Wenatchee Bilingual History Book

Follow the fascinating history of the Wenatchee Valley and help us make a difference!  We are sharing the history of Wenatchee in a bilingual book that is packed with photos and captivating stories. You’ll read about Wenatchee's diverse past and the amazing variety of people who contributed to the thriving community we are today.

 Place of Plenty: A History of Wenatchee, in English and Spanish
Wenatchee’s history is compelling for locals and visitors alike. This book uses a simple, conversational style, and it adds to and improves upon information found in older Wenatchee history books, adding the richness of our diversity and presenting the stories in both English and Spanish. About 35% of local community members are Latino, many for whom English is a second language. This book will help in strengthening community and making our history available to more folks in our valley. 

Excerpt: “Dutch” John Galler, traveling with a group of Native Americans, crossed the mountains into Wenatchi-P’squosa country. They were fording Tarpiscan Creek, near today’s Malaga, when the ice broke and Galler plunged into the frigid water. The others continued on their way, with the exception of a girl of about 16 named Se-mul-talks (Mary). Galler later explained what happened. “I had fallen in the water. It was so cold that I wanted to lie down and go to sleep. I was freezing. The Indians left me, but little Mary stayed with me, hammered away and made me so mad that I fought back. In that way, she kept me from freezing to death. Later she got a fire started and I thawed out.” Dutch John married Mary a year or two later and they went on to have 10 children.

 Because the anticipated audience is fairly small, this book will not "earn out" its costs in sales, so we are looking for financial help in making it available!

The idea of the book came from our friend Teresa Zepeda Sosa in a chat with Carin Smith. “I have lived for over 25 years in this beautiful Wenatchee Valley,” Teresa said. “It is now my home. I would like to learn more of its history. I wish there was a Wenatchee history book written in Spanish!” Since Teresa and many other local Latinos are more comfortable reading in Spanish, Carin proposed to her friend Chris Rader that she write a book of Wenatchee history that would be published in Spanish as well as English.

Chris was enthusiastic. “We want to expand the circle of people who can learn about and engage with our history,” she said. “It is great that so many community members want to know about the history of where they live.”

Chris has done research and writing for the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center since 2006. Carin has experience in writing, editing, and publishing. The museum will hold the copyright to the book. Books will be available for sale at the museum and other local outlets, and available through NCW Libraries.

Content and facing-pages format
Four major themes are covered in Place of Plenty: people, agriculture, transportation, and recreation/culture. The book begins with the history of the indigenous people who lived in the mid-Columbia region for thousands of years before Caucasian settlement. It tells stories of many early settlers and those who guided Wenatchee and East Wenatchee’s development since the 1870s – and acknowledges the many contributions Latinos have made to the Wenatchee community. The Great Northern Railway, Wenatchee’s steamboat era, the region’s many parks, recreational opportunities, festivals and celebration of the arts truly make the Wenatchee area a place of plenty.

Funding of the writing, editing, translating, layout, cover design, and printing of this book is dependent upon contributions. If you think this bilingual history will be valuable to our community, please consider a donation via this GoFundMe page! Contributions are tax-deductible because of the museum’s nonprofit 501(c)(3) status. Thank you.

Carin Smith and Chris Rader

PS: You can help by sharing the GoFundMe link to your Facebook timeline!
Donors of $500 or more will receive a free autographed copy and a personal chat with the author! (Over coffee, In a Covid-safe manner)


  It will be great to have bilingual book on the history of Wenatchee and North Central Washington. This will make it accessible to persons that read and speak only Spanish as well as enrichment for others.
  Thank you for contributing to the historical knowledge of our community with access to more people through a bilingual approach.
Alma Chacón
CAFÉ – The Community for the Advancement of Family Education
Wenatchee, WA

  The Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center gathers, engages, and educates people to celebrate and preserve the history, arts, sciences, and rich diversity of our region. Yet, we know that we must do more than “gather, engage, and educate” the Hispanic members of our community; we must work to include them in all we do. The bilingual Wenatchee history book would be a first for our community and would support the Museum’s efforts to welcome and include our Latinx neighbors.
Keni Sturgeon
Executive Director
Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center

   My name is Mr. René V. Baca and I am an Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages at Wenatchee Valley College.  I teach two Spanish language learning tracks which are designed for Second Language Learners (SLLs) and Heritage Language Learners (HLLs).
   I became ecstatic upon discovering the potential of a Wenatchee History book being available in Spanish because of the strong Spanish-speaking population that exists in our valley. Spanish is invaluable not only in the Wenatchee Valley, where almost one third of the population is Hispanic, but throughout the world.  
   A Wenatchee bilingual history book would be a treasure for Spanish HLLs in the Wenatchee valley and its surrounding areas because they will be able to capitalize on their linguistic assets in Spanish while also learning about the environment in which they live and discovering more about their own cultural heritage. 
   I fully support this amazing endeavor.
Mr. René V. Baca, M.A.
Spanish Faculty
Department of World Languages
Wenatchee Valley College

We are writing on behalf of the North Central Regional Library (NCRL) to express our support for the Wenatchee Bilingual History Book Project. This book will be an incredible asset to the Wenatchee Community.

  NCRL is a five-county library district headquartered in Wenatchee. We are committed to providing resources that reflect the diversity of the populations we serve, bringing people together, and working to create stronger communities. In the Wenatchee area, nearly a third of our population speaks Spanish in the home. We continually seek to build collections and programs that are reflective of the linguistic needs of our community. This project will help us towards fulfilling these goals.
  Currently, no Spanish-language books on the history of the Wenatchee area are available, and there is a need for more history books that emphasize the important contributions of diverse cultural groups in our area. This book will help to strengthen the diversity of our Pacific Northwest History collection. In addition, upon publication, it could serve as a jumping off point for a bilingual library program on Wenatchee history.
  We strongly believe in the importance of the Wenatchee Bilingual History Book project. By deepening our understanding of our region’s history for both Spanish and non-Spanish speakers, we believe that this book will serve to enrich the sense of community in our area. It is our pleasure to support this effort.
Suzy Nieto & Clare Morrison
Bilingual Outreach Specialists
North Central Regional Library



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    • $100 
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Fundraising team: Carin Smith & Chris Rader (2)

Carin Smith 
Raised $475 from 6 donations
Wenatchee, WA
Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center (Wvmcc) 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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Chris Rader 
Team member
Raised $555 from 7 donations

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