World Gone By: In 1991, crane topples at former Washington Forest Products site

75 years ago

Nov. 17, 1941

Charges will be filed against one or more suspects being held for investigation in connection with the drowning of Alvin Bromley, 24, Ocean City fisherman, early Saturday morning following an alleged fight with three of them, Prosecuting Attorney Stanley Krause said today. Bromley’s body was recovered late Sunday afternoon near the mouth of the Humptulips River.

Two suspects are being held in the County Jail and two in the Hoquiam City Jail.

Nov. 18, 1941

A gaudy trail of painted Hoquiam symbols, smeared on windows, doors and sidewalks at Weatherwax high school last night by vandals, was being removed by workmen today as school officials strove to quell a rising tide of anger among Aberdeen high school students.

The midnight visitors did a thorough job, daubing taunts and estimated scores of the Thanksgiving Day game on cross walks and the front of the building. R. W. Oltman, Hoquiam principal, said there was no basis for laying the blame at the door of Hoquiam students, however.

50 years ago

Nov. 17, 1966

A whole, bright new look is in store for the east end of Aberdeen’s business district when the antiquated building at Wishkah and G streets is replaced by the new $100,000 building to house the Central Drug Store, State Liquor Store and Mixer Market.

Already razed are the tavern and barbershop on G Street and the pizza parlor on Wishkah.

Oldtimers probably are experiencing some nostalgia as the Central Drug building comes under the wrecking ball. Erected around the turn of the century, it was at one time occupied by a bicycle shop owned by Frank Becker, who built the Becker building. Other tenants were Nudleman’s Furniture Co. and Allen’s United Cigar Store.

Nov. 18, 1966

Norman Porter, 57, a long-time Harbor newspaperman, died early last night when the car he was driving overturned and burst into a gasoline fire less than a mile north of Oakville on Highway 8.

McCleary-born Porter had worked as a reporter for the Washingtonian in Hoquiam and the Daily Olympian, and had been editor and publisher of an Army newspaper during World War II. He started the first newspaper in McCleary and was editor of the Post Record in Camas at the time of his death.

25 years ago

Nov. 17, 1991

Gusty winds toppled half of the mammoth yellow crane at the former site of Washington Forest Products in Hoquiam Saturday night. It was heavily damaged but no injuries were reported.

“The north side of the crane came tumbling down, the legs buckled and it’s a tangled mess right now,” said Hoquiam Police Officer Peter Krohn.

The chip operation at 902 Monroe, including the crane, was sold 15 days ago to Paul Willis of Montesano.

“The crane was chained up in the middle of the plant,” said Krohn. “The wind broke the chain and then caught the crane, rolling it all the way down to the end of the plant along its track where it hit the stop barricade. And that’s when the legs collapsed, it looked like.”

In addition, parts of the crane tumbled onto the Burlington Northern Railroad track, completely breaking up the rails.

Nov, 18, 1991

Officials at a golf course covered Donald DeGreve’s body with a sheet right where he died, on the 16th green. And the body stayed for two hours, while friends and neighbors played through.

“It was a real shock to all of us, but there really was nothing we could do,” said golfer Robert Alexander. “We all thought to ourselves, ‘Gee, that a good way to go.” He didn’t suffer.”

DeGreve, 65, suffered a heart attack and collapsed last month while playing on the city-owned Willowbrook Golf Course in Winter Haven, Fla.

“We told them they had to skip from 15 to 17,” said Bob Sheffield, Winter Haven’s director of leisure services. “It was kind of obvious why. If they didn’t understand it by the 16th tee, they understood it by the time they got to the green.”

Compiled from the archives of The Daily World by Karen Barkstrom