Echo: The Sound of History

     Seven families settled in the valley near Clugston Creek in 1899. Not long after, a post office was established. It was named Echo for the echoing sounds created by the sawmills in the valley. The town consisted of a two-room school-house, Tessman’s General Store, a grange hall, a livery stable, a dance hall made of knotty pine and a few homes. This area also was the first to claim bragging rights for the first telephone exchange in the Colville area. Mail came to town three times a week. Besides the mills, farming was the main occupation in Echo Valley. (Information from Blanche Estep, Clark Hedrick and Clara Onstine)

     The school hosted typical pioneer students who created some stories that are still remembered today. The Hass children were unfamiliar with the English language and at each recess when the other children got up to play they put on their hats and coats and thought it was time to go home. The clever teacher solved the problem by hanging their coats out of reach. Another story was of the Hedrick’s mule. This faithful animal carried all four of the Hedrick brothers to school from their ranch in the hills above Clungston Cr. Then along came sister Margaret but there was still room for her, she rode the "Rumble Seat." (Alpha Naff, The Last Bell)

     Unfortunately in August 1929 during a dance at the grange hall a fire started and burned the entire town. It was never re-built, but former town residents still meet every summer for an annual picnic. (need to confirm)

Frontier Lifestyle

The Crack Echo Nine

     Echo may still be remembered for their local baseball team. The center of the community was a ballpark and the team, "The Crack Echo Nine," challenged every team they could. Hubert Knapp remembers, "Every community had a little ball team. We did here too. I played with Echo: we played in the same league with Colville. In fact Colville never did beat us. We were pretty lucky. But all of that was after the early days when they really had ball games that were blood and thunder. They had a big grandstand …it was shaped like a ‘V’. It would be loaded, packed, jammed tight with people all around the foul lines, way out into the field. There was no other recreation. We didn’t have automobiles. There wasn’t everybody going someplace everyday as there is now."


The Echo Valley as Seen by Eagles


Echo School, 1908

A New Experience

     In 1908 at a game near the flat by the Gourleys, while her brothers played ball Blanche Bedard ate her first ice cream cone. "I had never seen an ice cream cone before. So I ate the ice cream and—this is embarrassing, my face is getting red—then I said to my sister, ‘How am I going to get the ice cream out of this cow horn?" She said, ‘Child, that isn’t a cow’s horn. You are supposed to eat it.’" Blanche later felt less embarrassed later when she found out that cones were first manufactured that year. (Peoples’ History of Stevens Co.)