Eatonville’s First Basketball Team (1912)

Left to Rigth: Coach Mr. Hollingsworth, H. Johnson, C. williams, E. Pravitz, H. Christensen, E. Christensen
Left to Rigth: Coach Mr. Hollingsworth, H. Johnson, C. williams, E. Pravitz, H. Christensen, E. Christensen

With the NBA basketball playoffs about to start, it seems appropriate to take a look at Eatonville’s first basketball team. This team played the same year the Titanic went down.

Team members were left to right: Coach Mr. Hollingsworth, H. Johnson, C. williams, E. Pravitz, H. Christensen, E. Christensen

Dogwood Garden Club 60 Years Old and Still Going Strong

Dogwood Garden Club Meeting 2011
Dogwood Garden Club Meeting 2011

In 1952, the year High Noon was hitting theaters and people were buying tickets to watch Gary Cooper and 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. Nevitt Welcome 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.

Eatonville’s Fabulous 1952 Basketball Team

1952 Eatonville Cruiser Basketball
1952 Eatonville Cruiser Basketball

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.

Thank you Dick for the photo and information.

Eatonville 1952 BB team — The Basketball picture features Jim Delgianni #85, Mickey Morrow #88, and Ernie Jones #89
Eatonville 1952 BB team — The Basketball picture features Jim Delgianni #85, Mickey Morrow #88, and Ernie Jones #89

Click on images to enlarge.

Feeding the Fire Crew (early 1920s)

Nate Williams and crew providing food for the fire fighters at Bird Creek
Nate Williams and men feeding the fire fighters at Bird Creek - Nate (far right) and grandson Cecil (far left)

Martha Parrish (who just turned 99 this year) said that forest fires up in the hills around Eatonville were a common thing when she was young. You’d often see the smoke rising up out of the woods in the summer.

You don’t hear much about early fire fighters though. Here’s a picture of Nate Williams (far right) and the crew, with is grandson Cecil on the far left. The note on the back of the photo reads, “Working on forest fire above Eatonville on Bird Creek. Nate was cook and I was dish washer.

Wish I could zoom in a little closer to see what the men were eating.

Tom Smallwood says that Bird Creek is also known as Berg Creek, if you’re looking at  map. It flows into Lynch Creek at from the north.

If you’re looking for directions to the spot, Rich Williams says, “It’s located on (former) Weyerhaeuser property
up by the old Ohop Lookout tower. If you drive up the Weyerhaeuser Road to where the original gate used to be, the road forks just above this gate.  Take the fork to the left and drive about one mile, you will come to another road to your left. If you take that road you are on your way to where the old Ohop Lookout tower was located.  The first bridge you cross will be Lynch Creek. The second bridge you cross will be Bird Creek. Bird Creek is a very short tributary starting in the foothills below the lookout.
It travels a very short distance before it merges into Lynch Creek.

Photo courtesy of Rich Williams.

Click on image to enlarge.

Eatonville’s Town Marshals (1909-1969)

Sheriff Jim Smith's patrol car with two-way radio (ca. 1951)
Sheriff Jim Smith's patrol car with two-way radio (ca. 1951)

With all the news about Eatonville’s police department lately, I thought it might be a good time to look back at the town’s law enforcement.

Moving through Marshals
Eatonville has had its ups and down with law enforcement since 1907, when the first town marshall was appointed — L. E. Martin. Martin’s job wasn’t glamorous. “He was not only the marshall but was instructed by the clerk or the mayor to do such things as ‘remove a bench from in front of  the liquor store, as it was a nuisance,’ and to ‘push over the out house at the Columbia Cafe, and fill in the excavation’ on a certain date if the owner didn’t make improvements.”

Marshals came and went. In the early years, they didn’t seem to stay more than a year.

“On September 7, 1925, Dollar LaPlante was marshal. He was sent to check on a shooting spree by a drunk. He came unarmed, the man pulled a gun and LaPlante was killed. The man was convicted and sent to prison.”

“In October 1939, the marshal asked that a lavatory be built in the town hall so it wouldn’t be necessary to take the prisoners out and also that a steel door be built on the jail.” Back then officers were also trying to get money for car expenses because they were using their own vehicles. They were denied.

“In 1947, a suit for false arrest was brought against the marshal. Citizens urged his dismissal. As a result the mayor resigned. The new mayor appointed a new marshal. In 1948, the marshal’s salary was set at $265 a month, and his was granted a car allowance of $40. He got of $15 raise in 1950.”

In November, 1951 a group of “interested citizens” met at the Dispatch office with the Pierce County Sheriff because they wanted a deputy sheriff and radio patrol car to be permanently located in southeastern Pierce County. There had been a number of instances of cattle rustling and other crimes in the area. After some months Deputy Sheriff Jim Simth was assigned to the new position created by the Board of County Commissioners. The town patrol car was equipped iwth a two-way radio as was the deputy’s car, for copperation of the two agencies.”

In 1967 Tony DelVicchio took the job until April 1970 when he died and Dick Carney too over as acting town marshal. By 1969 people wanted a second police officer, but he council decided it wasn’t feasible at that time.

Information taken from Timber Town and Later.

Images courtesy of the Smith family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Robin Hood Days (1954)

Robin Hood Days - Eatonville's Men in Tights (1954)
Robin Hood Days – Eatonville’s Glen Hicker, orignal Men in Tights (1954)

Robin Hood Days

When the Eatonville mill closed its doors in the 1950s, people worried that the town might not survive. Operation Bootstrap began — a community effort to keep the doors open. One of many thing things that came out of Bootstrap was Robin Hood Days.

The idea was to build the community into “a state archery center” and create an event that would bring people to Eatonville. On March 18, 1954, the Dispatch reported, “Robin Hood Days would be a magnet to draw archers not only from this state, but also from neighboring states.”

Gearing Up
The town was enthusiastic and embraced the event. At a March 22, 1954 Bootstrap meeting, the minutes read that “Shirley Daniels (Maid Marion) came equipped with bow, arrow, and all the paraphernalia for Robin Hood Days. We were very impressed and decided that everyone should surely cooperate if we could look as jaunty as she.”

Robinhood Days - Kids at Fish pond 1954
Robinhood Days – Kids at Fish pond 1954 (Kids: LtoR John Hightower, unknown, Phil Grove, Gary Hicker, boy behind counter unknown, second boy behind counter Bill Morrison, Janet Hicks. Adult: Leona Hamilton)

Martha Parrish, said she and other women sewed countless hats and vests from bolts of corduroy, preparing for the event.

The word went out far and wide. Mr. William Tone, Chairman of Operation Bootstrap, even invited the President. A letter from the White House reads,

“We are waiting the arrival of the “Robin Hood” hats, which you stated were being mailed for the President’s grandchildren.

“It is indeed inspiring that your community, despite the numerous handicaps you mentioned, has instituted what you term “Operation Bootstrap” in a self-help program with notable success. The President appreciates your kindness in telling him about the remarkable progress you and your fellow-townsmen have made through your own efforts.”

Robin Hood Days Program cover (1954)
Robin Hood Days Program cover (1954)

Ambitious Program
On August 19, 20 and 21 Robin Hood Days were held and included:
• archery events, like shooting from the saddle
• vaudeville and archery clowns
• a William Tell reenactment with a “state champion archer shooing an apple from the head of a small boy”. (I’m curious who volunteered their child for this.)
• a beef barbecue put on by Edwin Haarstad.
• shooting fish in a barrel (Presumably with a bow and arrow.)
• bow versus guns — Washington state archers versus the Pierce County Sheriff
• a pageant held in the football field where townspeople played out the legend of Robin Hood and his merry men. (My mom, Kathy Mettler, played one of Maid Marion’s maidens one year.)
• a street dance following the pageant.

Robin Hood Day Parade (Bootstrap) 1954
Robin Hood Day Parade (Bootstrap) 1954

The event only lasted a handful of years. That’s too bad. This sounds like a heck of a lot of fun — the town dressed up in tights once of year with arrows flying around. It beats the heck out of Leavenworth and the lederhosen.

Images courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams.

Click on images to enlarge.

Eatonville High School Ag Room (ca. 1916)

Eatonville Ag Class (ca. 1915)
Eatonville Ag Class (ca. 1916)

This shot of the Ag Room at the high school is packed with detail about what farming was all about back then. Notice the poster for the farm horse, and others on the hog, the sheep and bottler are covering one on beef.

Lots of grasses are being grown and lots of testing.

The Popular Educator wrote in December 1915 of Eatonville’s Ag department:

“With seven acres as a background, agriculture began in real earnest — agriculture which is being learned not only by school chilren, but by their parents and anyone in the district who will learn. Eatonville must hope to be a strong agricutlural center when the teimber begins to fail.

“As a beginning in practical agriculture, then, three pens of pure bred poultry were obtained from the State Agriculture Experiment Stations, and were kept on the school grounds and cared for by the class in agriculture. This created a great deal of interest among the pupils, who kept records of feed and of egg productions.  Good results were obtained , and the immediate and direct benefit to the community has been more good poultry in Eatonville this year than in may years before.

“The class in agriculture also purchased six pigs, paying three dollars each for them and buying all feed at retail. These were also cared for on the school farm, and accurate records kept, showing feeding, expense and increase in weight each week. Prizes of five, three and two dollars were offered by citizen [for the best raised pigs]. And as a result to the community, the parents are gaining confidence in the school. One man who saw his boy’s record decided that his hon knew more about raising pigs than he did, and turned his pigs over the boy to manage.

Besides these experiments in managing live stock, there were over two hundred experiments in grains, grasses, and various crops carried on by the class in agriculture. These best breeds of live stock, the best crops to suit local conditions, will be determined by these experiments and by visits to successful farms nearby.”

Photo and information courtesy of the Haynes family and Rich and Ruthie Williams.

Click on image to enlarge.



Eatonville Schools (ca. 1916)

Eatonville Gym, High School & Grade School (ca. 1916)
Eatonville Gym, High School & Grade School (ca. 1916)

This early shot of the school shows the:
• Gymnasium (on left) built in 1913
• High School (left in the back) built in 1916
• Grade School (on right)  built in 1904

Landscaping hasn’t gone in yet, but kids don’t seem to mind.

Photo courtesy of Rich Williams and the Haynes family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Fleet of Kelly Springfield Trucks (ca. 1923)

Griffith & Graeber's fleet of Kelly Trucks, early 20s
Griffith & Graeber's fleet of Kelly Trucks, early 20s

Fabulous shot of a fleet of Kelly Springfield Trucks operated by Griffith & Greaber logging out of Eatonville.

This photo is worth clicking on to enlarge to see the incredible detail. The trucks look pretty primitive compared to the trucks of today, but look at the size of the logs they’re hauling.

Courtesy the Jack Graeber family.

Click on images to enlarge.

Logging in the Canyon (ca. 1919)

Logging the canyon
Logging the canyon

Eatonville was a logging town for decades. And you can still see guys in rubber suspenders and cork boots around town.

There are no end to amazing “old timey” Eatonville logging shots. Here’s one labeled “logging  the canyon”. Maybe up near Canyon Road?  And the gentleman 2nd to the left if Robert McGilivery.

Despite the lack of information about where it’s shot, there’s a wealth of information in the shot — a look at the old steam donkey, with its beat up tin roof and the stack of wood to fuel it, as well as the spools holding the cable.

Photo courtesy of the Eatonville Historical Society and Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.