Cleveland mail-order bride Nellie Cox Davies didn’t have much time to have cold feet when she got off the train at Wenatchee to meet her betrothed in 1907. Two hours after turning heads at the station in her height-of-fashion silk hat, suit and satin shoes, she was married. Her new husband, Colockum-area farmer Henry Davies, was loading her belongings in his buckboard for the journey to his homestead on Lone Rock.
Nellie, one of the historical figures featured Feb. 22 during the Wenatchee Valley Museum’s People of Our Past program, dropped a previous engagement to gamble on Davies’ proposal via mail.
But it was rough living on the Colockum in those days. When Nellie saw the cabin and the packed dirt beds covered with canvas “I cried and cried and cried.” Despite that first impression, the marriage lasted.
“These two met way before Facebook,” said program coordinator Selina Danko. “It sometimes took months for letters to travel back and forth between Cleveland and Wenatchee. Henry had to travel down Colockum Creek in a horse and buggy and cross a river just to mail a letter. It is a fascinating love story.”
Nellie, portrayed by veteran actor Sue Lawson, is one of five historical North Central Washington characters presented by the museum this winter. The rest of the lineup includes Wenatchee industry builder and pioneer E.T. Pybus portrayed by Don Collins, Dryden pioneer rancher and author Dora Tibbits portrayed by Kathy Smithson, civic leader John A. Gellatly portrayed by Marv Gellatly and railroad baron James J. Hill portrayed by Bill Murray.
Each actor will perform three times during the day with a culminating evening meet-and-greet gala starting at 6 p.m. Performances at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are by donation. Tickets for the evening event are $20 and include historically themed heavy hors d’oeuvres, wine, live music and a chance to mingle with the characters following the performance.
For more information about the People of Our Past program, contact Selina Danko at 888-6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.