125 years ago
April 22, 1892
There is a long, narrow, snake-like walk, just wide enough for two, that winds itself through the woods and along by the river until it finds a destination at a good floating dock just opposite Capt. Kirkaldie’s. This walk has been such a splendid retreat for cupid’s victims, with its graceful curves, its river scenery, its sylvan shades, and the warblings of birds all whispering love, that it has been named “lovers walk.” But there is a solitary white cow with a bell on that sometimes patrols that walk with a more fiendish ye than a jealous lover, and more untamable. She has in the not far-distant past spoiled a good suit of clothes for one man, and that while they were on him, tearing them in several places. At another time she started to pack a well-known young man off on her horns, but finding him too heavy dropped him by a log, where she would have adopted other measures had he not slipped under it and escaped on the other side. So lovers, if you in your strolls ever come to a point on that walk where you or the cow must vacate, don’t try to force her against her will, for she hasn’t any respect for girls, boys or clothes.
100 years ago
April 20, 1917
According to farmers present at the “food preparedness meeting” held Saturday afternoon at the court house, the big problem that is facing the ranchers of the county in endeavoring to increase their production is the shortage of farm labor. This is a serious matter as evidenced by the assertion of Judge E R Brady, of the Satsop valley, who stated that he has orders placed with labor bureaus in several cities for farm hands and for weeks has had no encouragement from the concerns of their ability to supply the desired help. Instead of an increased acreage and output, Mr. Brady predicts a shorter crop on account of the lack of labor the late season and high price of seed all kinds.
The meeting Saturday was called to order by Supt. of Schools J. W. Hodge, who acted as chairman. He outlined the object of the gathering and told of the boys and girls’ clubs of the county schools who are working along the food preparedness line.
County Agriculturist C.F. Monroe was the first speaker and he outlined a tentative plan of action in the food campaign, which is quoted as follows:
“It would seem that agricultural preparedness could well be worked out along the following lines: First to increase the production of those products most needed in the present crisis, and second to make every family more self-sustaining.”
75 years ago
April 23, 1942
Dealers’ restricted stocks of gasoline in Montesano have not reached the dangerously low stage, but proprietors of pumps are watching the situation closely.
One dealer, however, reports that three quarters of his quota for April was used up by the middle of the month, and he is restricting sales to out of the county cars to five gallons. Grays Harbor cars, he says, are being served as usual.
Most of the other dealers report they are just about holding their own, having sold approximately half of their allowance in the first half of the month. All concede, however, that restriction of sales may become necessary in order to have enough gasoline for those who need it for employment of businesses.
The dealers are now receiving only two thirds of their usual purchases, based upon what they bought in the corresponding months of 1940 and 1941.
50 years ago
April 20, 1967
An important “special” meeting Friday of the board of directors of the Montesano Chamber of Commerce is expected to determine whether the CofC needs a “steering committee” or can count on the board to handle policy-making and project-promoting.
Eventual decision to call the session to answer this basic questions was prompted during last Thursday’s regular CofC meeting after V. I. Whitney had stated, “I think it’s time the Chamber stopped crying hard times or closed shop. It ought to be run like a business. Monte can die right on the vine if we don’t do something.”
Elaborating, Whitney said, “The Chamber can be way up one day, as we were with last year’s Tree Farm celebration, and down the next, as we are now that we’re almost broke. We ought to do something about it.”
“There’s no question in my mind that the Chamber is not functioning as it should,” William France Jr., CofC president, observed candidly, “but who appoints a ‘steering committee’? The president? The Board?
“Why appoint a ‘steering committee’ when we already have a board?” Art Furnia asked in answering the question with a question.
Whereupon direct reference was made to a front page editorial in The Vidette two weeks ago, then consideration of such a committee was urged. And Bob Backstrom countered by stating, “I think we’re doing a hell of a lot in promoting our town. What’s wrong? I don’t get the point.
25 years ago
April 16, 1992
Plans for a freeway rest stop at Montesano’s abandoned sewage treatment plant are still alive, Chamber of Commerce members were told this week.
Chamber rest stop point man Stephen Redman presented a petition which he said had about 150 signatures from people in the downtown business core who supported it. He said he came “to find out what direction you’re going if any” on the project.
Several councilmembers made their doubts or opposition to the plan a matter of public record several weeks ago, bringing about the Chamber response.
Montesano Mayor A.L. “Jack” Frost said he would not support the project if the city has to pay. “If it doesn’t cost the city a dime, I’m all for it.”
Chris Pickering, owner of Pick Rite Thriftway, next door to the proposed rest stop site, reminded the mayor of the financing plan which had been proposed in which the city would borrow the money to build the rest stop and then get the money back over a number of years by leasing it to the state. Pickering and City Attorney Dan Glenn had different interpretations of the exact nature of the financing plan the state floated at a meeting in Olympia several months ago.
Redman told the council that County Commissioner Bill Pine phoned the Department of Transportation and found they are awaiting work from the city. DOT has said it will contribute $5,000 to a feasibility study. It has made the same offer to the city of Elma, where financial interest have taken an interest in Montesano’s plans.
“We’re interested in having something other than a sewage treatment plant welcoming people to Montesano,” said Redman. Ideally, the Chamber would like to see a visitor information center and space for a chamber office combined with the rest stop.
10 years ago
April 19, 2007
As Grays Harbor County commissioners mull input from folks at a public hearing April 10 on the emergency McCleary building moratorium—and a lot of other information on the issue—at least one piece of very good news has come to light.
The state Department of Health has announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will give them about $120,000 to hire consultants of “perhaps national stature” to study McCleary’s situation, said City Administrator Busse Nutley. It will be a “case study,” Nutley said, one that can be used for other areas, as well.
The general idea, she said, is that the grant will go to Evergreen Rural Water of Washington to prepare a “guidance document,” which would look at any questions “the community, the county, the city, experts” might have on an aquifer like McCleary’s, then offer options and possible solutions.
The study won’t involve drilling holes in the ground, though, pointed out David Jennings, Department of Health Source Water Protection program manager. Instead, it will be “looking at our land-use practices and other types of planning and mitigation measures to protect drinking water supplies for the rural residents and small rural communities,” he said.