Gathering Our Voice

Rock Island

Welcome to the Listening Post at Rock Island, Washington. The City of Rock Island, a rural community in Douglas County that is home to about 800 people. While officially incorporated in 1931, the roots of this community go back to the arrival of James E. Keane, a mining engineer who platted the town back in the 1880s.

This Listening Post project is the beginning of an endeavor that will expand as we gather and share more stories about the history of Rock Island. Our first stories are from longtime resident and City Council member Lucy Keane, who learned about the region from her husband, his father, and stories passed down through the family.

[audio:|titles=Indian encampments]Indian encampments (MP3)[audio:|titles=James E Keane settlement]James E Keane settlement (MP3)[audio:|titles=Early livestock grazing]Early livestock grazing (MP3)[audio:|titles=Moving wheat]Moving wheat (MP3)


Harold “Whitey” Evenhus began his public service to the City of Rock Island in 1952 serving, over the years, as the town constable, mayor and City Council member. His stories provide a window on how the town has changed during this period.

[audio:|titles=Whitey Moving Railroad Tracks]Blasting Rock Along the Railroad Tracks (MP3)[audio:|titles=From Birthday Club to City Hall]The Origins of Rock Island City Hall (MP3)[audio:|titles=Landing in Rock Island] Arriving in Rock Island (MP3)
[audio:|titles=Hanna Mill and Winter Golfing]Hanna Mill and Winter Golfing (MP3)