In the 1930s a young Dr. Don Nevitt ran into Eatonville’s doctor A. W. Bridge. They must have hit it off because soon Nevitt was working at one of Bridge’s logging clinics in Selleck , Wash. By 1940 Nevitt had moved to Eatonville and was practicing with Dr. Bridge, and stayed in town as the resident doctor for over thirty years.
The New Clinic Nevitt took over Bridge’s practice in 1945 and in1951 built a clinic on Mashell Ave., which still looks incredibly the same today. Architect Gaston C. Lance designed the building that was described as “ultra modern” and “as fine as you will find anywhere.”
In March, 1951 Dr. Nevitt and his wife invited the town in for a tour. Folks could come from 2 to 5 p.m. for a little punch and cake. Over 300 people showed up.
It must have been a big day. There were “congratulation ads” in The Dispatch and many people sent or brought flowers, filling up “every available spot” reports the Dispatch.
Folks were impressed with the new building, with its spacious waiting room and modern furniture. One of the neat features was the trendy flush-type doors. Gone were the “old trim and the annoying dust and dirt.”
People not only got to walk through the new doctor’s office, but the Nevitts took them on a tour through their home upstairs, with its spectacular view of Mount Rainier.
The tour didn’t stop there. The clinic it turns out wasn’t just the home of the doctor but his nurse of seven years, Miss Ruth Pravitz, who had an apartment on the first floor.
Stylish Doctor I saw Dr. Nevitt for tetanus shots a few times as a kid in the 60s and 70s. My memories were of an old man in a white coat. Little did I know he had a keen sense of fashion. The Dispatch reported on Mr. and Mrs. Nevitt’s attire that day. He was decked out in a white sharkskin two-piece suit with a corsage of red carnations and she had on a green afternoon gown with a corsage of rose buds. I guess in 1951 you got dressed up for this kind of thing.
Dr. Nevitt was a trendsetter in other ways as well. In 1950 he owned one of the first eight televisions to be installed in Eatonville.
Here’s to Don Nevitt — dedicated doctor, wonderful man, and kind of a cool dude.
Back in 1955, long before it was Nevitt Park, there was just a simple sign that welcomed people to Eatonville and a street sign that directed people to the city center and to Mt. Rainier via Scenic Route 29.
I personally love this street sign because “29” was obviously hand painted in as an afterthought.
Today the park, which was named after the town’s Dr. Nevitt, may be a little showier, but the town is still just as simple and sweet.
Photo courtesy of the Baublits family and late photographer Joe Larin.
This excerpt is taken from a Dr. A. W. Bridge biography, written by Karen Swanson. She collected information about Dr. Bridge from many of the “old timers” of Eatonville, Wash.
Clinics and Hospitals
In National it was called the Bridge Clinic. Dr. Smith would take care of all of the first aid cases he could connected with the mill or anything else. When things came to a point where he couldn’t handle them, he’d send for Dr. Bridge. Especially in hospital cases, since Dr. Bridge handed the contract cases. He had doctors and clinics also in Kapowsin,Mineral, Ashfordand Morton. In 1926, he also opened the Bridge Clinic in Tacoma specializing in surgery. Later, he expanded to Seattle and Raymond.
Then in 1930, he moved his headquarters to Tacoma. He maintained a doctor in Eatonville, but closed the hospital there as the good roads and ambulance services made it practical for the people of his hometown community to use the Bridge Hospital in Tacoma.
Doctors in charge of the Eatonville offices after Dr. Bridge left were in turn: Dr. Wiseman, Dr. I. J. Glovatsky, Dr. G. A. Delaney, (note, names were hard to read and I may not have them entirely correct) and finally Dr. Nevitt who took over the practice when Dr. Bridge died and built a handsome clinic in Eatonville of his own. The hospital between Raymond and South Bend was called the River View Hospital. There was also a clinic in Selleck. Others were in Bremerton, Rainier, Olympia, Castle Rock and Puyallup. With Dr. Bridge starting all of these clinics, needless to say, Eatonville became kind of a medical center for southern Pierce County. Of course, there was the Eatonville Clinic above the drug store.
Dr. Brdige sent his patients to the Eatonville Hospital, and later when he built the hospital in Tacoma, that’s where they went. Then he had a section in St. Joseph’s Hospital, before he built his own clinic. Then when he wanted to build his own clinic, he had a terrible time trying to raise funds for it. First there would would be one organization that would be a group of Catholics, then there would be another organization interested in St. Joseph’s or Tacoma General Hospital. Finally, one of his best friends, Tom Galbraith gave him a boost. They were going to build the Medical Arts Building in Tacoma and they wanted Dr. Bridge to go in there, but he wanted a certain amount of floor space. For the amount of money he would have to spend, he decided he could build his own building.
Another problem that he ad was that there were lots of people interested in the Medical Arts Building. He did have a hospital between Raymond and South Bend, the Riverview Hospital. He bought it (unclear next three words) after he built the Bridge clinic in Tacoma. Martin Killian could remember taking an old broken (?) down walk-in refrigerator down there and setting it up in the basement. Later, Dr. Bridge moved to Tacoma and had his offices in the Fidelity Building.
T. C. Van Eatonowned a building on the corner, but for some reason, Dr. Bridge couldn’t buy that. You see, he wanted to be on a street corner because he was very conscious of fire. What he wanted was where there would be a vacant lot on one side and on the other side he would put up a big tin wall in back of the hospital. He put fire-proof doors on the windows on the south side. Again I stress, he was very conscious of fire. Sander Hutchinson was Dr. Bridge’s business manager in the days when he was expanding. He wasn’t a lawyer, but he was described as being a dar good promotor.
This article appeared in the Sunday News Tribune on July 18, 1954. — This is worth a read. Not only is there information on the Robin Hood Day, but you can see that papers were easily the Facebook of today. Check out the information they pack in.
Robin Hood Raid This daring band of outlaws will appear in Tacoma soon to spread news of Robin Hood Day in Eatonville, scheduled for Aug. 8. The group invades Chamber of Commerce meetings in Western Washington cities, entertains with old English ballads, then exchanges Robin Hood Day buttons for money. Pictured left to right, are Bill Tone, Florence Parrish, Dick Logston, Linda Treadwell, and Dick Taylor.
Eatonville Prepared for Robin Hood Day The people of the Operation Bootstrap area are becoming as familiar with the affairs of the Sheriff of Nottingham, Sir guy of Gisbourne, Rob old, Little John and Will Scarlett, as folks elsewhere are with Stevens and McCarthy, Dulles and Molotov. The bullwhackers and the fallers are becoming as hand in whirling the quarter stave as in handling their peavies and double hitter axes. Rehearsals for the Robin Hood Day Pageant, “The Story of Robin Hood” to be shown at fall of darkness on August 8, are in full swing.
The prettiest girls of the Bootstrap area are viewing for roles of Maid Marian and ladies of the court. The Maid Marian will be chosen form Eatonville and candidates are Marilyn Predmore, Jean Monson, Florence Parrish, Mary Lee, Darlene Hightower, Ruth Swanson and Linda Treadwell. Sliver Lake as named Evelyn Enwall and Naida Asplund; Weyerhaeuser Marjory Kropf and June Krones; Clear Lake, Ruth Klasey. Pretty candidates from other communities comprising the Bootstrap area are still to be selected by their respective communities.
On July 31, a week before Robin Hood Day, there will be held a Robin Hood costume dance, in charge of Frank Van Eaton.
Committees for Celebration Among Robin Hood Day committees are: pageant ticket committee, Dick Christensen; concession booth committee; Steve Packer and Ed Haarstad; program sale, Boy and Girl Scouts; sound equipment, Floyd Larkin; lighting Cecil Williams; scenery, Wilton Colyer; decoration, Esther Parker; costumes, Kay Tone and Martha Parrish; archery target, Helmar Norberg; special sign committee, Wilton Colyer, John Sartell, Bob Gritman and Helmar Norberg; advertising visitation committee, Bill Tone, Florence Parrish, Linda Treadwell, Dick Logston, and Dick Taylor; advertising, Beverly Nevitt; talent scout, Ethel Jordan; town decoration, Bud Anderson and George Hlavin; and properties Don Christensen.
The president of the State Archery Association, K.C. Robins of Seattle, visited Eatonville recently to make arrangements for the state target tournament, which will be held on the school grounds on Robin Hood Day.
Town Cleanup Planned Ed Haarstad has accepted the chairmanship of the Operation Bootstrap beautification committee and is busy organizing the town for a cleanup campaign to extend over July 24 and 25. He is arranging for every individual in town to be contacted and signed up to work. From a central labor pool, groups will move out to attack neglected vacant lots, wild blackberry brambles, and recalcitrant Scottish bloom.
At their regular meeting Monday evening the town council voted to buy the part of the town water system owned by Eatonville Lumber Company. The price set is $4,500 and will include a 1,000-gallon-per-minute pump with electric motor and control equipment, pump house, flume and reservoirs and pipes, together with easement of land. Concilman John Swanson is in charge of the deal and Cecil Williams is supervising work on the new part of the town water system. In the past, the town water system has been party owned and partly operated by both the mill and the town.
At the council meeting, Councilman Arne Haynes, in charge of the street department, described plans for repair work on streets and paving of the intersections of Mashell and Larson and of Washington and Groe.
Purchase of sound equipment for civil defense was approved by the council at its meeting. This sound equipment will also be used for community groups.
Request to all departments of town government to prepare budget estimates was made by Mayor Floyd Larkin. The public budget hearing will be made September 14.
Road Project Near Completion One of the several county road projects of this part of Pierce County is nearing completion. This project is replacing an old WPA wooden bridge over Lynch Creek with a concrete structure. Work has been going on for several months and there was a final hitch when several springs bubbled up at the new bridge approaches.
A reunion of the Eatonville High School class of 1942 is being arranged by Mrs. Hugo La Plante and Mrs. Charles Cox for luncheon July 22 at the Top of the Ocean in Tacoma.
Final match of the Washington State Rifle Association postal matches will be held at the Rimrock recreation areas this Sunday.
Word has been received by Mrs. Fred O. Martin of Eatonville rural route, that her son, Darrell M. Martin is serving with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.
Preschool mothers will enjoy a picnic Sunday afternoon at the Clear Lake home of Mrs. and Mrs. George Smallwood.
Mrs. Engle Honored
Members of the Pentecostal Baptist Church of God gathered from Tacoma, Seattle ad Puyallup at Elbe last Sunday to celebrate the 75th birthday of Mrs. Pearl Engle, who last year retired as Elbe Postmaster. There was a salute to the flag and a sermon on the occasion by Ray Engle entitled: “The Calling Out of Abraham on this 75th Birthday and Promise of His Seed to Become a Multitude of Which the United STates Is a Part.” Mrs. Engle received many birthday gifts.
Mrs. and Mrs. Casey Swanson children Ruth, Rodney and Stanley are home from a tow-week vacation spend in Kennewick with Mr. Swanson’s brother-in-law, Buck Poteete.
An eight-pound daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Sam Snyder Tuesday morning.
Lloyd Stuart, Guy Foster and Kenny Hamilton are back from two weeks training with the National Reserve in San Diego.
Little Connie Lynn La Plante, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugo La Plante, celebrated her birthday with a party at her home last week. Guests included Janice Waterer, Mary Wave Van Daren, Bill and Jeannette Vaughn, Judy Marshall, Mille Smallwood, Julie Wood, Stella and Vincent Pecchia, Roberta Butler, Karen Black, Sharon Van Buskirk, Linda Jordan, Janet Collinsworth and Connie’s brother, Byron. Others present were her parents, her grandmother Mrs. Hibbard and Mrs. Mary Wood.
To Attend Utah Conference
Attending the regional conference of Future Homemakers of America on the Utah College campus at Logan, Utah, July 20 to 23, will be Miss Naida Asplund, daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Jonas Asplund. Delegates to the conference will come from 11 Western states and Hawaii. Miss Asplund will travel with the delegation of 30 from Washington.
Member of Mt. Start Chapter, OES and of Terrestrial Lodge No. 228, F&AM, will enjoy their annual picnic at the neighboring homes of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hotes and Mr. and Mrs. George Smallwood at Clear Lake Sunday Aug. 1.
Seafair was just a few days ago, so this post seems appropriate. I believe in ran in the Dispatch in 1954, when Seafair was only four years old. Check out this incredible Eatonville spirit.
Robin Hood and Men Plan to Steal Chest of Seafair Pirates
At 5th and Pike in Seattle on Monday, August 2, at about 2 o’clock, Robin Hood and his men from Eatonville will try to steal the treasure chest of the Seafair pirates. The Seafair pirates will be guarding their chest with an Army amphibious duck from the attack of Robin Hood’s outlaws.
After the encounter, survivors will go together to KING-TV and go on the airways. Dick Tayloras Allan-a-Dale will be ready with a ballad for the program.
Bill Tone is in charge of the Eatonville part of this stunt, which was arranged by Jack Wright of the University Bureau of Community Development through Mr. Reed of Greater Seattle, Inc., who has become interested in Operation Bootstrap and Robin Hood Day.
Then on the day of the Gold Cup Racesa group from Eatonville in Robin Hood tunics and hats will posters advertising Robin Hood Day will be stationed near the pits that service the Gold Cup boats, in easy TV range. This stunt, too, was arranged by Wright of the University Bureau and by Mr. Reed of Greater Seattle, Inc.
Mrs. Don Nevitt, publicity chairman for Robin Hood Day, is getting the Eatonville group together to make the trip.
Photo courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams and article courtesy of Dick Logston.
Eatonville Dispatch announcing a Operation Bootstrap BBQ to support Robin Hood Day (ca. 1954).
Operation Bootstrap to Sponsor Barbecue on Robin Hood Day
The Operation Bootstrap advisory council met Monday evening at the high school in emergency session and voted to put on the barbecue on Robin Hood Day. Another organization had tentatively agreed to do this job but backed out at the last moment.
In charge of the menu will be Beverly Nevitt. Her tentative menu includes barbecued beef, bread, baked beans, potato sale, dessert and coffee. Mrs. Nevitt asks that people who will bake a pot of bean or make bowl of salad, contact her.
Ed Haarstad will be in charge of the barbecue pit.
The council voted not to have a Bootstrap meeting in August. The next scheduled meeting is July 29 and then there will be no meeting until late September.
Article provided by Dick Logston, and image courtesy of Smith family.
During Operation Bootstrap, Eatonville looked at itself closely to identify ways it could improve itself to bring in businesses.
Here is information on how the house-t0-house Population Survey would be handled in of 1956.
It reads . . .
At the September meeting of the Eatonville Planning Commission it was decided to start the Population Survey as early as possible. On October 8, 1956, Mr. Poole, of the Pierce County Planning Commission, met at Eatonville High School and instructed the following ladies, who had been asked to drive their cars and assist in this house-to-house canvas.
Mrs. Cecil Jordan was in charge, assisted by Mrs. Don Nevitt. The ladies driving cards were the Mesdames George Smallwood, Louis Daniel, Frances Plotner, Hilton Heit, Robert Allison, Mark Carew, Ernie Jones, Floyd Larkin, Preston Parrish, Joseph Larin and Cecil Jordan.
Mr. Poole brought out forms and maps of Eatonville, and these were all divided with each lady taking a certain section. This same afternoon Mrs. Pool and Mrs. Jordan selected twenty high school students to help with the survey in town. These twenty girls had volunteered to help and were told what they were to do.
Each driver of a card had two girls assigned to her and she was responsible for their work being complete in every detail. On October 9th we all met outside the high school and started to cover our town particular section of the town. Where no one was found at home, the drivers of the cars kept tract of it these persons were contacted later. For this work the drivers were responsible for this assignment and completed i before turning it over to Mrs. Jordan. This took the rest of that week and a bit more. however, every house was accounted for.
Mrs. Jordan, Mrs. Nevitt, Mrs. Daniels and Mrs. Larkin completed the fringe area. After this was done, Mr. Poole came up again and with the help of some of the students and a few of the ladies, we stared the break-down of the information gathered; about half of it was completed that afternoon. Later, Mrs. Nevitt and Mrs. Jordan finished this and it was turned over to Mr. Poole for final analysis.
Our Superintendent, Mr. Hans Olsen, and Mr. Vignor Fish were very cooperative. Also our newspaper editors and his wife were cooperative in the way of publicity. We felt this made it much easier to knock on doors and ask questions. Our thanks to them, and to the following girl for their help: Barbara Vern, Janice Cluphf, Judy Snyder, Elaine Skewis, Charlotte Palmer, Janice Scurlock, Deanne Lanning, Joan Rundell, Barbara Barnett, June Rock, Deanna Tunks, Donna Tunks, Terry Hall, Virginia White, Kathleen Tone, Sally Keevy, Judy Keevy, Delores Lyday and Juanita Woods.
In 1952, the year High Noonwas hitting theaters and people were buying tickets to watch Gary Cooperand Grace Kelly, a smaller phenomenon was hitting Eatonville. The Eatonville Dogwood Garden club was holding it’s first meetings with 45 plant- loving members.
The President was Martha Parrish (who turned 99 this February). She says the inspiration was simple: “We were going to a lot of garden shows then, and one day it just sounded like a good idea.”
Beautifying the Community Over the next six decades, while creating countless floral designs and earning numerous ribbons, they were also quietly making a big impact on the community.
With a span of 60 years, it’s impossible to cover everything the club has done, but here are just a few of the highlights:
• Put on flower shows in town
• Planted trees at Glacier View Park
• From the 1950s – 1990s they planted and maintained large containers of flower at Eatonville locations.
• Planted the Dr. NevittWelcome point
• 1962 they planted trees along Eatonville streets
• 1970 planted wildflowers at the old school at Glacier View Park
• 1987 landscaped and planted shrubs and flowers at the George Smallwood Park.
• Maintained plantings at Town Hall and Library
• Planted Trees at Northwest Trek
• Provided swags and plants to Eatonville’s retirement home
• Decorated for a variety of events — the high school library for community day, senior class breakfast, and graduations, among others
• Created bouquets for graves for Memorial Day
• 1989 they designed and planted Dogwood Park on Highway 161 with the Washington Dept. of Transportation, and continue to maintain it today
• Continue to provide horticulture education for youth
Still on the Go The group is going strong, thanks to women like Martha Parrish, Vera Byrd, and Gladys VanBuskirk Hardy, who got the organization off the ground. “We did some crazy stuff, like a creating a cookbook with recipes made from wild plants,” says Martha. But looking back she says the Dogwood Garden club was basically a leap of faith. “We started the group and learned as we went.”
And thanks to that leap, the town continues to benefit from the women who have a passion for plants.
Here’s a glimpse at the 1952 Eatonville basketball team, thanks you Dick Logston.
Eatonville is battling Lake Stevens at the semi finals. Eatonville would go on to win their place at state by one point. (Unfortunately, they wouldn’t be so lucky against Monroe at the state finals.)
Dick (#82) says he played the game with the measles and had to be taken home by Dr. Nevitt afterwards. No. 85 in the white is Jim Delgianni and the guy in the background in white is Mickey Morrow. Other starters that night were Ernie Jones and Albert Wehmhoefer and coach Ernie Cope is probably off to the side having a mild nervous breakdown as his boys fight their way to state.