Eatonville High School

Ashford Grade School

Ashford Grade School
Ashford Grade School

Below is an excerpt from Doug Evan’s “Doug’s Rainier Blog“, an also a former student from Ashford who knew what long bus rides were like. In many ways, things haven’t changed much since 1946.

“Getting to school from Longmire was not always easy and , on occasion, could be very interesting. During my twelve years of school at Ashford Grade School and Eatonville High School, 1934-1946, we Mount Rainier kids caught the school bus each morning about 7:00 AM, either at the park headquarters building, or some years during World War II the bus only came up as far as the Nisqually Entrance.

Parents took turns driving us down and picking us up in the evenings at Gateway Inn. During most of my grade school days we lived up at the mill site of the Paradise Mining and Milling Co., and so I had an extra two miles to go, usually with my dad who drove to Longmire to work each morning in our 1929 Model A Ford. In winter the road was usually plowed early up beyond the mill site, but occasionally it wasn’t, and if the night’s accumulation of snow was a foot or more, we had to walk. Yes, I actually did walk two miles through a foot of snow to get to school, but rarely.

Getting to and from Eatonville High School entailed seventy miles on the bus each day. We used this time variously: snoozing, reading, chatting, quarreling, singing, and shooting craps. Yes, one of the boys from National made a small portable crap table over which lunch money ebbed and flowed. This was all during World War II, so the popular music of the day was dominated by patriotic and romantic songs, often laments for husbands and lovers who were overseas in the military. These were the songs commonly heard on the bus ride to and from Eatonville.

Another aspect of that bus ride was the abundant army traffic on the road. Convoys of army trucks were common and could slow the flow of traffic for miles. Occasional companies of marching recruits were strung out along the road between Longmire and Elbe, sometimes in rain or snow. One morning an army tank misjudged a sharp curve near the old town of Alder and was stuck nose down over a steep bank.

So, I think it’s safe to say that those two hours each day on the school bus were not boring. I have fond memories of it. It ended with my graduation in the EHS Class of 1946; there were 37 of us. We had a delightful 50th reunion party in Eatonville in 1996.”


Eatonville Elcos — Tacoma City Basketball League (1935)

Bill Smith, coach and referee
Bill Smith, coach and referee

Bill Smith was coach and manager of the Eatonvile Elcos (Eatonville Lumber Co.) in the TAcoma Basketball League 1935-36. He also referred for 25 years.

(The center article reads)

The Hoop Looper Roster is Filled
The Eatonville Lumber Company basketball team, a strong aggregation made up primarily of former Eatonville High  stars, was voted the one remaining franchise in the Tacoma City Basketball League, Monday evening at a meeting of directors at the Y.M.C.A.

Several applicants had been after the sixth berth, but the directors felt that the Eatonville team would be the strongest possible choice. The out-of-town aggregation will play half of the games on its home floor, entertaining another City League club each Monday and traveling to Lincoln High each Thursday night.

The newest addition to the circuit will appear here on the two opening Mondays, be thereafter will play at home in the initial games each weeks. The league opening is scheduled for Monday evening, November 18. Other teams entered are Totem Stores, Cammarano Brothers, American Lake Dairy, Alt Heidelbergs and Whetstones.

Walt Crosetto, former Eatonville and Kapowsin High star; “Chuck” Dosskey, former Lincoln High athlete; Daly, a newcomer; Orville Smith, Ray Dunigan, Ray Hiatt, Pete Peterson, Dino Mattoni, Hughey Ward, and Graydon Smith, all from Eatonville High, and “Chuck” Rasmussen, former Stadium and Pacific Lutheran College star, are members of the squad from which Manager Bill Smith will pick his team.

All teams in the circuit have opened their practice sessions already. Cammarano Brothers and Totem Stores drilled last night, while the Alt Heidelbergs have booked a session for 7:30 o’clock, this evening, at the Bellarmine floor.

Images courtesy of the Smith family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Big Smile by Hazel Joy Williams (ca. 1920)

Hazel Joy Williams up front
Front: Hazel Joy Williams — Middle: Cecil Williams, Fern Fenton, Fay Williams — Back: Charley Williams, Bill Oxley, Clyde Williams

This may be the cutest picture posted to-date. Just zoom in and tell me you don’t smile.

Rich Williams provides wonderful background on everyone.

“In the front row making the funny face is my father’s (Cecil Williams) youngest sister Hazel Joy Williams. Joy, as she went by, married Cliff Pratt August 3, 1936 and lived most of her life in Gig Harbor.  She taught school at Rosedale Elementary for 36 years. Joy and Cliff had three children; Tom, Joan and Don, who all attended Rosedale Elementary School . While in Joy’s classroom, there was one stipulation — they were never to call her mother during class.  Joy died in 2002 at the age of 90.

“The boy on the left in the middle row is my father Cecil Williams. Dad married my mother Ruth Anderson in 1935 and worked at Eatonville Lumber Company before and after World War II. During the war, he served in the Navy Seabee’s. He was stationed in the Allusion Islands and later on Tinian  in the Mariana Islands. After the war, he had his own electrical business plus he managed the Town of Eatonville electrical department. My folks lived at Clear lake for over 50 years and  Dad passed away in 2003 at the age of 92.

“Center, middle row, is my dad’s cousin, Fern Fenton. Her father, George Fenton, married my grandmother’s sister Merl Duncan. George and my grandfather were best friends.”

“Center right, disgusted with her sister’s antics,  is my father’s older sister Fay Williams. Fay graduated from Eatonville High School in 1926 and was Eatonville’s first May Day Queen. She later married Art Duke. The Duke family homesteaded in the Alder area in the 1890’s.  Art and Fay had two children, Jim and Arlene. Fay worked at Rhodes Department Store for many years and passed away in 2003 at the age of 94.

“In the back row on the left is my grandfather’s older brother Charley Williams. Charley owned and operated the Pioneer Garage in Eatonville.  The building is now the Tall Timber Restaurant.

“Back row, center is a family friend named Bill Oxley.”

“On the right, back row, is my grandfather Clyde Williams. Clyde married Hettie Duncan in 1907. Clyde was a shingle weaver for over thirty years. He worked at Eatonville Lumber Company until the shingle mill closed down then worked at the shingle mill in Mineral until the late 50’s. He retired and lived in Eatonville until 1971. He was determined to be around when Ruthie and I got married August 15, 1971. He died one week later.”

Photo courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams.

Click on image to enlarge.

EHS Dance (1942)

EHS Dance (ca. 1959)
EHS Dance (ca. 1959)

This picture of a Eatonville High School dance was taken in the 1940s. Cool decorations — a glass of bubbly on the wall. Live four-piece band too with saxophone player.

The person marked “ME” is Arne Haynes. He was a senior in this picture and he graduated in 1942.

Reminds me a bit of the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance from Back to the Future. Just me?

Photo courtesy of the Haynes family.

Click on image to enlarge.

Enchantment Under the Sea Dance from Back to the Future
Enchantment Under the Sea Dance from Back to the Future

Eatonville High School Wow’s them in 1915

Eatonville Auditorium 1916
Eatonville Auditorium 1916

On the 4th of July, 1915, Eatonville residents paraded down the Mashell to not only celebrate independence day but to also lay the cornerstone of the new high school.

This school would be first class all the way and at a cost of $45,000 (approximately $1,035,000 today), next to the $16,000 gym. Building got underway and doors opened in 1916. The end result? It blew people away.

No Other Like It
Washington Governor Ernest Lister attended the dedication, along with State Superintendent and, the president of the state college, and, of course, pretty much every Eatonville resident.

Governor Lister said, “There is no other high school in the state like Eatonville’s.” Others agreed. The school was written up in newspapers and journals as an example of what to strive for.

Eatonville High School Gym - 1916
Eatonville High School Gym – 1916

A look inside
It’s not possible to mention all the advanced and innovative features of the amazing 1916 school, but here are a few.
• a steam heating plant in the basement, equipped with an automatic heat regulating system.
• an automatic electric clock in the superintendent’s office. The master clock was connected with 22 smaller clocks in other buildings.
• a fire alarm system.
• a manual training department, complete with the most modern wood and metal working power lathes. It was also equipped with top-of-the-line safety devices in case of an accident.
• a household arts department with a model sewing room, living room, bedroom and a large kitchen laboratory, “where common sense domestic science” was taught.
• a generous agriculture department, including outdoor barns and laboratory.
• physics and chemistry laboratories, and academic classrooms on the third floor,
• a stocked library.
• a reading room and checker and chess room.
• a modern auditorium equipped with a fireproof motion picture lantern room and a three-section lighted stage.

Eatonville-Haynes-Vintage-Pictures-013The new gym also had its own wow factor. It was equipped with dumbbells, Indian clubs, horses, bars, rings, trapeze, rowing machines, indoor track, and more. If that wasn’t enough there was a swimming pool, where students received training in swimming, diving, lifesaving, and first aid.

Civic Pride
There was a great amount of civic pride in the school. It would be hard not to be proud when it was being toted as the “leading rural school system in the Pacific Northwest” and being written up in papers in journals back east.

Thankfully, today things haven’t changed that much. EHS is still a beautiful modern school, equipped with some cutting edge technology. Students are being prepared for the 21st century (instead of the 20th), and civic pride still runs deep.

Eatonville High School Opens in 1916

New EHS - 1916
New EHS – 1916

Eatonville’s 1916 high school was quite the school. It was head of its time with swimming pool, contemporary cafeteria, and state-of-the-art classrooms and auditorium.

People were blown away by this modern school and it was written up various publications.

If you want to take a look inside at some of its rooms, just click HERE.

Image courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams.

Click on image to enlarge.

1918 Basketball Champions

1918 EHS Basketball Team
1918 EHS Basketball Team

Eatonville high school has been shooting hoops for over a century. Here are the 1918 champs, including the coaches son holding the basksetball.

Front Row: Morris Calloway, Don Lyon, McKinley Van Eaton
Second Row: B. W. Lyon, Herman Hekel, Johnny Hotes, Curtis Hedberg
Back Row: On the crutches, and unfortunately cropped out at some point, is Frank Petersen

For more shots of the early teams, just click HERE.

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.


EHS Champion basketball team (1920-21)

1920-21 EHS Basketball team
1920-21 EHS Basketball team

It seems like almost every picture of the early Eatonville High School basketball teams seems to be of a championship team. These players rocked in the house during the 1920-21 season and came away as Pierce County champions.

1920 was a big year for sports.
• The Boston Red Socks sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Ruth hit 54 home runs and asked for his salary to be doubled to $20,000.

• A young boy approached Shoeless Joe Jackson, one of the eight White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series, and pleads, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”

Photo courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

McKinley (Mack) Van Eaton’s Report Card (1913-14)

Mack Van Eaton's report card (1913-1914)
Mack Van Eaton’s report card (1913-1914)

McKinley (Mack) Van Eaton did well in Eatonville High School during the 1913 – 1914 school year. Subjects included English II, Latin II, Geometry II, Marv. Training, art, and penmanship.

This should be a lesson to all students to do well in school. You never know when your report card might be passed around for people to see — even 99 years later.

Image courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

First Sidewalks on Mashell Ave.

Mashell Ave. as sidewalks are poured
Mashell Ave. as sidewalks are poured

The photo isn’t super clear, but you can see the what looks sidewalks going in on Mashell Ave. in front of the Redman Hall (now the approximately where Jebinos parking lot is now.). Across the dirt street is the Methodist church, which is still there, and down at the end of Mashell you can see Eatonville High School. 

Photo courtesy of the Haynes family and Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.