Words

Mary's Mysteries

A pioneer woman of Skagit County

Attend

What: "Mary Roberts Rinehart: A Pioneer Woman of Skagit County"

When: 1 pm Sat., Apr. 7

Where: Burlington Public Library, 820 E. Washington St.

Cost: Free

Info: http://www.burlingtonwa.gov

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Even though she started writing years before her British counterpart, popular mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart was often referred to as “America’s Agatha Christie.” But Rinehart was much more than a writer. She traveled the world, started her own publishing company, was a war correspondent, raised a family and, in 1916, crossed Cascade Pass. Find out more about her fascinating life when historian Jesse G. Kennedy III, Ph.D presents “A Pioneer Woman of Skagit County” Sat., April 7 at the Burlington Public Library.

Cascadia Weekly: You used to work for the North Cascades National Park. What was your job?

Jesse G. Kennedy III: I retired from the National Park Service in 2014 after 26 years of service, all of them at North Cascades National Park Service Complex. I was the first Chief of Cultural Resources Branch for the park. That basically means I spent my career learning about the North Cascade Mountains, learning about its people and their lives, working to preserve the history with my primary staff of the park archeologist (Bob Mierendorf), and park curators (most recently Kelly Cahill). We built one of the largest museum repositories on the West Coast in Marblemount, purpose-built to museology preservation standards.

CW: When did you first learn about Mary Roberts Rinehart?

JK III: As a young man, I could not pass up a book titled The Bat. I consumed the book when I was probably about 10 years old.

I’m interested in the people of the mountains, and Mary Roberts Rinehart is just one of the stories about those little-known people and activities that have documentation in the Marblemount Curation Facility.

CW: “Fear, courage, hope and salvation” were terms mentioned about the expedition on the press release for the event. Can you share a little more about what you’ll be talking about during the presentation?

JK III: I will concentrate on the crossing of Cascade Pass, but also provide additional dimension to the writer and person through discussion of her life and achievements. I will try to capture her essence, for her life captures the essence of “and still she persisted”.

CW: Have you read any more of Rinehart’s mysteries? What about her poems, short stories, travelogues or other articles?

JK III: Mary Roberts Rinehart was, as you indicate, much more than just a mystery writer. She also wrote romances, comic stories, plays, short stories, editorials and feature articles. I’ve read a number of her books, including Tenting Tonight (that describes her expeditions through Glacier and Cascade passes), The Circular Staircase, The Red Lamp, The Door (in which she introduced “The butler did it”) and more.

CW: Why should Mary Roberts Rinehart be remembered in the annals of history?

JK III: Just look at her achievements: wife and mother, nurse, feminist (marched for women’s suffrage); adventuress, first female war correspondent of the Belgian Front in World War I, first to take the statement of King Albert, interviewed Winston Churchill, was introduced to the Queen, business person (she principally built Farrer-Rinehart publishing house), women’s health advocate (following a radical mastectomy, she wrote about it in Ladies Home Journal, encouraging women to have breast examinations), tribal advocate (consistently working for the Blackfoot tribe, and was inducted into the tribe), and first American woman offered an ambassadorial appointment. I could go on…

Smoking Crow
More Words...
Word Up
The power of poetry

Those who prefer candy over creative wordplay will be out of luck when they plunk a quarter into a new contraption located at Fairhaven’s Village Books.

Instead of something sweet to chew on, people contributing their 25 cents to the Poetry Gumball Machine will instead spin a wheel to…

more »
Shrill
Lindy West is living out loud

The word “shrill,” evocative and onomatopoetic, conjures high-pitched, grating voices. It’s used derogatorily, and it’s often aimed at women.

Author Lindy West re-appropriates it in her book Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, a memoir that’s as funny as it is poignant. West is a…

more »
Reuse, Repurpose
A guide to saving money on building materials

Building your dream home—whether from the foundation up, or the walls out—can be expensive. If you haven’t already discovered the used building materials storehouse that is the RE Store, then you’re in for a treat. Located at 2309 Meridian St., you’ll find 20,000 square feet of new and…

more »
Events
Today
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

10:00am|Skagit Valley

Free Appliance Pick-up

10:00am|Whatcom County

Opera Studio Performances

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

9 to 5, the Musical

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Bellingham Beer Week

10:00am|Throughout Bellingham

Lynden Book Sale

10:00am|Lynden Library

Chanticleer Authors Conference

12:00pm|Hotel Bellwether

North Cascades Concert Band

7:30pm|Bellingham, Arlington, Anacortes

3 Cs Plant Sale

9:00am|3 Cs Farms

FutureFest

9:30am|Port Transit Shed Event Center

Dirty Dan Harris Festival

10:00am|Fairhaven Village Green

Earth Day Work Party

11:00am|Viva Farms

Pottery Demos

12:00pm|Good Earth Pottery

Choo Choo Soul

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Utopia Earth Day

1:00pm|Utopian Conservation Area

Chuckanut Chili Cook-off

1:30pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Audubon at the Museum

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Rambling Unicorn

3:00pm|Everson Library

Seeing Pink

4:00pm|Ciao Thyme Commons

Crowder

7:00pm|Performing Arts Center Mainstage

Pink Martini

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Take Me to Church

8:00pm|Rumors Cabaret

Trove Web
Tomorrow
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

10:00am|Skagit Valley

Free Appliance Pick-up

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bellingham Beer Week

10:00am|Throughout Bellingham

The Lewis & Clark Expedition

10:00am|Mount Baker Theatre

Dig Into Spring

6:00pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Camp Cooking Basics

6:00pm|REI

Cuban Salsa

6:00pm|Bell Tower Studios

Classic Charcuterie

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Wild Halibut

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

The Price is Right Live

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web
Tuesday
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

10:00am|Skagit Valley

Free Appliance Pick-up

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bellingham Beer Week

10:00am|Throughout Bellingham

The Lewis & Clark Expedition

10:00am|Mount Baker Theatre

Artist Demo

6:00pm| Bellingham Public Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

A Birding Adventure

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Comedy Open Mic

7:30pm|Shakedown

see our complete calendar »

Village Books Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web