Sunday, April 13, 2008

Diversity of Beliefs

Old St. Peter's Landmark (1898)

Gothic Revival style Catholic Church completed in 1898, the building features Carrera Italian marble, Kilgen pipe organ, 40-foot stamped metal ceilings, six foot rooster on a 176-foot steeple, which is the Gorge’s highest spire. Stained glass windows memorialize pioneer families. The wooden Madonna was carved from keel of a sailing ship. The building was used as a church until 1969. Old St. Peter's has been renovated and is open the to the public as a museum and a wedding chapel.

What the photo does not show is a beautiful red brick wall on the lower side near the street. I used to sit on this for hours and watch the traffic with my girlfriends back in the 60's "Ogling" muscle cars!!

Indian Shaker Church (1875)

Built by Henry Gulick, a Scottish immigrant who settled in the area in the 1890s. His wife Harriet, a local Wasco woman, was a member of the Indian Shaker movement, a unique mix of traditional and indigenous spiritual practices. The roof collapsed under snow in November 1996. North of the Shilo Inn, Jct. I-84 and U.S. 197, The Dalles. You can walk to the river side of the Shilo to view, but the buildings are not safe to enter. View from the exterior only The Indian Shaker Church was a unique mix of Catholicism, Protestantism, and indigenous spiritual practices. In the early 1880s, John Slocum, a Squaxin Indian and resident of western Washington’s Skokomish Reservation, claimed to have died and been resurrected. While “dead,” Slocum said he had a vision in which he was rejected from heaven and told to return to earth in order to lead others away from sin.

I had walked by this building many times this is a old photo it did not look like this when I was girl.. it is very run down now..

Celio Falls

A place called Celio. It’s a name that remains of a thing which is gone, the place where Interstate 84 now takes a joyful turn, banking and diving like a swallow over the water.
Here where the river widens was a festival of water, tier over tier; thunders and rills of whitewater and over them tier over tier were the stretching hands of fishing platforms made of cut saplings, impossible frame works and the silvery bodies of leaping salmon. All of them are frozen in photographs seen in museums: men standing in crow’s nests gathering fishnets, enormous purses slung from long poles, people seemingly playing with giant’s toys; exhausted, sweating, laughing. Hundreds of house-sized racks shingled with drying salmon.
These are things My Grandmother heard, smelled, touched, tasted. I have heard the lament sung by the thousands who gathered to witness the drowning of Celio Falls. Someone at the High Desert Museum outside of Bend, Oregon thought it worth our time. The only sound I have ever heard like it is a historical recording of an Irish lament collected from a survivor of the famine; a farewell to the white potato. These are love songs for the end of the world.
The river is wide now, mirror quiet. Above it rises the smooth concrete wall of The Dalles Dam whose only ornament is the image of a battlement castle in black and white, symbol of the Army Corps of Engineers.

I am one of the lucky ones who new the Celio people. My Grandmother (of Irish decent) witnessed the death of the falls, and new what it meant to loose your life's blood literally. She and my Grandfather took black and white photos of the falls and fishing tribesmen right before it was taken. One of these photos was later made into a painting that now hangs in the the Oregon State capital building. There are very few photo's in existence of the falls or of her people..