Dear Friends of Frenchtown,

We send you our best wishes in this holiday season. We’ve had a great year, thanks to the support of our members and volunteers. We hope to see you in 2018!

The Frenchtown Historical Foundation  

Frenchtown Rendezvous 2017 was a great success. 75 people, a mix of old friends and new faces, gathered in Assumption Parish Hall to learn and share about the history of Frenchtown.

The new Frenchtown Research Guide was on display, with satellite pictures of traces of French-Canadian long lots, as well as information about settlement, allotment and the St. Rose of Lima church and cemetery.

Speakers Jessie and Nicki Day-Lucore shared their cemetery research on missionary rivalries, childhood mortality, and the 1878 diphtheria epidemic. We are raising funds to install new signage telling these stories in 2018.

Family history and history come together at Rendezvous. Census documents and a computer station to do searches on ancestry.com let everyone be a researcher.

Frenchtown isn’t the only French presence in the valley. Walla Walla’s wineries were well represented in the silent auction. Marty Bray, whose garlic mashed potatoes are second to none, catered the event with a delicious tri-tip dinner.

The scenic Frenchtown Historic site brings together many threads of the history of the Walla Walla valley. It lies within the homeland of the Walla Walla and Cayuse Tribes. French-Canadian voyageurs associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at Fort Nez Perces settled here with their Métis families beginning in 1823. In 1855, this area was also the site of the Battle of Walla Walla, fought between Oregon Mounted Volunteers and members of the Walla Walla, Cayuse, Palouse and Yakama tribes. Points of interest at the site include the St. Rose Cemetery and the recently restored “Prince’s cabin”, believed to be the oldest example of French-Canadian construction in Washington state. Interpretive signage provides family histories and burial records as well as information on the Oregon trail, the fur trade, the interactions between local tribes and settlers, and more.

Maintenance and development of the site is made possible by contributions to the Frenchtown Historic Foundation, a as well as the volunteer efforts of local historians and descendants of the original families.

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This website is permanently under construction. Research is an action verb, and we update our pages as we go. 

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