerous mining communities sprang up during the mid 1800s. Surprise Valley was settled early by many homesteaders heading to the area for profits from mining. A rail terminus was formed in the valley at where Surprise Valley is today. The main line is still in use today for passenger and freight service, but most of the older branch lines used for mining are no longer in use. Around the train station, a few company stores and businesses popped up. Homesteaders began moving to the region to get out of the "crowded" towns of Mitts, Connelly, and Pello. Early farms and ranches began to open up. In 1880 a post office was opened up and a small school house to serve the students. It was in 1900 that the main street finally got full electrical service provided by the Wishcana River. Riverboat services stopped in the town as it grew and citizens simply called it, "Surprise Valley." The town was not incorporated until 1914, many years after the fact that many already recognized it as a town. A large portion of downtown was burned to the ground in 1902 when a fire got out of hand in a saloon. In 1910, about 1,200 people lived in the town of Surprise Valley, which made is slightly bigger then the town of Mitts located south of the town. As mining operations closed in the region, more and more people left the small towns and moved into Surprise Valley, since it was the only town with full services that were able to stay sustained, and thanks to the rail line, it was easily connected to the outside world. In 1920, Chane and Dennison County was split to follow the Wishcana River. Surprise Valley was moved to be a part of Dennison County, which shocked many citizens at the time. In 1962 and 1992, flooding threatened the town, but both times, it was never materialized.

ATTRACTIONS: The Surprise Valley Pioneer Museum is located in old town and is open Wednesday thru Sunday every week except on major holidays. The Wishcana River also provides recreation as well as the hiking trails around the town. Charter planes and helicopters can be purchased by anyone wanting a new perspective on the valley or surrounding mountains.

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Surprise Valley, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The climate for the area is mild and wet. Aerial of the town.)

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Surprise Valley, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Rail played an important roll on the growth of Surprise Valley.)

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Surprise Valley, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The Surprise Valley Highway can be seen on the far right as it splits directions heading into town.)

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Surprise Valley, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The Surprise Valley Medical Center is the only hospital in the Surprise Valley. There are other clinics though.)

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Surprise Valley, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Old town can be seen on Water Tower Road. The newer portion of town is located on the street over named Chestnut Road. Only half of old town is still standing. Old photos show the row downtown buildings once stretching beyond the water tower. Most of it was burned down in 1902.)

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Surprise Valley, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(The main road entering town splits to either Water Tower Road or Chestnut Road. The old rail terminus building can be seen on the bottom right of this building. Today is is used as a community center complete with a bowling alley.

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Surprise Valley, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Old downtown Surprise Valley is still used by locals to get local needs met. Historic buildings line the street and is a favorite by history buffs.)

USA Patriot

Connelly

Population: 2,357

Founded: 1860

County: Chane County

Map Location:chanecounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located off the Surprise Valley Highway, Connelly is a small community in western Chane County. The community is connected to the Surprise Valley Highway by a single bridge. There are no other roads in or out of town except for old logging roads which weave into a maze within the Chase Mountains. The old docks that used to welcome riverboats in Connelly no longer exist and the entire riverfront old town is gone. All that is left today is a very small portion of the old commercial district. Basic goods can be found in the town as well as a local grocery store in a historic old building. A cafe and barber shop are among some other businesses in town. There is a historic fire station in town as well as a few historic churches. The western division of the Chane County Sheriff's Office is located in the town as well as a ranger station, post office, and a school that also serves the town of Mitts.

LOCATION: The community is located off the Surprise Valley Highway and sits along the Wishcana River. The town is located within Surprise Valley and is surrounded by the Chase Mountains. It is the farthest southwest town in Chane County, and the first town when entering the county from the west heading east.

HISTORY: Connelly started as nothing more then a stopping point for boats along the Wishcana River as the miners headed their way to Mitts. There were very small isolated peaks in the towns history that involved gold being found on the river banks in 1860, the same year the town found, William Ashcroft opened up a general store along the river banks. The following years the town had extreme growth as miners began living in Connelly and boated to Mitts for work. A few firms tried opening mining operations in Connelly with little success, but this did not hinder the towns economic growth. The town exploded as it was a easier place to access compared to Mitts. There was no rail and still is no rail connecting the town, but boat traffic is what kept this town alive and thriving. Riverboats would dock daily at Connelly's waterfront. Today there is no sign of the former docks or old waterfront town. When the highway was built in the 1912, examiners questioned about even building a bridge to Connelly to connect it to the main road system. There were even talks about letting the town fade away because of the expense for a bridge. The bridge was built in 1913 connecting Connelly to the road system. The town hit of population of 1,500 in 1921, making it the largest town in Chane County, even bigger then Chaneville (The county seat) at the time. As the mining gradually slowed down around Connelly and Mitts, Connelly became a commercial hub for people living in the region. Before Surprise Valley was incorporated, Connelly was the central location for anything in the valley. In the 1940's the town had a radio station and a small hospital. Today neither exist. The towns local police department closed down in 1985 when they contracted out the sheriff's office and now serve as the substation for the western portion of the county. In 1992 a rockslide partially damed the Wishcana River about 3 miles downstream from the town. Locals un damed the jam during the spring of that year.

ATTRACTIONS: A maze of old logging and mining roads can be accessed from the town. A small ranger office is located at the sheriff's station in town, and should be contacted before heading out on these roads alone. Fishing is a pass time in Connelly. Every spring, a fishing festival is held along the banks as live band music plays in town.

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Connelly, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Aerial of Connelly along the Wishkana River.)

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Connelly, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Old town Connelly.)

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Connelly, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Very little remains of Connelly's old downtown, but what still standing is used by the community as business space.)

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Connelly, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A view of the town along the steep terrain of the Chase Mountains.)

USA Patriot

Town Name

Population: 212

Founded: Unknown Exact Date but historical articles have the town mentioned in 1854.

County:Chane County

Map Location:chanecounty.jpg

ABOUT TOWN: Located just off the Surprise Valley Highway, Mitts is a small unincorporated town in Chane County. Mitts today has no services and only one business remains open in town. The Mitts General Store serves the 212 people living in the small community. The other three businesses that used to be in town are closed down and nature begins to reclaim the old brick buildings. The old school house and church are no longer standing in Mitts and the old post office closed down in 1967. The old mining buildings and mill are today shadows of this towns once promising past. The Surprise Valley - Mitts rail line ends in at the mill and the rail line is no longer active. The mill is still partially used as a storage building for freight trucks for a business in Surprise Valley. The mine closed down in 1975 and the mill closed down a year later.

The majority of the people in the town live quiet lives and are retired. Peaceful mountain living is the way of life in Mitts. A strong sense of community keeps the villagers together. A small volunteer fire department is located in the town, but police services are provided by the Chane County Sheriff's office which comes from the Connelly sub-station.

LOCATION: The community is located off the Surprise Valley Highway and is located within the Surprise Valley which is surrounded by the Chase Mountains. The community is north of Connelly and south of Surprise Valley. It is one of many former mining and timber towns in Chane County.

HISTORY:Mitts early history is fairly obscure, but we do know that by 1854, the town had a post office, a school, a hotel, and of course the mine. The mine places Mitts on the map. In the early days it competed with other mining towns like Connelly and Pello in Surprise Valley region. The town of Surprise Valley was nothing more then some rural homesteads at the time, and Mitts was a big player when it came to population centers for the region. In 1880, the town boasted a population of 618 people. A rail line was built in the 1870's to quickly send materials back and forth from Mitts to the valley operations in Surprise Valley. A mill was built in 1900 to help supply the region with building materials. Mitts future looked bright until 1908 when a large winter storm buried the town for weeks, leaving all operations to halt. Buildings collapsed under the weight of snow, and left many workers dis-heartened about their prospects. That summer, the town rebuilt with brick buildings and more permanent structures. This lead to a period of prosperity when the towns population peaked in 1918 with 1,201 people. The town had a saloon, post office, school, two churches, and a slew of hotels. The town got a bad reputation through the early twenties as prostitution became a problem in the town. It became known as the "Red Light District" of the county. In 1933, the town saw that prosperity would not last forever as more people moved to the town of Surprise Valley which was quickly growing and supplying more jobs with the railroad. Since 1933 to 1975, mine profits never increased. The mine closed in 1975 and the mill shut down the following year. Most of the towns early buildings were lost during winter storms, and the community fell into a state of decline. The town never officially incorporated, though it is known throughout the county.

ATTRACTIONS: Some old mining buildings and structure remain around town. Trails and old pathways used by minors can still be followed.

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Mitts, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Main Street in Mitts. Most of the main street is no longer standing, and what is left is left in dis-repair.)

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Mitts, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(Housing in Mitts. Remnants of it's mining past still stands all around the town.)

USA Patriot

The United States of Liberty

uslmap.jpg

(A basic map of the nation)

Welcome to the nation of Liberty, built on the foundations of liberty, freedoms, and justice for all.

This journal will showcase the growth and history of a nation and bring you to the front steps of towns big and small. State by state, county by county, town by town, you will feel completely immersed in the world of Liberty.

Liberty is made up of five large and diverse states that range from forested mountains to isolated islands and pristine farming country. Each state has municipal bodies with a county. It is a system that is practiced within the United States of America, and is practiced in Liberty. Each state has a government center, otherwise known as the state capital. Each states has counties that break up the state, and each county has a county seat, and their own forms of government.

Within towns and regions, you will be immersed into their world, see newspapers, know local events and landmarks, and even know mayors, townsfolk, airports, ports, county government and much more.

Report back here for new updates.

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Town, Everson State (AJM SC4)

(A teaser shot of the community Mitts located in Chane County in Everson State.)

INDEX BY STATE

(Coming Soon)

* Represents County Seat

Aspen State

Counties

Baron State

Counties

Evergreen State

Counties

Everson State

Counties

CHANE COUNTY: 23,529

-Chaneville: 11,219 *

-Connelly: 2,357

-Lawson: 7,102

-Mayer: 1,432

-Mitts: 212

-Peak: 53

-Unincorporated County: 1,154

DENNISON COUNTY

-Pello: 234

-Surprise Valley: 8,415

Redwood State

Counties