75 years ago, August 16, 1937
• Boosting the heavy August movement of Harbor commodities to Japan and China, the Norwegian motorship Eli arrived early this afternoon from Coos Bay to stow 3,000 tons of rayon pulp for Japan delivery. At the same time the Norse motorship Kattegat was outward bound for Shanghai with 2,500,000 feet of Grays Harbor lumber and a parcel stowed on Willapa Harbor.
• Located between two of the biggest powers of Europe — Germany and Russia — the republic of Poland is ever-watchful and maintains one of the best armies in Europe to protect herself against any invasion, Dr. Waclaw Gawronski, consul general to the United States, said last night at the Polish Club.
“It is a well known fact that the geographical position of Poland, a nation of 35 million people, is between two opposed political powers,” Dr. Gawronski said before a crowd of 300 to 400 Polish people of Grays Harbor. “On one side is soviet Russia and on the other nazi Germany. Poland wants to be absolutely independent in her political life and at the same time wants to remain a sincere and strong element of peace in Europe.
50 years ago, August 16, 1962
• Ray Nelson, Tokeland, stock ranch owner and gillnet fisherman, was making a drift less than a half mile offshore about 1 a.m. Tuesday when a heavy catch of salmon yielded in addition an angered great white shark. After a fierce battle during which much of the gill net was ripped, Nelson and his crew managed to get a line around the shark’s tail and tow him to the dock.
Nelson planned to keep the shark alive and present it to Marineland in California but by morning the shark was dead, smothered either by the netting which remained in its mouth or the lack of water when the tide receded.
• Attendance at the Grays Harbor District Fair set a new record this year. Fair manager Arlene McNutt said 20,338 persons attended the four-day event, compared with 20,219 last year. The Elma parade Saturday was considered quite successful as about 1,000-1,500 persons attended.
25 years ago, August 16, 1987
Had the Rust brothers known how dismal the summer of 1978 would be for Westport, they might still be selling fiberglass for a Tacoma company. But Randy and Rick gave up their secure jobs to buy the Westport Shipyard, a small company that built and repaired fishing boats.
Then, in that fateful summer, when the fishing industry in Westport went down the tube, it nearly took the Rusts’ shipyard with it.
But a contract to build a 48-foot pleasure boat for a local marine supply operator kept the shipyard limping along. And the job started the company on a new path that has made it what it is today: one of the largest custom builders of large fiberglass yachts in the country.
The yacht business has proven more reliable than the fishing boat business and the shipyard, with 60 employees year round, is now Westport’s largest employer.
Compiled by Karen Barkstrom from the archives of The Daily World.