News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Celebrating a historical Founders’ Day picnic

Sisters history came to life on the lawn of the Sisters History Museum on Sunday, July 11, when the Three Sisters Historical Society hosted its first annual Founders Day Picnic. The picnic was celebrating the original platting, on July 10, 1901, of the six blocks that comprised early Sisters (See related story).

Picnic-goers were treated to free hot dogs, potato salad, frozen ice cream treats, and iced tea and lemonade. Citizens4Community provided the funding for purchasing the picnic fare.

The picnic took place on the sunny lawn and in the shade of the large trees next to the George Wakefield house, built in 1929. The house has been home to the Sisters History Museum for the last year. With the house currently for sale by owner Chris Boxwell, the museum will be closing on July 31 and temporarily moving to the historic Maida Bailey building located on North Spruce Street behind the Chamber of Commerce. They hope to reopen by August 15 in their new location.

Picnickers were introduced to several local historic figures portrayed by members of the Sisters Historic Actors Guild (SHAG) and one museum docent. Hardy Allen (Bob Renggli), whose historic house is now located on the corner of North Larch Street and East Main Avenue, related how he came to Sisters, first as a sheep rancher and then as the proprietor of the local blacksmith shop.

Appearances were also made, all in period costume, by Elizabeth Fryrear, early pioneer wife, mother, and midwife, the Deschutes County Sheriff, and the infamous A. J. Weston, convicted and pardoned in 1919 for murdering Henry Krug for his gold and then burning down his house.

Music was provided by Tom Nechville and Linda Leavitt of Banjos West, new in Sisters on East Main Avenue (available by appointment, [email protected]). They were joined by three members of the Richards family who are old-time fiddlers – Lydia (12), Thomas (eight), and Hazel (six). Lydia and Thomas have been playing fiddle for almost four years at the Cascade School of Music. They enjoy competing and playing at the Oldtime Fiddle Competitions. Most recently, they traveled to Idaho for the National Fiddle Competition.

The board of directors of the Three Sisters Historical Society were well pleased with a good turnout for the picnic, serving 80 hot dogs. They hope to make the Founders Day Picnic an annual event.


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