I've known for quite some time that Ralph McKinnon held a myriad of jobs prior to his sparkling career as a Merchant Marine Captain at the Luckenbach Steamship Co.. One of those jobs was Proprietor of Commercial Hotel in Granite Falls, WA in 1914. He listed the reason for leaving this position as, "Too many lost accounts." Sounds a tad controversial, doesn't it? Well it turns out it was!
As I was sorting through my Flickr albums today, I came across an old letter I had forgotten about from a Marjorie, John, and Mary MacKinnon. They wrote a letter to Anne (Angela) with their concern for Ralph's disappearance during WWII. They mentioned they had recently heard the news from Aggie (Agnes Rose McKinnon nee Robb).
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Thunder boomed through the records office. I raced through every McKinnon drawer, focusing on the names we knew. I found two standout items that required microfilm. I've always wondered how people were reading those old projected newspapers on Who Do You Think You Are. Now I know-- microfilm is the answer.
First stop: Belfast. Belfast was the landing site of Lord Selkirk's Scottish Settlers in 1803. I thought there might be some cool historical things to see there, but it hardly classified as a town. Other than a monument along the highway and a yarn mill, I hardly knew I had hit the place.
As I read through Ralph's letters, I found mentions of the Jack McKinnon family and thought you all might want to see what he had to say. He visited them in the late fall of 1942 and continued to muse about how to help the family until his unfortunate final voyage in 1943