The 30s, 40s and 50s

Scenic Four Lake Loop Drive

Four Lake Loop Map
Four Lake Loop Map

Sometime in the 50s there was a petition to create a scenic loop drive between four lakes — Kapowsin, Ohop Lake, Tanwax and Clear Lake.

By adding just 2.1 miles of road construction, people could cut off 11 miles of driving time, improve fire protection, increase school bus service and better postal delivery. Who could argue with that?

The petition makes a good argument. And the map is fabulous.

(I’m making the assumption that this was a 1950s petition, based on the map that states the Eatonville Lumber Company is putting out 200,000 ft. daily, and that the petition states Harry Sprinker is our Commissioner. If you have more information, please share!)

Scenic Four Lake Loop Petition
Scenic Four Lake Loop Petition

 

Movies in Eatonville – Roxy Theater

Pecchia Theatre
Ticket Front – Pecchia Theatre Curcuit

Eatonville’s Roxy theater in town was built by A.G. Pecchia back in 1942. It was just one of many.

Mr. Pecchia came into the movie business by accident. Around 1920,  a man who was renting Pecchia’s building owed Pecchia money. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on how you look at the story) the man had no money and paid Pecchia with a theater in Orting.

Mr. Pecchia, who hadn’t even seen a “rolling movie” learned about the industry quickly. In 1922 he opened a theater in Kapowsin and bought the the theater in Eatonville.  In 1925 he purchased the Morton theater and then took over Randle’s in 1937.

Ticket back - Pecchia theatre Curcuit
Ticket back – Pecchia theatre Curcuit

In 1949 he built The Narrows, the theater near the Narrows Bridge, which I believe today is the Tacoma Musical Playhouse.

Mr. and Mrs. Pecchia continued to run the Eatonville Roxy until the late 70s.

Mashell Avenue – ca. 1958

Mashell-Ave-ca-1955-Ellis-3379
Mashell Avenue, ca 1955 – photo courtesy Pat VanEaton

Mashell Avenue in the 50’s looks like a scene straight out of Back to the Future.

Some of the buildings are no longer standing, like the Red and White Store on the corner (which was then run by Jess Dawkins and Keith Malcom) and Van Cleve’s Ford dealership on the right, which was taken in 2011.

The old lamps were removed, but not destroyed. Some residents recycled them for their own yards.  Keep your eye out and you might spot one or two.

Click on image to enlarge.

A look at Eatonville, 1957

Eatonville Lumber Co. ca 1957
Eatonville Lumber Co. — 1950s (photo courtesy Pat VanEaton)

These two pictures were taken in the 1950s.

The first is of the Eatonville Lumber company. It closed February 1954. On December 2, 1953, the following statement was published:

“Announcement was made today by G.E. Karlin, representing ownership of the Eatonville Lumber Company, that the concern had been sold by the present owners to a new corporation known as Eatonville Lumber Company, Inc., the president of, which is D. (Doug) A. Gonyea,”

In a personal interview Mr. Karlin stated:  “It had been generally known for a long time that the moment would inevitably arrive when the timber owned by and available to the Eatonville mill would be exhausted and the plant would of necessity shut down. We have for several years past operated as best we could with a constantly diminishing supply of timber and have augmented that supply through every possible available source.

In other words, we have simply run the string out, operating as long as we could carry on, and the time has now arrived when we feel this is no longer possible.  We have therefore effected the sale reported above and Mr. Gonyea and his new company will carry on from here.

The second picture was taken, looking down Center Street.

Center Street, ca 1957
Center Street, ca 1957 (photo courtesy Pat VanEaton)

Bomber Goes Missing in 1946

Ohop Valley, Eatonville
Postcard says 25 Marine fliers were lost December, 1946

March, 2011 this postcard appeared on Ebay.com. I purchased in part because I live in Ohop Valley, but also because of the message on top: “25 Marine fliers lost here December 1946. Bodies found summer of 1947.”

After a little research at the Eatonville Library, I found an article about the missing bomber and 32 passengers. (See below.) It didn’t go down in Ohop Valley, but the Rimrocks. And although I went through every pages of the 1947 Dispatches, I never did find anything about recovered bodies.

If you have any information, please post.

Article on Missing Bomber, 1946
Article on Missing Bomber, 1946

 

Building the Swanson Airport – 1952

Swanson Airfield construction
Loggers at work building the airport in 1952

Roy Swanson provided these pictures of the local loggers clearing the land and building the Swanson airport. Roy believes the pictures were originally Bud Blancher’s.

(Just lick on the image to enlarge.)

All the men volunteered their machines and time.  Even more astounding, the 1,850 runway took them just a little over two weeks to build.

Logging in the 40s

Logging moves from Steam to diesel
Loggers in the 40s with high tech equipment

These loggers thought they were high tech back in the 40s. This photo shows the shift from steam to diesel power in in the woods. Pat Van Eaton says this eliminated the need for water and the fire hazard of burning wood to fire the steam boiler.

Photo was taken about 1942 near National, WA. Courtesy Donna Rahier
The man second to the right is Ed Raysbrook.

VanCleve Motors

George Van Cleve Jr. (Lad), Jim Van Cleve, and George Van Cleve Sr. (Pappy)

This photo of Ladd, Jim and George Van Cleve was taken around 1940. These three guys were the heart and soul of Van Cleve Motors in Eatonville and Morton for decades.

We’re posting this picture because early March, 2011 the VanCleve motors building in Eatonville was knocked down. Even though the structure had gotten old, we’ll always remember these guys in their prime.

Van Cleve, Ford Building
Van Cleve - Ford Building, courtesy of Pat Van Eaton

For the Rest of the Story, just click here.

Photo courtesy of the Van Cleve family.

Click on images to enlarge.

Eatonville Supports WWII

Attack!
Add that ran in the Eatonville Dispatch in 1943

It was 1943 and the world was at war. Even in the tiny town on Eatonville, far from the front lines, the impact the war was having on the country was obvious.

Articles of the Time
In a September ’43 issue of the Dispatch, articles about the new women’s athletic club and an episode at the pool hall ran alongside articles like this:

• Dim-Out. Eatonville’s “Dim-Out” regulations were easing up. Dim-out regulations were in effect along many coastal area roads to reduce light, and make it hard for enemy aircraft to identify target locations. The regulations required homes to pull shades and businesses to turn off signs and marquees.

• Ration Board Needs Volunteers. The Eatonville War Price and Rationing Board was scheduled to open in August and would service LaGrand, Silver Lake, Alder, Elbe, and Ashford, among others. The call was out for volunteers.

Rationing scarce resources and goods, such as gasoline, tires, sugar, meat, silk, shoes, and nylon, was commonplace in 1943 and the Dispatch was anticipating a run on canning sugar.

The 2nd War Loan Drive. The Eatonville Lumber Company ran an ad to promote the sale of war bonds.

According to Duke University, the War Finance Committees, in charge of the loan drives, sold a total of $185.7 billion in securities. “This incredible mass selling achievement (for helping to finance the war) has not been matched, before or since. By the end of World War II, over 85 million Americans had invested in War Bonds, a number unmatched by any other country.”

• War Stats. The Dispatch also ran information on Eatonville men involved in the war, from where they were stationed to who had been lost.

The paper also reported interesting facts, such as “Two dollars a day from the pockets of every man, every woman, every child in the United States! That’s what it is costing the U.S. to win this war — $260,000,000 a day.”

On a brighter note, the Roxy Theater was doing great business and playing 5 movies a week, including Wings and the Woman, the story of one of the first women in uniform.