Walter Ashford and Family (early 1900s)

Walter Ashford and Family
Walter Ashford and Family

The town of Ashford, Wash., was named after Walter Ashford in 1905. Here he is with this family at their homestead.

Left to Right: Cora Hershey Ashford, Zinal, Emma, John and Walter. Mildred is standing in front.

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton and Charlotte Leschke.

Click on image to enlarge.

14 responses to “Walter Ashford and Family (early 1900s)”

  1. I am very pleased to find this bit of information about Ashford. I picked it as a subject for my own blog and am finding very little information about it. This gives me some traction. Great site by the way.


  2. Wow! Thanks for all the work on the site. Cora Lake is named after Cora H. Ashford. Jim Beach the pilot married one of Mr. Ashford’s daughters. Lots of history info & pictures at Ashford Creek Pottery on Hwy 706. Rick Johhson has collected info from old-timers.

    This gallery & shop is in downtown Ashford near Ashford General store.

    I’ve been surfing for more stories & photos of old Ashford area…


    • Thank you for this. This site is pretty much just myself collecting information from local folks, and my hope was that people which chime and add their stories, memories and information. So, this is VERY much appreciated. 🙂


      • Jim Beach as old-timers would know, was a lifelong-resident and famous Ashford pilot who married one of Mr. Ashford’s daughters. He told us Cora Lake and Bertha May Lake (s) were named after his aunts. Does someone remember who Bertha May was? When I hiked with family to Pothole, Berha May, Granite, and Cora Lakes we would start at the Teelie (sp?) Creek Road trailhead. It was less than a half mile from Lower Bertha May Lake, also called Pothole Lake. Does someone have the USGS quad that shows the lakes? I believe Pothole was just a nickname for my favorite place to find tadpoles.

        Thanks again Di for maintaining a very entertaining site! How is it going with the #BuffuloFestival #EatonvilleRockFestival screenplay and book? Whatever year it does happen, I am sure the Reunion Festival celebrating the original July 1970 #BuffaloFestivalandPigRoast will be well enjoyed.


      • I don’t have the answers, but I’ll check around. Now I’m curious. The book/screenplay is coming along, albeit slowly. I took a TV pilot writing course, so finishing a pilot up and then it’s back to the book. It happened in 1970, so we’re about 4 years away from a reunion. That would be FABULOUS. I should start planning it now. 🙂


      • Hi! I’m Karen Ashford, my husband Thomas Wesley Ashford (75) is the great grandson of Walter Ashford. His father was Thomas Fred Ashford and grandfather Fred Ashford, Walter’s son. We visited the old Ashford homestead several years ago after the “remodel” of the original home. We live in Portland, Or. and are very very proud to have our ancestor found a lovely town in Washington!


      • How great to have your family’s historical link here. I haven’t see the remodel. I should check that out. Thank you for sharing!!!


  3. Jim Beech (Beach? ) was another very lively historic character in the story of communities on the Road to Rainier. Rick Johnson and wife Jana of Ashford Creek Pottery rented from and lived next door to Jim Beach in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s. Jim Beach is also a long-lived character who ties the pioneer and tecent history together.

    If you are not already in regular contact, talk with local historian Rick Johnson. He’s spent decades collecting the oral history & physical artifacts of the area. You probably already know him well and got photos from him about the Japanese internment, Eatonville, old Rainier history etc.
    He’d be a primary source to fill in some of the very lively stories for you book (s) & website.

    I hope the woodcarver/birdhouse maker who run the Ashford

    Also, talk with the the painter Sandy and her pioneer husband with the craft gift shop on Hwy 7


    • Excuse me, I am typing on my tiny cell phone keyboard.

      Anyway, go to Ashford homemade Mt. Gifts /bird houses, chain saw sculpture place EAST of downtown Ashford. That man was born and raised in National and was an old time logger. I sure hope he and his wife are still aluve because they’d have the old-time history. They are not on computers nor friendly with Whittakers or those who make most of the $ in Ashford area.

      They have and sell old logging artifacts, etc. They’d have stories from old times to fill in and probably photos.

      Those would be colorful stories that likely are not in other area history books.

      Thanks for your great research to tie the old stories together before the trail goes cold.

      Lots of folks outside the Eatonville to Rainier area would live to read history of life in the shadow of the Mountain.


  4. The “Road to Rainier” is featured story again in the Seattle Times “NW Traveler” Section, December 18, 2016.

    See photo of Alpine Gallery, the handcraft/souvenir/gift shop East of downtown Ashford on Highway 706. #alpinegallery Craftspeople/owners of this shop are REAL old-time pioneers. The husband was a logger, raised in National. The wife paints Rainier and other souvenir items. They would have the old old time stories. Some oral historian should interview them while they are still with us!

    Also mentioned is Eatonville’s Holly Hut, Elbe’s Recycled Spirits of Iron sculpture park and other fun inexpensive places for tourists to stop between Seattle and Rainier.

    Are there other followers of this blog who knew Jim Beach, son-in-law of Walter A. Ashford and famed area pilot through the early 1980’s? He was a major Ashford character who took all the photographers for their close up aerial photos of Mt. Rainier.

    Are Pat Van Eaton and Charlotte Leschke active on-line or in history societies?



    • Hi, Thanks for this. I’m not sure Pat Van Eaton attends the historical society meetings, but he is still definitely a local history buff. And I’m not familiar with Charlotte Leschke. Sorry.


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