Lelooska Lodge

April 29, 1978

The trip to Lelooska Lodge was on one of those rare days when, the sun shone all day. On April 29th Obsidians and friends enjoyed the ride on I-5 down the valley, across the Columbia River, and into the Evergreen State—Washington. We left I-5 at Woodland turnoff and drove up the Lewis River to a charming picnic area at Ariel Dam where we ate lunch, relaxed in the sunshine or hiked around for 1½ hours.

The leaders were doing fine until they got within sight of the longhouse and then were hopelessly lost for half an hour while they circled around and back again. At the lodge we saw lovely things in the gift shop and museum before attending the program at the Potlatch House. This building, with dirt floor, benches along the sides to seat 150 people, and an opening in the center of the roof to let out smoke, was built of logs and boards which had been hewn with small tools. There was an alder fire in the center of the room to provide light as well as heat. We did not notice smoke in the room and were told nothing smoked with alder would mold.

Chief Lelooska is a powerful and dramatic person. He weighs over 300 lbs. which gives him enough size to display beautifully his attractive Indian clothing. He and his dancers with lovely costumes and often masks, told us a little of what life was like with the cedar and salmon people. In no way did they resemble the Indians we know so well from the late, late TV shows. The 1½-hour program passed quickly.

On the way home we stopped at Todd’s in Tigard for a good dinner. Arrived at South Eugene High at 8:15 p.m. Leaders Irene Flynn and Ruth Nichols escorted the following: Muriel Aufderheide, Annette Aylworth, Lorene Bressler, Mary Bridgeman, May Chambers, Virginia DeMers, Grace Durchanek, William E. Eaton, Harriet Friday, Gladys Grancorvitz, Jan Gund, Evelyn Herider, Jane Hilt, Virginia Horton, Madge Malmstrom, Elwina Meacham, Cindy and Laurel Meares, Ruth McDonald, Nellie and “Mac” McWilliams, Frances Newsom, Francis O’Neill, Bonita Rickard, Betty Mae Stamm, Lila & Al Smith, Flora Smith, Myrtle Smith, Ruth Williams, Mary-Douglass Stovall, and Freda & Harold Young.

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