This shot of Clyde Williams was taken in 1971 by Joe Larin. You only have to search Clyde’s name on this blog to find out he and his family were a big piece of the community.
I’ve always liked this second shot of Clyde and Frank Van Eaton take at the Washington State Fair in 1908. The two boys look like they were less than happy to have their picture taken. And Clyde has about the same expression 60 years later.
This shot of the old Eatonville Theater taken in the late 50s, taken by Joe Larin, makes the town look like a ghost town. A new theater had been built but this time, just down on Mashell Ave.
Today the building is home to the Eatonville Dance Center.
For those that are interested in a brief history of the building, this comes courtesy of Rich and Ruthie Williams:
Early history This building was Eatonville’s first movie theater. It was built in 1915 by Frank Van Eaton. When the foundation and floors were completed around the end of June, the Town decided to celebrate by having their fourth of July dance on this surface.
Later, the addition of walls allowed it to be used briefly as a skating rink. When the building was completed, there was no electricity. A two cylinder kerosene generator supplied power for the first silent films. During the “silent” days, a piano was played during the show; first by A.U. Fairburnand later, Miss Ethel Stinnette.
In addition to film accompaniment, the pianist sold pop corn before the movie and during intermission from a stand set up on a vacant lot next to the theater. In 1922, Angelo Pecchiabought the theater from Frank Van Eaton. Eight years later, in 1930, the “talkies” were first introduced and shown at this theater. In 1931, Angelo married Regina. Mr. and Mrs. Pecchia operated the theater at this location for 20 years. In 1942, they moved into their new theater building next to Hotes Hall on Mashell Avenue.
Past Lives Since then, the building has housed a Pentecostal Church, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and Eatonville Furniture, operated by Pat and Judy Bertram.
Dance Center & Upholstery Shop
In 2006, Rich and Ruthie Williams purchased the building from Pat Bertram and used it as a warehouse for two years.
In 2009, they renovated the building and converted the furniture store into a dance studio. Justine Reed currently leases the front of the building and manages the Eatonville Dance Center. Pat Bertram still leases the back portion of the building and operates his upholstery shop.
This article appeared in the Sunday News Tribune on July 18, 1954. — This is worth a read. Not only is there information on the Robin Hood Day, but you can see that papers were easily the Facebook of today. Check out the information they pack in.
Robin Hood Raid This daring band of outlaws will appear in Tacoma soon to spread news of Robin Hood Day in Eatonville, scheduled for Aug. 8. The group invades Chamber of Commerce meetings in Western Washington cities, entertains with old English ballads, then exchanges Robin Hood Day buttons for money. Pictured left to right, are Bill Tone, Florence Parrish, Dick Logston, Linda Treadwell, and Dick Taylor.
Eatonville Prepared for Robin Hood Day The people of the Operation Bootstrap area are becoming as familiar with the affairs of the Sheriff of Nottingham, Sir guy of Gisbourne, Rob old, Little John and Will Scarlett, as folks elsewhere are with Stevens and McCarthy, Dulles and Molotov. The bullwhackers and the fallers are becoming as hand in whirling the quarter stave as in handling their peavies and double hitter axes. Rehearsals for the Robin Hood Day Pageant, “The Story of Robin Hood” to be shown at fall of darkness on August 8, are in full swing.
The prettiest girls of the Bootstrap area are viewing for roles of Maid Marian and ladies of the court. The Maid Marian will be chosen form Eatonville and candidates are Marilyn Predmore, Jean Monson, Florence Parrish, Mary Lee, Darlene Hightower, Ruth Swanson and Linda Treadwell. Sliver Lake as named Evelyn Enwall and Naida Asplund; Weyerhaeuser Marjory Kropf and June Krones; Clear Lake, Ruth Klasey. Pretty candidates from other communities comprising the Bootstrap area are still to be selected by their respective communities.
On July 31, a week before Robin Hood Day, there will be held a Robin Hood costume dance, in charge of Frank Van Eaton.
Committees for Celebration Among Robin Hood Day committees are: pageant ticket committee, Dick Christensen; concession booth committee; Steve Packer and Ed Haarstad; program sale, Boy and Girl Scouts; sound equipment, Floyd Larkin; lighting Cecil Williams; scenery, Wilton Colyer; decoration, Esther Parker; costumes, Kay Tone and Martha Parrish; archery target, Helmar Norberg; special sign committee, Wilton Colyer, John Sartell, Bob Gritman and Helmar Norberg; advertising visitation committee, Bill Tone, Florence Parrish, Linda Treadwell, Dick Logston, and Dick Taylor; advertising, Beverly Nevitt; talent scout, Ethel Jordan; town decoration, Bud Anderson and George Hlavin; and properties Don Christensen.
The president of the State Archery Association, K.C. Robins of Seattle, visited Eatonville recently to make arrangements for the state target tournament, which will be held on the school grounds on Robin Hood Day.
Town Cleanup Planned Ed Haarstad has accepted the chairmanship of the Operation Bootstrap beautification committee and is busy organizing the town for a cleanup campaign to extend over July 24 and 25. He is arranging for every individual in town to be contacted and signed up to work. From a central labor pool, groups will move out to attack neglected vacant lots, wild blackberry brambles, and recalcitrant Scottish bloom.
At their regular meeting Monday evening the town council voted to buy the part of the town water system owned by Eatonville Lumber Company. The price set is $4,500 and will include a 1,000-gallon-per-minute pump with electric motor and control equipment, pump house, flume and reservoirs and pipes, together with easement of land. Concilman John Swanson is in charge of the deal and Cecil Williams is supervising work on the new part of the town water system. In the past, the town water system has been party owned and partly operated by both the mill and the town.
At the council meeting, Councilman Arne Haynes, in charge of the street department, described plans for repair work on streets and paving of the intersections of Mashell and Larson and of Washington and Groe.
Purchase of sound equipment for civil defense was approved by the council at its meeting. This sound equipment will also be used for community groups.
Request to all departments of town government to prepare budget estimates was made by Mayor Floyd Larkin. The public budget hearing will be made September 14.
Road Project Near Completion One of the several county road projects of this part of Pierce County is nearing completion. This project is replacing an old WPA wooden bridge over Lynch Creek with a concrete structure. Work has been going on for several months and there was a final hitch when several springs bubbled up at the new bridge approaches.
A reunion of the Eatonville High School class of 1942 is being arranged by Mrs. Hugo La Plante and Mrs. Charles Cox for luncheon July 22 at the Top of the Ocean in Tacoma.
Final match of the Washington State Rifle Association postal matches will be held at the Rimrock recreation areas this Sunday.
Word has been received by Mrs. Fred O. Martin of Eatonville rural route, that her son, Darrell M. Martin is serving with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.
Preschool mothers will enjoy a picnic Sunday afternoon at the Clear Lake home of Mrs. and Mrs. George Smallwood.
Mrs. Engle Honored
Members of the Pentecostal Baptist Church of God gathered from Tacoma, Seattle ad Puyallup at Elbe last Sunday to celebrate the 75th birthday of Mrs. Pearl Engle, who last year retired as Elbe Postmaster. There was a salute to the flag and a sermon on the occasion by Ray Engle entitled: “The Calling Out of Abraham on this 75th Birthday and Promise of His Seed to Become a Multitude of Which the United STates Is a Part.” Mrs. Engle received many birthday gifts.
Mrs. and Mrs. Casey Swanson children Ruth, Rodney and Stanley are home from a tow-week vacation spend in Kennewick with Mr. Swanson’s brother-in-law, Buck Poteete.
An eight-pound daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Sam Snyder Tuesday morning.
Lloyd Stuart, Guy Foster and Kenny Hamilton are back from two weeks training with the National Reserve in San Diego.
Little Connie Lynn La Plante, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugo La Plante, celebrated her birthday with a party at her home last week. Guests included Janice Waterer, Mary Wave Van Daren, Bill and Jeannette Vaughn, Judy Marshall, Mille Smallwood, Julie Wood, Stella and Vincent Pecchia, Roberta Butler, Karen Black, Sharon Van Buskirk, Linda Jordan, Janet Collinsworth and Connie’s brother, Byron. Others present were her parents, her grandmother Mrs. Hibbard and Mrs. Mary Wood.
To Attend Utah Conference
Attending the regional conference of Future Homemakers of America on the Utah College campus at Logan, Utah, July 20 to 23, will be Miss Naida Asplund, daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Jonas Asplund. Delegates to the conference will come from 11 Western states and Hawaii. Miss Asplund will travel with the delegation of 30 from Washington.
Member of Mt. Start Chapter, OES and of Terrestrial Lodge No. 228, F&AM, will enjoy their annual picnic at the neighboring homes of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hotes and Mr. and Mrs. George Smallwood at Clear Lake Sunday Aug. 1.
1914 was a big year in baseball. On April 22, a nineteen year-old pitcher named Babe Ruth made his debut in the International League with a six-hit, 6-0 win for Baltimore over Buffalo. The same year Ty Cobb signed with the Tigers for another year.
Baseball was also a big part of the sports scene in Eatonville too. Here’s the Eatonville 1914 team.
Top Row – left to right: Edward Christensen, Roy Wright, C, Charles Jackson, Lar (?) Johnson, Clarence Williams, John Galbraith
Bottom Row – left to right: Ward Nettleton, Hensy Christensen, Frank Van Eaton
Family picnic on a summer day. Except for the style of the clothes and cars, things haven’t changed much since the 1920s.
The woman behind the children in a round hat is Hettie Williams. Others include Mary Jane (Osborn) Van Eaton (front left), Rose Wenk (left of stroller) and Bill Wenk (right of Rose), and Frank Van Eaton Jr.
If you can name some of these other folks, please let me know.
Here’s an earlier version of Eatonville’s City Hall, as well the Light and Water Dept. and the Police Headquarters. By the 1970s it had been replaced with with the newer version.
Rosemarie Van Cleve was the Court Commissioner for many years. She worked first with Judge Frank Van Eaton. When judges had to be attorneys, Eatonville was assigned Judge Steiner in 1962.
Steiner was a part-time judge and came to town every other Friday. The rest of the time, Court Commissioner Rosemarie Van Cleve handled all court duties. She heard cases, found people guilty, assessed fines, suspended licenses . . . everything by sentence someone to jail. That had to wait for Judge Steiner.
The District Court used to be held on the first floor, but over time more room was needed and it was moved upstairs. Court was still held downstairs because many people couldn’t make it up the stairs. Rosemarie says, “I got my exercise in those days.”
Interesting Fact: The window past the door on the side of the building was first a cell, and then later Rosemarie’s office.
Innovative Bookkeeping System There was more to being Court Commissioner in Eatonville than just hearing cases, Rosemarie was also in charge of the bookkeeping. She developed a system (pre-computer) that she says was “very simple and impossible to cheat”. The system caught the attention of others. “There was a man from Eastern Washington and another from Olympia that stayed a whole week looking at the system.” They liked what they saw and the system was adapted for County and State courts.
Exams Later on, the State wanted Court Commissioners to also be attorneys. If non-attorney court commissioners like Rosemarie wanted to remain commissioners they would have to sit for an 8-hour exam. Out of the 250 court commissioners that sat for the exam, 13 passed, and one was Rosemarie, and she kept working in Eatonville until she retired in 1998.