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Exploring The Back Roads of Washington State: A Visit To Pe Ell Is A Visit To Our Past

Historical site as one approaches Pe Ell

Historical site as one approaches Pe Ell

The Road Less Traveled

About ten miles west from the city of Chehalis on Highway 6, a historical roadside marker attracts the attention of travelers. There one will learn of the old pioneer village of Claquato, established in 1859. The original church still remains, as does a cemetery of the same name. The rest of the village, once a thriving logging enterprise, has gone into the pages of history never to be seen again.

Perhaps Claquato is the perfect introduction to the town of Pe Ell which is found twenty miles further west on the same Highway 6. Perhaps, too, Pe Ell is the perfect example of what has happened to thousands of towns across this country as the economy has been forced to change.

As one drives along that highway, with the Chehalis River bordering the road on the right, one can easily see how these lush forests, rolling hills and rich farmland attracted hard-working, independent people back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. If a man was willing to work hard enough, there was money to be made in the felling of trees and the tilling of soil.

But times change. The forests, once teeming with magnificent old-growth timber, depleted, and the life of a farmer became tenuous at best as major farming corporations made it practically impossible for a small farmer to function in this ever-changing world.

So it was for Pe Ell.

A warm welcome!

A warm welcome!

Small town school pride

Small town school pride

A section of "downtown" Pe Ell

A section of "downtown" Pe Ell

A fun video

The Economics of Change

Pe Ell was officially incorporated in 1906. Millworkers and loggers flocked to this evergreen land; farmers, lured by the dark soil enriched by annual flooding, found that crops practically grew themselves in the early years. By 1907 the population of Pe Ell was 1000 and showed signs if increased growth and prosperity.

There were three dry goods stores, two general stores, three grocery stores, two barber shops, five saloons, four hotels, a newspaper, banks, a blacksmith, opera house and brothel back in 1909.

Today one finds a pub, one restaurant, one antique store, one grocery store and a gas station.

The economics of change!

Today the population of Pe Ell is 632. Most are small farmers and employees of the major lumber and paper company Weyerhauser. 91% of them are white and the median income is $27,000.

By the numbers, here is how Pe Ell compares with the rest of Washington State:

  • Median household income is below the state average
  • Median house value is below the state average
  • Unemployed percentage is above the state average
  • Black race population is significantly below the state average
  • Hispanic race population is below state average
  • Median age is below the state average
  • Foreign-born population percentage is significantly below state average
  • Number of college students is below the state average
  • Percentage of population with a bachelor’s degree is significantly below the state average

Simply stated, Pe Ell is a town trapped in a time warp, as so many towns across the United States are. Towns built upon dying industries such as farming, logging, fishing or manufacturing, with no alternative when those industries dry up, find themselves struggling to stay afloat, and so it is with Pe Ell.

Rebecca Ambrose, a gracious host

Rebecca Ambrose, a gracious host

A sign of the economic past and future

A sign of the economic past and future

The hub of town

The hub of town

Another in this series from my friend Sally

The People

Rebecca Ambrose is the owner and sole-operator of the Candlelight Inn, a restored three-story building in the center of town. It is now an antique store; Ms. Ambrose has plans to transform it into a bed and breakfast. At times during its history it was a hospital, a home for nuns and a home for “unwed mothers,” a euphemism for brothel.

Rebecca has lived in Pe Ell since 2004. Once a director of non-profit organizations, she fell in love with the building she now restores and purchased it with lofty visions of the future. She says she loves living in Pe Ell and that the people are the reason for that love.

“The people in this town are hardy. They do not whine or complain about their lives, no matter how tough those lives have been. People look out for each other here, and they handle their own problems quietly and with pride and determination,” she told us.

She continued: “Back in 2007 there was a horrendous flood. We had 22 inches of rain in 24 hours, and the winds flattened portions of the surrounding forests. The fallen trees blockaded the river, and the water rose so rapidly that escaping the town was impossible. In fact, the second highest percentage of rooftop rescues happened that year in Pe Ell, second only to Katrina. People were remarkable during it all. They just hitched up their pants and did what they had to do to survive and help each other.”

Ah yes, the people.

Pe Ell has not had a recorded murder or rape in the past ten years. One senses safety in this town, although there has been a significant increase in thefts and burglaries over the same ten year period, an increase attributed to a growing meth problem among the youth and unemployed.

On the Sunday afternoon of our visit, the almost deserted main drag saw a drastic increase in traffic as the local church ended its service. The Pub began to fill up with customers as the Seattle Seahawk football team began their televised football game. Townsfolk were busy doing chores outside in preparation of winter and woodpiles grew and the sounds of chainsaws were ever-present in the distance.

It was, and is, a microcosm of small town America no matter which state you may be visiting, for there are thousands of Pe Ells sprinkled across this country, all facing a dubious economic future but carrying on nonetheless.

To New York we go

Another fine addition to this series

Where the history of Pe Ell lies in rest

Where the history of Pe Ell lies in rest

Another in the Back Roads Series

Small town pride

How To Get There

The Future of Pe Ell

It is hard to envision a positive future for towns like Pe Ell. The lumber industry is hanging by a thread. Farming is a no-win situation. As unemployment grows so too does drug use and alcoholism. The town leaders have no economic plan for the future, and without a solid tax base the chances of a healthy industry being attracted to Pe Ell are practically non-existent. There are no monies in the city coffers for community improvements, the school is in dire need of upgrading, and closed signs far outnumber open signs.

There are no natural wonders to see, no tourist sites and no recreational opportunities other than fishing the river. There is, in fact, no earthly reason why a tourist would stop in Pe Ell.

Still, a town is comprised of people and not economic indicators, and many of Pe Ell’s residents are ancestors of the intrepid settlers who once cleared and tamed this land. If there is hope for Pe Ell; if there is more to its future than a replica of Claquato’s history, then the hope lies in the people themselves.

Only time will tell.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Authors note: This is the first of the new series “Exploring the Back Roads.” All writer are welcome to join. As was already mentioned in a previous article, all you are asked to do is use the same four words, Exploring the Back Roads, in the title; just change it to name your own state or country. Also, I encourage you to link to other articles in the Back Roads series.

I hope you enjoyed it. I will be back with another in this series in a couple weeks.

Lake Tahoe

A visit to Israel

Another fine Exploring article

Exploring New Zealand

And a trip to Arizona

And a trip to Nevada

Comments

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 15, 2013:

True words, Deb! It is the poor man's drug of choice nowadays and a deadly one indeed.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on November 15, 2013:

Pe Ell sounds like a good place to raise a family. Sadly, meth is everywhere, but sadder still, the fools that make it will eventualy burn the house down.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 14, 2013:

So do I, Glimmer; towns like this one are the backbone of this country. If you come I'll be your tour guide.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 14, 2013:

Jamie, thank you for your thoughts. Write me at holland1145@yahoo.com....if you have something to add to this I'll be more than happy to add it to the article.

Claudia Mitchell on November 14, 2013:

Pinning so that when I make it out to your neck of the wood I can visit. Love places like this.

Jamie on November 13, 2013:

Starstream, please before you pass judgment on our town and school at least take a moment to look up facts and don't make assumptions off one article. Pe ELL is ranked 7 out of 10 based off Washington state test scores and has always had the finest computers. Around 1995 there was a statewide competition for $10,000 that a group of students won and started a video productions class that still happens today. Pe ELL is a terrific school that I graduated from and am proud to be sending my son to. I left after high school for ten years and traveled to all kinds of places, Germany,Austria, Rome, and across America as well, I settled back down here for my son. It might not be a big town with lots of money but we are a family based town and our loggers work hard and keep our town afloat.

Bill I enjoyed most of what you had to say but for more information you should have skimmed the book about our town that sits at the Doty store. There is a lot more to our town than a gas station, restaurant, pub, and store.

There is a lot of history in every small town. You just have to be open to find it!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 09, 2013:

drbj, the townsfolk aren't even sure of the origin of that name. We could not find a consensus anywhere we looked or asked....it will remain a mystery I'm afraid. :) Thank you and have a great weekend.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on November 09, 2013:

Like many very small towns in the U.S. today, Bill, Pe Ell has the same unique problems of unemployment and few dollars for community improvement. But the inhabitants you have written about seem to be as intrepid as their ancestors.

The name, Pe Ell, intrigued me but Wikipedia has three different possible explanations so you pays your money and takes your choice. Voted Up and very interesting.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 08, 2013:

Yes they do, Brian! Very well said my friend. Thank you!

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on November 08, 2013:

Up and Interesting.

Seasons, lives, towns, empires, and mountains come and go and come and go.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 08, 2013:

You are very welcome, Doc; thanks for coming along.

lovedoctor926 on November 08, 2013:

This is a great first entry series. Informative and interesting. Good visuals too. Thanks for taking me on this tour. Voted up useful, awesome.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 08, 2013:

Hey DJ, glad you made it safely to Florida. I'll try to get the names of the drunk and floozy and add them to the article. LOL Your wish is my command.

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 08, 2013:

Thank you again Eddy. Love to you and Dai.

billy

DJ Anderson on November 08, 2013:

Great article on Pe Ell, Bill. You did not miss a thing, other than naming the town drunk and the floozy!! And, as we know, every town has one of each. Ha, ha

I loved that you gave us a taste of small town, USA. You did an A+ job.

We are at our small home in FL. Temps we 85* when we arrived.

It does not take long to get behind in making comments.

Thanks again for this great example of Exploring The Back Roads.

DJ.

Eiddwen from Wales on November 08, 2013:

What a wonderful journey you have taken us on once again Billy and here's to so many more. Lots of love to you and Bev from Wales.

Eddy.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 07, 2013:

Aww, thanks Dianna! I have a long way to go with that camera but half the fun is in the learning.

Dianna Mendez on November 07, 2013:

The small town in America faces many challenges with the changing economy. I hope this town finds a way to pull out of the affects. I see you are becoming quite professional with that new camera. The Lion King music as quite good.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 07, 2013:

Joe, I'm trying to imagine a town in Washington that doesn't have a favorite watering hole. LOL Does one exist anywhere in this country?

Thanks for taking the trip with us my friend. It was a lovely drive in the country. Next stop for the series...Wilkinson. Stay tuned.

Aloha

bill

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on November 07, 2013:

Lovely piece about a quaint old town in Washington. I really enjoy your new series, Bill, and am very pleased to see others joining in the fun.

Got a kick out of the fact that even in a small town, there's a favorite waterhole for the good ol' boys and gals to enjoy a rousing Seahawks game.

Thank you for a most enjoyable read, my friend! Aloha!

~Joe

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 07, 2013:

Alicia, thank you for noticing that; that is exactly what I wanted the focus to be on.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 07, 2013:

retired, thank you for doing that. I will check it out now.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 06, 2013:

Thanks for this hub, Bill. It was great to read a travel hub that focused on people and social issues instead of beautiful scenery. I love beauty, but it's important for people to read this type of travel article, too.

Leona J Atkinson from Oregon, USA on November 06, 2013:

Here's the link to my first one--which is a rewritten one that I had previously done, but I think I made it better now. My next one will be a totally new one. Hope you enjoy and thanks for inspiring.

https://hubpages.com/travel/A-Oceanside-Treasure-i...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

retired, my pleasure. Looking forward to your article.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Hi Ruby! Thanks so much for the visit. Yes, Pe Ell reminded me of a great many towns I saw in the past...like time stopped in their area..

Leona J Atkinson from Oregon, USA on November 06, 2013:

Thanks for the link info Bill. Duh...I should have known that...anyhow I will be posting my article soon and linking to the others. Also, I really liked the video in your article, neatly done, and it was "cool"! :)

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on November 06, 2013:

I certainly did enjoy reading about Pe Ell, sounds like a wonderful place to live. It reminds me of my hometown in Il., once thriving, now just a shell . The businesses all moved to Mexico for cheap labor. Thank's for sharing Bill...

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Michael my friend, it is always nice having you hear. The hardiness of our ancestors and yes,a few in this modern land, is impressive and awe-inspiring. There are great lessons to be learned from those who came before us, if we are willing to learn.

blessings to you always

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Thank you vkwok; you are loyal indeed.

Victor W. Kwok from Hawaii on November 06, 2013:

This hub makes me want to visit. Great hub, Bill!

Michael-Milec on November 06, 2013:

Hello Bill.

Delineate. Walking alongside of you , seeing what you see, experiencing as you do is always pleasant privilege . Amidst the rest, hardiness of the people has impressed me by the original settlers determination ( similar to that of my childhood experience )- to work hard, maintain self sufficient keeping healthy body and spirit regarding contentment as a great gain. Your illustration of $27.00 median income-( if fully understood )- holding their hope high for a better future.

Great teaching lesson.

Voted up, beautiful and interesting .

Be blessed and prosperous.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Flourish, thanks for sharing that. This town reminded me so much of many I have seen over the years; you don't know how they hold on but they do and they seem happy doing it.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 06, 2013:

This brings back memories of a few small towns where I lived when I worked in the paper industry years ago. (I was a corporate employee but was dispatched to far-flung towns -- some of which were the size of this one -- for HR-related purposes. Usually it was connected with an extended labor issue, expansion, or acquisition. They definitely have their own charm. People in them were hearty and had stick-to-itiveness. Nicely written article.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

I am happy that you enjoyed this, DDE...thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Thank you so much, Kim! This was a tough one to write because of the reasons you gave. Your affirmation means a great deal to me.

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Oh thank you Carol! I wasn't sure what angle to write it from, but it ended up really writing itself. The history of the town is the story of the town...that and a group of people who don't know how to give up.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Well, Martin, thank goodness you have wonderful memories to call upon. Thank you for the visit and sharing that part of you.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Thanks John. There has been good results so far, so it will be interesting to see how many other articles we get for the series.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Hi Retired06.....well, you can use the link for this article and put it in the "link" capsule for your article...that should do it. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 06, 2013:

Thank you Faith. In all honesty I would not want to live in Pe Ell; way too many problems in that town. But the people were good and it was a nice experience.

blessings always

bill

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 06, 2013:

Exploring The Back Roads of Washington State: A Visit To Pe Ell Is A Visit To Our Past you have enlightened me on this topic I knew not much until reading your hub. Great writing and always informative hubs

ocfireflies from North Carolina on November 06, 2013:

Bill,

It takes a great writer to take a place that may not have as much going on as other places and still make it a worthwhile place to read about.

Much enjoyed even though also saddened.

Kim

carol stanley from Arizona on November 06, 2013:

Well I have gotta say I read it from start to finish. I love learning about small towns as to me they are the grit of our country. When we have traveled we always stop at the local bar/restaurant and chat with the locals. THe attitude is so different and people seem to care about each other and possessions not important. Meeting at the bar to social with neighbors and friends is the highlight of their day. Great hub and Icannot say enough about how excellent.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on November 06, 2013:

Thank you for the tour. Funny with the things I had seen, T I now need a wheelchair to go outside. Stimuli makes me shut down.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 05, 2013:

Very interesting travel hub Bill. I know very little about the geography or history of America in general let alone the back roads and small towns. I look forward to following the series through Washington State, and the hubs of any other contributors from other states. Well done.

Leona J Atkinson from Oregon, USA on November 05, 2013:

Great Hub. I hope to add one soon for Oregon. Actually I have one I wrote previously here on Hubpages that I could link in right now but..how do I link to the Back Roads series?

Faith Reaper from southern USA on November 05, 2013:

Thanks for taking us along with you on your back roads trip to Pe Ell. Actually, sounds like a wonderful place to live, with great people too. Reminds me a bit of my small town, except we do have industry and great schools and maybe double or triple the population.

Off to a great start here.

Blessings, Faith Reaper

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

You are right, Lizzy! We got quite a history lesson while we were there. :) Thanks for the visit!

Liz Davis from Hudson, FL on November 05, 2013:

The Candle Light Inn: If those walls could talk! Amiright?

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Jackie, if you felt like you were there with me then I did my job. Thank you!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Thanks a lot, Bill. With your writing talent for the travel series, how could we fail in this undertaking? :)

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 05, 2013:

Felt like I was right there with you, and it sounds like a great place to visit. Actually it sounds like a great place to live!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on November 05, 2013:

You have a winner here Bill. The small, off the beaten path places are where you really discover interesting people and stories. I've never heard of Pe Ell, but now I have an interest in going there someday. Sounds like a great idea for a series. I see what I can dig up to contribute.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Brian, many a soldier was stationed here and returned to live full time because of its beauty; my dad was one of them back in 1946. :) Thanks for sharing some of your memories my friend.

Brian Prickril from Savannah, GA on November 05, 2013:

Hi, Bill. Great coverage on a place that made me feel like I was stepping back in time. I really got a good feel for the place through your hub. It reminded me a lot of the small town that I grew up in. And things in that kind of environment are just different. I haven't been out to Washington state in twenty years. I was stationed at Ft. Lewis and woke up every morning to the beauty of Mt. Rainier. Good times...good times.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Sheila, I can say this without hesitation: we had the best pizza that we have had in years at The Pub in Pe Ell...the pizza was worth the whole darn trip. :) Thanks for stopping by my PA friend.

sheilamyers on November 05, 2013:

Sounds like a nice little town to visit. When possible, I love taking the back roads and ending up finding these little out of the way places.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Sally, I just read yours and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you so much for taking part in this series. We are linked up and ready to go and yes, it will be very interesting to see how others approach this concept.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on November 05, 2013:

Hello Billy, I enjoyed reading about Pe Ell. In particular I enjoyed the

human interest part of the Hub.

It is always fascinating for me to see the different architecture one finds all over the world so I very much enjoyed seeing your images. I hope you are enjoying your new Nikon.

I completed my own version of the Back Series this evening and hope to publish it tomorrow. I have linked it to yours.

It should be very interesting to see how authors of the various Hubs approach this very interesting idea of yours. I realize after reading yours that I have certainly taken a completely different approach.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Hey, thanks Linda! I think I'm going to enjoy this series quite a bit.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 05, 2013:

Way to go Bill on your first HP road trip. I enjoyed my virtual travel along the back roads of Pe Ell.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Brandi, thank you so much. This is obviously not my normal topic, but I tried to give it my voice and make it interesting and relevant to most people.

CraftytotheCore on November 05, 2013:

Billy, I truly enjoyed reading about this town. You wrote it so perfectly, I felt like I was there on the street walking through it with you. Amazing details and facts.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Thanks Mary! You are always so good for me ego and I appreciate you very much.

Mary Craig from New York on November 05, 2013:

Every journey begins with the first step and this is a big one! Add to that the great pictures your Nikon is helping you to get and there you have it...a great hub to start your great new series.

Thanks for the introduction to Pe Ell!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting! Go team.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Thank you Ann; the others are just old hubs I changed the title on to fit this series. :)

Ann Carr from SW England on November 05, 2013:

All done, thanks. I notice you have some more! I'm always staggered at your amount of output. Well done! Ann :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Thanks Liz! I must have done a great job of writing if I made Pe Ell seem quaint. LOL I appreciate it.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on November 05, 2013:

Pe Ell sounds like such a quaint and wonderful place both to live and visit. Sounds so very nice. Great post, Bill!!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Thanks for coming back and telling me, Larry! I'm excited to see what you come up with.

larry kitzmann on November 05, 2013:

Thanks Bill, I have yet to post anything as I am just getting into HubPages and Bloggers and Travelers. Will for sure let you know when I'm up and going. Your most recent post here though has convinced me I have to get serious about this and do some original work of my own. Will have something around Thanksgiving time with the help of my daughter and future son in law both of whom are quite active in the cyber world.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Aww, thanks Deb! I have no doubt yours is going to be super and I'm excited to read it.

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on November 05, 2013:

Great first entry for the new series! I hope to add one soon. You've given us a good template to follow.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Jamie, your enthusiasm is contagious. Thanks so much and I look forward to your first one.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Larry, I love it....I don't have your blog???? Give me a link, will you please? I want to read all about those two Iowa towns.

Thanks buddy!

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on November 05, 2013:

Awesome first hub in the series! I am paying attention to these first few and trying to learn my lessons well, I should have my first one up by the end of next week, I may be sending comments with questions. What a fun time. Thank you. Jamie

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Sha....LOL...welcome to the life of a teacher. I wonder how many band concerts I have had to sit through and endure. :) Thanks for stopping by my friend; glad you enjoyed it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Marlene, I hope you are right; I hope they will be fun for all concerned. Thanks for riding with us on our trip my friend.

larry kitzmann on November 05, 2013:

OK Bill you have me hooked finally. Will be in Carson Iowa and Macedonia Iowa from Thanksgiving through the rest of the year. Carson has a population of 807 and Macedonia a population of 244 as of the 2012 count. Two of my favorite places in the world. Will have to do a blog, writing with pics of both towns while we are there. Will speak as to why I love it there and the people who make these small towns so real and beautiful and yes necessary for our sanity if you will. Again many thanks my friend.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on November 05, 2013:

632 residents. Wow! There's probably that many within a mile radius of my home. This as a very interesting article, Bill. I must say, tho, the Pe Ell Band is in serious need of practice! LOL.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on November 05, 2013:

I really enjoyed the way you've written this. It felt like I was riding along with you, seeing the sights, learning along the way. These back road trips are going to be fun. Thanks Bill!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Joelle, I can only assume that's the reason. Since I don't speak any other languages it is all guesswork on my part.

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on November 05, 2013:

I heard you explaining that in your video. By the way, I was impressed by the heavy traffic downtown Pe Ell at rush hour ;-)

It's interesting to think about the fact that the Natives couldn't pronounce the name "Pierre". Do the Natives have the "r" sound in their language?

My husband is Dutch from origin and he explained to me that when he arrived in Belgium at 12 years old and had to speak French at school and he had cramps in the muscles of his face; I suppose that depending of the language people don't use the same muscles or with the same intensity.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Ann, I just use the HP link capsule and put the hub link in there. :)

Ann Carr from SW England on November 05, 2013:

How do you do the link like you have? - much more effective than mine, sorry! I'll amend it when I find out how! :) Ann

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Thanks Joelle...the name comes from the original founder....the Natives couldn't pronounce his name Pierre and it came out Pe Ell. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Ann, it is fun I think, and who knows? Maybe we can help each other and wouldn't that be a lovely reward. :)

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on November 05, 2013:

Great first article in your new series of the back roads in Washington states! Great videos as well! I like your blooper at the end of your video of the tour of the Pe Ell (very interesting name by the way). It was nice to listen to the music of the band; it reminded me of when my kids were playing music in a band :-)

Thanks for sharing your impressions of your first trip... I am waiting for the next visit :-)

Ann Carr from SW England on November 05, 2013:

Very proud to be the first! This is fun isn't it? A joint series for everyone has to be a good idea. Good luck to everyone who joins in! Ann

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

startstream, thanks for your observations. Small towns can be hard on children; they can also be quite beneficial. I saw kids in Pe Ell playing tag; I can't remember the last time I saw kids in the city playing tag. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Eric, I look forward to it when you head down the road. Thanks buddy!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

RTalloni, you summed it up pretty well. It is a simple life lived for the sake of living a simple life, something many people do not understand. Thanks for your thoughts.

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on November 05, 2013:

I feel sorry for the children who must attend school and grow up in Pe Ell. They likely do not have the luxury of learning computer skills at school.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 05, 2013:

Great beginning hub for the exciting new series. I am hoping to get one going soon. I have a road.

RTalloni on November 05, 2013:

Have just returned from the top of coastal Washington state and enjoyed exploring some of the area. Pe Ell seems like an interesting place to visit next time I'm across the continent. From what I can tell here, the town's people generally represent the truth that satisfaction in life does not require a high economic income. Rebecca's description of the people there could be enough to make me decide to live in Pe Ell!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Thank you so much, Jo! Most of farming in this country is controlled by conglomerates who really have a stranglehold on the market. The small farmer doesn't have a chance against that competition. :)

I'm glad you enjoyed this and I appreciate you stopping by.

blessings always

bill

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on November 05, 2013:

Awww, thank you Ann! You are the first collaborator and I greatly appreciate it. Lovely job on yours as always.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on November 05, 2013:

A thoroughly good read! an interesting look at small town America. I don't understand why farmers are having such a hard time when the world needs food. Is it because of the type of crops the farmers are growing or lack of agricultural subsidies?

This first article was very illuminating, I hope the series takes off. Take care now, my best as always.

Ann Carr from SW England on November 05, 2013:

This is a great portrayal of the place and its people. So sad how places like this decline though I suppose others take its place. Good to have its name in history though. The peacefulness of its people should be a good draw so let's hope you contribute to an increase in visitors. Bit far for me at the moment but one day.... !

Just finished my first contribution to this series so will now link it with this and publish; off I go! Thanks, bill. Ann