Submitted by Don Thomason
Don Thomason is originally from Wauconda And now resides in Moses Lake Washington.
My great-grandfather had a neighbor, Joe Tollett, who envied my grandfather's home and business of having a Livery Stable and horse switching station on the Chesaw-Toroda-Sheridan-Republic Stage Route. Joe Tollett kept pressuring my great-grandfather to sell this enterprise to him, so my Great-grandfather did, for $25,000 in about 1910. He sold 40 acres and his Livery Stable business, and sold the rest to my grandfather, Lonnie, and then moved to Scappoose, Oregon and began raising strawberries on a 100-acre plot there. About two years later the stage-line shut down between Chesaw and Republic, and Joe Tollett never did see a return on his investment. The current area of 40 acres that my great-grandfather sold to Joe Tollett passed to Albert Tollett his son then to Victor Lesamiz of Oroville, and now Frank Rounds Jr. (Sonny) owns it. None of the buildings that my great--grandfather built at that location remain. My grandfather Lonnie Thomason bought most of that homestead from his father and mother plus his brother's (Perry Thomason's) homestead.
My father (Everett Thomason) bought that from his father, plus the Lorz homestead and the Bowers and Galway places. Amassing 880 acres and a 40 acre State school parcel of deeded/leased land and a 60-head cattle grazing permit on the Cumberland Mountain Range area of the Okanogan National Forest just to the north of it. In 1972 my father sold most of his place at Wauconda and moved to Moses Lake. He kept his portion of the original Alfred Thomason place that came to 120 acres, and gifted it to myself and my sister, Beatrice Fairburn of Kittitas and we jointly own it and take care of it today. The pasture has been leased in recent years to Marcia and Steve Henneman. Marcia is the daughter of Lester and Edna Schertenlieb. Lester Schertenlieb is the son of Lillian (Thomason) Schertenlieb, daughter of Alfred and Lucinda Thomason.
My grandfather, Lonnie Thomason, was 8 years old when his parents moved to Wauconda. He grew up there without very many white boys to grow up with. In fact most of his childhood friends were Indian/Native American, whom I got to know very well in my growing up years because he used to take me with him on his horseshoe pitching excursions with those old Indian friends of his on Sunday afternoons. One of those friends was Chief Jim James, the last Chief of the Colville Confederated Tribes, who lived out his retirement years at Keller, WA. I still have a butterfly pocket knife that he hand-made given to me by Chief James when I was about 5 years old, one of six that were made and according to the Indian museum at Coulee Dam the only one still known to be in existence.
The other thing I have is that at the 100th Birthday Celebration held at the Wauconda Hall in 1998. That the Thomason Ranch was found to be the oldest continuing existing private property to remain in the hands of the same family, at Wauconda, having been established first by Frank Thomason in 1898. No other properties exist at Wauconda that have remained in the same family that long. Our home there, that we continue to maintain in a modern, live-in condition complete with electricity, phone, manicured fenced yard with lawn although has been remodeled a couple of times, dates back to 1920 when it was first built by my grandparents, Lonnie and Josephine Thomason. I have most of the Thomason family history recorded and on file at home.
Don asks anyone wishing to contact him for further information about other old homesteads in the area, or family's old neighbors to contact him at (509) 766-6003.