This postcard of the Little Mashell is pretty interesting. The side with the falls is nice, but it’s the other side, that is entitled Paradise Valley Route, that is even more curious. It’s a shot of farms. Alder? Elbe? Any guesses, anyone?
“The Alder mill shut down in 1911 and burned in 1912. A good small shingle mill was set up on the Chas. Boettcher place but soon ran out of cedar. Many of the men employed by the mill moved away. About this same time, the City of Tacoma finished the LaGrande power plant and some of the Alder people found steady employment there. Also, during this same time, Mr. Wm. Montgall built a small mill on the northwest corner of the John Malm homestead and employed about two dozen men including about a dozen Japanese who lived in a bunkhouse that used to belong to the Alder Mill. Co.”
On a side note, while researching this, I ran across a 1910 Supreme Court Case, City of Tacoma v. Nisqually Power Co., regarding eminent domain. It basically gave Tacoma the right to condemn the land to create the power plant.
If you have more information about the power plant, please feel free to share.
In the 1940s the second Alder damwas built at La Grande. The town of Alderhad to be moved to make way for the lake (Alder Lake) that would be created. This is the first time I’ve seen a picture depicting where the old town of Alder was, and then the line where the water level would come.
“Tacoma Eastern depot is marked on the photo, and the rail grade can be seen. Date and photographer unknown,” Tim Daubert.
What seems almost impossible to imagine is that the tree Ernest is standing in front of was sawed down with a two man crosscut saw. If you look closely you can see the saw still in the tree at the top.
If you’re curious, check out this video Chainsaw vs. Crosscut saw. I apologize for the quality, but it’s demonstrates that the saw and two men could get the job done.
Veora Rotter was postmaster at the Alder, Wash. post office from June 1, 1948 to August 4, 1958 and then again in 1966.
“A reporter on a Tacoma newspaper, when describing the town of Alder when it was about to move ahead of the advancing water, used flowery language. His paragraph from the Tacoma Sunday Ledger of October 3, 1943 on the post office is quoted:
The Alder postoffice has a pretty postmistress, Mrs. Veora Rotter, who had lived here since she was four. Her tiny office is so close to the highway the roar of trucks and passing trains muffles our conversation. Often a patron pauses at the window and says, “I want a” — , waits for a long truck to throb past, — “stamp.” The postmistress takes the cash and replies “Here you” — waits for the Milwaukee train to thunder through — “are”. Alder’s post office must be one of the few in the country with a rural mail box out front. Mrs. Rotter gets her mail in this box — all of the letters posted when the office is closed.” (Postmarked Washington: Pierce County).
The post office was located on Milwaukee Railroad on the north shore of the lake. The Alder post office was discontinued September 12, 1975 and mail now goes to Eatonville.