A street in Winthrop, WA, circa 1940

On May 28, 1897, the Methow Trading Company of Winthrop, Okanogan County, is formally incorporated under the laws of the State of Washington. Capitalized by Eastern investors, it is an expansion of a mercantile venture started in 1892 by Guy Waring (1859?-1936), considered the father of Winthrop. The company acquires land and plats the town in 1901. For several decades, under Waring as president, the Methow Trading Company supplies townsfolk, ranchers, and miners with the necessities of life and occupation. It establishes branches in other towns in the Methow Valley and in mining camps in the Cascades. Gradually these fail, until only the store at Winthrop remains. The company loses additional money on Waring's pet project, an apple ranch. In 1916 Waring gives up control of the company and in 1924 resigns altogether. The company goes into a long period of liquidation until its demise in 1934. The failure of Waring's ventures in Winthrop obscures his overall contribution to the survival of a precarious frontier town in the remote Methow Valley.

Civil Discourse - Microphone

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How do you protest a tax which is required, especially in a rural area such as ours, in order to go about your daily activities? Any nonpayment of such a tax isolates you on the side of the road, in poor standing with a police officer. In mid-February, that was my situation, and I was issued a traffic citation for failure to renew a vehicle registration. I’m nearing 40 years old and that was my first ever citation, so I’m obviously not a habitual scofflaw. I was trying to protest, in a peaceful way, that I really was upset with the Washington State government’s prevention of our voted, and successfully passed, $30 car tabs initiative from taking effect when it should have. For me, this is not so much about the money I save, or of having a number of taxes capped from their inevitable rise – rather it’s much more about the respect and deference that a government has for its citizens, who are supposed to be in control of it.