The Great War - Honoring the 2018 Centennial
Take a look at the graffiti in these three images. These names were carved into the stone walls of quarries in the Loire River Valley by soldiers from Washington during World War I.
The graffiti is located in central France, in and near the town of Noyers sur Cher, the location of U.S. Army supply depots and training camps during the war. French historians note that soldiers had free time after completing the mandatory 30-day training and before deployment to the front lines, or while waiting for transportation home after the end of the war. The nearby limestone quarries were ideal for inscribing names and messages. Tuffeau limestone is relatively soft and has been used to construct the world-famous chateaus of the Lorie River Valley.
Our sincere thanks for the research and photographs provided by Valérie Chapeau, historian for the French region of Vallee du Cher et du Romoantinais, and photographer Nicolas Xavier, for the images and history of some of Washington's soldiers serving in the 41st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army in central France during WWI.
Washington's Great War: World War I in Washington
Washington State Historical Society created a downloadable exhibit about how The Great War impacted our state, including impacts on industry, the home front, women's changing roles, and resistors. The exhibition will be on view at a number of historical organizations around Washington during the summer and fall of 2018. See the list below for locations and your chance to view the exhibition:
- Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, Pierce County, on view during the Annual History Awards Luncheon, September 22, 2018
- Island County Museum in Coupeville, on display in 2018
- Points Northeast Historical Society in Tacoma, Pierce County, on display during summer 2018
- International Peace Arch Association in Blaine, Whatcom County, dates TBD
- Washington American Legion in Spokane, Spokane County, on display during the American Legion Convention, July 18-21, 2018
- Cheney Historical Museum in Cheney, Spokane County, currently on display
- Toledo Historical Society in Toledo, Lewis County, currently on display
- Cowlitz County Museum in Kelso, on display through January 2019
- Steilacoom Historical Museum in Steilacoom, Pierce County, June-July 2018
- Polson Museum in Hoquiam, Grays Harbor County, currently on display
- Ephrata and Quincy in Grant County, dates TBD
Image at page top: Black and white photographic image of an Armistice Day parade on a Wilkeson, Pierce County, Washington, circa. 1918. A group of small boys and girls are clustered in the street at image lower left corner. They are followed by a rank of young people wearing uniforms and marching. Many boys march in following ranks: the class of 1926, honoring those who served in World War I. Men and women watch from the sidewalk in front of stores behind the parade. Stores include: The Reliable Shoe Store; Carlson's, housing the Carlson Hotel and Bar. Washington State Historical Society, Stuart Miller Collection, 2014.45.1.14.