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Whidbey Xtra! WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2015 | Vol. 1, No. 26 | WWW.WHIDBEYNEWSTIMES.COM | FREE

New DVD chronicles life of Central Whidbey settler By RON NEWBERRY

Nearly every day, Dave Engle steps back in time. The journey takes several steps, actually. He travels by foot from the small house he shares with his wife Dolores on Ebey’s Prairie. He walks across his property, through the trees and under a mighty horse chestnut tree to reach the front porch of a grand old place where he, his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents once called home. “That’s the same door that’s been there for years and years and years and years,” he says as he takes the final steps to the entrance. Engle unlocks the door and allows filtered light to shine on history. Inside the 19th Century Victorian home is a wooden staircase and faded wallpaper that dates back generations. Immediately noticeable on the wall at the end of the entryway, are two framed photographs of Engle’s great-grandparents -— early Coupeville pioneers Flora Augusta Pearson Engle and William B. Engle. “That desk over there, that’s Toppy’s,” Engle said, sharing his great-grandmother’s affectionate family nickname. “That’s where she did most of her writing.” Flora Augusta Pearson Engle often sat at that antique desk, but throughout her busy life she rarely sat still. She was a prolific writer, using a pen to both record history and push for change in a bustling, young frontier town. And she wasn’t shy about voicing her views and organizing efforts to bring improvements to her community. “Flora was a mover and shaker,” said Rick

Photo by Ron Newberry/Whidbey News-Times

A new film by the Island County Historical Museum chronicles the life of Dave Engle’s greatgrandmother Flora Engle. Castellano, executive director of the Island County Museum. “She’s responsible for the first board sidewalks in Coupeville. She got tired of having mud on the hems of her dresses. “She helped spearhead an effort to restore the Davis Blockhouse.” Castellano spent more than a year working with a video production company to bring to life the words found in Flora Engle’s vivid writings. The result is a 42-minute DVD produced by the museum and Reel Life Videos titled, “The


Life and Times of Flora Augusta Pearson Engle.” The DVD sells for $21.99 plus tax with the proceeds benefiting the museum. It is the second DVD the museum has made with the same production company, following the award-winning video about Sunnyside Cemetery in 2013. “The challenging part was to try to tell a meaningful story about her in 42 minutes,” Castellano said. “It was impossible. “What we decided to do was to broaden it out more and make it more about her life and

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times.” The times were the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Flora Engle arrived in Coupeville in 1866 at the age of 15 after a fourth-month trip by steamship from New York “around the horn” of South America to San Francisco and ultimately to what was then Washington Territory. She was part of the second Mercer expedition known as the “Mercer Belles” that traveled from New England to the Pacific Northwest in an effort to bring educated young women to teach and to balance the gender ratio in the young frontier region. She made the trip along with her mother Susan Brown Pearson and her brother, Daniel Orlando Pearson, following the first expedition of “Mercer Girls” two years earlier that included her two older sisters Georgianna and Josephine Pearson and their father Daniel Pearson. The Mercer expeditions were organized by Asa Mercer, the first president of the University of Washington. His expeditions inspired the television series, “Here Come the Brides,” which aired from 1968-70. In 1876, 10 years after her arrival, Flora Engle married William Ballinger Engle, a successful farmer who had come to Whidbey Island in 1852 aboard a ship captained by Thomas Coupe, the town’s founder. “She knew a lot of the early settlers —Captain Coupe and his wife and the Crocketts,” Castellano said. “They were friends with all of those people. She was a very prolific writer. She wasn’t a trained historian but what she wrote down really gives us a vivid picture of what was going on back then.” SEE ENGLE, PAGE 3

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Xtra!CALENDAR Wednesday Oct. 28

Ready Readers: Baby & Me Storytime, 9:30 a.m., Oct. 28, at the Oak Harbor Library meeting room. Wiggle and giggle with your toddler while listening to silly stories, rhymes and happy songs and participating in activities that inspire a love of reading. Playtime will follow. For children ages newborn through 24 months with a caregiver. 360-675-5115. Pumpkin Patch and Trolley Ride, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, through Oct. 31, at Sherman Pioneer Farm, Terry and Ebey roads. Trolley rides available Fridays and Saturdays or by appointment during the week. Pumpkin is free with the cost of the trolley

ride. Also a straw maze for little ones and pumpkin chuckin’.

Thursday Oct. 29

Ready Readers: Preschool Storytime, 9:30 a.m., Oct. 29, at the Oak Harbor Library meeting room. Let imaginations run wild with fun books, sing-along songs and creative activities that prepare young minds for reading. Playtime or crafting may follow. For children ages three to five years with a caregiver. 360-675-5115. Tween STEAM Club: Dry Ice, 4 p.m., Oct. 29, at the Coupeville Library. Discover how cool dry ice can be. This class explores the principles of sublimation, evaporation, various states of matter, surface tension, pressure and

laboratory safety. After a short talk and demonstration, students will participate in hands-on experiments. Attendees must be between nine and 13 years old. Pre-register at the library or call 360-6784911.

Friday Oct. 30

Frightville XV, 7 p.m. to midnight, Oct. 30 and 31, at The Boys and Girls Club/Roller Barn. Frightville is a haunted house located inside the basement of the 103-year-old Roller Barn. Tickets cost between $10-15. Contact Nikki Barone at bgcoh@comcast. net or 360-240-9273, or visit Frightville for more information. Haunted Corn Maze, 5-8 p.m., Oct. 30-31,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 • WhidbeyXtra!

HARVEST FESTIVAL: 6-8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 30, at the Family Bible Church in Oak Harbor. The harvest festival will include games, candy, cookies, a hot dog dinner and a show. The show, featuring comedian and ventriloquist Mark Thompson, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Contact Lisa Knott at or 360-679-1585 for more information.

at Engle Family Farm. Entrance at Ebey Bowl. $10 per person. Bring a flashlight. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

in a positive, supportive environment. All meetings are open to the public. Enter through the south side of the building and arrive early for checkin. Contact Teresa Coe at vppr-4902@toast for more information. http://whid beysounders.toastmaster

Scary Haunted Barn, 6-10 p.m., Oct. 30-31, at Sherman Pioneer Farm, $10 per person. Meant for adults and older teens. Using LinkedIn for Business Development, 8 a.m., Oct. 30, at the Oak Harbor Library meeting room. Learn how to effectively use LinkedIn as a networking and sales tool for business development. 360-675-5115.

Saturday Oct. 31

Toastmasters Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Oct. 31, at the VFW in Oak Harbor. Learn leadership and communication skills

Halloween Dance and Benefit, 8 p.m., Oct. 31, at the Coupeville Recreation Hall. Music by Johnny Bulldog, no host bar, soft drinks and snack. Benefit for Central Whidbey Hearts and Hammers. $10 per person suggested donation. $20 minimum donation if not in costume.

Sunday Nov. 1

Meet the Author: Gloria Koll, 2 p.m., Nov. 1,

at the Coupeville Library. Koll, author of “Skipping Stones,” will read from her novel with musical accompaniment by harpist Claudia Walker. “Skipping Stones” tells of Scandinavian mass migration, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and the home-front of World Wars I and II.

Tuesday Nov. 3

Ready Readers: Toddler Storytime, 9:30 a.m., Nov. 3, at the Oak Harbor Library meeting room. Jump and bounce into a magical world of stories, music and movements that nurture a desire to read in toddlers. Playtime or crafting may follow. For children ages two to three years with a caregiver. 360-675-5115.


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P. O. Box 1200 • Coupeville, WA 98239 1-360-675-6611 • Please fill out and send to Circulation Division address shown or bring to our business offices in Oak Harbor or Coupeville. On island non-mailed delivery only. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer good through 10-31-15. No Cash Value

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 • WhidbeyXtra! Wednesday, June 17, 2015 • WhidbeyXtra!

ENGLE Art Show and Sale,

reception 6-7 p.m. June CONTINUED 26, show 10FROM a.m. to16 p.m. June 27 and 10 a.m. Flora wrote to 5 Engle p.m. June 28, about at Coupeville society Rec in Hall. the the Coupeville Island County Times. She Island Artists, a group meets weekly also that wrote poetry, plays to and work on art and to share songs. knowledge and experiFor a time, she served as ence,lighthouse presents their assistant keeper annual art show and sale. at the original Admiralty have proven that HeadStudies Lighthouse, where her looking at art can trigfather the lighthouse gerwas emotions that boost keeper 13 years. thefor immune system and


“She had a deep appre- articles, poems and plays she ciation of history. My from grand- wrote. protect the body $3 for children under 12. “I feel like I know her pretmother told me this,” Dave disease. Engle said. “She realized ty well and she’s been gone a Strawberry Social, when she came into Puget long he2said. 10time,” a.m. to p.m., June Sound she was part of hisFlora bornUnited in 1850, 27, at Engle, Coupeville June 27 every lived Methodist Church. until 1935. SheAnnual was tory. She kept a diary Strawberry known to sign Social, her fullservname, day of her life.” ing homemade waffles, was uncommon for a TheAll-you-can-eat diaries remain in which 8 a.m. to noon, shortcakes duringand that sundaes. time. the Breakfast, Engle family, which still woman June 27, at the Coupeville Proceeds support local “She was proud of who she maintains a large presence in Masonic Hall. Saturday andShe global missions. $7 was. was her own perCentral Whidbey. morning All You Can Eat whole orders, $5 half Castellano was able to son,” Castellano said. “Back Breakfast Includes bacon, orders. Take-out available. looksausage, througheggs oneand of panFlora then, a lot of women would’ve Engle’s as well as signed their name Mrs. cakesdiaries and orange juice, porecoffee through many Engle. She always or tea. $7journals, for adults; William Coupeville Lions Club


signed hers ‘Flora Augusta Pearson Engle’ Garage or she’d use 36th Annual her (four) initials. thinkJune that Sale, 9 a.m. to 4I p.m. little tidbit tellstoyou some27 and 9 a.m. 1 p.m. thing Juneabout 28 ather.” Coupeville Dave Engle,School. 78, wasProfits born Elementary will years financeafter community two his great programs and projects grandmother died but has sponsored or supported heard countless stories about by life the Lions. Preview her and read from her hundreds of items 12-6 diaries. p.m. June 26. “Sheon Friday, got the name 360- 678-4105. Grandbuzzy because she did everything quickly,” Take a Class at he said. “She had energy, Deception Pass: energy, energy.” Photography, 10 a.m.

Dave Engle and his wife were living in the 1858 to 12:30 p.m., June 27,home where his great-grandparat Deception Pass State ents resided untilIna fire Park,once Rosario Beach. nine years Dave ago forced this class, Sharpethem to continue willmove showout. youThey several deliberate steps you can to live on the historic Engle take to improve your phofarmstead in a former gratographic skills — from last nary that was remodeled preparation to post-proyear. cessing. Open to all skill This allows Dave Engle levels, tipseye are on applito keepthese a close the cable to any type of camhouse that contains so many era. There will be a short memories, from class roomparticularly presentation his younger followed byyears. an excursion Hisintograndparents lived out the field where

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there for 49 years and there werecan times when he stayed you begin applying with them as ayou’ve teenager. some of what “It wasYou’re really unique learned. invitedthinkto ing ofalong the history that had bring up to three gone onfavorite in that images house in my of your for critiqueDave session after owna family,” Engle said. theDave class.and Dave Sharpe is a Dolores Engle’s landscape photographer four daughters want to prewho works on and servelives the and historic home Whidbey Island. Sharpe’s keep it in the family. work hasdreams been published “Our are to restore in national magazines. $10 the whole thing, inch for members, $30every for nonof it,” Davewww.deceptionEngle said. “I realmembers. ize a lot of that will come with our daughters.”

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Special Sections - WHIDBEY XTRA Oct 28 2015  


Special Sections - WHIDBEY XTRA Oct 28 2015