Dave Ward

Dave Ward

Posted on 09/05/2007

Photo taken on September  2, 2007


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Wauconda Hall

Wauconda Hall
In 1897 three brothers named Hedges found gold about three miles east of the present Wauconda store. The town started in 1890 just east of the Wauconda summit and was named after the Hedges hometown in Illinois. Several roads were built to connect the town with Republic and over Cougar Creek to Old Toroda and Bodie. By the end of 1902, the ore proved unprofitable, so the mine closed and the people moved. Some went to Old Toroda or Bodie, while others took up homesteads in the area. In 1903, the store and post office were moved to their present location and the second Wauconda sprang to life.

On June 14, 1914 a Wauconda school teacher, Agnes Lorz, organized a flag raising ceremony. She taught the children patriotic songs, drills, and skits. A community picnic followed the program. Everyone enjoyed the events so much it was decided to have the same ceremony the next year. But in 1915 a sudden rainstorm forced the crowd to take shelter in the big barn on the Van Brunt place. After lunch there was talk of building a hall in cas June 14 of some other year should be wet. Through a combination of bank loans, donated materials and volunteer labor, three acres were purchased fro the Van Brunts for a baseball field and the hall was begun.

By 1917 the building and grounds were far enough along so they could be used for the celebration. It was reported that 1500 people from all over Ferry and Okanogan counties attended this full day of events. The Flag Day picnic became an annual celebration that included baseball games, rodeos, dances, tug-of-wars, and many other events. There were 17 annual celebrations. But due to the Great Depression, they were discontinued in 1934. From then until 1950, only a dance was held on Flag Day, except for two rodeos that were held in 1947 and 1948.

The Wauconda Flag Day Celebration continues to be held in one form or another since then on the Sunday closest to June 14 of each year.

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