Friday, August 15, 2014
Come Tour Tonasket in Okanogan Country with Tootsie Tonasket
I have passed through Tonasket a time or two, but I can not say I have actually toured Tonasket.
As the postcard indicates Tonasket is in Okanogan Country. Tonasket is also in north-central Okanogan County. I believe Okanogan Country extends well beyond Okanogan County, north, across the Canadian border, where, in British Columbia, one finds Lake Okanogan, if one wants to.
Tonasket is named after Chief Tonasket of the Okanogan Tribe. Tonasket became the chief of the American Okanogans after the Oregon Treaty of 1846 established the U.S.-Canada border, which left the Okanogan Chief Nicola north of the border, thus giving Tonasket the opportunity to take over the south of the border Okanogan Tribe.
The population of Tonasket in 2014 is slightly higher than 1,000. Many of those 1,000 are descendants of the pioneers who first settled the Okanogan Valley.
In addition to the aforementioned Tootsie Tonasket, another Tonasket native who has become known world-wide is Walter H. Brattain, who grew up on a ranch near Tonasket and after attending school in Tonasket went on to co-win the Nobel Prize for Physics with William Shockley and John Bardeen for inventing the transistor.
The biggest Tonasket event of the year is officially known as the Okanogan Family Faire, known more commonly locally as Barter Faire.
Tootsie Tonasket's Tonasket fame is based mostly on her annual appearance at Barter Faire. Last year Tootsie Tonasket created quite a stir as Lady Godiva at the mostly anything goes event.
I am looking forward to taking a Tour of Tonasket someday. Maybe during Barter Faire.