The Blankenships in Washington State

deWitt Clinton and Polly Blankenship Family

Taken about 1910

"CLINT" and probably his son "CARR"


Just what year the Blankenships headed West, I do not know. As details begin to unfold, things may become more clear. The Workman and Belcher Families also went West, about the same time as the Blankenships. For some, possibly, to further their church work. I found the following info. that tells of the town, which was the destination for some of the families. They had organized churches through out Virginia and West Virginia.

BELCHER-L Archives
WASHINGTON, The Evergreen State Magazine,
Vol Two, Number Six May/June1986,pp.100,105,+, Article,
By Stephen Maher (a free lance writer from Portland, Oregon. His family owns a summer place near Riffe Lake.) Floyd and wife Armedia Riffe founded the remote town named for them in 1893. Subtitle: The rippling waters of Riffe Lake can't cover the memories of an "Appalachian" town.
---Email Message from Larry Riffey, Texas states that there is a book written by Fred J. Riffe, Box 504324, Marathon, Florida 33050 titled REIFF TO RIFFE FAMILY IN AMERICA, 1995, which can be purchased directly from Fred.
Floyd Lewis Riffey in the book, page 213,7-77(6-24) states he was born 29 Feb. 1860 North Springs, McDowellCo.,WVA. Died12 Jun 1943 Nesika, Washington. Married Armedia Blankenship 3 March 1881, Born 16 Nov 1855 Virginia: c/oConley Blankenship.
***As stated by the Evergreen State Magazine: "Following is the first apporx. half of the article. The remainder will be forhcoming."

IN THE LOW foothills of the Cascades, situated behind the Northwest's tallest dam, lie the greenish-blue waters of Riffe Lake. Nearby hills, with their checkerboard pattern of farms, keep the lake company, as does Mt. St. Helens, 25 miles to the southeast. Like other reservoirs, Riffe Lake is a haven for people who enjoy fishing, waterskiing, sailing and camping. But Riffe Lake is more than just a recreational hot spot. It is a lake with a story beneath its waters. When workers plugged the dam back in 1968, the rising waters of the Cowlitz River flooded the last remains of the town of Riffe and left only a ripple of memories behind.
It all began in the fall of l893, when a party of more than 60 Appalachian hllbillies led by Floyd Riffe, A Southern Baptist minister, traveled eight days in a boxcar from West Virginia to Chehalis. A month later part of the group forged 40 miles east with horse and wagon to the old Bodiford homestead on the Cowlitz. There, Floyd Riffe purchased 160 acres from the widowed Mrs. Bodiford, and the community of Riffe was born.
The early settlers had left the Appalachian Mountains because the water there was bad and the ground so rocky that dirt had ro be carried in to cover hills of corn. Out west in the Cascade foothills they found the water clear and clean and the earth rich. Due to its isolation, Riffe's early settleers tended to be self-reliant and jacks-of-all-trades. Floyd Riffe was no excepton, He was a farmer, loggeer, minister, doctor (though unlicensed) and the leader of the community. He also established the first Riffe Post Office in his home and served as its postmaster until 1904.
A grandson, Glen Schwartz of Mossyrock, remembers his grandfather's days as the area's only medical practitioner. "Anybody who got sick called Granddad Riffe. He had a black satchel and a tiny white pill that he used as a painkiller. He'd get on horseback and go see the person," Schwartz says. During the early part of the century and for the most part untiil the 1960s, Riffe was isolated from nearby towns because of the clannish nature of its people. They had transplanted themselves to another part of the world, but little else changed in their lives. They played their music. They hunted and raised crops. They spoke with the accents and slang of their Appalachian homeland. They interrmarried, and had large families. "Everyone married his neighbor because no one had transportation," says Marjorie Aldrich of Mossyrock, a Lewis County historian. "And in those days there were no birth control pills."
Added by web master: Marian McCardell Baughman
My Mother Ola Mae Blankenship McCardell was born in Riffe OR Mossyrock. ***As stated above, this is the first apporx. half of the article. The remainder will be forhcoming. It was published in the next months copy of the magazine. There is MORE, but I haven't found it yet. Perhaps YOU would like to help me LOOK!

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