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Brooks Park hits the 70-year mark, celebrate at park this weekend


Contributed photo

Startling Discovery: Alexus Enderby and Madison Shupe find a newborn fawn during a recent trip to Brooks Memorial Park. Brooks Park will celebrate their 70th anniversary this weekend with events beginning at 8 a.m.

Brooks Memorial Park turns 70 this Saturday, June 21, and it looks great for its age.

In honor of the occasion, the park is holding a day-long series of special events for celebrants, including a chance to view the 135 different species of birds in the park, do some gold panning, gobble up some Sloppy Joes for lunch, and ring around a campfire.

Here is the complete itinerary for the day:

• 8 a.m.: Bird hike led by area expert, Nancy Wallwork. The parks bird list is 135 species and still growing.

• 10 a.m .: Horse trail ride led by the Back Country Horsemen. They plan to depart at 10 a.m. from the group camp.

• 12:30 p.m .: Lunch-Dutch Oven cooking (Sloppy Joes) Campground Host Jim Boynton (nicknamed Dutch) will be cooking and demonstrating in the park's group camp area. The Park will have a lot of food but visitors are welcome to bring side dishes (potluck style).

• 2:30 p.m .: Gold panning and other mining techniques (taught by campground host Lee Walker). Techniques will also be demonstrated in the group camp area.

• 3:30 p.m .: How to attract wildlife to your property (taught by Nancy Wallwork). This will be in the park butterfly garden in the day use area of the park.

• 8 p.m .: Campfire Program (talk by Dutch). Location will be the campground amphitheater between sites 10 and 16. Talk will be on Hudson Bay County/Oregon Trail/or Ben Snipes.

Brooks Park is named for Nelson B. Brooks, a recognized leader of Klickitat County and the City of Goldendale in the early part of the 19th century. He was instrumental in securing a railroad for the valley near Goldendale and raising money for the area's first roads. He was a farmer and schoolteacher as a young adult in Klickitat County. Brooks later gained prominence as a successful businessman and a leading attorney in the state. He was elected principal of the Goldendale School in 1885. He held the position for two years, then was appointed county superintendent in 1886. He studied law during this time and opened a law office in Goldendale in 1892. At age 37, he was elected the mayor of Goldendale and gave the welcoming address to Queen Marie of Romania in 1926 when she dedicated the Maryhill Museum.

He then served as city attorney for two years and as a city council member for more than 10 years. He aided a band of poor settlers in a suit against the Northern Pacific Railway Company in a title dispute over 230,000 acres in 1898. He won the suit unaided and at a reduced fee in the State Supreme Court, gaining national recognition as an attorney. He also served as an Adjutant officer in the Washington National Guard and was the county's first court commissioner.


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