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Women's History Month Presentation

March 18, 2024

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Okanogan Grange will feature a showing of the 1999 video produced here in the valley titled “How Can I Keep On Singing”.  In this video historian Jana Harris writes about defining episodes in pioneer and Native American lives as settlers move into the Okanogan.  Many of the stories were gleaned from past publications of the Heritage Magazine published by the Okanogan County Historical Society.   Producer Melissa Young and photographer Mark Dworkin make extensive use of local landscapes and local personalities to recreate evocative scenes highlighting women’s contribution to local history.  Iconic Okanogan landscapes appear in the video.  The Davis Ranch south of Rattlesnake Point down Malott way is featured.  Marlenia and Rosemary Fitzgerald, descendants of William Davis who settled in the canyon in 1888, are featured in period clothing doing ranch chores of washing clothes with a tub and scrub board.  Paulie Richardson also joins in the laundry.  Pioneer William Davis’s granddaughter, Georgene Fitzgerald, also earns a cameo shot of her hands picking corn.  Other notable scenes from the video were shot at the Buzz and Jean Berney Ranch in Conconully.  Another scene features the horse drawn ranching life from Gary and Mary Lynn Eagle’s ranch near Chesaw. Jeanette Armstrong is featured in a compelling episode about Native American women’s reaction to the settler’s incursion into tribal lands.  Many Frank Matsura photos featuring pioneer women were also used.  Matsura’s humor and deference earned him respect from both pioneer and tribal communities and allowed him candid access to the daily life of the women of this era.  The presentation will take place Wednesday, March 27, at 7:00 pm at the Okanogan Grange, 305 Tyee Street.  Donations gratefully accepted.