In 1989, Absher family gets ready for the fair

75 years ago

August 8, 1939

• All logging operations of Grays Harbor and western Washington were suspended today for at least two days because of an extraordinary fire hazard as 75 men battled a large fire in the old North Western Logging company properties near Copalis. O.B. Wedekind, district fire warden, reported the fire was in a difficult location to fight, being in considerable down cedar.

• Grays Harbor Motorcycle club riders will be hosts to competitors from four states and British Columbia Sunday when the annual Pacific Northwest motorcycle hill climb is run off on the courthouse hill in Montesano, Homer Jones, tourney manager announced today.

Nearly 50 riders, all experienced hill climbers, are expected to compete for the northwest championship.

August 9, 1939

With Queen Margaret I crowned at an impressive ceremony and Paul Bunyan “married” to Miss Humpty Tulips last night in front of Hoquiam High School, the biggest crowd since President Roosevelt passed through Hoquiam is expected to line the streets tonight for the mammoth Paul Bunyan parade, which includes scores of floats, bands, marching units and other entries.

City officials asked all Hoquiam citizens to leave their cars at home to allow as much space as possible for visiting cars.

August 10, 1939

Aberdeen police today rounded up a score of boys and recovered loot which may value several hundred dollars as officers delved into operations of a young gang whose leaders admittedly perpetrated numerous house and store burglaries and whose membership highjacked others and even stole money from their own homes.

Chief Robert Schmidt said full extent of the burglaries had not been determined but it was indicated that the thefts would exceed that of any other youthful gang in the history of Aberdeen. All the boys were juveniles.

50 years ago

August 8, 1964

Rev. Perry Saito, a former Aberdeen man, will preach for the 10 o’clock worship service tomorrow at the First Methodist Church. He is serving his 10th year as pastor of St. Paul’s Methodist Church, Steven’s Point, Wis.

Raised in Aberdeen, the Rev. Saito was graduated from Weatherwax and Grays Harbor College. At the outbreak of World War II, along with 110,000 other American citizens of Japanese ancestry, he was evacuated. He was confined in the Tule Lake Relocation Center until April, 1943 when he was released to travel as a race relations secretary for the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

August 9, 1964

Sunday, no newspaper published

August 10, 1964

The current pypo-boarding craze has provided a real economic shot in the arm for a small Harbor woodworking plant, McCowan Enterprises, located at Aberdeen Avenue and Ontario Street.

The plant, Amiel McCowan reports, has already manufactured more than 6,000 boards and is going strong.

The boards are made out of Harborite and Crezon manufactured by Evans Products. The plant is turning out three sizes, 28 and 24-inch discs and the 18 by 48-inch “banana board.” Although some of the boards are finished at the plant, most of them are left unfinished because as a rule the youngsters like to finish their own boards in the interest of individuality.

25 years ago

August 8, 1989

• Christy, Terri and Tommy Absher are busy getting their 4-H projects ready for the Grays Harbor Fair which opens tomorrow at Elma. “You can sure tell this is fair week, said Terri, 13,” as she gathered up her sewing, baking and art projects. She will also enter five cows — three red and white polled Herefords and two Ki-Angus cross-breeds. Twelve-year-old Christy will be showing her spotted-goudy rabbits and Tommy, 10, plans to enter his baseball card collection.

• The Lady Washington probably won’t visit Hoquiam for the 25th anniversary Loggers Playday celebration next month, according to Seaport officials. While the tall ship had been scheduled to tie up at the 8th Street Landing during the Playday festivities, the captain visited the pier 10 days ago and found it too small to handle the vessel, according to Brandon Ford of the Seaport Authority.

“It wasn’t built for a vessel that size,” Ford said today, “and the concrete pier and structure would interfere with the rigging.”

August 9, 1989

The man who built a spectacular and ill-fated resort hotel at Moclips 84 years ago was born ahead of his time, his descendants say — 50 of whom showed up last weekend for a reunion.

Dr. Edward Lycan was a well-traveled man when he showed up on the Harbor around 1903, already having sold pianos in Hawaii and owning sugar plantations in Mexico.

After managing hotels in Aberdeen and Hoquiam he built the 150-room Moclips Beach Hotel in 1905. It was “the only modern and up-to-date resort on the North Pacific Coast” according to advertisements at the time. But just four months after it opened, a towering inferno swept the hotel and it was closed for more than a year.

Undeterred, Lycan rebuilt the resort. With a panoramic view, its 270 “outside” rooms were only some 12 feet from the beach. Room rates were $2.50 per day.

A raging storm in February 1911 destroyed more than half the business district in Moclips. “The Pacific Ocean sucked a portion of the hotel into the surf in one of the most spectacular disasters of its kind in the state’s history,” according to a story collected by the family from an undisclosed newspaper.

August 10, 1989

At a time when high-tech development often sets the tone for economic revitalization, the Bergstrom Foundry in Hoquiam doesn’t fit the mold.

Inside the nondescript building off the Fifth Street Extension, there’s a solid business that revolves around a huge blast furnace and molten metals.

Since opening in 1926, the small sandcast foundry has produced metal fittings and other items for a worldwide marketplace with few changes.

“It’s the foundries that are busy first when the economy is getting ready to improve,” said Ken Miller, who owned and operated Bergstrom’s for 21 years. He sold the firm last month to one of his employees, Don Little.

“Nothing gets manufactured without a foundry setting the casts,” said Miller, who began working there in 1954. He took over in 1962 after founder Axel Bergstrom and son, Lloyd, died within a year of each other.

Compiled from the archives of The Daily World by Karen Barkstrom


Rules for posting comments