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Pages of the Past

120 Years Ago

July 6, 1894

The Fourth of July was about as quiet a day as Montesano ever experienced. With celebrations in nearly every other town in the county, but very few people remained at home. Aberdeen captured the greater part of the Montesano people, while Hoquiam and Elma each got a good share.

The celebration at Aberdeen was a great success. The exercises began with a parade, which made up in quality what it lacked in quantity.

The baseball match was the next event on the program, between Montesano and the Aberdeen-Cosmopolis team for a prize of $25 and a town lot. The Montesano boys started in as though real estate was still as valuable as it was four years ago. They pounded out six runs in the first inning, enough to win the game even had they made no more. They won the game, 12-5.

The gun club shot for a $25 prize followed the ball game. This also was between the Aberdeen and Montesano teams, but, in this event, Aberdeen was an easy winner.

The 200-yard men’s foot race was easily won by George McLafferty, a 14-year-old boy.

The tug-of-war between Aberdeen and Montesano teams was won by the former after a three minutes’ pull. The Montesano team was picked up on the spot by Sheriff Graham, and was considerably lighter than the Aberdeen crew.

The fat men’s race was captured by a Hoquiam man, with Sheriff Graham a good second.

The day’s exercises closed with a ball at which there was a very large attendance, a good many of Montesano’s people remaining to participate. The music was furnished by the Italian band.

100 Years Ago

July 3, 1914

The convictions of all three of the Russians accused of robbing the Bank of Elma on the night of March 28 concludes the spectacular trial that occupied the Superior Court for a full week, and will result in prison sentences for all three men unless they should win out on appeals, notice of which have been filed. Whether or not these appeals will be perfected, or an attempt even made to perfect them, is problematical.

• • •

In a ruling announced last Saturday, the Supreme Court has affirmed the decision of Judge M.L. Clifford, in the Chehalis County Superior Court, in the timber tax suit brought by the Simpson Logging Company against this county for reduction of taxes. Judge Clifford returned a decision for the logging company and the case was appealed by attorneys for the county.

75 Years Ago

July 6, 1939

There is no longer a “Works Progress Administration” here.

Still the W.P.A., it is now titled the “Works Projects Administration.”

Notices to this effect, from State Administrator Don G. Abel, have been posted.

The same notice stated that, effective July 1, all payroll periods will be 130 hours, regardless of previous hours or work or rate of pay. Those working for monthly salaries must work not less than 130 hours, it said. However, monthly earnings will remain the same as before.

Hours previously have varied from 53 to about 120.

At the same time, drastic cuts in W.P.A. workers’ ranks, as announced in The Vidette last week, became effective. Selections of those laid off are made by the W.P.A. itself, it was stated.

50 Years Ago

July 2, 1964

Announcement was made this Wednesday of the leasing of the west area of the Montesano Shopping Center for a large new furniture, appliance and floor covering store.

The space will be occupied by August 1 by Harbor Furniture Inc., of which Velko Milenkovich is president and Frank Tobinski vice president.

This will be the fifth business in the new center. The others are Monte Lanes, Pickrite Thriftway, Valu-Drug and Montesano Oven Fresh Bakery.

25 Years Ago

July 6, 1989

Richard McKinney thought he was doing a good deed. He spotted a fawn lying along road, put it in his car, took it home, and called the State Patrol for advice. A bit later, a game agent came to his door and issued him a $152 ticket for “unlawfully holding wildlife in captivity.”

McKinney, a log truck driver, was traveling along Donkey Creek Road late on Memorial Day weekend.

He saw the fawn by the road. Assuming that the mother doe was out foraging, he passed on. About an hour later, he returned and saw the fawn lying in the same spot, being attacked by crows.

He loaded the week-old creature into his truck and took it to his home in Aberdeen, arriving very early Sunday morning.

The next morning, he tried to locate a friend who had connections with an animal refuge center, but couldn’t find him. Late that afternoon, he called the game department but got a recording advising him to call the State Patrol.

According to a recording made of the conversation, the State Patrol operator he spoke with put him on hold and tried to reach the wildlife center, but she, too, got a recording. Then she called the game department and requested the name and number of an alternate refuge center.

The agent she spoke with, Jerry Zimmerman, responded by asking the operator for McKinney’s name and address. She got back on McKinney’s line and said, “We’re going to have a game agent come to your residence.”

An hour later, agents Zimmerman and Ray Kahler arrived at the home with the citation. McKinney said that Zimmerman told him he “should have left the fawn out there to die.”

10 Years Ago

July 1, 2004

The reactor buildings and reactor auxiliary building were nearly ready to operate as a nuclear power plan when the electrical markets changed and the projects were cancelled, leaving millions of dollars worth of equipment collecting dust for more than 20 years.

Now, the Grays Harbor Public Development Authority, which operates Satsop Development Park, is ready to sell all of the equipment to the highest bidder. The development park inherited the equipment when it took over the site. The power supply project failed in the early 1980s due to rising costs, high interest rates and the overestimated demand for electricity. The $2.25 billion municipal bond default was the largest of its kind at the time.

Satsop has been selling pieces, like rolls of duct tape and pumps, generating an average of $700,000 per year for the last three years. But the time has come to clear out the building and create usable space.

Project manager Joel Rett said they have been “cherry picking” the best equipment to sell. He said if the PDA continues to do that, it would be left with garbage and a bill to hire a company to clean the building out.

The authority would also like to empty the building to accommodate future tenants.