The Odessa Record -

Harrington news

The past week's civic activities


Library board meeting

Staci Rasmussen, Susan Larmer, Grace Moeller, Marge Womach and Mayor Dillon Haas met Thursday, February 16, to assess the KOHA bar-code software program. The Harrington Public Library has a contract with the Washington State Library to use the program at no charge. Haas said he worked with the system over the last weekend and, with a telephone assist from Gary Bortel of the Washington State Library, received adequate instruction to process books for about three hours to become familiar with the system.

Previously, Haas had considered using the Folett system of scanning which the Harrington School Library has been using. This would cost the city about $1,000 per year but was reportedly an easier system to use. Haas informed the library board that KOHA works smoothly and was established for public libraries, whereas the Folett system is geared for K-12 usage. All agreed to use KOHA, as had been previously started in the public library. The mayor’s plan is to utilize students who want to earn community service hours to process the roughly 10,000 books in our library. Arrangements will be made for Gary Bortel to come to Harrington and do another training program to teach the board members, who will then be able to teach the students. Mention was made of the need to thin books from the fiction section of the library before the bar codes are attached to the books.

Brief mention was made by the mayor of allowing a corporation to scan the newspapers so they will be digitally available, whereas at present we have the hard copies of the papers which are becoming brittle, and we have the papers on microfilm. However, the microfilm reader that we own does not have a printer attached, so there is no way of making copies of the papers from the microfilm. Haas also made mention of his need for workers to help him move the children’s section of the library into the northwest corner, which will necessitate moving the 10,000 books already mentioned.

Chicken Committee meeting

As mentioned in the city council meeting, the Chicken Committee met Wednesday to go over the proposed ordinance for guidelines on whether chickens are to be allowed within the city limits. Following their meeting, the document would be ready to submit to the city attorney for approval prior to the council taking a vote on the proposal.

Colorful valentines

There were no signs of a huge party or celebration for Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, but here and there were small symbols of a few individuals marking remembrance of the special day. Even the Opera House was silent for the day, much unlike the years of yore. The earliest recorded mention of Valentine’s Day in Harrington this author could find was in this article: “Bunch Grass Squibbs. We are having pleasant winter weather... There was a dance given at Mr. Mick Fishes last Thursday night. A very nice crowd gathered (there being 29 numbers sold), and a very pleasant evening was passed. Music was furnished mainly by Messrs. Page and Cardwell. Literary, held at the Brook’s school house, is progressing nicely, a fine crowd gathers there every Saturday night. Their debates are very interesting and good. Wonder who will receive the prettiest valentine? Mr. John Hinshaw is having very bad luck with his great number of sheep, as they are nearly all dying.” (Sprague Herald: 2-21-1889)

All parties, of course, did not get reported, nor would we want to read them all. “Mrs. William Woolen, living 15 miles northwest of Harrington, entertained her extensive circle of friends at a Valentine party, the occasion being also Mr. Woolen’s birthday. Comic Valentines were cut in twain, and much hilarity was caused in endeavors to match them. The owners of the separate halves became partners for the evening. Other entertainments for the evening were supplied by dancing and cards. At 6 o’clock p.m. the assembled guests sat down to a delicious supper, and this was supplemented at midnight by a most bountiful lunch, with lemon punch and fresh fruit. At the hour of 5 o’clock a.m., on the morning of the 15th, the merry crowd dispersed to their homes, all well pleased and all voting Mr. and Mrs. Woolen past masters in the art of entertaining, and Billee the right sort of a Valentine. ” (Citizen: 2-21-1908)

“Third Annual IOOF [Independent Order of Odd Fellows] Dance. Large Crowd Attends St. Valentine’s Ball in Opera House. Rebekahs Serve Supper. The Odd Fellows of Harrington celebrated their Third Annual St. Valentine’s ball in the Harrington opera house last night. The hall had been gaily decorated in the lodge colors, and the 5-piece orchestra, which had been secured from Spokane, was screened from the audience by a mammoth heart which was hung in front of the stage. The grand march began about 9 o’clock and concluded with a quadrille, the floor being covered with the many dancers. Throughout the evening there was a variety of dances which included both the old and new styles, and the guests seemed to appreciate this very much. There were 112 tickets sold, many of the guests coming from Davenport, Bluestem and other places. At midnight a supper was served in the lodge halls by the Rebekah ladies. The repast was delightful; among the many tasty dishes were hot chicken pie, salads, coffee, cake and ice cream. The dancers made merry until 3 o’clock this morning when they wended their way homeward with the feeling that they had attended one of the most enjoyable social events of the year. The success of the affair is due largely to the faithful work of the committeemen. The committee in charge of the supper was composed of W.B. Armstrong, Karl Conner and L.A. Dunning. The committee on decorations was Jim McKinnon, Chas. Amrine and Lee Long.” (Citizen: 2-15-1918)

Through the years, the various lodges, women’s clubs, and clusters of friends celebrated the holiday, generally with bright, colorful elaborate decorations, dancing and equally fancy banquets. The schools also participated in emphasizing the holiday: “Mohler School News. Everyone enjoyed a St. Valentine’s party at school last Friday. Games were played first. Then followed the excitement of receiving Valentines from the U.S. mail box. The party was closed by everyone enjoying a lunch of sandwiches, jello and cookies. Places were found around the table by St. Valentine place cards. Each one found at his place a package of candy hearts. Shirley Williams, Mabel Marie Yarwood and Dale Vick were guests at the Valentine’s party last Friday.” (Citizen: 2-20-1931)


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