Staff and volunteers at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum have announced a packed schedule for the museum’s free 19th anniversary party Saturday, May 17.
“In addition to our usual fun events, informative displays, music and activities on this day,” said Jim Price, director, “this year we are delighted to be welcoming Skamania County’s own Gossip Lady (also know as Merna DeBolt of Carson.)” A well known local historian and actor, DeBolt has delighted thousands of visitors and locals alike as Meriwether Lewis’s mother, Lucy, for almost 20 years. Now she takes on a different persona, and the Gossip Lady allows her to tell many interesting stories of the region from the perspective of a fictional gossip. “And for people who have seen her perform, she promises updated material with new stories,” added Price.
May 17 is a free day for visitors, and also scheduled is the Whiskey Flats Band, led by Mark McCormick, band teacher in the Stevenson-Carson School District. In keeping with the history theme of the day, he said he will focus his selections on 19th century music. Local logging and road-building equipment collector and restorer Erin Howell will lead a team of volunteers operating examples of various historic machines, some more than 100 years old and still working.
The museum staff and volunteers will be manning a food booth selling typical favorites like hamburgers and hotdogs, but augmented with some now-famous strawberry shortcake, produced under the close supervision of Gloria Howell. In the main lobby visitors will get a chance to watch local traditional hand-crafters creating products such as wool, bead work and quilts. Following the annual meeting at 2:30 p.m., where museum members will vote on a slate of new board members, the Gossip Lady will take center stage for a fun history lesson on local happenings, characters from the past, and general good humor.