Aerial of Eatonville – 1954

Town of Eatonville in  1954
Town of Eatonville in 1954

It’s a snapshot of Eatonville in 1954 — not much in the way of housing developments and the mill is in operation at the end of town.

The school is the centerpiece and there is open farmland where today’s elementary and middle school stand.

What was taking place in 1954?
• A guy named Elvis Presley was recording a 10 minute demo in Nashville.
• The first nuclear-powered submarine is launched .
• They were breaking ground in California for a little place called Disneyland.

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

Phones Come to Eatonville

Anne Christensen Haynes at the switchboard
Katie Christensen at the switchboard

With a cell phone in every pocket and purse, it’s hard to imagine that there was time when phones were rare.

In fact, in 1912 there were only 30 phones in Eatonville and it cost $1.50 a month to rent. By 1954 there were 437 phones and the cost $2.75 a month. (Per History of South Eastern Pierce County.)

The Christensen family operated the Mashell Telephone Company for decades. This photo of Katie Christensen shows her hard at work at the switchboard putting through calls.

In the days of switchboards, when a call came in a light would go on. The switchboard operator would throw a switch, ask who that person who they wanted to speak with and then manually the connection.

Photo courtesy of the Haynes family.

Click on photo 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)