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Pages of the Past

120 Years Ago

Dec. 8, 1893

If it will be any comfort to those living on the Harbor, who are worrying over the tidal wave predicted to occur on the 22nd on this month, we will say that Prof. Barnard of the Lick Observatory, has written to a gentleman in Mason County, who had asked for his opinion about the big wave that there is no reason for the prediction whatever, and that he should pay no attention to it. The letter appeared in the last number of the Shelton Journal.

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There is reported to have been a whale washed ashore inside the harbor near Damon’s Point one day last week. On Sunday the Josie Burrows started with a “whaling party” from the different towns to see the monster of the deep, but the bay was so rough the party turned back. It is reported that the whale has been washed out to sea again. Its size was estimated all the way from 75 to 100 feet.

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The upper North River road from here has been completely opened for travel, and those who have passed over it declare that it will make an excellent highway, free from steep grades and gullies, It is a work of the people who will be benefited by the road, and who of their own accord practically “took off their coats” and opened up the highway themselves, there being no county money that could be expended for that purpose.

100 Years Ago

Dec. 5, 1913

The four-masted schooner Balboa, owned by Sudden & Christensen of San Francisco, Calif., was wrecked last Sunday night on the north coast near the north jetty and was driven so far up on the beach that it is thought the schooner will be a total loss. The ship was in ballast and rode so high in the water that it was unmanageable in the fierce gale that raged over the North Pacific Saturday and Sunday. The vessel was beating her way up the coast and got too close into the. shore and got caught by the giant waves when the wind abated and thrown on to the beach. The crew of eight seamen and the captain were taken off the wreck by the Westport life saving crew. The wreck pounded so heavily in the rough surf that little hope was entertained of the vessel being saved.

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The fourth annual show of the Grays Harbor Poultry Association is in session this week at Hoquiam. The doors of the exhibit were formally opened Tuesday morning and the show will continue until tomorrow evening. Monday was spent in the work of cooping and classifying the entries and on Tuesday the judges began scoring the birds. W.M. Coats of Vancouver, B.C., and C.G. Hines of Oakland, Calif., are the officials in charge of this work.

75 Years Ago

Dec. 8, 1938

Declaring the ever-increasing area of cut-over timberland presents a serious reclamation problem in the Pacific Northwest states, the Grays Harbor County planning commission Tuesday adopted a resolution that it aid all efforts to reclaim the cut over land of western Washington and Oregon, and urging the members of the Washington congressional delegation to cooperate with the Oregon delegation in initiating and actively supporting legislation in the next congress, enabling the Bureau of Reclamation to investigate and, if feasible, undertake involving reclamation of such lands, according to the movement recently initiated by the Oregon reclamation congress.

The planning commission declared that unless the problem is economically solved, many counties, to which the land is being returned, face financial disaster, that potential agricultural land should be reclaimed and land not suitable for agriculture be set aside for reforestation.

50 Years Ago

Dec. 5, 1963

For the 13th time, many Grays Harborites will gather at Schafer State Park, up the Satsop River, for the annual Yule log observance, planned by the upper Satsop community.

25 Years Ago

Dec. 8, 1988

If you think the month of November was a wet one in Montesano, you’re right. A total of 16.79 inches of rain fell during the 30-day period, and not one day went without a measurable amount of rain being noted. The wettest day during the month was November 19, when 2.3 inches were recorded.

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There will be a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the Wynooche Valley Grange to organize local opposition to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. All interested parties are encouraged to attend.

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Gov. Booth Gardner this week announced that Grays Harbor County received a check for $15,000 as the final payment for the Vance Creek County Park project south of Highway 12 and just west of Elma. Total cost of the project was $327,124 with $150,000 of the total coming from a grant from the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation. The balance came from Grays Harbor County.

The entire 80-acre project, which is composed of two large lakes, included site preparation, landscaping, irrigation, 40 parking spaces, restrooms and dressing areas, picnic facilities, playground equipment, fencing and a swim beach area.

10 Years Ago

Dec. 4, 2003

Interviews with 50 Elma High School students revealed several were aware their names appeared on another student’s “slaughter list” at least a week before the author handed his list over to a school counselor, according to the Elma police.

On Nov. 24, the 15-year-old freshman gave the alphabetical list of names to a counselor, who handed the list over to authorities, as required by law. The student was expelled from the school immediately and charged Monday with felony harassment and intimidating a school official or student, according to the juvenile prosecutor’s office.

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Investigators are still looking into the cause of a fiery Thanksgiving Day accident that killed the 27-year-old driver of a gasoline tanker on Highway 8 near Elma.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Glen Tyrrell say the accident occurred at approximately 6:40 a.m. when the westbound tanker swerved, crossing the center line. It careened off the road, coming to rest in a creek. The resulting explosion was heard throughout Elma. The rig was pulling about 11,000 gallons of fuel.

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