World Gone By: In 1966, early morning fire stops production at Grays Harbor Hardwood sawmill

75 years ago

Dec. 1, 1941

• Ruler of the eighth annual cranberry festival at Grayland Saturday night was Sylvia Niemi, Ocosta high school junior, who was elected Cranberry Queen.

• Radio programs tonight include “Cavalcade of America,” “Fred Waring,” “Lum and Abner,” “For America, We Sing,” “I Love a Mystery,” “Orson Welles,” “Blondie,” “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” “Gay Nineties Revue,” and “Hollywood Showcase.”

Dec. 2, 1941

Assistant Forester L.T. Webster today claimed a new growing record for a 12-year-old Douglas fir tree found on the Clemons tree farm near Montesano.

An ordinary fir grows skyward about two feet a year. Foresters found an ambitious conifer there which had added 65 inches or 5 1/2 feet in the last year. The previous known record was 55 inches.

Webster said the heavy fall rains probably caused the record growth.

50 years ago

Dec. 1, 1966

The Aberdeen Fire Department’s antique steamer and the ancient hand pumper, affectionately known as “Old Tiger” are soon to join other relics of the firefighting past at the Washington State Fire Services Historical Museum.

Fire Chief Zane Mitchell said he believes it is a fine thing to have the antiques on display where they can be viewed by the thousands of persons who go through the museum every year. The chief said the transfer has the approval of Joe Malinowski, master mechanic for the city, who has kept the steamer in working condition through the years.

Old Tiger was built in Boston in 1855.

Dec. 2, 1966

• An early morning fire of undetermined cause swept through the Grays Harbor Hardwood Co. sawmill on Henderson Street in Hoquiam, causing an estimated $75,000.

The fire was spotted by a Rayonier watchman a quarter mile away at 3:30 a.m. today.

Closure of the mill will drastically curtail furniture manufacturing at the Crestwood Co. in Montesano, a major customer of GH Hardwood, and will pinch the operation at Grays Harbor Chair and Manufacturing Co. according to the manager of the burned Hoquiam mill, Gerald Stephenson.

• Despite bad weather and heavy seas, about 10 crabbing boats inaugurated the 1966-67 crab season by going out yesterday to gather pots laid two or three days ago.

Tentatively the crab canneries are opening the season with an offer of 14 cents a pound.

25 years ago

Dec. 1, 1991

• To get to Montesano Municipal Court, go to the second floor of City Hall, walk past the kitchen and look to the right.

Yep, back in the corner.

It’s that overcrowded room stuffed with important papers.

It’s so small that Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Penoyer is lucky to even have a desk. It’s been the only space available — not only for her, but the entire court.

Thanks to the Montesano Lions Club, all that will change this winter. A much larger, but unfinished office area once occupied by sewer project consultants is being remodeled into usable space. The new court office will be just off the upstairs lobby — visible from the elevator.

Lions club members figure they’ve spend more than 120 hours on the project which started in earnest a month ago and will end early next year when a contractor finishes the electrical work and puts up the wall boards.

• Raymond rolled to a 13-4 lead after one quarter and withstood a fourth-quarter Ocosta rally to down the Wildcats, 70-62, in a non-league boys’ basketball opener for both teams last night in Westport.

Casey Collins, whose shooting eye was especially hot in the first half, led the Gulls with 19. Chris Fuller and Kyle Hasu scored 18 and 13 for the Gulls.

For Ocosta, Leif Heikkila scored a game high 24. Leif Anderson added 13 and Jeremiah Iverson 11.

Dec. 2, 1991

Now appearing at the ACT II theaters at the SouthShore Mall “The People Under the Stairs,” “Curley Sue,” “Highlander 2,” “Little Man Tate” and “Other People’s Money.”

Compiled from the archives of The Daily World by Karen Barkstrom