World Gone By 7/31

75 years ago

July 30, 1939

Sunday, no newspaper published

July 31, 1939

Grays Harbor’s timber industry may rise to undreamed of heights on a flood of new plastics recently discovered by American chemist Lance McDermoth, former Aberdeen man and now a physics instructor in a California college, told more than 100 Aberdeen pioneers at their annual summer picnic at Sylvia Lake yesterday.

“These new plastics, mostly products of a chemical research field barely touched by scientists, may someday soon make Grays Harbor the focal point of new industries — plants that will convert Harbor timber into more dollars than the old type sawmills ever produced, McDermoth told the pioneers.

50 years ago

July 30, 1964

• Sylveanus (Vean) Augustus Gregg, 79, the Harbor’s former major-league and Pacific Coast baseball pitching star, died yesterday in an Aberdeen nursing home after a brief illness.

Born in Chehalis, he had a varied career as a farmer in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as a Hoquiam businessman and as a great pitcher in the Pacific Coast Baseball League and also in the majors before and after World War I, playing for the Cleveland Indians, the Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics.

Scrapbooks show that Gregg was included in a major league all-star team that included such immortals as Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Hal Chase, Rube Waddell, Chief Bender and Walter Johnson.

A Hoquiam resident 38 years, he sold his downtown business, the Home Plate Cigar Store, last year.

• A 15-year-old Montesano youth has become the first Boy Scout in a five-state area to earn the Atomic Energy Merit Badge.

According to Tom Twining, scoutmaster for Troop 16, Wayne Bragg had to take the complete civil defense monitoring course and familiarize himself with both the structure of the atom and the many aspects of radioactivity.

He is due home tonight from the Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge.

July 31, 1964

Aberdeen Girls Softball League had its record books shaken up a little last week when Ted’s Union 76 team executed a triple play.

The play developed when a Failor’s team member hit a line drive to first baseman Betty Kutchera, who stepped on first and fired to second, completing the three outs.

“This is the first such play in girls’ softball,” remarked recreation director John Madson, “and shows that girls can also think softball when the need arises.”

25 years ago

July 30, 1989

To look at her, you wouldn’t think she did what she did for as many years as she did.

But sweet-faced Ruby Taylor, now 79 and quite retired, was a “working girl” and later a madam during Aberdeen’s wide-open days.

Ruby figures she was a pretty good working girl because she enjoyed her work. “I like men, she said, besides I was a good BS’er and had cute ways about me. I could always con a man out of anything.”

The second floors of many sooty old buildings along Heron, Wishkah and State streets sported red lights. The Harbor was off limits to GIs from Fort Lewis and McChord. Most, of course, were undeterred. Aberdeen’s reputation beckoned.

Today, a group is working to create an “Aberdeen Historical Whorehouse Restoration Society” — not to restore prostitution, mind you but to note the historical facts of life: Aberdeen was once the bawdiest old timber town on the coast.

Ruby worked in Hoquiam’s lone “house,” the Myrtle Rooms, as well as the Northern Rooms and at the New Deal Rooms. She later opened her own place above Dill’s Second hand Store on H St.

July 31, 1989

A 25-year-old Federal Way man was rescued from the surf in Ocean Shores Sunday. Ironically, it was the first day of training for the police department’s newly formed Surf Rescue Team.

The swimmer had been caught in the surf for some 30 minutes before rescuers were call. Hellan’s “core temperature had fallen to 90 degrees. He was unable to stand and his skin had turned a deep blue due to the cold and lack of oxygen.

If he had been in the water another five minutes, it might have been too late, according to surf rescue instructor Scott Tye of Port Angeles.

Compiled from the archives of The Daily World by Karen Barkstrom


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