Thursday, March 23, 2023

Little girl inside Community Band of the Palouse music at Pullman 4th of July 2022. Sunnyside Park. (Sue Hinz video)

Little girl inside Community Band of the Palouse music at Pullman 4th of July 2022. Sunnyside Park. (Sue Hinz video) 


Friday, November 11, 2022

Congratulations to Sue Hinz, Pullman Regional Hospital Auxiliary 2021 'Member of the Year'

 From Pullman Regional Hospital 11/10/2022

Congratulations to Sue Hinz, Pullman Regional Hospital Auxiliary 2021 'Member of the Year' .....

Sue's been a member of the Auxiliary since 1973 and has served on the Auxiliary board as the Newsletter Editor and Event Photographer since 2014. Sue is active in Auxiliary events like the annual Holiday Tea, Christmas Tree Raffle and Fall Luncheon, as well as with recruitment and membership. Her enthusiasm and love for Pullman Regional Hospital and the Pullman community make her a valued member of the Auxiliary and more than deserving of this award!

Here's to Sue- thank you for your dedication to our hospital and community.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Rosalie (Serra) Harms, retired Pullman teacher


Henrietta Heron (art work sculpture) outside to greet you 


August 28, 1970, Seattle Times = The closest thing to women's lib at KIRO-710 AM occurred when Rosalie Serra, petite music librarian, threatened to wear a militant button, but didn't. "No one gave me one," she explained sheepishly.


October 2, 2001, Evergreen


She's taught them all; Pullman teacher to retire after 34 years

By E. Kirsten Peters
Moscow Pullman Daily News  
May 17, 2005

For 34 years Rosalie Harms has taught first-graders how to read. She's also taught second-graders how to write a sentence and third-graders the basics of arithmetic.

Now Harms has decided it's time to move on to other things.

"I couldn't base my decision to retire on whether I was tired of teaching, because that will never happen," she said in her third-grade classroom at Franklin Elementary School in Pullman. "But it's time to move to the next stage."

Over the years Harms has had opportunities to teach as many as four siblings from the same family.

"What's funny is that the parents always say something like 'Now this one is different from the last one,' like they need to prepare me, but of course, all kids are different," Harms said.

Harms even has taught the children of some of her former students.

Harms brought an international flair to all her years of teaching in Pullman. Born in the Philippines but with a father in the U.S. military, Harms grew up all over the world. She credits her personal background with what she calls her passion for diversity. In recent years she has taught at Franklin, home to Pullman's English as a Second Language program.

"ESL is really only half an hour per day. The rest of the day the students are in the regular classroom, so all the teachers and the whole school cooperates to support the ESL students," she said.

Harms earned her college degree from the University of Washington.

"Before he married me, my husband, Jerry, used to say 'the only good Husky is a dead Husky.' He had to change that," she said with a laugh.

Jerry Harms, a loyal alumnus of Washington State University, taught history for 30 years at Pullman High School. He is semi-retired, but does a lot of substitute teaching at the high school and still announces high school basketball games.

"High school teaching is quite different from what I've done. Once I tried to decorate Jerry's class just before school started, a bit like I do here in my class, but that didn't go over well with him," she said.

Grade school teachers can tell a great deal about what a person will be like in later life, Harms said.

For many years Harms would tell her husband about the personalities of some of the students he was about to encounter in his high school class based on what she knew of them years previously in elementary school.

"And later in the school year he'd say, 'Yes, I see what you mean,' " she said.

Connections with the families of former students have twice led Harms into work as a wedding coordinator.

"I felt very honored to do that, and I'll be glad to do more of that in retirement," she said. "What I learned is that in that role you have to be a very good listener."

Harms takes pride in the accomplishments of former students and keeps in contact with some who have scattered across the country and around the world. She also mourns the few who have died. Harms believes grade school children are noticeably different than they were 34 years ago when she began her career in Pullman.

"They are more sophisticated, more exposed to reality. Like when 9/11 happened we discussed it all right that same morning, because the children knew all about it," she said.

Harms isn't convinced there are more children today with hyperactivity-type disorders.

"But there is more labeling of children than there used to be and I hate the labeling E the labels can end up as an excuse for teachers and for parents not to do more or be successful with the child," she said.

During her career Harms also has seen a great increase in the number and intensity of standardized exams given to young children. The last installment of these changes has been the state-mandated Washington Assessment of Student Learning.

"There is a place for the WASL because we do need accountability, but I'm concerned that it is used to label kids and ends up creating negativity in kids," she said. "There needs to be a better balance between tests and all the other work that children do."

* Rosalie Harms' former students and the parents of former students are welcome to attend a retirement event from 4 to 6 p.m. June 1 at Franklin Elementary School.


Sunday, August 7, 2022

In the hills of the Palouse, and in his life, pioneer Cashup Davis aimed high, no matter the risks

 In the hills of the Palouse, and in his life, pioneer Cashup Davis aimed high, no matter the risks

Cutline: Rendering by artist Noah Kroese of Cashup Davis’ lavish hotel on Steptoe Butte shows just how grand  it was at a time when only a few thousand settlers lived in the region, many in rudimentary housing. The hotel opened in 1888, closed in about 1904 and burned down in 1911.

Story by Jeff Burnside, special to Pacific NW Magazine of  the Seattle Times 8/5/2022


ONE OF TODAY’S most pressing concerns is: How do we define success? Is it money? Achievement in business? Philanthropy? Family?

The answers are illuminated in the astonishing 135-year-old story of Northwest pioneer Cashup Davis, the charismatic homesteader who was inexplicably obsessed with building a grand hotel on top of Eastern Washington’s Steptoe Butte when only a few hundred settlers lived in the region.

Most of us yearn to take a risk in life: start a business, go to college, move somewhere, ask someone special on a date. But we often don’t because we listen to the doubters.

Cashup never listened to the doubters. Ever. His real-life story gives us a compelling historical glimpse of difficult times and can serve as inspiration for anyone of any age and in any endeavor.

In the late 1800s, Cashup became one of Washington’s first national celebrities. He was a British immigrant who befriended Native Americans during wars with U.S. troops. He achieved fame and fortune with his stagecoach stop in the hardscrabble Palouse region. But when trains put stagecoaches out of business, Cashup dared to risk it all — by building that lavish hotel. Everyone told him he was nuts. He did not listen. He was brash, confident, wily, fun-loving and could charm anyone.

This story is told through the eyes of Cashup’s great-grandson Gordy Davis. The two never met, but Cashup is Gordy’s “secret mentor.” As Gordy achieved substantial success in his own life (he now focuses on philanthropy), he seemed to yearn for a better understanding of his good fortune by asking me to investigate Cashup’s story.

So our journey began. What we found was not what anyone expected. Gordy, a tough-talking, thick-fingered, cigar-chomping farm boy, was brought to tears.

We uncovered a story of how repeated success can blind you to risks, and to other joys in life. Yet hard work and determination still win the rewards.

The grand lessons of Cashup Davis are there for the taking — even today.

Jeff Burnside is an investigative reporter born and raised in the Seattle area. He's the recipient of numerous journalism awards including 10 regional TV news Emmys, former president of the Society of Environmental Journalists and a judge for both the Meeman and Oakes journalism awards. Reach him at or

Friday, August 5, 2022

With his lavish hotel atop Steptoe Butte, celebrity homesteader Cashup Davis elevated the Palouse experience

::The book “Cashup Davis: The Inspiring Life of a Secret Mentor," was published Aug.15, 2022, by Basalt Books, part of WSU Press, Pullman. Mr. Davis, U.S. immigrant from England, was a "pioneer, grand host, and savvy businessman..."::

With his lavish hotel atop Steptoe Butte, celebrity homesteader Cashup Davis elevated the Palouse experience

Story by Jeff Burnside, special to Pacific NW Magazine of  the Seattle Times 8/5/2022


CUTLINE: At the grand opening of Cashup Davis’ hotel, on July 4, 1888, guests lined the ground-level porch and the roof’s viewing platform. From Steptoe Butte, one of the highest points in the Palouse, guests were treated to vistas of rolling hills and farmland, plus a rare look inside a telescope that was considered one of the most powerful in the state at that time. (Courtesy Whitman County Historical Society, Perkins House, Colfax) #


Editor’s Note: The following is an edited excerpt from “Cashup Davis: The Inspiring Life of a Secret Mentor,” by Jeff Burnside and Gordon W. Davis (Basalt Books, Aug. 15, 2022, $18.95 paperback; available at and at Pacific Northwest booksellers; see

“The mountain became a motto to the man.”
— New York Evening Post article about Cashup Davis

CASHUP DAVIS STOOD on the 14-by-14-foot cupola atop his new hotel, perched on one of the highest points in all of the Palouse — Steptoe Butte, which he now owned — and looked out over every homestead and every town from horizon to horizon: “a land of peace and plenty.” Davis lavish hotel was ready to open with great fanfare on July 4, 1888, honoring the birthday of his adopted nation.

At that very moment, he had a lifetime on which to reflect. The confident, short, charismatic British kid who came to the United States with an obsession for the American West now was standing over a region that was the very definition of the western edge of settlement. He had beaten the odds. He had proved his doubters wrong. He had stuck to his vision. His heart was full. Davis would be forgiven for feeling like a king.

CUTLINE: The story of Washington homesteader and celebrated hotel owner James S. “Cashup” Davis is examined in “Cashup Davis: The Inspiring Life of a Secret Mentor,” by Jeff Burnside and Gordon W. Davis. (Courtesy Basalt Books)#


Indeed, the castles that surrounded him during his childhood in southern England plausibly did inspire him to build his own castle, in sparking his vision, in imagining this hotel.

Residents all around the Palouse and newspapers across the nation were talking about his hotel. “balloon ascension and fireworks will be features of the occasion, while the evening will be devoted to dancing,” reported The Lewiston Teller and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “Within a short time, Steptoe will be the most attractive place for a visitor in the whole inland country,” reported the Spokane Falls Review. 


CUTLINE: This 1888 news clipping from The Lewiston Teller reprints a story from the Colfax Gazette touting the upcoming grand opening of Cashup Davis’ new hotel on Steptoe Butte. For the event, Davis arranged for a balloon ascension, fireworks, music and dancing. Admission was 25 cents and included a peep through Davis’ vaunted telescope, “the second largest” in the Washington Territory. ( #


Davis, so determined, spent much of his fortune on it. Pioneers must have looked on in envy that someone could complete such a project. As one newspaper put it, “He was known as the money king of the Palouse country.” 

DAVIS’ GUESTS began arriving. 

The first sight they encountered upon entering the front doors was a large, ornate ballroom 60 feet long and 44 feet wide, dominating the main floor, with a kitchen, and a stage that held performances of all kinds to dazzle his guests: orchestras; singing; a recital; Chautauqua features; “Punch and Judy” shows of the era; and a “magic lantern” box with viewfinders using smoke, mirrors and focused sources of light (two years before electricity came to nearby Farmington). 




1 of 2: The hotel’s grand ballroom featured an exhibit that displayed and celebrated the crops of the Palouse. In this photograph, taken around 1890, Reverend Todd and Reverend Sproat relax in the... (Courtesy the collection of Jim Martin, restored)#


2 of 2: The hotel’s grand ballroom featured an alcove near the front entrance that displayed and celebrated the crops of the Palouse. (From the collection of Jim Martin, restored)+


In an alcove near the entrance, they saw Davis’ display of the crops of the Palouse: “beautifully decorated with all the grains, fruits and cereals that are available in this country.” He was a one-man Chamber of Commerce. On the walls in this display room were framed sketches of world-famous people, bridges, boulevards, steamships and cities, including a scene of New York Harbor near Pier 15, where Davis had arrived from England.

It all seemed to applaud grandeur and the immense possibility of industry. And that the Palouse was right up there with the big boys. It was so Cashup.

GUESTS RINGED THE ballroom from a balcony, looking down at the dancing and hubbub below. The second floor also had a dining room for 50 people. From that balcony, guests accessed their rooms, “fitted up in comfortable style and every convenience and attraction … to make time pass in this great Northwestern pleasure resort like a happy dream,” the Spokane Falls Review wrote.

As the guests filed throughout the hotel, they saw hand-carved wood trim — an elegance that evoked the finest quarters of Paris or New York. Davis’ hotel was not by any means as ornate as the world’s great hotels. But it made these tough pioneers feel pretty special. 


CUTLINE: Cashup Davis invited his more important guests to his private lounge — his “VIP Room.” The lounge contained scientific instruments, his famous telescope and other prized possessions. In the lower left of this photo, taken in 1888, is an ornate “modern” heating stove. (Courtesy Jim Martin)#


The most important guests were invited into a lounge that served as Davis’ private quarters — a VIP room, of sorts, where he could hold conversations. It was a showcase of his life. A photograph of Davis in this room shows him sporting his trimmed white beard, sitting upright in an armchair wearing a full suit, vest, white shirt and tie. His fingers are holding his place in the open book resting on his knee.

On the walls, he had hung sketches important to him. His lounge also included a rare microscope, a stereoscope photo viewer, an elaborate heating stove (a new product in America) and Davis’ prized possessions: his top hat, his telescope and the sword he carried by hand when immigrating to the United States from England in 1841. 

THIS DAY, JULY 4, 1888, Davis worked the crowd, “beguiling his visitors,” to make them feel welcome, as he had done so successfully at his famous stagecoach stop just down the road. In all that time of stress, wrote S.C. Roberts, who was close to Davis and his family and who wrote pioneer essays for local newspapers, “he met every guest as though he were a notable dignitary, and entertained him royally.” 



1 of 2: One of the best surviving portraits of Cashup Davis was taken by a studio photographer in Oakesdale, near Steptoe Butte, around 1888. (Courtesy Davis Family Collection)#


2 of 2: Another surviving portraits of Cashup Davis, taken about 1882. (Courtesy Davis Family Collection)#


Davis brought in a 10-piece horn section with a percussionist, likely led by Cy and Andy Privett of Colfax, who had been so popular at his stage stop. The guests celebrated under those fireworks and that hot-air balloon ascension and kept dancing until dawn. 

His first day was a smashing success. And it made for a future of near-certain popularity. To help ensure that, Davis wisely coordinated an 1888 horse-and-buggy version of a shuttle van for his guests to get up to the summit and navigate the sometimes-harrowing, winding road carved into the steep slope. It wrapped around the butte several times and switched back and forth as it snaked upward to the summit, where guests were dropped off at the front door like royalty.


CUTLINE: An artist’s rendering of Cashup Davis’ lavish hotel on Steptoe Butte shows just how grand it was at a time when only a few thousand settlers lived in the region, many in rudimentary housing. It opened in 1888, closed in about 1904 and burned down in 1911. (Illustration by Noah Kroese)#



As only he could do, Davis, a celebrity in his own right, hired a celebrity stage driver to run the shuttle. His name was Miles Kelly Hill. Everyone knew him by his nickname: Shorty. He had driven stage for the legendary Felix Warren and had stopped many times at Davis’ stage stop. Shorty had a reputation as the best bronco rider and stagecoach driver around. And he was, like Davis, entertaining, on the short side and full of charisma. 

“It’s pretty darn steep at the top and pretty narrow,” says Dave Wahl, a cowboy poet in his 80s living in Genesee, Idaho, who, as a young boy, grew up listening to Shorty’s extraordinary stories, including about Davis’ hotel. “In those days, it was all gravel, and it was more narrow and steeper and more windy,” says Wahl. He described Shorty thus: “He was bowlegged as a wish bone you could walk a pony through.” 


1 of 2: This is the only known photo of the entire James S. “Cashup” Davis family, taken in Wisconsin in 1860. Cashup and wife Mary Ann are in the back row, fourth and fifth from the left. Mary Ann holds their child Amy in her lap. Amy became the family storyteller into the 1960s. (Davis Family Collection, restored by Jim Martin)#


2 of 2: This is the only known photograph of Cashup and his wife, Mary Ann, on Steptoe Butte. Reportedly, Mary Ann did not like living on Steptoe and spent most of her time at the family farm near the base of the butte. (Courtesy Davis Family Collection)#



PHOTOGRAPHY WAS STILL uncommon in 1880s Palouse, but Davis gathered 114 guests, family members and friends to pose for a photo outside the hotel one day early on. 

There are conflicting dates attributed to the photo. Scribbled in white on the photograph, as was normal back then, it says inside a hand-drawn scroll: “STEPTOE BUTTE 3800 FEET HIGH. THE BEST PLACE IN WASHINGTON TO GET A GOOD VIEW OF THE COUNTRY.” Then to the right, the same scribbler wrote, “WE ARE WAITING FOR THE CAR.” To the far left is a surrey without a horse. Perhaps it was Shorty’s, waiting to take guests back down the butte that day. 

In the foreground, a ladder and stone rubble affirm the photo might indeed have been taken on the day of the grand opening. The people stand shoulder to shoulder in front of the hotel, and still more are lining the cupola on the third floor. There is a 10-piece horn band with a drummer. People are wearing their finest clothes: men in dark suits with white shirts and dark bowler hats, women in long full dresses tightly fitted around the torso, their heads festooned with big flailing hats. 

Sitting in front is Davis, flagged in a sea of dark suits by his cloud-white hair and beard. 

CUTLINE: An 1866 tintype portrait of James S. “Cashup” Davis. (Courtesy John Rupp and Linda Banken)#


THE MAIN ATTRACTION of the hotel was Davis. But the second bill was perched at the top inside that observatory and reading room: the large brass telescope. In 1888, people had never seen anything like it. The Lewiston Teller and Seattle Post-Intelligencer pronounced: “A peep through the big telescope is worth the 25 cents charge for admission.” 

Just after the grand opening, an authoritative book reported about the telescope. With its aid, a view, scarcely to be paralleled in the country, is spread out like a map. A foreground of vast rolling plains checkered with grain fields; a background of towering mountains, rising, tier on tier, till they break at last against the barriers of eternal frost — such is the outlook which daily greets the vision of this brave old pioneer of the Palouse.” “Cashup’s Pride,” it was called by some. 

“When Mr. Davis purchased this historical hill, many of his friends thought he was out of his head, but those who have visited the place have changed their minds wonderfully,” gushed the Spokane Falls Review. “Cash Up cannot be other than voted an enterprising and progressive man. His advertising the butte as he is not only benefits himself, but the entire country and community.” 



1 of 2: In 1879, James S. “Cashup” Davis had plans drawn up to expand his Whitman County home into a store and dance hall that quickly became one of the Northwest’s most famous stagecoach stops. (Courtesy Jim Martin)#


2 of 2: James S. “Cashup” Davis expanded his home into a thriving store and stagecoach stop. This is where he earned his nickname “Cashup” and became one of Washington’s early celebrity pioneers. (Courtesy Jim Martin)#


DAVIS KNEW HE had a good thing going. And he sought to invest in his hotel and his Steptoe Butte operations with improvements and events. In about 1890, he added a covered porch around the entire hotel that was 10 feet deep, creating more floor space for large crowds and allowing people to relax outside while taking in that view. 

He planned a convention at the hotel to bring together Native American leaders and American historians to clarify that, contrary to popular belief at the time, the Battle of Pine Creek had not taken place on Steptoe Butte. He knew he no longer could claim that his hotel was the site of this battle, but it surely could be the site of that discussion. 

In May 1891, Davis hosted a “temperance ball” at the hotel, celebrating the era’s push against alcohol. The period was called “the second wave of temperance.” Alcohol was a problem in many areas of the United States, including the pioneer west, where saloons were plentiful. Fundamentalist religion was quite prevalent on the Palouse, and local churches worked toward temperance.

Davis’ hotel, and his stage stop before that, was known for parties and good times, so he was eager to demonstrate to the community that they could have fun without alcohol.



1 of 2: Mary Ann Shoemaker Davis, the wife of James S. “Cashup” Davis, circa 1885. (Courtesy John Rupp and Linda Banken)#


2 of 2: A sketch portrait of Mary Ann Shoemaker Davis, the wife of James S. “Cashup” Davis. (Courtesy Linda Bakken, John Rupp and Heather Forseth)#



DAVIS’ APPLE TREES, planted along the slopes of the butte, were mature and in full production now. As a result of his wise varietal planting, he provided his hotel guests with fresh apples many months of the harvest season. The apple trees, while now partly covered in overgrowth, still produce delicious and rare varieties of apples, left to the deer and other wildlife. 

The success of the hotel paralleled the expansion and productivity of the Palouse. Electricity lines gradually were built. Cars were still more than a decade away, but new railroad lines continued to slice the region and, with them, boost commerce and bring more people to the area. The Territory of Washington became the State of Washington just 17 months after the hotel opened. 

One newspaper account said Davis was considering building a monument to pioneers at the top. And he told people that he wanted to be buried at the summit; he even had a shovel with which he himself someday would dig his own grave. 


1 of 2: An elaborate horse- drawn hearse carrying the body of James S. “Cashup” Davis leads his funeral procession in 1896 to the Bethel Cemetery, where his large tombstone stands to this day in the shadow of Steptoe Butte. (Washington State Archives)#


2 of 2: The Spokesman-Review published the most succinct headline of Cashup Davis’ death on June 24, 1896. Davis returned early from a morning squirrel hunt with a hired man, and seemed out of breath. He lay down to rest and died shortly after. (


Davis had achieved such prominence that, according to the Garfield Enterprise, there “has been considerable discussion on the various local papers concerning the name of a noted landmark” renaming Steptoe Butte to Cashups Butte or something similar.

BUT, AS ALMOST anyone who achieves great success can attest, Davis had detractors. And things got a little ugly. The ugliest might have come from The Spangle Record, which wrote a scathing, personal attack on Davis, saying, “Mr. Davis was high cockalorum in the Palouse country,” an old phrase that means a little man who incorrectly has a very high opinion of himself; low-level and unimportant. 

Ouch. It got worse. The newspaper writer accused Davis of taking advantage of farmers desperate for cash, claiming he famously offered to pay in cash but then would use that offer to get a low price, then haggle the price further downward, make the deal — but pay half in cash and half “in a few days, when the Portland mail comes.” Without attribution, the article reported, “One settler says men have grown old and died of old age waiting for the ‘balance’ on the ‘Cash-Up’ trade.” 

Given Davis’ abundant self-confidence — and some arrogance — he likely drew energy from his detractors and pushed even harder. 

A New York newspaper reporter put it this way: “I think in some way, Cashup and Steptoe drew little by little nearer together, because they are so similar. Both are sturdy, upright, downright individuals, maintaining the dignity of higher plateaus amid the lower range by which they are surrounded. The subtle air or the swift wind could not affect the integrity of either. I think somehow the mountain became a motto to the man, and he demanded from and gave to his neighbors its sheer and undeviating honesty.”

The Spokane Falls Review wrote of Davis and his successful hotel, “There he has built an imperishable monument to himself in the form of his observatory and other buildings [overlooking] the fertile land at the foot of his castle.” 

What made the hotel so special was that it perched on top of one of the greatest heights on the Palouse. Yet that great height also would be its greatest downfall, as Cashup Davis was about to learn.

Jeff Burnside is an investigative reporter born and raised in the Seattle area. He's the recipient of numerous journalism awards including 10 regional TV news Emmys, former president of the Society of Environmental Journalists and a judge for both the Meeman and Oakes journalism awards. Reach him at or

Also see ‘In the hills of the Palouse, and in his life, pioneer Cashup Davis aimed high, no matter the risks’