Graham News, April 2014 – Graham learns about its past and present

 by Wayne Cooke, special to the Mountain News

 How did Graham get its name?

It was simple and quite unintentional. The name “Graham” transferred from camp boss Mr. Smith Graham to the logging area where he worked during the timber hey-day. Mr. Graham was the one who received the mail ‘off the hook” from the slowly moving train that still sometimes crosses Meridian (the old Barney-Larson road) at the Graham Hay Market, and mail bags destined for this area were tagged “Graham.”

In 1908 Henry and Nancy Bates built a small house (where Mr. Graham perhaps got the mail), and Henry applied for the position of Graham’s first official postmaster. His “Bates House” still stands, much added onto, and now begging for demolition. The Graham Historical Society would love to see at least a part of the original home renovated into a small Graham Visitor’s Center and Museum.

Then, just a few months ago a Graham resident bringing trash to the LRI transfer station near 176th noticed an unfamiliar newspaper a few feet away. Curious, he picked it up, and was astounded to find his mother’s name on the address label. Named the RAINIER INDEPENDENT, it was published in Graham in 1988 in the building now for sale at 22802 Meridian, near the Bates House. Jeff Johnson was Editor, Leanna Woog was Production Manager, and Jinnie Jones was Business Manager. He delivered the paper to his mother, some 25 years late, but still in good condition.


Graham citizens respond to the Oso mud slide

Two Arlington KeyBank employees were injured in the MUD SLIDE in Oso. Darryl Lessinger, an official at our local Graham KeyBank, said they have opened an account here to which you can donate.

In addition, a signature quilt is in their lobby for everyone to sign. It will provide Graham residents with a tangible way to express their sympathy. A truck will transport both the quilt and any physical donations (clothing, canned food, furniture, etc.) directly to the Oso Community Chapel for distribution. Call (253) 847-4614 for more information.


Other news:

The GRAHAM CITIZENS project has, so far, mailed 60 packets of information detailing the activities of fourteen groups in Graham to people who requested it by phoning the (253) 875-6299 number advertised on signs and handouts. The eventual goal of this project is to get many more residents aware and interested in Graham organizations that provide leadership and purposeful community activities.

The Graham-Kapowsin Community Council also has a new website,, also displaying similar information, hoping to get more people involved in Graham’s future.


A Renaissance Fair in Graham?

“Why not?” asked Lyn Mahler in a recent Graham community discussion. Mahler and her friends helped organize the recent Renaissance Fair in Bonney Lake and are looking for a 10-20 acre site to organize a similar event in Graham, complete with costumes and all the finery of knights and ladies faire.  If interested, phone Lyn Mahler at (253) 846-0293.




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2 Responses to Graham News, April 2014 – Graham learns about its past and present

  1. plumber's says:

    Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your
    blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Thank you!

  2. Brianna Twaites says:

    I have lived here for 16 years in Graham Washington and just recently started looking up Graham’s history. it is amazing the things I’ve learned and will continue to look up our history!!! Our past needs to be remembered and acknowledged i can’t believe our schools here in Graham don’t teach us our own history

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