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Pages of the Past 7/25

An advertisement from 1938 for Rambo’s Montesano Cash Grocery store.Buy Photo
An advertisement from 1938 for Rambo’s Montesano Cash Grocery store.

120 Years Ago

July 28, 1893

Wednesday morning at 7 o’clock, just after the mill of the J.M. Weatherwax company started up, a tremendous explosion occurred in the big boiler house, in which, fortunately only one or two men were present. It was found that the flues in the pony boiler, which is old-fashioned, had collapsed, one bursting. The explosion blew off both ends, scattering bricks and debris in all directions, but without injuring the main building.

Assistant Engineer William Welch, a well-known young man in Aberdeen, was missing and after an hour’s search his body was found, terribly burned, several feet up the draft flue. He had evidently been stooping and was about to close the draft when the vacuum caused by the explosion apparently caused him to be thrown far into the flue.

Two other men were badly hurt by flying bricks. One, Jacob Kaiser, will recover, but the other, Frank Lewin, is seriously injured internally, having been run over by a big wagon. The wounded men were at once conveyed to their homes and surgeons were promptly on the scene attending to their injuries. Two teams in the yard ran away, but running against lumber piles, were quickly secured.

Young Welch, the deceased, had worked for the company for several years. He was twenty-six years old and leaves a widow. An inquest was held in the afternoon, a jury bringing a verdict that death was caused by an unavoidable accident for which no one could be held responsible.

100 Years Ago

July 25, 1913

A car load of thoroughbred Guernsey cows was received the first of the week by Judge E.R. Brady for his Satsop valley ranch. These cows are excellent specimens of the Guernsey breed and were selected by Mr. Brady to stock the fine farm that he is rapidly developing into a model ranch. At the head of his Guernsey herd Mr. Brady has a prize winning bull, President, that ranks as one of the finest animals of his breed in the state.


The Montesano ball team defeated Hoquiam at Moclips Sunday afternoon by a score of 8 to 4. The game was a fast one and was featured by the hard hitting of the local boys. Schofield carried off the batting honors by securing five safe wallops out of five times at bat. Pickering and Thompson also came in for some terrific drives. The home boys have made an excellent record this season and just now are playing in fine form.

75 Years Ago

July 28, 1938

A claim for ninety-six thousand eight hundred seventeen dollars was filed here Saturday by Seattle-First National Bank against the estate of the late D. Emersom, Hoquaim capitalist, who died early this year.


Mrs. Alice E. Abel, long an active leader in the democratic party, is seeking the democratic nomination for county auditor. She has also served as president of the county tuberculosis league and of the county federation of women’s clubs.

50 Years Ago

July 25, 1963

Mayor Lloyd Metke has written a letter to the Pederson Fryer Farms, Tacoma, notifying them that the city is withdrawing its permission to operate in the former Vancouver Door plant here following completion of the present cycle of chickens.

The Mayor told the council Tuesday that he continued to receive complaints about odors emanating from the plant.


Electrical installations in the new bakery, soon to open in the Montesano shopping center, were under way this week under the direction of Warren Pellar.

The bakery will be operated by Eddie Fields and Jay Kutchera, both of Hoquiam and professional bakers of long experience.

The bakery will occupy 1,500 square feet in a interior location reached through the Pick-Rite market. An early August opening date is the objective.

25 Years Ago

July 21, 1988

Commissioner of Public Lands Brian Boyle last week refused to approve a sale of Olympic Peninsula old growth timber because two spotted owl fledglings have been located in the sale area.

He said he formally refused confirmation of the 7.86 million-board-feet timber sale under provisions of RCW 79.01.212 because it was in the best interests of the state. The sale, which lies between the Queets and Hoh rivers near the Olympic National Park coastal strip, featured old growth hemlock and white fir. It had received a top bid of $2.73 million or $348 per thousand board feet on June 28 from ITT Rayonier.

The spotted owl restriction will remain in place until the new State Commission of Old Growth Alternatives for Washington’s Forest Trust Lands completes its work in June 1989.

10 Years Ago

July 24, 2003

Pedestrians shouldn’t assume that crosswalk lines in Montesano protect them from oncoming vehicles, says a recent Montesano crosswalk sting operation.

“What we’re seeing today is that people don’t see the pedestrian in their own lanes, said Lt. Jeff Myers. No question, we have a problem. As a citizen I knew it was bad. Until I was working today, however, I didn’t know it was to this extent.

Using a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, four cones and four police officers, the Montesano Police tracked down 35 disobedient motorists who had unknowingly failed to yield to a plain-clothes officer walking laps around the two major crosswalks at a downtown intersection.