Blast from the Past / 1954: A bumper squash harvest in Cottonwood

On a bright autumn day about 1954 at their Cottonwood home, the three oldest Wessels sisters posed for their mother’s camera near the family’s bountiful harvest of pumpkins and other squash. The sisters were three of 10 siblings (six girls and four boys), and the daughters of Bernadine Wessels (now of Lewiston) and the late Harold Wessels. All of the siblings eventually went on to graduate from Lewiston High School. The girls are (from left) Donna (Wessels) Painter of Walla Walla, and Marg (Wessels) Strong and Kathy (Wessels) Heinemeyer, both of Lewiston. Heinemeyer (who submitted this photo) reports their mother planted a huge garden every year, and the family canned a variety of vegetables, which they enjoyed at home and also shared with neighbors. Readers who would like to share their historical photos from throughout the region may do so by emailing them to or submitting them to: Blast from the Past, P.O. Box 957, Lewiston, ID 83501. Questions? Call Jeanne M. DePaul at (208) 848-2221.

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