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Pages of the Past

120 Years Ago

May 11, 1894

On Wednesday, our office was visited by George Leshi, and Indian from the Chehalis reservation, who with a party of Indians were on their way to the beach, where a camp meeting is to be held for the purpose of converting the Quinault Indians to the Shaker religion, which is now meeting with great favor among tribes of the coast. Leshi is above the average in intelligence, and talks interestingly on matters pertaining to his people. He states that he passed through this valley once, when the only resident of the vicinity of Montesano, so far as he can remember, was Wynoochie Charlie. He is well informed on matters pertaining to the history and traditions of the Indians of the sound country, and we understand he has furnished considerable information to Judge Wickersham, who is preparing a work on that subject. Other members of the party were the chief of the Cowlitz tribe, Mud Bay Louis and John Smith. They will hold meetings in a couple of weeks.

100 Years Ago

May 15, 1914

That Otto Miller, the man who killed Frank Aschberg at Elma, will be insane before his trial is the prediction of some who have been observing the man since his imprisonment in the county jail. At times he seems quite cheerful but is usually nervous and restlesss and after these nervous spells often begs for a razor with which to shave himself. The officers are taking no chances with the man and he is closely watched to see that he does no injury to himself. There are four alleged murderers in the jail and three alleged bank robbers and, with the usual run of tough characters that make the jail their home, it makes a company of hard nuts that has the Sheriff’s Office closely on guard, and extra precautions are being observed that they are all kept tightly within the net.

75 Years Ago

May 11, 1939

Numerous reports are being made to the county agent’s office by local farmers stating that they are losing cattle, in nearly all cases death being caused by some unexplained reason. A number of these cases have been traced down by the county agent and in all cases death has been violent and sudden. Close examination of the pastures have shown them to be infested with a weed known as “Cicuta Douglasii,” commony known as poison hemlock and extremely poisonous to both humans and livestock. The lefy parts of the weed are not poisonous but a very small part of the bulb will cuase death in thirty minutes.

Samples of these weeds sent to the University of Washington and the state college of Washington by the county agent were identified as poison hemlock.

Farmers who are losing cattle for unexplained reasons should examine their pastures closely. Any weeds which look suspicious should be collected and sent to the agent for identification. Several other weeds have been found which are decidedly irritant to livestock and when eaten in sufficient quantities may cause death.

50 Years Ago

May 14, 1964

Montesano City Councilman Roy Lemming’s attempt to create fireworks at the regular meeting of the city fathers Tuesday night proved the biggest fizzle of the week.

Lemming proposed that the existing city ordinance relating to the sale of fireworks be liberalized to some degree to permit service clubs and organizations to sponsor sales within the city limits.

Before Lemming has a chance to light the fuse, the rest of the council emphatically vetoed the idea. He couldn’t even get a “first” to his motion, let alone a second.

• • •

The architectural beauty of Montesano’s City Hall will be reserved as a result of city council action Tuesday night.

Following several weeks of discussion relative to the repair and replacement of the City Hall roof, councilmen ordered that a call for bids for a new tile roof be prepared as soon as possible.

The building committe of the council recommended a tile roof in preference to shakes or composition following many weeks of study and investigation.

25 Years Ago

May 11, 1989

The current state of affairs regarding the WPPSS nuclear power plant is a dispute over the facility’s property tax. The Grays Harbor County Assessor’s Office want to collect $3 million in 1988 taxes from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which is three times more than the 1987 bill. Bonneville, on the other hand, in addition to not wanting its tax burden tripled, feels that it should not have to pay any property tax at all.

The matter is currently being litigated in tax court. The Grays Harbor Board of Equalization upheld the county’s position, and BPA appealed to the state Tax Board of Appeal in Olympia. The Olympia court held hearings from April 17 to April 28. The hearing will resume May 30.

10 Years Ago

May 13, 2004

A “monumental” project to build a proper road to Lake Wynooche was approved Monday by the Grays Harbor County Commission.

The Camp Grisdale Rad project is federally funded, will create a paved road out of an existing gravel road, cost $20 million and take five years to complete.

Currently, the road into the Wynooche Valley is paved for the first 17.2 miles noth of the Devonshire Raod exit at Highway 12. The remaining 17.5 miles to the lake and dam are gravel road.