Pages of the Past, Aug. 25.

Excerpts from The Vidette’s archives.

125 years ago

Aug. 28, 1891

New Water Franchise Ordinance

There has been a new water franchise ordinance submitted to the city council, by J.K. Murphy and associates. The new ordinance provides:

That the city shall take 25 fire hydrants, paying a rental of $80 per annum for each of same and to pay $65 per year for each of the next 25 hydrants which may be needed, and $50 each for all over 50.

That the company must commence work within 30 days after the passage of the ordinance and complete the system inside of six months.

At the expiration of 15 years, the city is to have the right to purchase the plant at a value which may be estimated by three men, one to be selected by the city, one by J.K. Murphy, and the third by the other two men.

Suitable water is to be furnished for domestic and municipal purposes, and the system is to have sufficient head to throw water 60 feet in the air at the intersection of Main and Broad streets, and enough reservoir to hold and have stored at all times a sufficient quantity of water to throw three streams of water through a 2 1/2 inch hose, with a 3/4 inch nozzle, sixty feet high, in any business portion of the city for five continuous hours.

Water for flushing sewers and sprinkling streets are to be furnished free to the city at all times.

All pipes are to be made of iron or steel and mains are to be six inches in diameter.

100 years ago

Aug. 25, 1916

The Montesano Public Schools will open for the coming year’s work on Monday, Sept. 4. A full corps of capable teachers and instructors has been secured and everything is in its readiness for a good year’s work. The building has been fumigated and cleaned and is in spotless condition. Under the direction of Superintendent Eldridge Wheeler the local schools have assumed a high position among the educational institutions of the state and the coming year bids fair to see even better things accomplished.

75 years ago

Aug. 28, 1941

Prisoner escapes

En route back to Montesano from Jefferson City, Mo., Paul Vaden, escaped prisoner from the county jail here, escaped again and is still at large, probably in Wyoming.

Vaden, according to Sheriff M.B. Taylor, fled from the train at Kemmerer, Wyo., after having unlocked a heavy “Oregon boot” which was shackled to his leg. The sheriff had left the car momentarily, and Vaden succeeded in obtaining the boot’s key and, in a few moments, escaped.

He had contested extradition from Missouri to this state, but the local officer had won the right to bring him to Montesano after the case had gone to the Missouri supreme court.

Vaden escaped from jail here in 1932 with two others. During the break, Jack Nienau, then night jailer was slugged with a hard piece of soap contained in a sock. Vaden is wanted on two terms of armed robbery and was on the point of being paroled from the Missouri prison when Taylor called there to bring him to Montesano.

50 years ago

Aug. 25, 1966

How Dry Monte Isn’t

Montesano may have its problems over water policy and water budget, but — in spite of the recent hot, dry spell — the city hasn’t encountered any problems over just plain water.

While Aberdeen and environs have reached the point where sprinkling and other luxury uses must be restricted for lack of an adequate water supply, Monte goes right on using normal amounts without concern.

This is the first year Monte has enjoyed the benefit of the Wynooche wells and, according to Irv Urquhart, municipal water supervisor, “about half of our normal supply comes from them, the other half from the city headworks.”

He noted that Monte has experienced “no water curtailment” in the past decade.

25 years ago

Aug. 22, 1991

No rest for rest stop

A group of 14 determined community leaders laid the groundwork this week for the building of a rest stop in Montesano at the soon to be terminated sewage treatment plant.

At an informal, open meeting held at city hall, the group drew up a preliminary plan for getting the rest stop on line and put together a list of amenities it should have.

Other items on the group’s list of priorities, such as the development of a light industrial park and the cutting of red tape involved in permitting, were not addressed.

Present for the first time at a public meeting were Robert Droll and Steven Chamberlain, of the city’s new engineering firm, Skillings and Chamberlain Inc., of Lacey. The two left the meeting agreeing to come up with an estimate for what it would cost to survey the site and a set of three to five preliminary options on what the rest stop might look like.

The city council will receive this information at the next meeting, Sept. 10, when it will decide whether to authorize more detailed planning. The engineers would then devise a timeline for public comment, contract negotiations with the Department of Transportation, construction and cost estimates.

Stephen Redman, of the Montesano Chamber of Commerce, was charged with working on the financing end of the project. The plan would involve building the facility and then renting it to the DOT, which would in turn lease it back to the city. DOT’s motives in agreeing to such a plan have to do with its overall vision for rest stops along the highway. They are interested in the Montesano site because of its access to both highways 12 and 109.

Among the proposed amenities for the rest stop are a visitor information center, picnic facilities and restrooms. There was talk of including Weyerhaeuser’s Clemons Tree Farm display at the site, painting murals and erecting maps of a downtown walking tour to lure visitors to the city center. While large trucks would be excluded from the spot, debate as to whether the facility should be of “Mercedes” or “Pinto” caliber was left unresolved.

Although the activities which have led to the planning have all been held publicly, group members were concerned that citizens should be included in the planning as much as possible.

“We need a sense of what people’s views of this are,” noted Councilman Dick Stone.

10 years ago

Aug. 24, 2006

Local firefighters deploy to E. Washington

Firefighters from Grays Harbor Fire Districts 2 and 5 are in eastern Washington fighting wildland fires.

Fire District 2 Chief Dan Prater said he sent three firefighters — one career and two volunteer firefighters — at the request of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Fire District 5 Chief Randy Coggan said his district sent three firefighters plus a fourth who is from Ocosta and hitched a ride on the District 5 engine.

Prater said he’d heard that fire districts near Ocean Shores and Westport might also be involved in the statewide mobilization of firefighters.

Prater said his crew is certified for structure fires so he expects them to be on alert in areas where homes are threatened.

A department must have at least one supervisor who is certified for wildland fires to be sent to the front lines of a forest fire. The training for wildland fire includes making trails and creating firebreaks by cutting down trees.

Coggan said the fees his district will recoup from the DNR would more than cover the expenses. In fact, a two-week mobilization could equal the cost of the used engine District 5 bought from South King County. That’s the apparatus that was sent to eastern Washington.

All the Grays Harbor fire district personnel are at the Columbia Complex fire near Dayton. Coggan said he’d been told the fire jumped dramatically overnight and now has consumed 131,000 acres.