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Pages of the Past

120 Years Ago

Dec. 1, 1893

Eastern lumberman and loggers visiting the Pacific coast often ask how the big logs of this section are handled. So large and unwieldy are these logs that the question is natural enough and one wonders how it is possible to get these monsters to the water landings. Formerly oxen and horses were used in “snaking” the logs to their destination, but at best it was a laborious and slow operation. Now, however, the steam skidder is coming into use, and it is completely revolutionizing the old-time methods of logging.

Some time ago, William Minor, a well-known machinist of Aberdeen, Wash., invented a steam skidder. The loggers in that neighborhood patted Mr. Minor on the back in a patronizing way but had no faith in his invention. They were, therefore, very much surprised when Mr. Miner’s first skidder proved to be a great success. At this writing, some of the heaviest operations are using his steam skidder and are wondering how they ever got along without it. It weighs only three and one-half tons and is easily handled.

• • •

Some of the boys at Westport put up a job on one of the hotel men at that place last week. There is nothing talked of but the gold workings, and it is not thought strange when a man reports a rich strike. The boys filed down a copper cent, carefully saving all the filings, which they put in a small vial. They then started out with their prize, which they claimed was pure gold washed out of the sand, but being hard up they would have to sell it, even at a sacrifice. They struck the hotel man. He saw at glance that such a quantity of gold would be worth several dollars. He offered $1.50 for the dust, which was eagerly accepted; but not until after the boys were out of gun shot did he discover the joke.

100 Years Ago

Nov. 28, 1913

Scoring a great success from every viewpoint, the twentieth annual masquerade ball of the Montesano Volunteer Fire Department was given Wednesday evening and pleased a great throng of people who attended. The six o’clock banquet was also a splendid affair and the supper and excellent program were enjoyed by hundreds of guests.

The prizes, amounting to $35 in gold, were awarded as follows.

Best dressed couple, $10 in gold, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Lee, and prince and princess.

Best Comedians, $10 in gold, Mrs. Ida Brown and Miss Nordean, as farmers.

Best sustained characters, $5 in gold, Misses Faye Pickering and Mable Noe, as Dutch girls.

Best characterization of local celebrity, $5 in gold, Misses Ruth Schofield and Mayme Gleeson, as Firemen.

Best sustained couple, $5 in gold, Mrs. Wm. Mitchell and Mrs. Loren Funk, as carrots.

• • •

An item of interest to Montesano citizens is contained in the report of the winnings of the foot ball team of the University of Washington. Two of the star players are former Montesano boys. Wayne Sutton, the team’s star end, is a nephew of Deputy Auditor Campbell and was raised in and still calls Montesano his home. Bert Griffiths, another of the players who is receiving considerable honor, is the son of a former Montesano attorney.

• • •

Two papers for the price of one — The Aberdeen Daily World and the Chehalis County Vidette, both one year for $5.

75 Years Ago

Dec. 1, 1938

Montesano is without an ambulance.

The ambulance formerly stationed here by the Grays Harbor Hospital association was removed Tuesday because, it was said, there wasn’t enough call for its use.

However, this Wednesday, two emergency calls were received by Whitney’s, where the ambulance was kept, following an accident in the Clemons logging works. An ambulance was summoned from Aberdeen.

While here, the ambulance answered from five to seven calls a month. The only ambulance now in eastern Grays Harbor is at Elma.

Caught in a slide on the Clemons railroad grade, Carl Anderson, Gus Soderstrom and Albert Soderstrom were hurt. The first two required hospital service, but their injuries are not believed to be dangerous.

• • •

A pear that has turned to wood is being displayed by W.A. King, who found it recently in the crutch of an alder tree on his place on Black Creek. Mr. King’s theory is that some logger or hunter had placed the pear in the tree many years ago. It is well shaped and almost perfectly preserved, even to the stem.

50 Years Ago

Nov. 28, 1963

The Montesano Bulldogs take to the hoop wars next Tuesday night, December 3, when they travel to Tumwater to take on the Thunderbirds in the opening game of the 1963-64 basketball season.

Although blessed with four returning lettermen from last year’s state-tournament fifth-place team, Coach Aldo Anderson anticipates a rough season. Among other things, Elma, too, has four returning lettermen.

• • •

The Grays Harbor Civil Defense has announced that a national warning test will be held some time this week. In cooperation with the test, sirens and whistles will be sounded, but there should be no cause for alarm, Civil Defense officials say.

Residents are urged not to call the fire or police stations during the test.

25 Years Ago

Dec. 1, 1988

Montesano’s second annual Festival of Lights gets under way this Friday night and will continue Saturday with the lighting of thousands of Christmas lights on Houses and buildings in the city, as well as hundreds of luminaries along the streets.

Winners of the home lighting contest, in which there is two categories — “Best Use of Lights” and “Creativity — were Les Bonfield on East Kennaston for “Creativity” and Clarence Wells and Jim Benedict for their combined effort at a residence on Arland Lane for “Best Use of Lights.”

10 Years Ago

Nov. 27, 2003

Scott Rowland hit a home run for the Elma School District. He was named Small Schools Baseball Coach of the Year by fellow baseball coaches in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. This is the first time an Elma coach has won the honor.

For Scott to be selected by his peers, that’s a tremendous success,” Elma Athletic Director Steve Bridge said as he presented Rowland with a plaque at Elma’s School Board meeting Nov. 19.

Rowland is a math teacher at Elma High School and has been with the district for 26 years.

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