Gertie and Charley et al

Mar 26, 2013 | 3 comments

Mrs. McClintockIn the summertime, there is no question that all roads lead to Oysterville.  Houseguests and visitors and tourists by the gazillions seem to converge and there is something going on all the time.  The rest of the year isn’t much different except that it’s the telephone lines which seem to lead here –not so much the roads.

Not a week goes by but what I get a call, usually from someone unknown to me, asking about someone who used to live in Oysterville or who owned property here or who spent summers here or…  Many times the connection isn’t directly to Oysterville, but just to the Peninsula in general.  And usually, the question is prompted by someone doing genealogical research.

Last weekend there was a telephone message from a man who was phoning on behalf of a friend.  The friend was looking for information about his Great Aunt Gertie McClintock.  As is often the way with these queries, I recognized the name and knew a few facts but probably not enough to help.

Gertrude McClintock was the cook at Ocean Park School back in the days that lunch was actually prepared onsite.  She has the reputation among the ‘kids’ who remember her as “THE BEST COOK EVER.”  When I was gathering information for my book, Ocean Park School: The First Seven Decades,everyone I interviewed who had been in school there during the years 1946-1972 had fond memories of her.

Charles FitzpatrickI never did make contact directly with Mrs. McClintock’s relative, but I passed on the name of someone I thought would know more about her and her family. I hope it helped.  Yesterday, I was able to do a little better regarding an inquiry from a lovely sounding woman in Seattle.  Her name was Pat and she was asking about Charles Fitzpatrick who lived in Ocean Park in the 1930s.

Like most such callers, she was doing family research.  She thinks she is Charley’s first cousin, three generations removed but, because he had no children, she has come to a bit of a dead end in her quest.  Then she saw some photographs by him in the Sou’wester that were credited to the Espy Family Collection and she tracked me down.

Thanks to the article that Adelle Beechey wrote for the Chinook Observer back in 2006, I was able to tell her a little about Mr. Fitzpatrick’s life in Ocean Park and about some of his fabulous photographs, drawings, and even a map of this area.  He left a treasure trove of historic images when he left the Peninsula in the 1940s or ‘50s.  Most importantly, I was able to give her contact information for Adelle, herself, who is in her nineties, is still sharp as a tack, and who knew Charles Fitzpatrick during his years in Ocean Park.

Pat and I also agreed to meet one another sometime next fall.  She will be coming here for an exhibition of Charles Fitzpatrick’s work at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum scheduled for September through December.  So, when that happens, I guess we can say the road and the telephone lines to Oysterville (or at least to the Peninsula) will converge!


  1. Jessica Peterson

    Do you happen to have any information on my grandmothers family in Oysterville, the Gove’s?

    • sydney

      Jessica, could you be more specific? There were several different generations of Goves who spent time in Oysterville. Can you give me some dates or complete names? Also, what exactly are you wanting to know? There are still Goves on the Peninsula — lots of them. They must be cousins and you probably know most of them. They would certainly have more information than I do, but if there’s something specific you want to know about your grandmother’s time in Oysterville, I might be able to help a little.
      I had no idea you were a Gove! Another small world thing!


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