Island women to share their histories

Four Vashon elders will tell stories about their lives on “old Vashon” this weekend as part of Vashon Community Care’s Telling Stories speaker series.

Three of the women on the panel were born and raised on Vashon, and one moved to the island in the 1950s. They will all share their histories on the island — stories that go back a long way, including during World War II, when many men were missing from the island, according to VCC’s Director of Development Linda Milovsoroff.

The women on the panel for the presentation, called “How It Was,” were selected for their longevity on Vashon and their willingness to share their experiences, Milovsoroff said.

Dorothy Johnson moved to the island in 1951 with her husband, who worked for Boeing. She was a health care advocate who worked to start the Vashon Health Center and helped launch Granny’s Attic to support it.

Barbara Steen was born and raised on Vashon and was instrumental in starting the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum. She has vivid memories of Japanese families leaving the island for internment.

Dorothy Morgan was a descendant of the Ward and Snow families, who homesteaded on Dilworth Point. Her grandparents donated land for the United Methodist Church, which was the first church on Vashon.

Elsa Mae Williams was one of six children; her mother died when Williams was 18. Later, her husband started Williams Heating.

VCC began its speaker series in 2010, Milovsoroff said, so that local elders could share the stories for the community’s benefit.

At the panel discussion, which will be moderated by Charlotte Tiencken, Milovsoroff said historic pictures of Vashon will be on display.

The event will be at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2, at Bethel Church. Ticket sales are by donation and are available at the Vashon Bookshop and Vashon Community Care.



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