I am pleased to say I am a fifth generation native of Walla Walla. My roots are deep here and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. My dad is proud to still be involved in the family ranch that was established in 1862. He’s the family historian and knows more about the people and history of Walla Walla than anyone I know. We joke that anyone else who is native to Walla Walla and who’s history goes back to the 1860’s is probably related to us in some way by blood or by marriage and he has the records to prove it.
I think it was about 6 years ago when I was first asked that question here in the tasting room. “How long have you been here?” It really caught me by surprise. It used to be that anyone who was not a native Walla Wallan was easily recognized as an outsider or a transplant. There was a time when Walla Walla was not so friendly to newcomers. Even people who had lived here and moved away and then came back years later said that it was not easy to break back into the social scene.
I am happy to say that things have changed. I do think the wine industry is a big part of that change. We now have so many newcomers to the valley and so many more options for socializing and making friends that no one should feel like an outsider here. I am adaptable to change and enjoy meeting people from other places and welcoming them into our tasting room. If they like it so well that they decide to stay in Walla Walla I say the more the merrier!
But that being said there will always be a warm feeling and pride in being in that special group of pioneers that settled in this valley and never left.
According to the Walla Walla County Government Website
on November 7, 1859, the county commissioners gave the village Walla Walla its name, designated it as the county seat, and gave to it a town government.So that means Walla Walla will celebrate its 150th birthday on November 7, 2009. If there isn’t a big celebration in the planning stages right now there should be. Anybody with me?