Alder

Fyfe Family Takes a Watermelon Break (ca. 1937)

Left to right: Andrew Fyfe, James Walsh, Larine Gemmell , Dick Walsh, Mildred Fyfe
Left to right: Andrew Fyfe, James Walsh, Larine Gemmell , Dick Walsh, Mildred Fyfe

The happy group of watermelon eaters are (l to r) Andrew Fyfe, James Walsh, Larine Gemmell , Dick Walsh, and Mildred Fyfe.

Pat Van Eaton says, “Andrew Fyfe was married to my great aunt Minnie Boettcher. Mildred was their youngest daughter. Larine was Andrew  and Minnie’s granddaughter by Violet Fyfe Gemmell, their middle daughter. Dick and  James are the sons of Agnes Fyfe Walsh their oldest daughter.

Minnie and Andrew were married in Alder. He was formally  in the British Army in The Grenadier Guards  and was a Buckingham Palace guard — the kind that wore the tall bear skin hats and marched in Queen Victoria’s funeral  procession.”

Queen's Funeral Procession
Queen’s Funeral Procession – 1901

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

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Alder Dam (1945)

Alder Dam, 1945
Alder Dam, 1945

The new Alder dam as it looked August 21, 1945.

“Alder was a concrete arch structure, 330 feet high, two miles above the smaller dam at LaGrande. The town of Alder, population 200, was inundated by the reservoir in 1944. Construction was hampered by faults in the bedrock that required more excavation than planned. The labor shortage during the war also slowed progress. The Alder Powerhouse generated 50,000 kilowatts.

LaGrande was a concrete structure 192 feet high that replaced the 45-foot diversion dam. The additional impoundment of water increased the output of the powerhouse by 80 percent to 64,000 kilowatts.”
For more information go to Historylink.org.

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge

Charles Boettcher’s Pond, Alder, Wash. (early 1900s)

C. Boettcher log pond in Alder, Wash.
C. Boettcher log pond in Alder, Wash.

This picture is entitled “C. Boettcher log pond head works, Alder, Wa.”.

The pond and the logs may not seem all that impressive at first glance, but look closely. There is a man standing on one of the logs to give you some scale. Many of these trees are massive!

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

The Presbyterian Church at Alder (ca. 1960s)

The Presbyterian Church at Alder
The Presbyterian Church at Alder

The Alder Presbyterian Church holds a lot of memories for people.

Diane Purdy Arnold says, “I believe that this was moved out of Old Alder. I used to get to ring the bell for Sunday School after Uncle Charlie died. Then later when I was working at the store, I would go up on my lunch break and play the piano or organ. Lots of memories: Mom started the pot luck dinners there shortly after we moved to Alder.

Paulette Gilliardi remembers, “Robin Boettcher was my Sunday School teacher at that church when I was a kid.”

“I was the flower girl for one of the Campbell girl’s wedding here, 1949-50,” says Carla Harting Altheide.

Photo courtesy of Randy Stewart.

Click on image to enlarge.

Men at the Eatonville Lumber Company

Kittleman and others at the Eatonville Lumber Mill
Kittleman and others at the Eatonville Lumber Mill

This shot, I think, is of men taking a break for a photo at the Eatonville Lumber Company.

Identified on the photo are Harlan Johnson, Bill Peterson and Fred Kittleman.

I owe a big “thank you” to Fred’s wife (Jessie Wright) who helped pull together Eatonville’s history for the book History of Southeastern Pierce County, which I use often.

“Jessie worked at Groe’s [Hotel] in the summer of 1897 and 1898. She somtimes had to get up during the night to give up her room to a late arriving guest, and sometimes had to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning to get breakfast for some of the Hedborgs driving cattle through from their farm near Alder to Tacoma.” (History of Southeastern Pierce County)

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

Class Photos (ca. 1919)

Alder Elementary Class (ca. 1920)
Eatonville Elementary Class (ca. 1919)

I LOVE this picture. I believe it was taken possibly at an early Eatonville school in the late teens. (If anyone has any better information, please let me know.)

I  don’t know if I’ve ever seen a picture with more personality brimming from every student. Once you’ve taken a close look, you’ll feel like you know them all. You will also feel like this teach had her work cut our for her.

Photo courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams.

Click on image to enlarge.

Old Alder When it was New

A young Boettcher in Alder wooing the ladies
A young Boettcher in Alder wooing the ladies

It’s Easter morning and I couldn’t find any Eatonville Easter pictures, but the maybe this spring day in Old Alder will do. Typical Washington, sunny day and you still need an umbrella.

The pictures is of Old Alder — back when it was new Alder to these folks. The buildings are solid and built to last, and they even put in a plank sidewalk.  Little do they know that in a handful of decades a new Alder dam will be built that will flood out the little town.

This is young Willie Boettcher, wooing the ladies.

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

Transcript of Annie (Mensik) Turner

Elmer Soderberg Alder,Wa (1910)
Elmer Soderberg Alder,Wa (1910) — the family was friends with the Mensiks

Who would have guessed that I would learn about Annie (Mensik) Turner’s story about coming to America from Lien Vloeberghs, a historical researcher at the Red Star Line Museum, which will be opening its doors this September.

Lien says, “I am currently elaborating the story of the Mensik family, that came to Eatonville in 1902, from Moravia in the Austrian-Hungarian empire. I am working on some material of the family, and an interview that Annie Mensik did in the 80s with Ellis Island Foundation.”

The transcript talks about the trip over in 1902 and just how hard it was was living “in a pile of timber” as Annie calls it. The transcript mentions Mrs. Canty, the Boettchers and others from the early 1900s. Click HERE to read.

Transcript courtesy of Lien Vloeberghs.

Click on document to read.