Here are a few things you might know about the Eatonville Lumber Company, which operated in Eatonville from 1907 until 1954.
• Tacoma Eastern/Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad arrived in 1904 — followed by the opening of the mill in 1907.
• T. S. Galbraith(Tom) took over ELCO in the fall of 1909.
• John Galbraith(Tom’s son) took over from his dad in 1930. He was also mayor of Eatonville for 22 years and chairman of the school board for numerous terms.
• The mill employed 200 employees at its height.
• Wages in 1912 – $.17/hr., and an employee worked six, eight-hour days a week.
• Wages in 1952 – $1.85/hr., and employees worked five, eight-hour days a week.
• ELCO storewas built in 1908
• ELCO office was built in 1910
• ELCO station and auto repair shop was built in 1907
• T. S. Galbraith built his homein 1925 and it’s still used today.
• T. S. Galbraith built 22 company-owned homes. Most were built in 1910 and were located next to the company store, and some are still family homes.
• The houses on Prospect Street were built in 1913 and the houses on Washington street were built in 1923.
• The mill burned in 1932 and was rebuilt over a number of years. It finally reopened September 22, 1936.
• Galbraith sold the mill to G. E. Karlen in 1941.
Photos courtesy of Pat Van Eaton, the Parnel family and the University of Washington. Facts courtesy of The Eatonville History Project.
These two little kids are Morgan and Ray Williams.
Ray was the son of Charley Williams, who owned the Pioneer Garage — known today at the Tall Timber Restaurant. Ray graduated from Eatonville High School in 1923 and was quite the athlete. He was on the incredible basketball team that went to Chicago and was also a state champion in track, competing in the 880, broad jump and high jump.
Photo and information courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams.
A lot happened in Eatonville in 1923. Nine loggers died and two were injured, a number of homes were raided in April searching for moonshine and Malcolm’s Meat Market completed a $10,000 addition to its meat packing plant (about a $127,000 investment today). But all this paled next to the EHS basketball team’s journey to the national tournament.
The game In 1923 Eatonville was considered to have the best basketball team in the state. The winner at state would be invited to Chicago to play in the national tournament and the town rooted their players on all season.
It came down to Walla Walla and Eatonville at state. At the end of the game, the score was tied and the teams went into overtime. At the end of the second overtime Eatonville lead by one point. Then the unthinkable happened — an Eatonville player fouled a Walla Walla player with no time left. The officials, however, said the foul occurred before the time had run out.
The crowd, as you can imagine, went nuts. But once everyone settled down, the Walla Walla player sank his two foul shots and Walla Walla won by one point; 20 to 19. The Eatonville team and fans went home defeated — there would be no trip to Chicago.
Super Fans To everyone’s surprise, a few days later the University of Chicago invited two teams from Washington — Walla Walla and Eatonville (based on its remarkable record that year). Eatonville, big on team spirit, got busy raising money to send its boys back east.
• The Eatonville businessmen and people in the community raised $1,800. • T. S. Galbraith, who owned the mill, donated $200. • Business owner N. C. Christensen donated $100. • The Puyallup Elks donated $50. • The Eatonville Masons donated $50. • The kindergarten class chipped in .38, and • A small boy donated the pennies he’d been saving for a baseball glove.
When it was all said and done, the town had raised about $2,200 — approximately $28,866 today.
In Chicago, Eatonville lost to the Fitchberg Mass., team in the first round, 27 to 22. Considering Eatonville was the smallest town in the U.S. to be invited and Fitchberg was one of the largest, it was a good showing and the 1923 team would be long remembered.
Eatonville’s team spirit would also be legendary. Later that year, Olaf Malcom (Keith Malcom’s father) took a business trip to Portland. When people learned he was from Eatonville they knew all about “the place where the folks are on their toes and had real boosters.”
1923 Winning Basketball team Coach Davis, Dolphie Hekel, Arthur Duke, Donovan Matheny, Irving Elmlund, Lloyd James, Dan Christensen, Ray Williams and Clarence Halverson, Richard King, Arthur Swanson
Axel Henry and Mathilda (Anderson) Hedborg were early homesteaders in Alder — you could say they blazed the trail. (They were members of the Pioneer Association of 1928. To be on this roster you had come to the area before 1903.)
In 1889, Henry bought 160 acres about 3 miles outside Alder. He had to clear the land to make space to build a log cabin. His farm prospered and in 1923 he purchased another 160 acres and Hedborg’s farm was considered one best around.
They had 4 children — Curtis, Helen, Sadie and Ida. You may see Ida’s name come up again. She taught school in Eatonville for a number of years.
The only saving grace was that Eatonville did have medical facilities. This picture was taken in 1920 outside the hospital (now a residence on the corner across from the Eatonville High School). Dr. A. W. Bridge, I believe is the man on the far left.
Photo courtesy of Hendrickson Family and Abbi Wonacott.
The Women’s Division of the National Amateur Athletic Federation (WDNAAF) held its first conference. Over the next few years it tried to ban women’s extramural basket ball games and other sports from high schools, industrial leagues and churches, because they were too competitive.
However, the following year, the Olympics added women’s basketball as an exhibition event.
Just wanted to let everyone know that this weekend at the Eatonville Art Festival there are two history booths.
Eatonville Historical Society At the Eatonville Historical Society booth you will find:
• lots of artifacts
• books to buy written by local authors Abbi Wonacottand Donald Johnstone
• membership applications, and
• someone to answer any questions — like me if you’re there Saturday morning.
The Eatonville Project At the far end of the Art festival will be the Eatonville Project booth, that is raising money to produce “You are Here” historical materials for Eatonville School District students. They have calendars and postcards for sale, like this one. (Which, by the way, were created by Chris Bivins.)
Come on down and look around, and if you’re in the mood, support your local history groups!
Guest blogger today is Rich Williams describing the winning 1923 EHS Basketball game.
In 1923 Eatonville was considered the best team in the State. They only lost one game during the season and that was to The University of Washington freshman team.
Game Goes into Overtime At the State tournament Eatonville faced Walla Walla in the semi-finals. At the end of regulation the score was tied.
In the first overtime, Eatonville was leading until Walla Walla sunk a shot with seconds to go to tie the game again.
In the second overtime, Eatonville was leading by one point with only seconds to play. An Eatonville player fouled one of the Walla Walla players with no time left, but the officials said the foul occurred before the time ran out.
The crowd went nuts. Everyone thought Eatonville had won. Once everyone settled down, the Walla Walla player sank two foul shots and Walla Walla won by one point; 20 to 19.
After the tournament, Hekel, Elmlund and Matheny were awarded first string all-state honors.
Season wasn’t over The winner of the 1923 State Tournament was to be invited to the Chicago National Basketball Tournament. Since it was Walla Walla that would go, Eatonville thought their season was over. However, a few days later, Eatonville was notified that the University of Chicago was inviting two teams from Washington State; Walla Walla and Eatonville.
Eatonville was the smallest town in the U.S. to be invited to the Chicago Tournament. They were matched against one of the biggest schools — Fitchberg, Massachusetts in the first round. Eatonville played a very sound game but went cold in the last quarter. Fitchberg won the game 27 to 22.
Many years later, Dave Predmore (EHS Class of 1962) talked to Ick Elmlund about this game. Ick told Dave the gym back in Chicago had glass backboards (very unusual at that time) and the team had a hard time adjusting to them. It wasn’t an excuse for losing but anyone who has played basketball knows that the ball reacts differently with glass boards. Especially when most players back then used a bank shot.
Photos courtesy of Rich Williams.
Click on images to enlarge.
1923 EHS BB players, Dan Christensen, Ray Williams, Richard King, Arthur Swanson