Ohop Valley – 1913 and 1960s

Ohop Valley 1913 and 1960s

As you can probably tell from the posts on this blog, I’ve got a thing for Ohop Valley. It’s in no small part because I live there, my parents lived there and my grandparents moved there to farm in the 1940s.

I’m always buying postcard on Ebay. But the ones I like best are the ones that have been mailed. This works out great, because for some reason they are usually the most inexpensive.

For Ohop Valley, I like to see what people where doing back then. In this case, the writer was doing a LOT of canning. And it’s also great to confirm the date on of the photo taken.

Here are two postcards — one mailed September 29, 1913, (the same time Houdini is performing for people in a straightjacket) and one I believe is about 50 years later taken in the 1960s. Fifty years between these post cards and the valley looks amazingly the same. Kind of nice.

Photos courtesy of Diane Mettler.

Click on images to enlarge.

1912-1913 Eatonville High Catalog Ads

Eatonville School Catalogue 1912-1913 pgs. 18, 19
Eatonville School Catalogue 1912-1913 pgs. 18, 19

This comes to us from Terry Larson. She scanned these ads straight from the 1912-1913 Eatonville High School catalog.

Some familiar names here. And several of these business were brand new — had just started up in 1912:
C. A. Nettleton, butcher (set up shop in 1912)
• E. J. Reed, Tailor
Hotel Snow (built in 1912)
• E. A. Williams, ice cream parlor owner (launches business  in 1912)
Inter-Mountain Journal.

To give a little perspective on 1912 — it was the year Arizona was admitted as the 48th state and the Titanic sank.

Photo courtesy of Terry Larson.

Click on image to enlarge.


Postnet (ca. 1952)

Kneip's Trucking ca. 1952
Kneip’s Trucking ca. 1952

What folks call today “the Postnet building” was perviously Kneip’s Trucking Service.

This building has has a host of different tenants throughout the years. The following was provided by Rich and Ruthie Williams:

Charley Chamberland built this building in 1913. It was Eatonville’s first bakery. In the 1930’s, D.G. and Cloie Morgan purchased the bakery. In 1939, due to the expansion of the business, the bakery was moved to the “NAPA” auto parts building at 103 Center Street East. After the bakery move, the building had many uses. It was an undertaker’s parlor, a confectionary store and a warehouse.

In the late 1940’s, Nick and Grace (Krones) Kneip purchased the building and operated the Kneip Trucking Company. The trucking company operated four gas powered Ford dump trucks and sold and delivered sand and gravel throughout the area. The County also provided a regular job for Kneip’s trucks filling and refilling the slide areas on the Alder Cutoff road. Nick and Grace lived in the upstairs apartment and had their company office on the main floor. While Nick ran the trucking company, Grace did the bookkeeping and also operated the vehicle licensing department from her company office. Mrs. Kneip lived upstairs in her apartment until 2001.

After her death, a firm from Morton, Washington purchased and renovated the building. One of their tenants is Postnet operated by Diane Wisley.

Photo courtesy of the Baublits family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Postcard to John J. Falk (1911)

Falk Postcard 1911 (front)
Falk Postcard 1911 (front)

This postcard was sent to John J. Falk back in 1911 from Sweden.

Translation: Wish you a happy and good Pentecost. I am well and of good health. Lots of greetings with this card. To you from your friend. M.A. Waiting for response.

Mr. Falk written up briefly in the town’s history:

“During April 1913 various plans for an electric light system were discussed and a survey made to determine [a] number of possible users: also possibility of [the] town procuring free fuel from the Eatonville Lumber Company for a steam power electric lighting plant. In June, the committee met with John Falk for the purpose of securing [a] site for a dam and power house on Lynch Creek for municipal light and power plant.

In July they met to consider steps in the construction of a hydro-electric light and power plant . . . Mr. Snow had secured pledges amour to $39,900 [$975,000 by today’s standards]  in a partial canvass of the town, this being based on the purchase of the site at Lynch Creek and the construction of a transmission line to LaGrande for current.

Footnote: 1954. The site was purchased and is still owned by the town, but the dam and power house were not built. The town owns and maintina its own distribution lines from LaGrande and pays the City of Tacoma for electricity used each month, the town in turn collecting from users.”   (History of Southeastern Pierce County)

Falk Postcard 1911 (back)
Falk Postcard 1911 (back)

Photo courtesy of Diane Mettler. Translation by Venke Lyngsnes.

Click on images to enlarge.

Eatonville General Hospital Ad (1913)

1913 Eatonville General Hospital Ad
1913 Eatonville General Hospital Ad

Eatonville used to have a hospital. It was located on the second floor of Kirk’s Pharmacy. Here’s an ad that ran in the 1913-14 Eatonville School catalog. The ad states that it’s a hospital for “medical, surgical and obstetrical cases.”

At the time A. W. Bridge, M.D. was the owner. Dr. Bridge would go on to leave money to the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in his mother’s name, which is still operating today.

Photo courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams.

Click on image to enlarge.

Dining at Hotel Snow (early 1900s)

Dining at the Hotel Snow
Dining at the Hotel Snow

In the early 1900s, the Mill Villiage Motel in Eatonville wasn’t around. In fact, the man who would build it, Keith Malcolm, wasn’t even born yet. Back in the teens, you would have gotten a room and a hot meal at the Hotel Snow for the affordable price of $2.00 (about $45 today).

Here’s a shot of guests being served a home cooked meal in the dining room.

Photo courtesy of the Parnell family.

Click on images to enlarge.

1913 ad for Hotel Snow
1913 ad for Hotel Snow

Martha Parrish Turns 100 Year Old

Left to right: Vera Byrd, Helen Miller, Martha Parrish, Keith Malcolm. Dr. Tom Van Eaton behind in blue flannel shirt.
Left to right: Vera Byrd, Helen Miller, Martha Parrish, Keith Malcolm. Dr. Tom Van Eaton behind in blue flannel shirt.

Martha Parrish is officially the town’s oldest resident (although she months ago moved to Morton). She had her birthday party in town March 2nd and friends came to celebrate.

Here’s a bio from her granddaughter Leslee Dunlap:

Martha was born in the Eatonville’s first hospital (the house at the north end of Mashel Ave., across from the school) in Eatonville on Feb 25, 1913.

She was raised on her parent’s dairy and poultry farm in the Ohop Valley at the Eatonville end of Ohop Lake.  Her parents were William and Elizabeth (Muery) Breuer, who moved to Eatonville around 1908, from the vicinity of Austin, Texas, after a brief stay in California.  She thinks the previous owner of the farm was Smith.

Martha graduated from Eatonville in 1931. She married an Ohop Valley neighbor, Preston Parrish, in 1935.  They raised their three children, Donna, Florence and Ray in Eatonville (and their children did the same). She was active in the community and was one of the founders of the Dogwood Garden Club and was the club’s first president. Vera Byrd (pictured) was also a charter member of the club).

Martha’s husband, Preston, passed away in 1971. She worked for a while at the Eatonville Community Center and attended many of the community meals there. She was an accomplished painter and enjoyed traveling. She spent a few months in the Philippines with Margaret and Bruce Painter, toured Australia, Fiji and New Zealand, vacationed with her husband in Hawaii and traveled by car around the US many times. She moved from Eatonville to Morton after living independently in Eatonville for 99½ years.”

Photo courtesy of Leslee Dunlap.

Click on image to enlarge.

You Got Mail (1890 – 1924)

1913. Left: Postmaster Charles Williams. Right: Rural Carrier Fred Matheny. Background Mrs. Williams and Ray Williams.
1913. Left: Postmaster Charles Williams. Right: Rural Carrier Fred Matheny. Background Mrs. Williams and Ray Williams.

In a time when we receive messages via email, Facebook and texting, “snail mail” seems a little old timey. In 1890 though, getting messages in and out of a frontier town was vital.

T.C. Van Eaton wasted no time setting up a post office in Eatonville. The first post office opened July 25, 1890, and “Van Eaton’s first commission as Postmaster bore the signature of Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States.”

Charley Williams Takes Over
In 1907 Charley (C.H.) Williams took over as postmaster. Charley already had a reputation for avoiding red tape. “Before becoming postmaster, he drove a stagecoach and carried mail form Eatonville to Longmire. One day he got in an argument with a bear, which delayed his arrival at Longmire by nearly three hours. When Washington, D.C. heard of this delay, they were agitated and sent a long form in quadruplicate to Charley to explain his tardiness.” Instead of filling out the lengthy form, Charley scrawled across it, Stopped to skin a bear. He heard no more on the matter.

Postal savings card
Postal savings card

While Charley was postmaster, Washington D.C. decided Eatonville would be a postal savings office and sent Charley $37,000 in postal savings certificates and forms to be filled out. Since it was more responsibility and no extra pay, Charley promptly dumped the certificates and forms in a corner. Letters began to arrive from D.C., each more urgent, wanting to know where the forms were. Charley added them to the pile. Finally a postal inspector came to find out where the forms were. Charley pointed to the now substantial pile, saying, “There they are.”  That was the end of the savings certificates.

Fred Matheny Postal Carrier
On April 1, 1909, the first rural route was established and Fred Matheny was appointed carrier. He would hold the position until 1935 when he retired.

The Dispatch states, “Fred Matheny started out with his old black horse, Old Bill. The route was 29 miles long with about 80 patrons. Old Bill would tire out around Clear Lake and [Fred] would sometimes borrow a horse. The second year Old Bill had help by a pair of wild ponies.” (It’s too bad the stories about mail delivery by wild ponies aren’t still around.)

Liberty Brush Runabout
Liberty Brush Runabout

After a few years, Fred used a bicycle and “pumped the long weary miles on cycle to give his horse a resting period.” Fred also used a motorcycle, before buying a Metz automobile in 1914. Next was a two-cylinder Brush. (People said the rattling chains announced their mail delivery.) Later, the Brush was replaced by “a reliable Model T. Ford.”

During Fred’s 26 years, he saw the roads go from mud and planks to pavement. He also saw the weight and number of packages increase. When he began there were about 4,000 pieces of mail a month and parcel post packages were limited to four pounds. By 1919 he had 15,000 piece of mail monthly and in 1924 the weight of parcel post was raised to 50 pounds and 70 in some instances.

Thank goodness the job qualifications for today’s carriers don’t require a strong back, a good horse, and the skills to fend off bears.

Information comes via The Dispatch and Edith’ Erickson’s Timber Town and Later.

Photo courtesy of the Dispatch and Williams family.

Click on image to enlarge.

McKinley (Mack) Van Eaton’s Report Card (1913-14)

Mack Van Eaton's report card (1913-1914)
Mack Van Eaton’s report card (1913-1914)

McKinley (Mack) Van Eaton did well in Eatonville High School during the 1913 – 1914 school year. Subjects included English II, Latin II, Geometry II, Marv. Training, art, and penmanship.

This should be a lesson to all students to do well in school. You never know when your report card might be passed around for people to see — even 99 years later.

Image courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

1913 Eatonville Baseball Team

1913 EHS Baseball team
1913 EHS Baseball team

Eatonville high school has been playing baseball for over 100 years. Here’s a shot of the 1913 team, with coach B. W. Lyon and Mr. Hollingsworth. Clarence Williams is far left on the front row. Also in the front row are Ed Christensen (center) and H. Christensen (right of Ed).

These guys also played basket ball together a year earlier on Eatonville’s first basketball team.

Click on image to enlarge.

Photo courtesy of Haynes family and Rich and Ruthie Williams.