50 Years Ago In Mason Co.







 June 1963

Plans were revealed for the establishment of an ambulance service in Shelton and Mason County.  Don and Duane Forsuk, from Bremerton, have purchased the ambulance equipment from Batstone Funeral Home and will take over the operation.  They contacted the city commission and boards of the two hospitals to seek support for the venture.  All three groups said they would take the matter up later.  Duane had four years experience in the ambulance service business and don about a year and a half.  Both are qualified first aid men.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Shelton General Hospital had its annual spring luncheon at Alderbrook Inn.  Susan Aho was the recipient of the nursing scholarship.  She drew the lucky ticket for the money doll which was won by Mr. & Mrs. R.W. Oltman.  New officers elected for the coming year were President, Mrs. Rudy Oltman; vice presidents, Mrs. Jack Connelly & Mrs. Frank Heuston; secretary, Mrs. Frank Travis, Jr.; treasurer, Mrs. Clarence Lody; and corresponding secretary, Mrs. Edwin Lovell.

Robert J. Sund, a mathematics teacher at Irene S. Reed High School was accepted in the second year of the sequential summer institute for experienced high school mathematics teachers at San Jose State College, San Jose, California.  The six-week summer institute was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, under the direction of the Department of Mathematics at San Jose State.

Buck Mackey, well known Shelton grocery man who worked for Needham’s Food Center, went into business for himself.  Buck opened the BJ Mart in the John Kneeland Building on Mt. View Opposite the White Spot.  The store specialized in large size grocery items in quantity lots, selling by the half dozen, half case or case.  Buck said the coffee pot is always on and invites you to stop in and see the new store. 

‘Drumsticks’, the ice cream started to be produced exclusively at Shelton’s Kitsap-Mason Dairy.  ‘Operations Drumstick’, which began last week with the lease of a new machine called the Big Drumstick from the Big Drum Co., will allow the Shelton dairy to be one of the major producers and distributors of ice cream novelties in the area, which will cover Bremerton, Port Angeles and Chehalis.  The new machine not only produces drumsticks, but other ice cream products such as Dixie cups, frozen milk shakes and sundaes.  These novelties are made up, packed, then frozen overnight and are ready for shipment the following day.  W.C. ‘Bud’ Knutzen, manager of the Shelton plant, said that the machine is capable of 90 ice cream novelties a minute and the machine will employ two more people at the dairy.

Pete Buechel, Highclimber football and track luminary, carried off the ‘outstanding athlete of the year’ trophy at Olympic College last week.  Buechel played both football and track at Olympic while maintaining president’s list grades for the most part.  His track teammate (both at Olympic and Shelton), Morley Preppernau, earned both the inspirational award and the honorary captaincy of the track squad.

“There have been 131 more arrests in the city this year than the same period of time in 1962”, Shelton Police Chief Paul Hinton told the Board of City Commissioners.  Because of this, Hinton inquired and was granted having police night court two nights a week instead of one to ‘’lighten the load’. 

Postmaster Jack Gray announced that Shelton, Grapeview, Allyn, Hoodsport, Potlatch, Matlock, Belfair, Union, Lilliwaup and Tahuya are all receiving five-digit ZIP codes that must be used on all pieces of mail starting July 1st.

Oscar Levin, one of the best known tree farmers in the Pacific Northwest, retired from Simpson Timber Company after a distinguishing four decade career in forestry.  During 20 years with Simpson, Levin led the development of the intensively managed Simpson Olympic Tree Farm and promoted conservation among thousands of persons.

May 1963


Fifty Years ago May 2013

A familiar face returned to Mason County law enforcement.  Sheriff D.S. Clark announced W.F. (Wally) Anderson as chief deputy.  Anderson served as a deputy sheriff for 7 ½ years before resigning to oppose Clark in the General Election.  After he lost he worked as McCleary town marshal and came back to Mason County to succeed Clarence E. Fordmeir.

Part of the Richfield Service Station which sat at the corner of Railroad and First Street took to the road reroute to its new location five miles away.  The station was moved in two sections to a site near the new Gateway Café at the intersection of Lynch Road and the freeway.  The former Pauley Motors building and the Feed Store building on the property adjoining the former station has been torn down to make way for a new Richfield Super Service station that will be operated by Mr. & Mrs. John D. Long.  The transplanted station is expected to be running by the end of the month under the direction of Ed Taylor, who owns the property.

PROCLAMATION “Whereas, the citizens of Mason County and the City of Shelton, Washington, have seen fit to honor the forests that have contributed to the development and well-being of our community; and Whereas, the annual Mason County Forest Festival will be held in Shelton, Washington from May 23rd through May 25th by appropriate celebration; Now, therefore, I, Frank Travis, Jr., Mayor of the City of Shelton, Washington, do hereby proclaim the week of May 20th through May 25th as “Red Hat Week.” In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Shelton to be affixed this 7th day of May, 1963” Frank Travis, Jr. mayor

Pins for 50 hours of service were presented to five Candy-Stripers recently at Shelton General Hospital.  Thelma Adams, coordinator, pinned Jeanie Burnett, Pat Parker, Patsy Caulfield, Fran Demmon and Sally Dorman.  The Candy-Stripers were organized and sponsored by the Hospital Auxiliary.  They help by taking trays to patients, visiting with those who have no company and anything else they can do to brighten the patients’ day.  The purpose of the group is to interest young girls in the nursing profession.

Melvin and Ruth Newman, Shelton, have been elected to membership in the American Angus Association at St. Joseph, Mo., announced by their secretary, Frank Richards.  The Newmans were among the 11 breeders of registered Amberdeen-Angus in Washington elected to membership during the past month.

The Hoodsport Café began operating under the management and ownership of Leona Dillon and Virginia Lanning, residents of the Hood Canal area for many years.  They have completed extensive remodeling of the popular eating spot and will operate it on a daily schedule.  They succeed Jim and Mary Epperson as owners.

A report showed that 2,771 dwellings in Mason County out of a total of 7,866 were built in the last ten years.  That is a total of 35.2%.  The average dwelling in the county has 3.1 occupants which is just below the country average of 3.4.  The boom in construction over the decade is said to have stemmed from most families to have places of their own and the mortgage financing became much easier bringing home ownership in their reach.

Those who wished to see part of the Paul Bunyan Parade or the Logging Show again had the opportunity when KTNT-TV, Channel 11, presented highlights of the two events in a 30-minute show.

The Mason County Commission named Ralph Horton as County Civil Defense Director to succeed Harry Carlson who is retiring.  Horton lived in Mason County since 1946 and was active in the Kiwanis Club and the Faith Lutheran Church.  His first day on the job was June 1st.

With 30 members on its roster, Shelton’s new hot-rod club has organized under the title ‘The Gents’ with Joe Duffey and Jerry Young as advisers and with affiliation in the National Hotrod Association.  Officers are Dayre Lomas, president; Roy Schroeder, vice-president; Clint Halbert, secretary; Gary Clark, treasurer; Ed Kneeland, public relations.  A drag-race was being planned for September 8th.


April 1963

A group of women attending a book club meeting at a home in Arcadia Point were startled when a large chunk of ice struck the house they were in.  It was a clear day with no precipitation and one of the women remembered hearing a plane fly over about fifteen minutes before the noise hit the roof.  They concluded that the chunk of ice probably came from a plane de-icing as it passed over. 

Skokomish tribal council named Ted Pulsifer, vice chairman of the council, and John Miller, a member of the tribe as delegates to go to Washington, D.C. for a conference with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.  The Indian Bureau officials had requested that either the chairman or vice-chairman of the council and one member of the tribe not on the council be named to take the trip. 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ogg moved into the apartment in the Mason County Jail to serve as jailer and matron.  They succeed Mr. and Mrs. Andy Harris who had resigned.  Their duties include caring for and keeping an eye on the prisoners.  Mrs. Ogg prepares the meals for not only people in the county jail but also the city jail.  They had anywhere from three to twelve prisoners a day to take care of.  Before this job Charles worked as a logger and she worked as a practical nurse.

The Mason County Orthopedic Association lead by Mrs. Clyde Ruddell and Mrs. J.T. Shimek headed a project to collect old license plates.  The plates were store at the Grant Lumber Company before Brick Bostwick of Western Farmers Association hauled the load to Seattle where it was sold.

A thunder and lightning storm caused a lot of damage to the Haldane Johnson farm in the Skokomish Valley.  A milking cow and two large heifers were killed, the cement foundation of one barn was cracked, two electric hot water tanks were damaged, also much of the barn wiring was ruined, and a formica table top damaged in the dwelling. 

Cascade Natural Gas Company was to open in Shelton.  Tom Ward, the Yakima manager will take over the Shelton office.  Ward was introduced at the Shelton Chamber of Commerce meeting by Ed Roberson, district manager for Cascade Natural in Bremerton.  For a few months before this time the company had been obtaining franchises and right-of-way from the city and the county in properation to installation of its line.  They will construct a pipe line from Olympia to Shelton which is where they will get their supply. 

The city of Shelton Commission approved the removal of angle parking on all city streets except those in front of Shelton General Hospital.  The action was taken after a suggestion from Police Chief Paul Hinton who checked with all the property owners involved and they all agreed to the removal of angle parking.

Mason County Commissioners and Shelton Port District Commissioners signed the lease for the new site of the Mason County Fair at the airport after approval from the Federal Aviation Agency.  At this time the Fair Board already had a well drilled at the site and plans were nearing completion to begin construction of the first buildings.  Carl Izett, who had been appointed by the county commission to oversee the job, said the materials for the main building and most of those for the other two planned in the summer had been ordered and work was going to start May 4th or 5th

The grand opening of the Gateway Café, five miles south of Shelton, was opened.  Free coffee and donuts for adults and ice cream for youngsters were offered by Betty Whiteaker, who manages and operates the café.  Mrs. Whiteaker had been well known in the community for her many years in restaurant work.  Specialties of the house included home-baked pies and steaks, prime rib an seafood.

The Shelton Feed Store building (formerly Wagener’s Feed) was razed in preparation for the expansion program planned for the Richfield service station at First and Railroad.  Also completed was the tearing down of the old Pauley Motors building.  That property was to be used for the new Richfield facilities.

A Pioneer organization purchased a fire truck from Harstine Island.  This is just another step in the organizations attempt to create a volunteer fire department.  Anyone with previous fire department training and interested in helping was instructed to contact Sally Taylor or Jack Gray for more information.


March 1963

President of the Mason County Forest Festival, Clive Troy, announced there would be no auto races in Shelton this year. Representatives of the American Sports Car Association appeared at a membership meeting to urge the group to support the races, but the executive board voted not to.

The Community Concert Assn. held its annual meeting at its last concert of the season and selected a new board of directors. Among them were President, Dr. Andrew Beelik; first vice-president, Mrs. Francis Eacrett; second vice-president, Mr. Hal Rogers; secretary, Mrs. Warren Moe; and Treasurer, Mr. F. W. Herrick. At this last concert the audience was delighted with the intricate rhythms and modern close harmonies featured in the program presented by the Sexteto Mexicano.? Recognizing the audience enthusiasm, the group sang three interesting encores to end a memorable evening. An authentic stage setting was provided by a Mexican flag graciously loaned by the Mexican Consulate of Seattle. Mexican art objects were effectively displayed around the stage under the direction of Mrs. William Henderson, President of the Shelton Garden Club. The articles were furnished by Mrs. Gib Rucker and Mrs. Clara Angle.

Sergeant Ken Rose, administrative supply technician for the Shelton National Guard Unit oversaw the delivery of three M-48 tanks. The unit was recently switched from an artillery unit to Company B, First Medium Tank Battalion, 303rd Armored in the reorganization of the National Guard in the State. The tanks, with 90 mm weapons, came from Camp Murray and will be used in the unit for training. Three additional tanks assigned to the unit will remain at Camp Murray.

Harlowe Stengel, top cameraman for Paramount Moving Pictures, was a visitor to the Robin Hood Lodge home of Mrs. Don Beckman. Stengel and the late Don Beckman had been close personal friends since their youth and when both attended the night school art classes of Orre N. Nobles at the old time Broadway high school in Seattle. Stengel has been a frequent visitor on the Canal through the years renewing the old ties. He has accompanied Bob Hope and his entertainment troop on worldwide tours of servicemen camps, including the latest plane trips to Greenland and Iceland.

Harstine Island youths and Irene S. Reed students, Mike Meeks, Paul Brown and Dan Olson vowed to make a 50-mile hike in favor of the Harstine Island Bridge bond. The hike started in Shelton at 7 a.m., by 8 p.m. they were just five miles from their goal and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge when they had to stop their effort in order to catch the ferry back to the island. They said they will do it again and make it 50 miles if the bond passes to prove Harstine youths are as capable as those who enjoy the privilege of sports and other activities enjoyed by non-bus students, and as their thank-you to the voters of the county.

Manager Gene Hanson reported that the opening of Bettman's Men Shop was very successful The guest book was signed by 527 people during that first day. Door prizes were announced by Hanson. Mrs. Clifford Linton, won a timely suit; Steve Chase, received a pair of Bostonian shoes, and R.H. Keenan won a Stetson hat.

For the first time in 43 years Puget Sound lumber went to Puerto Rico aboard a foreign vessel. The Norwegian vessel, M. S. Tulane loaded 700,000 board feet of lumber from Simpson Timber Company Shelton sawmills. Since the passage of the Jones Act in 1920, goods shipped from one American port to another had to travel in an American ship. Simpson is one of five lumber firms to apply for and receive permission to use foreign vessels to ship to Puerto Rico. The 700,000 board feet being loaded by Simpson represents a year of employment for nine people. A direct payroll of $41,125, employment for 32 people in supporting businesses, three days of work for 39 longshoremen, products valued at $126,000 and direct state and local taxes of $3,500.


February 1963

     Johanna Goldschmidt and Sue Gilliland, both 17, were appointed to the publicity committee of the Mason County Forest Festival Association. The announcement came from Jim Hartley, the chairman. The two young women will assist Hartley in publicizing the 19th annual event throughout western Washington. Their initial efforts will be devoted to covering Festival committee meetings and reporting them for the local news media. Johanna is a senior; Sue a junior at Irene S. Reed High School. Both girls work on the school paper and hope to pursue a journalistic career.

     Minor Williams officially reopened his A & W Root Beer drive-in on Mt. View after being closed all winter. Free balloons, root beer and coffee awaited A & W fans all day long with reduced prices on many items. Lucky tickets also got free orders for the holders and free jugs of root beer.

     The famous and fabulous Harlem Globetrotters came to the Shelton gym to entertain the crowd. They played against an all-star lineup from the defunct American Basketball League. The game was sponsored by the Shelton Coaches Assn. which was formed for the purpose of establishing a physical education scholarship to be awarded annually by the coaches to a deserving Shelton graduate interested in physical education.

     An old two story apartment building on Pine Street was demolished. The old building was built in 1888 as a residence for the sheriff and later an addition was built on it to serve as the jail. It sat east of the wooden building which was then the court house. In 1929, construction of the present court house was started and the building was purchased by the late Joe Deer who moved it across the street. The property is one of two that the county purchased in the summer of 1962 anticipating a future need for space.

     The Irene S. Reed High School office and part of the school's classes will be moved into a new addition to the Grant C. Angle School. Superintendent R. W. Oltman told the school board that the building was almost complete and the move would be soon.

     Reactivation of the Mason County Historical Society was a subject of a meeting in the PUD 3 building. Speaker was Robert Carpenter, director of the State Capital Museum in Olympia who discussed that museum. Phil Murphy, vice president of the Mason Co. Historical Society, has been working with Bruce LeRoy of the Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma on what needs to be done to activate the Society.

     Berwyn Thomas worked to name a tributary of the South Fork of the Skokomish River at Dalby Creek. William Owen Dalby and his father-in-law, David Henry Loosley took up a homestead with timber claim rights in the area. The two men assisted by Edwin J. Dalby and David H. Dalby cleared the site on the property and also built a stout log cabin, which they occupied when working on the land. The Dalby's were kicked off the land when the area was declared a National Forest. However, now the stream in which young Ed Dalby fished for trout is named for the prominent Union pioneers.

     The Tony Ellison family, of Kamilche, had an exciting Washington Birthday holiday. Marshall Ellison was backing the old Ford pickup truck across the Northern Pacific railroad tracks from the barn to the house when the truck stalled on the track. Mr. Ellison, also riding in the truck, made an effort to shift into low gear but was unable to do so before he had to jump from the truck. In a short time Marshall had to jump from the truck also before the train hit and threw the truck into the air and against the fence. The truck was totaled!

January 1963

     The New Year came with a heavy downpour of rain causing many bad earth slides north and south of Lilliwaup on Highway 101. The worst slide was at Warfields, where it covered 80 feet of highway. The state highway crews worked for five hours before the highway was cleared for one-way traffic, all northbound traffic was detoured by way of Bremerton and the Hood Canal floating bridge. Luckily nobody was caught in the slides.

     Richfield Oil Corp. was to build a new super service station at First and Railroad on the property occupied by Phil’s Richfield Service, Pauley Motors and the Shelton Feed & Garden Center (formerly Wagener Feed Co.). Construction was scheduled to start in the spring and the tenants of the two buildings involved were given a 90-day notice to find other sites. Bud Pauley had purchased property across the alley from the location of his Pauley Motors Dodge franchise location and planned to construct a new building there. Shelton Feed and Garden Supply was still looking for a new location.

     Message from Neil Evander of Neil’s Pharmacy: “With all of the publicity about atomic bombs and rocketry, I can’t help wondering if you parents realize that you’re bound to have some of your young scientists-to-be wanting to buy potentially-explosive chemicals from us? We cannot, in good conscience, sell these materials to anyone who is obviously inexperienced in the handling of them. In fact, if your boy (or girl) has any such chemicals around the house for heaven’s sake get rid of them (the chemicals, I mean). Please don’t give your children permission to buy any such chemicals. We’ll just have to refuse them if you do because the main reason we’re here is to keep you and your family alive and healthy.”

     Mason Co. residents pushed their heating systems to the limit trying to keep their homes warm and battled frozen water pipes and balky cars as the temperatures dipped to well below freezing over the first weekend of the New Year. For the ice skaters, it was an opportunity which does not occur often and they took to the frozen ponds in good numbers. The lowest temperatures recorded at the weather observation station at Rayonier, Inc. was 10 degrees on Saturday. The Friday low was 13 and the Sunday low was 15. Matlock and Kamilche - 8 deg.

     Two hundred three businesses were listed in Mason County at the start of the year - 142 retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers in Shelton (a drop of one from 1962), 20 in Belfair (unchanged), 17 in Hoodsport (an increase of two) and 11 in Union (a drop of one). That does include those manufacturers, wholesales and retailers who seek or grant commercial credit but it does not include some of the service and professional businesses such as beauty and barbershops, security dealers and real estate brokers, so the total business in the county would be higher.

     Simpson Timber Co.’s new dry lumber storage shed on the waterfront neared completion as the huge overhead bridge crane was hoisted into place. The first section of the crane, weighing 30 tons, was lifted by two cranes and set onto the rails which run the length of the building. Ken Good, chief plant engineer, estimated the crane will be in operation by mid- February. The 100 by 400-foot shed itself is completed except for interior painting and installation of a fire sprinkler system.

    Sheriff D. S. (Sam) Clark started a new Sheriff’s Reserve organization. Heading the new unit as Captain was Bernard Bailey. There were 15 members in the unit. Heading the water rescue unit was Gene Stacy, Ben Soper, communications and Bill Gephart, search & rescue. 

     The C. of C. members didn’t like the federal designation of Mason Co. as an area eligible for Accelerated Public Work Program funds because of the unemployment rate. A show of hands at a meeting was unanimously against accepting any funds under the program, commonly referred to assistance to “distressed areas.” It was the “distressed area” term the Chamber members did not like, contending that it would seem that the city and county were down and out and unable to help themselves without “handouts” from the federal government.