What did most of us do for recreation in those early days? For some of us, we would hit the dusty trail to Crab Creek. No one went that far unless they owned an automobile. We kids would ride in the back seat where the dust would just love to whirl around. The last half mile consisted of bouncing over rocks and dry grass 'til we all got to a green spot near the creek edge. Blankets were spread out on the grass and lunch baskets were set on the lumpy blankets. We all sat on our knees and ate lunch "Indian style".
A well-heeled farmer, who owned an ice-house, would bring a large wooden freezer that was loaded with homemade ice cream. Boy, oh boy! Did that frozen stuff taste good.
After picnic-lunch the men would converse about how the crops looked while we kids went on a grasshopper catching spree. Finally the water sports would begin. The males would roll up their pant legs and the females would hold up their dresses to wade into the creek. A big deal! In those days it would happen about once a year.
Before heading home a line-up took place in front of some rustling Quaking Asp trees for pictures. For me, the trip back home was filled with dreams that maybe my dad would build an ice-house. Then I could help him put up ice the next winter so we could have ice cream every day when it got hot.
Black Rock Lake picnic, Lincoln County, Washington
Joshua Elmer Photograph 1867-1943
Crab Creek is sometimes referred to as the "longest ephemeral stream in North America". (Wikipedia)
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Odessa, Lincoln County, Washington.
Sanborn Map Company, Jun 1902
Library of Congress Geography and Map Division