Joe Larin at the Dispatch (ca. 1960)

Joseph C. Larin, ca. 1962 in front of Dispatch
Joseph C. Larin, ca. 1960 in front of Dispatch

We have Joe Larin (Eatonville postmaster from 1935 to 1944) outside the Eatonville Dispatch, showing off a sign Be a Deer, Don’t Litter OUR Forests. I’m going to guess this was the results of a kids’ contest, although I don’t have any information on it. It’s just that the Dispatch had lots of kid contests over the years.

Photo courtesy of the Baublits family and Joe Larin.

Click on image to enlarge.




EHS Girls State Representatives (1979)

EHS Girls State Reps 1979
EHS Girls State Reps 1979

In 1979  Pennsylvania dealt with the Three Mile Island nuclear accident,  Michael Jackson released his album Off the Wall and the average cost of a new home was about $17,500.00 (and the new Sony Walkman cost $200). In addition, Eatonville High School send three reps to Girls State.

This short Eatonville Dispatch article reads:

Three Eatonville High juniors have been selected as representatives to the Evergreen Girls State Conference to be held at Central Washington University. The delegates to the leadership conference are: Michele Mueller, Jan Dean and Mary Burwash. 

The trips to the conference are sponsored this year by the American Legion Mount Tacoma Post 148 and the Eatonville Lions Club. The conference is June 17 to June 23.

Photo courtesy of Jan (Dean) Burgess.

Click on image to enlarge.

Eatonville’s Entry in the Daffodil Parade (1954)

1954 Eatonville float in Daffodil Parade
1954 Eatonville float in Daffodil Parade

This article ran in the Dispatch, April 22, 1954.

“Eatonville’s entry in the daffodil parade is seen as it made its way through Puyallup. Pictured on the float are Florence Parrish as Maid Marian; Dick Logston as Robin Hood and Delores Jordan, Friar Truck, and Lois Swanson, skier. Seated are Doug Smith, rifle hunter, and Loren Hamilton, bow and arrow.

Not caught by the camera were Sharon Oxwang, Kathy Tone, Taffy Swanson, Ron Morrison, Bob Tone, and Sig Osterdahl, unseen hero in the driver’s seat.” (Eatonville Dispatch)

Photo courtesy of Dick Logston.

Click on image to enlarge.



Eatonville Buildings Now and Then

Mashell Ave. ca 1946
Mashell Ave. ca 1946

Many of the shops and buildings in Eatonville have had previous lives. Here are just a few.

Napa:  The part store has also been a pool hall, a bowling alley, a bakery and a church. The owner says if you are up in the attic you can see the glass from the church and there are still bakery vats underneath.

PostNet: People have been coming there since it was a bakery, a TV and appliance repair shop, Kneip’s Trucking, and rumor has it a funeral parlor.

Eatonville Outdoor: Not long ago it was an antique shop. For years it was the town’s post office, and very early on it was a jewelry store.

Lumbermans Hospital - Mashell Ave.
Lumbermans Hospital - Mashell Ave.

Cruiser Café: If you’d been around in the early 1900s, you would have stopped by to visit Dr. Bridge. He was the resident doctor and also the founder of Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital (named after his mother.)

Fitness Center: Today you work up a sweat in there. In the early 1900s you were more likely to work up a sweat watching swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks on the screen. It also had a previous life as the Pentecostal Church, Eagles Hall and Eatonville Furniture.

Jebinos: Many of you may remember purchasing cars at the Van Eaton Chevrolet dealership.

Cinderblock building next to Napa: That old cinderblock building used to be the Dispatch headquarters. Much earlier though it was a car dealership and Sid Dow’s body shop.

Center St. Shop Rite ca 1975
Center St. Shop Rite ca 1975

Home on the Corner of Mashell across from the School: This home was used as a hospital in the early 1900s.

Medical Billing Center: For years people went there for groceries when it was Malcom’s Shop Rite.

Tall Timbers Restaurant: Originally it was built as a garage.

The Pour House: In the early 1900s it was T. C. Van Eaton’s realty office, where he sold lots with easy $5 and $10 a month payments. Later it was a candy store and then the Olympia Tavern.

Sears: In the 1950s you would have called it Christensen’s Motors.

The Pour House when it sold candy in 1916
The Pour House when it sold candy in 1916

Dawns Floral: In the 1960s there were no flowers to be bought, but you could have set yourself up with a new Dodge.

Double T Meats: Mostly recently it was a pizza parlor, but earlier it was a candy shop and a cleaners.

Countryside Real Estate: Early on the building was two stories. It housed nurses’ quarters and a clinic. A dentist set up shop there as well.

Thank you Pat Van Eaton for setting me straight on a few of these.

Click on images to enlarge.

Day in the Dispatch – Feb. 9, 1927

Piece of a page from the Eatonville Dispatch, February, 1927
Piece of a page from the Eatonville Dispatch, February, 1927

This snippet from the Eatonville Dispatch, February 9, 1927, gives you a feeling for the everyday goings on in the town the. Some things harken back to a simpler time, when who visited was a newsworthy item. In other areas we can see how far we’ve come as a society (i.e. we’re no longer referring to folks as “colored”).

But for the most part, life goes on like it always has. Movies are still playing in town (although then they were silent). There are still politics — T.C. Van Eaton and H.S. Pravitz battling it out for school director. There are tragedies, like the death of someone taken too young, and there is still good fun, like dances and suitcase contests, which Frank Van Eaton wins, dressing like a woman.

Life in Eatonville. The more it changes, the more it stays the same.

Click on image to enlarge.

Image courtesy of Linda Lewis.


Swan Lake School III (1901)

Swan Lake School 1901
Swan Lake School 1901

Dispatch article that ran July 22, 1954.

It reads: The third Swan Lake schoolhouse on the day of school let out in 1901 is seen with parents and children gathered there for hte occasion.

Fourth row: Mrs. Richard King, Ronney Setzer, Miss Ella Knudson, teacher.

Third row: Sophia Clark,Mrs. Robert (Catherine) Fianderc, Emma Fiander, Mrs. George Kreger, Peter Asmussen.

Second row: Susie Fiander, Orena King, Lillie Kreger, Alice Clark, Clara Fiander.

Front row: Minnie Kreger, Lauvina Gillians, Flora Fiander, Annie Asmussen, Mrs. William Guske, Sr., Mrs. Peter Asmussen (holding baby), Oscar Asmussen and Henry Wesserling.

On the steps: Bessie Fiander, Peter Asmussen, Jessie Clark, Harry Guske, Charlie Asmussen.

Corner of building to right: Jim Wright, Charlie Clark, Walter Guske, Robert Kreger, William Guske, Erck Asmussen, Otto Guske and lying on the grass George Nelson.

A Bang Up 4th of July Celebration (1938)

The Pocahontas float
The Pocahontas float

On May 28, 1938, the Eatonville Dispatch reported “plans were being discussed for a united effort of all communities, clubs and fraternal orders in the vicinity to stage a real bang-up July 4th celebration.”

Being considered were fireworks, a carnival, horse races, a smoker (I’m assuming a “social gathering” versus a dude smoking), horseshoe pitching, and more. The proceeds would be split among the organizations.

When the big day arrived it turned out to be bigger than anyone initially anticipated.

The main attraction was Bob Nicholson’s famous rodeo gang, which ran from July 2-4. They performed buck and trick riding, bulldogging and other wild stunts. Joe Sander remembers the rodeo. “My dad milled the timbers at our mill — 6”x6”s planks that were used for the corrals — and they were set up in the football field.”

The WPA (Work Project Administration) had just finished the grandstand and the rodeo would be the first big event to use it. The Dispatch reported that the new grandstand could seat nearly 1,000 people!

Full Filled Fourth

A Pocahontas float, Bill Smith driver
A Pocahontas float, Bill Smith driver

The rodeo was just the start. The rest of the line up was incredible.
• a street parade with prizes for entries like “best pet” and “most comical”
• a street dance
• boxing matches
• baseball games between Electron and Tahoma Creek CCC teams (Civilian Conservation Corps, a U.S. public work relief program)
• farmer’s horse races up Orchard Street
• a relay bicycle race
• a carnival
• a greased pig (which the Dispatch promised not be the fiasco of the last greased pig event, which I personally wish they had elaborated on)
• a greased pole
• fireworks, and
• a 45-piece band brought in from south Tacoma, which Eatonville families took in, housed and fed. The band provided music for the 4th and led the parade wow-ing people with its formations.

The event was considered a success. Gross receipts were $500 (approximately $8,000 today). The rodeo was a big draw — 280 adults and 140 children on Sunday and 878 adults and 172 kids on Monday.

A Pocahontas of Eatonville, not PC by today's standards, but a bunch of great gals
A Pocahontas of Eatonville, not PC by today's standards, but a bunch of great gals

The grandstand was packed and accommodations had to be made to handle the overflow.

Lots of folks showed up for the boxing bouts in the evening, with Joe Andrea of Alder refereeing. Johnny and Al Miller of Eatonville both won their fights against Tahoma Creek CCC boys. And, Don Hull, an apprentice at the Dispatch, knocked out Eatonville’s Roy Mack.

The girls got in there too. The Pocahontas — the female version of Eatonville’s Order of the Red Men — won $10 for best float, with their teepee and campfire.

1938 was a very festive fourth!

Photos courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams.

Click on images to enlarge.