January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

To view more years of the Newspaper Summaries click here

1940 Vashon Island News-Record Summary (Mike Sudduth)

January 1940

January 4, 1940

  • Timber Cutter Arrested by Officer – A newcomer on Vashon Island was arrested by the local officer, F.J. Shattuck, Tuesday evening and his equipment taken from him when he was caught in the act of cutting a large, live fir tree.  He plead ignorance of the law, and claimed that he was going to make arrangements with the owner to pay him for the tree later.  A few days before Christmas a 19-year-old youth cut a beautiful large cedar tree which the owner had been caring for carefully and had planned to use as a living Christmas tree.  It was inside the property line, beside a private driveway and not far distant from the home of the owner, who though incensed refused to prosecute the boy.  There are constant violations of the state laws, which prohibit the cutting of timber on publicly or privately owned property.  Those guilty of such an act are subject to arrest unless they can show an officer a written agreement giving them permission to cut and remove the timber. 

  • League Of Women Voters – The next regular meeting of the League of Women Voters will be held Monday evening January 15, at the home of Mrs. Agnes L. Smock.  Any woman interested in the study of “Government and Foreign Affairs” is invited to attend.

  • Lettermen Named At Vashon High – With the scent of the traditional “Bowl” games still in the air of particular interest is announcement of the list of the Vashon football lettermen, who this year turned out the best record in many football seasons.  As could be expected on a team that took second place in the Tri-County league, Coach Eckman had three of his boys named on the All Tri-County team which is each year selected by the winner of the league.  The boys so honored this year are: Fullback, Jim Moore; halfback, Paul Schwartz, who is only a junior and already a three year letterman, and Jim Miller, the stellar guard.  The following list included the first and second team lettermen.  This has been the first year the school has given second team letters, and so far it has proven very satisfactory.  First team: Art Robinson, Karl Ellingson, Bill Smith, Jim Robinson, ends; Jack Petersen, Irvin Brown, Bob and Dick Plancich, tackles; Jim Miller, Yoneichi Matsuda, George Jenn, Carl Wick, guards; Don Kress, center; Paul Schwartz, Jim Penny, halfbacks; Jim Moore, fullback; Lad Bacchus, quarterback.  Second team: Tokio Otsuka, end; Bob Smock, center; Jim Matsumoto, halfback; Harry Sakai, guard.

  • Sets Off Firecrackers Ruins Pair of Pants – Kenneth G. Fry, proprietor of the Tahlequah store bearing his moniker, just had to see that New Year’s was ushered in in approved fashion.  He wanted lots of noise.  He got it by setting off a bunch of firecrackers that backfired through the doorway, ignited his pants and scorched his bare feet in several places.  For a few moments Fry did a war dance in the store where the crackers had bounced after having been ignited.  Anyhow, he had a lot of fun…so did his wife and kiddies watching him do an impromptu strip tease act.

  • New Ambulance Well Equipped for Service – Delayed by the holidays a drive will be launched by members of Island Post, American Legion, to raise a balance now due on the ambulance which has been purchased for the use of Vashon-Maury Island residents.  Titus Motors, through Lloyd Raab and George Davis, have made a substantial contribution in a great reduction of the original cost of the vehicle and donation of overhauling service.  The committee in charge has worked out a plan for maintenance and for drivers on call through local doctors or the deputy sheriff, so that a minimum of delay will be experienced.

  • Snow At Vashon Heights – In spite of the unusually mild weather we have been enjoying during the holidays the arrival of fresh Snow at Vashon Heights Saturday morning created a great deal of happy excitement in the wide circle of friends of Bob and Nadine Snow.  It’s a boy, who has been named Robert E., Jr. and who checked in at 8 pounds and three ounces according to computations of Dr. F.A. McMurray and Nurse Dyernes.

  • Lisabeula Man Arrested by Log Patrol Officers – Charged with threatening officers with a deadly weapon, S.L. Stump of Lisabeula, was lodged Tuesday in the county jail where he is being held under $2,000 bond pending hearing.  According to a story told by log patrol officers, O.R. and John Scott, Stump resisted their attempt to remove several boom sticks from his beach, and threatened them with a rifle two weeks ago.  Tuesday morning the officers returned, accompanied by W.E. Craw, of Tacoma, manager of the state log patrol, and Deputy Sheriff F.J. Shattuck.  When Stump saw them on his beach he rushed at them with a long pike pole threatening them with it.  He was placed under arrest and taken into Seattle where he awaits trial.

  • New Year Resolutions Designed To Make a Prosperous Year – Although we heard a number of young people state they had made no New Year’s resolutions we hope this is not the general rule.  We hope the ferry companies and their employees resolved never to permit another strike to interrupt service; that those who purchase Vashon-Maury products resolved that prices should go up and not down during 1940; that many city dwellers resolved to establish homes on our Island during the coming year; that many of these resolved they would build new houses and buy the materials from Island concerns.  We hope Burton resolved to capitalize the beauty of one of the prettiest villages on the Sound; that Vashon resolved to suffer no growing pains; that Ellisport residents resolved to get behind the livewire Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Club; that Dockton resolved to insist on help from the rest of the Island in maintaining the park; that Portage resolved to have no accidents at one of several bad corners.  We hope the Commercial Club officers resolved to accomplish more this year with the greatest membership in a long time; that the churches of the Island resolved to work together for the good of all; that our public school teachers resolved to find the best in every child in their charge; that every service and social club resolved to look upon all other organizations as working toward the same goal.  We hope the journalism class resolved to contribute high school notes next semester; that the preachers resolved to have their church items in the News-Record office by noon each Tuesday; that all secretaries resolved to send in announcements in writing; that many persons resolved to share with this paper important and interesting news.  Other resolutions we hope were made are: Mrs. John Roberts not to forsake Vashon Island; Wallace Beall to attend more public meetings and give his friends the benefit of his philosophy; Anna and Betty Tjomsland not to break up that mother-daughter team even though Betty will soon finish school; George McCormick never to work too hard again; Coach Eckman to use discretion in the nicknames he bestows; Lloyd McElvain to report his own meetings instead of wishing the task on unsuspecting friends.  Oscar, John, Vern and Martin to work out a satisfactory mail schedule; J.F. Shaw to keep on making Burton beautiful; Axel Petersen to hurry back to work at noon; Drs Bennett, Coutts, Ellis and McMurray not to hurt their patients or give them bad tasting medicine; Stephen Harmeling not to give up his frequent walks to Vashon; Earl Weller not to be a gentleman farmer; Gus Bacchus to have the swankiest place of business on the Island.  Kelly Weiss to surrender paint for printer’s ink; Theo Berry to call on his friends at Vashon more frequently; Garner Kimmel to make a success of training future grocery men in his staff of employees; Mollie Sharp to get back on the job soon; Anna Dowling not to make waling a hobby.  These are but a few of the resolutions we hope were made, but most of all we hope that all of our readers resolved to make this new year, in another decade, happier than the one just passed.

  • Editorial – Not Yet But Soon – For the first time in a long and varied career the editor has written the number of the new year several times without a slip-up.  It’s too good to be true, however, so we’re expecting to save the mistake till it really matters.  Maybe we are all glad to get out of the thirties, hoping that the forties will have more to offer than the past ten years have had.  As a matter of fact let’s see to it they do.  The depression will stay with us just as long as we say it is!

  • Skansonia Hits Log Breaks Her Prop Shaft – Ramming a partially submerged log the M.F. Skansonia sustained a broken propeller shaft on the night trip last Thursday when she was within 50 yards of the Tahlequah dock.  Evidently the bow watch failed to see the water-logged stick, and the propeller of the front engine struck it squarely, cracking the shaft.  Friday the Skansonia was operating with only one engine, the result being that all trips were from 30 to 40 minutes behind schedule.  Repairs were effected early Saturday, and she is now making her trips on time.

  • Mrs. John C. Walls, Pioneer Of Island Passed

January 11, 1940

  • Pay Increase Awarded By Federal Arbiter Morse; Ferry Situation In Favorable Condition Now – An award which amounts to a substantial victory for the union and which assures ferry service uninterrupted by strikes until December 1, 1941, was made public by Dean Wayne L. Morse of the Oregon School of Law Tuesday.  A flat pay increase of $2.50 a month for the deck department was included in the award, and pay increased were granted in the stewards’ department amounting to as much as $12 in some cases.  The union had asked for a flat wage increase of $10 a month.  Jobs in the stewards’ department were classified for the first time, and the award provides specifically that no employee shall suffer a wage cut by the reclassification.  Principal victories for the union were the establishment of the 8-hour day, elimination of “three-quarter time”; award of one week vacation with pay; establishment of seniority rights in discharge and reemployment and provision that the company shall furnish uniforms.  Overtime pay is also awarded both deck and stewards’ department. 

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – We are happy that Mr. Van Olinda has given the News-Record permission to publish serially the greater portion of his “History of Vashon-Maury Island.” – VASHON-MAURY ISLANDS (First Installment) appeared on page six.

January 18, 1940

  • County Agent Visits Local Poultryman – W.A. Lund, from the county agent’s office, was on the Island Tuesday and visited the ranch of Mr. and Mrs. K.E. Grant, west of Vashon.  The Grants moved here a few years ago from Eastern Washington.  Mr. Lund reports that Mr. Grant has a fine flock of 260 Rhode Island Red pullets that have been in 75 per cent production during November and December.  The birds have remained free from intestinal parasites.  The Grants believe that sanitation can prevent coccidiosis.  For the first five weeks the brooder house was cleaned every day and then three times a week until October.  This program of changing litter three times a week if the farm is small and contaminated with coccidiosis was recommended by the Western Washington Experiment Station.  In this case there had been high mortality among the Grants’ birds for two years previous, due to intestinal parasites.  In November and December big livers caused the deaths of 27 birds in this flock of Rhode Island Reds.  Since this virus disease can best be checked by isolation of young stock from older birds that my be carriers, Mr. Grant plans to rear pullets this spring well isolated from his present flock.  He will continue his cleaning program again to prevent any type of coccidiosis.  Mr. Lund believes that high egg production and low mortality will keep Mr. Grant in the poultry business.

  • Sea Scouts Get Under Way – Thursday evening the newly organized Sea Scout Ship “Cacholet” held its fourth meeting.  After the regular ceremony of receiving the skipper the members gathered about the fireplace of the Scout cabin for discussion.  The main topic discussed was ways and means of making money to buy uniforms and equipment for the newly organized group.  Mr. Paul Billingsley, ship committee chairman, came to this meeting for a short time.  He said there was no reason why the boys could not use his cruiser, the “Susie Q.”  - SEA SCOUT REPORTER.

  • Japanese Wedding Feature Event of Last Week End – A wedding of unusual interest took place Friday evening at the home of Mrs. Mitsuko Yorioka of Vashon, when her son, Ken, and Miss Chiyiko Chikata were married.

  • Mrs. A. Steen, Pioneer Laid to Rest

  • Will Meet In New Clubhouse – The regular meeting of the Vashon Island Sportsmen’s Club will be held at the new quarters in the basement of the club house Friday evening, January 19.  Although the club house is far from completed a portion of the basement has been enclosed and will make a snug meeting place for our nimrods.

  • Miss Bertha Sunnell Passes Away at Burlington Hospital – Pupils, alumnae and patrons of Vashon Island High School were saddened this week by news of the death of Miss Bertha Sunnell, who passed away in a Burlington hospital Tuesday morning.  Death resulted from an operation performed Saturday.

  • Legion Post Will Celebrate First Birthday – Island folk are invited to attend the first birthday party of Vashon Island Post 159, American Legion, which will be held at the Island Club Thursday evening, January 25.  Just one year ago the post was organized and the membership feel that the success of the past year warrants entertainment of all friends who desire to celebrate the occasion with them.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – EARLY ACTIVITIES was published.

January 25, 1940

  • Alaska Captain Starts South American Trip – Captain H. Andersen of Vashon Heights left Friday on a voyage to ports on the west coast of South America which will eventually take him south of the equator.  He is a member of the freighter “Sutherland.”

  • American Legion Post Incorporated – Incorporation of Vashon Island Post No. 159, American Legion, under the laws of the state are now completed making it possible to take out insurance after which the new ambulance can be put to emergency use.

  • Business Census Taken – James C. Lockridge, working out of the Seattle census office, was on the Island this week taking a business census.  He found that there are approximately 35 places of business on Vashon-Maury.

  • New Mail Schedule For Vashon-Maury Now in Effect – In order to stabilize the delivery of mail to Vashon Island and make the arrival and departure serve the needs of patrons better, a new schedule was put into effect this week.  All mail arrives and leaves now by way of Vashon Heights.

  • Work Begun On Bridge – Materials are being delivered for use in replanking the Judd Creek Bridge near the Burton school.  An attempt will be made to have the work include a pedestrian walk similar to that on the Burton dock.  This will require additional appropriation, but the committee feels hopeful that the matter will be taken care of before the work is completed.

  • Old Burton Hotel Sold – The old Burton hotel has been sold and the new owners are remodeling it into apartments for rental to summer residents.  The work is being done by Clarence P. Healy of Healy Bros. Inc., a real estate and insurance firm of Tacoma.  Material for the work is being purchased through local firms.  This property is nicely situated, overlooking Quartermaster Harbor, and when the present work is completed it will be in keeping with the other well-kept buildings of Burton.

  • Assessor’s Crew At Work On Island – A crew of assessors from the office of County Assessor Misener are working on the Island in a program of revaluation of lands.  According to the assessor’s office the valuation of Island land in some cases is entirely too high, while along the highway and certain portions of beach properties the assessed valuations will have to be raised.  As soon as this crew has completed its survey the figures will be checked by several experts from Mr. Misener’s office.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – SETTLEMENT was published.

back to top

February 1940

February 1, 1940

  • Dr. Cook to Head South End Community Club for 1940 – The new president named the following committees: Membership, Gilbert Smith, Fred Pugh, Bert Sprowls, John L. Miller; program, Mrs. Gilbert Smith, chairman; finance, Mrs. William Berry, Will Hager, Kenneth G. Fry; decoration, Mrs. George Sheffield, Mrs. Fred G. Pohl and Mrs. C.R. Roediger.

  • Burton Group Elects Officers – Action was taken to petition the county commissioners to have a foot walk included in the reconstruction of the Judd Creek Bridge.  Action was decided upon in a plan whereby the long delayed sidewalk between Burton and the grammar school would be made possible.

  • Editorial – Tax Rolls and Buildings – To those of us who know Vashon-Maury Island the news story appearing in Seattle papers announcing that 1,640 Vashon Island buildings had been added to King County tax rolls by a survey was a bit startling.  That the value of these buildings was $829,980, and would increase the taxes by $200,000 is still more mystifying.  But strange things are bound to happen with election, like recovery, “just around the corner.”  It will be recalled that a survey was made more than a year ago by considerable number of WPA workers who arriving for a three weeks sojourn on our fair isle remained for several months.  We recall that they measured and examined everything from the houses we live in, to the one Fido occupied, not to mention some of those not so common in these days of modern plumbing.  Within the past five years, and incidentally since Mr. Misener’s regime began, the editor has erected a workshop for the youngsters that cost all of $15, and a chicken house that cost in the neighborhood of $40.  We feel sure these were not added to the tax rolls for the property upon which the $15 building stands was assessed almost twice as much for 1938 as it had previously, while the one upon which the $40 building stands was assessed just what it had been in years past.  Last week a crew of assessors proved to be expert checkers checking up on the checkers that did the work more than a year ago.  It was after these latest checkers did their checking that the startling story of Vashon Island dereliction came to light.  The answer to the problem is this; when you want to show how zealous you are in public office, and election is in the next few months, a startling story makes good campaign literature.  We presume that it would be impossible to get a list of a few of these buildings that were never on the tax rolls, but we do hope that Curly will give our Commercial Club a lift by publishing a few pictures of some of our more pretentious buildings that had not been previously assessed, like those swanky Highlands dumps in an earlier edition of campaign literature.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Don Tjomsland and family have moved from their home near the telephone office and are now occupying the house in which Mr. and Mrs. Allen Beerbohm lived, just north of Vashon.

  • Girls Maintain Higher Scholarship – Although there are more boys than girls enrolled in the Vashon Island High School during the past term these girls have managed to maintain a higher scholastic average, as evidenced by the fact that there was practically 100 per cent more girls than boys on the honor roll.  Those who secured the necessary 14 points and whose names compose the list of honor students are: Seniors – Shirley Blekkink, Mildred Griffin, Gloradawn Hoel, Marie Johansen, Grace Matsumoto, Winifred McPherson, Dorothy Shepherd, Judith Shride, Borghild Sovold, Betty Mae Wilder, Stanley Ellison, Lawrence Larsen, William Partee, Jack Petersen.  Juniors – Estelle Beall, Jane Hoke, Virginia Rand, Marybelle Tonk, Helen Wegener, George Fujioka, Yoneichi Matsuda, Bill Walls, Carl Wick.  Sophomores – Rachel Blekkink, Bernice Deppman, Marion Kolstad, Edith Larsen, Berna Wick, Bob Harmeling, Daigo Togami.  Freshmen – Christine Beretich, Marion Buchanon, Thelma Danielsen, Bernice Edwards, Mary Matsuda, Marjorie Monroe, Ann Jeanette Poultney, Mary Jane Smith, Rolf Andersen, Bernard Habbestad, George Mason, Jerry Slagle, Vern Smith.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – 1879 and 1880 was published.

 February 8, 1940

  • Two Men Lose Their Lives in Sound; Third Man Escapes Death – The storm tossed waters of Puget Sound claimed the lives of two men last night when a 14-foot inboard motor boat, with a skiff in tow sank off the entrance of Quartermaster Harbor at about 11:30 o’clock Tuesday night.  The men were Al Nelson and “Chubby” Hall, both 45.  Their companion, Willard Pfitzenmyer, 28, was saved when he succeeded in loosing the partially submerged skiff and clinging to it until an incoming tide and a northeast wind brought him ashore at 3 o’clock near the beach home of Gus Mitchell, a distance east of the Tahlequah dock.  That he was able to live through such an experience seems almost incredible.  Pfitzenmyer staggered to the door of Mitchell’s house and succeeded in awakening him.  The latter, as soon as he had administered to the man hurried to Fry’s store.  He phoned to Fitzenmyer’s father, who runs the boathouse at Salmon Beach, the home of all three men.  Very little information, except that the men had gone out to dig clams, could be obtained so the coast guard was summoned, and after going to Dockton by mistake, arrived and hunted for the motor boat and bodies, but failing to find either returned to Tacoma.  It was believed that eventually the tide would bring in the bodies.  Fitzenmyer, who was taken to Salmon Beach by the coast guard, stated that he and his companions had been digging clams in Quartermaster Harbor, and had a heavy load aboard their boat, so in all probability it will never be recovered.

  • Mrs. Bittinger Dies At Age of 91 – The obituary of Mrs. Mary Bittinger was published.

  • Clam Chowder Feed At Club House – Members of the Sportsmen’s Club and friends will have an opportunity to inspect the new quarters in the basement of the clubhouse west of Vashon.  Facilities for serving will be tested when a clam chowder feast is served Friday evening, February 16.  All interested are invited to attend.

  • Dave Schwartz Receives Appointment – Word was received Wednesday that Dave Schwartz, son of Mr. and Mrs. B.J. Schwartz, of Ellisport, had been appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point by Congressman Warren G. Magnuson.  David, who is a graduate of Vashon Island High School is now attending West Point Preparatory School at Fort Winfield Scott, in California.  As a student in the local high school David was outstanding in scholarship and athletics.  His interest in the army was shown by his enlistment for four years in the C.M.T.C. where he made fine records.  John Smith, another graduate of our high school received an appointment to Annapolis at the same time David received his first appointment to West Point.  Both boys failed in mathematics by a narrow margin and were so outstanding that appointments for them were held over.

  • Mrs. W.L. Ellis Passes – The obituary of Mrs. W.L Ellis was published.

  • Sneeze Causes Crash On Apron Of Ferry – An impromptu sneeze has been known to upset plans of yeggmen and their ilk; to save an army from destruction by the sudden awakening of a sentry, and to have embarrassed a gent or gal in evening raiment at swanky functions.  But it remained for a sneeze to result in an auto crash on the apron of the ferry docking last Friday morning at 10:15 o’clock at the Tahlequah pier.  The driver of the Best Foods truck had his machine in gear, with the motor running, and just as he was preparing to ascend the apron on the dock when he sneezed, causing his foot to press the accelerator to the floor boards.  Result: truck crashed into an auto ahead, polishing off a fender and bumper.

  • Fir Tree Smashes Stairway At Tahlequah – Undermined by a two-inch rainfall during the last 24 hours, a fair-sized fir tree crashed Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock, smashing the heavy stairway and switch-backs leading to the “Yankee Boy” dock at Point Delco, Tahlequah.  The stairway and switch-backs ran from the beach to the main path along the brow of the hill on the Austin A. Cronemiller place.

  • League of Women Voters to Hold Their Convention Here – Announcement was made at a meeting of the Vashon-Maury League of Women Voters that an invitation to hold the annual state convention on Vashon Island had been enthusiastically accepted at a meeting held recently in Tacoma.  The invitation was extended by a committee consisting of the president, Mrs. Fannie K. Kingsbury, Mrs. Rose Kenreigh and Mrs Selma Van House.

  • Work On Judd Creek Bridge Moves Along – With all bents repaired, and ready for many more years of service the Judd Creek Bridge is rapidly being replanked.  The work which was begun three weeks ago will probably be completed in about five weeks, according to George E. Miller, foreman.  As soon as the 350 foot long bridge is replanked the railing will be built, in accordance with state standards of 6x8 posts with 4x8 bottom and 3x8 top rails, similar to guard rails along the highway.  Eight men are employed on the job, which will cost approximately $3,000, if finished according to first plans.  It is hoped that before the men are through a walk for pedestrians will be added, although this was not originally provided for.  The work moves along briskly as planks are removed by lifting crane and the new ones placed.  In one day last week 38 feet was torn out and replaced.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – 1880 and 1881 was presented.

  • Tacoma To Assist Island In Ferry Trouble – Giving a splendid idea of the assistance that Vashon and Maury Islanders may expect from Tacoma in their battle for better ferry service, the following editorial appeared last Friday in the Tacoma News-Tribune: “SERVICE TO VASHON” “The people in some nearby communities are watching the progress of the Narrows Bridge with some misgivings as well as interest.  Particularly is this true of the Vashon Island residents who fear that the celebration of the opening of the span will mark a sharp curtailment in ferry service to Tahlequah, the island landing across from Point Defiance.  No less than for Gig Harbor and other peninsula towns is the esteem in which Tacomans hold their neighbors at Burton, Magnolia, Dockton, Southern Heights and Tahlequah.  They are our friends and relatives and many work in this city and commute.  The bond is increased during the summer months by the great number of our citizens who spend their summers on Vashon Island.  With Dr. David B. Cook as president, the South End Community Club has started a study of the ferry situation with the goal of preventing curtailment on completion of the Narrows Bridge which would seriously cripple travel between the Island and Tacoma.  Tacoma, in its jubilation over the span, should not forget those neighbors who will be unable to avail themselves of its service.  Not only should the Vashon Islanders have sympathy, but active support as well.”

  • Injured In Auto Accident – Injured when his car collided with a tree on the side of the road west from the Vashon State Bank, Karl Hansen, an employee of the Beall Greenhouse Company suffered a fractured knee and severe head cuts Saturday night.  He was returning to his home near Cove, and in attempting to turn out for an approaching car ran into a tree near the road, in front of the Yager home.  Hansen was taken by Thomas Beall to the Swedish Hospital in Seattle, where he is making as rapid a recovery as could be expected.  The knee cap of one leg was fractured, but it is believed he will suffer no permanent lameness.

 February 15, 1940

  • Win First Place In Debate Meet – In a group of high school teams representing Bothell, Gig Harbor, Kirkland, Port Orchard and Vashon Jim Miller, Jack Petersen, Shirley Jean Blekkink and Judith Shride took honors in a debating contest held at the University of Washington last week.  Debating upon the subject “Resolved that the government should own and operate railroads,” Jim and Jack upheld the affirmative and Jean and Judith the negative.  The debate, which was held in Vernon Parrington Hall, was judged on 15 points by graduate students.  It was so arranged that two teams of each school debated, with the Vashon quartet winning first place and a cup which they will receive later.

  • New Radio Transmitter For Island Is Planned By Station KIRO – Need for increased power has made it necessary for radio station, KIRO, Seattle, to cast about for a situation for a new transmitter, and after looking over the surrounding territory Maury Island was selected as meeting the requirements.  The Queen City Broadcasting Company has secured an option on a 20-acre tract, part of the Kingsbury estate, extending back and up the hill east of Quartermaster Harbor.

  • Sunshine Brings Out Tahlequah Daffodils – Setting what is believed to be a record for early flowers, about two dozen daffodils bloomed Sunday afternoon on the Roediger, John L. Miller and Sarah Holgerson homes at Tahlequah.  Around noon the sun became quite warm, and the buds, which had been threatening to break for several days, came out.  According to Tahlequah pioneers, this is the earliest that daffs have ever bloomed in this territory.

  • Our Older Neighbors – Compiled by Clara J. Tonk – ROBERT WILLIAM FRANCIS MARTIN – In the October 19, 1939 issue of the Vashon Island News-Record the following article was printed.  “For the first time in the history of Masonry in Washington the degree of Honorary Past Master was conferred last week on R.W.F. Martin and Stephen J. Harmeling, members of Mark P. Waterman Lodge.  Mr. Martin, a charter member when the lodge was instituted 30 years ago, has been secretary for the past quarter of a century.  Mr. Harmeling has been a member of the lodge for 18 years and chaplain for the past eight years.  Both men, Mr. Harmeling now 88 and Mr. Martin approaching 82 years on November 3, still take care of the duties of their offices and maintain their interest in the activities of the lodge.”  Keen interest in community life and active cooperation in all movements which have furthered the growth and development of the Island which each chose for his home, is interwoven into the patterns of their lives.  Stephen Harmeling has already given his story for the News-Record and now Mr. Martin gives his recollections.  “I was born in Woodford, Essex County, England, on November 3, 1857.  Here I attended school at Forest House, and later studied to become a lawyer.  In those days a young law student who had not been admitted to the bar, received a salary of about 5 shillings, which was mere pocket money.  Having become engaged to Miss Alice Parker who became my wife I felt that I should seek opportunity in America, and so, at the age of 27, I left England and came to New York.  During the time I was in the real estate business in New York I was brought into person contact with P.T. Barnum – the world’s greatest show man and at that time, an international figure.  I had secured ground for the circus, and as I talked with this famous man I was struck by the fact that P.T. Barnum – then a little dried up bundle of amazing energy, somewhere in his late 80s, was for all the world like one of his own circus mummies.  This was the man who knew that people dearly loved to be fooled.  There never has been a showman who could hold a candle to old P.T. Barnum.  Following my years in real estate, I sold paper goods throughout 26 states, and in 1904 I came west to Seattle on one of my trips.  I was so struck by the hustle and bustle of the booming young city that I made up my mind to return some day – which I did shortly after, accompanied by my wife and two daughters, Alice and Frances.  We remained in Seattle for about 5 months before coming to Vashon.  At this time my youngest daughter and myself were in poor health, and we had heard that Vashon Island was a good place to live.  We immediately fell in love with the peace and beauty of the Island, and I realized, then, that an ideal homeplace such as this, would surely attract other home seekers.  We moved into the Tom Steffenson place in 1906, which we leased for a year.  Shortly after I went into the real estate business with E.C. Thompson.  We bought the present bank site (where the home of W.L. Livesley was then situated), and adjacent property which we platted into lots.  Will Garvin bought the first of these lots and in a short time we sold the rest.  After about a year I went into real estate for myself, and then Frank Park and I bought a tract of land on the east side of the Island between Portage and Ellisport which we called “Vashon Gardens.”  We sold 26 lots in all within two years and then went back and bought more lots.  Here at Vashon Gardens we build our home which overlooked the blue waters of East Sound.  Later on, in 1913, my wife and I started the little Episcopal Church at Portage.  Up until then the people of the community met for church services in the Van Olinda building at Portage.  Finally a lot was purchased and a little church was built, which is still standing where Vashon joins Maury.  My wife was a worker in the little church and was organist up until the year of her death in 1920.  Today the church is used by the Salvation Army.  To go back to the early days, in about 1907 a group of Island men including the late H.Harrington, Frank Gorsuch, Homer Steen, Col. Rickert, Austin Cowan, T. Hansen and myself, formed the Vashon Island Telephone Company because the telephone service at that period was so very unsatisfactory.  This company had its exchange in the Martin building, and several years later, sold out to the Bell Telephone Company.  The site now occupied by the Vashon Theatre was where the Martin building was the located.  There was also a hotel and a group of stores in this building.  The general store, owned and operated by the late Frank W. Gorsuch, was located across the street where the Vashon Hardware Store now stands.  This store, besides supplying the needs of the community, also served as a meeting place where friends and neighbors met to gossip and to discuss various topics of interest.  It was at one of these get-togethers that a group of us though that it would be a good idea to form a club – a club that was to be partly social and partly commercial.  Thus was born the Vashon club.  The first two meetings were held at our home, and later the club met in the Martin building.  The late Austin Cowan was elected as the first president, and I was elected vice president.  Among other things the little club has to its credit was the first piece of county road, properly surveyed and properly built, which ran from Steen’s corner (now the intersection of the Cove road to the main highway), down to Rodda’s corner at Center.  Prior to this, we detoured around stumps and drove through streams of water in the winters and springs.  Later on this same club expanded into Vashon-Maury Federation of Clubs – then came the Vashon-Maury Island Commercial Club and later, dropping the name, Maury, the club became known as the Vashon Commercial Club.  For 18 years, on and off, I served as secretary for this body, and was secretary in 1930 when the Vashon Island golf course was formally opened for use.  I recall one summer, along about 1907, when there had been an excessive prune crop, with great amounts of prunes going to waste.  Being English, my wife and I were very fond of prune jam.  My wife made delicious prune jam – so delicious that we had no trouble in selling it to various Seattle hotels.  From this incident grew the idea of a jam factory, Vashon’s first canning industry, a venture which we undertook, six months later selling out to John King.  Another episode of the past which I recall, has to do with the transportation problem – a problem which has always been of vital importance, just as it is today.  Various steamers plied between the Island and the Mainland.  I remember how the late H. Harrington put a launch, the “Success,” into service for mail and passenger transportation, to take the place of the “Defiance,” but the “Success” was not what her name implied.  In hopes of improving the service a group of Island men finally chartered the stern wheeler, “T.C. Reed,” which ran for about a year until the “Vashonian” was completed.  The “Vashonian” was built and owned by a group of Island men.  When this boat was completed, Grace Gorsuch (Now Mrs. Grace Beall) christened the boat.  In 1912 the Vashon-Maury Federation of Clubs held the first annual Strawberry Festival.  At this time John Reid was president of the club and I was secretary, also serving as chairman for the first festival.  The Strawberry Festival idea met with enthusiastic response.  It was a very ambitious and exciting event, and was really the Island’s first publicity stunt.  Special boats brought visitors over from Tacoma and Seattle.  A city band was secured to add to the pomp and ceremony, and Governor Hay was ably represented by his charming wife who addressed the gathering.  We Islanders provided sandwiches, pie, cake, strawberries and coffee for the visitors.  Other Strawberry Festivals followed and each one was an event which met with whole-hearted cooperation and keen interest.  The Fifth Festival, held in 1923, was an outstanding affair.  The late Mrs. Melissa Jaynes, of Burton, was made Festival Queen at the age of 104.  At her side stood a little four-year-old boy.  Age and Youth, symbolized by these two, made this particular festival a unique festival indeed.  It was in 1908 that a small group of Island men met to discuss the possibilities of starting a Masonic lodge on the Island.  Out of the 8 or 9 present at that meeting, only Lewis Beall, Jr., and myself are now living.  The others, as I remember them were the late W.S. Freed, L.C. Beall, Sr., Salmon Sherman (father of Frances Sherman), L.R. Anway, W.H. Hall, James G. Ford, W. Gibson and L.F. Covey (father of Verne Covey).  From this meeting developed Mark P. Waterman Lodge No. 177, F. and A.M., which received its charter August 2, 1910 with Al McDowell as its first Master.  The Masonic lodge built the first brick building on the Island.  This building was later rebuilt for use as a garage and is now occupied by E.J. Mace.  Afterwards we moved across the street where we met for a year, then we met at the Odd Fellow’s Hall at Center, then at Portage, finally moving in 1936 to Burton where the lodge bought and remodeled the present Masonic Temple.  In 1922 the Royal Arch Chapter, Robert Burns No. 48, was installed on the Island, and in 1926 the Vashon Island Commandery No. 26 received its charter.  I have been a Mason for 36 years; a member of the lodge, here, for 30 years, and have served as secretary of the Blue Lodge for a quarter of a century.  Life on the Island has been a busy and a happy one.  I can think of no finer spot than Vashon Island as a home place.”

  • Measles Causes First Absence From School – Alice wept bitterly, and who wouldn’t under the same circumstances.  Monday morning Alice Merry was sent home from high school, not for discipline, but because she very definitely had the measles.  Ordinarily the average high school sophomore welcomes a vacation, even though measles are not the most pleasant things in the world, but the reason Alice wept over being absent from school was because it was an entirely new experience to her.  The fact of the matter is that in her ten years of school she had never been absent or tardy.  Alice, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Merry of Maury, is doing nicely, not feeling half sick enough to stay at home, and is still definitely bitter over the fact that an unkind fate made her wait until her fourteenth year to have a disease which she feels she should have had before she ever started to school.

 February 22, 1940

  • New Orthopedic Auxiliary Formed – Twenty-five West Side women attended a meeting at the Columbia school Friday afternoon for the purpose of organizing a new Orthopedic Auxiliary.  Officers elected for the new organization, which will be called the Columbia Orthopedic Auxiliary, are Mrs. Ruby Walls, president; Mrs. Agnes Ober, vice president; Mrs. Alden Walls, secretary; Mrs. Strong, treasurer.  Mrs. Melvin Paulsen was appointed sewing chairman.

  • Miss Vashon Island To Be Chosen by Popular Vote – With five candidates already chosen the contest to select a “Miss Vashon Island” is already under way and promises to be a spirited but friendly race.  Those who have been selected are Billie Jean Hager by the South End Community Club; Mary Ann Agren, Vashon Island High School; Jane Hoke, Vashon Island Woman’s Club; Doris Bitle, V.F.W. and Auxiliary; Dorothy Shepherd, Sportsmen’s Club.

  • Find Fish Pole With Signal Attached – What may be the only evidence left of another tragedy in the storm-lashed waters off the southern tip of Vashon Island, a submerged fish pole with a muslin signal attached to the tip was found today by Forest R. Ritz, of Spring Beach, and C.R. Roediger.  More than 100 feet of high grade line was also fastened to the pole, a home made affair, and which caught on a rock, submerging the outfit.  Roediger and Ritz recovered the pole, and telephoned Willard Pfitzenmeyer, who escaped drowning recently off Point Neil, Vashon Island, when two of his companions were lost following a clam digging expedition in Quartermaster Harbor.  However, Pfitzenmeyer said there was no fishing tackle in the inboard boat in which he and his two companions were riding when it was swamped in heavy weather, and which was later found on the beach inside Quartermaster Harbor at the Axel Johnson place.

  • Orchestra Will Again Be Heard – The new Island orchestra, playing for the V.F.W. dance Saturday night proved a real innovation and was heartily received.  The dancers expressed themselves well pleased with the music of Ed Woods, H.C. Penney and Chet Kerr.

  • Ambulance Drive Is Nearing Completion; Title Turned Over To County Sheriff’s Office – The drive for funds with which to pay for an ambulance operated for the benefit of Vashon-Maury residents is nearing completion, and when the proceeds of the Burton-South End card party of next Saturday night is received the ambulance will be paid for, equipped and a balance on hand for operation.  The purchase of the ambulance, a former Washington highway patrol truck, was negotiated through Titus Motors by Vashon Island Post No. 159, American Legion, and delivered here in December.  When the matter of insurance was taken up it developed that unless the post was incorporated any member could be held liable for accidents to driver, occupants or other vehicles.  The post was duly incorporated when announcement was made that if it were turned over to the King county sheriff’s office the ambulance could be operated practically without cost to the post or community.  County maintenance would provide for mechanical repairs, tires, oil, gas, insurance, etc., as well as furnishing deputized drivers.  It would also relieve the post of financial responsibility provided for by law.  In reply to inquiry made by Harry Janney, commander of Vashon Island Post, Sheriff W.B. Severyns replied in part: “I am willing to accept title to this ambulance for the King county sheriff’s department, it being understood that this certain ambulance is to be used only on Vashon-Maury Island for the purpose for which it was intended.  It is further understood that the King county sheriff’s department will defray all expenses for operation and maintenance and keep the same in good repair at all times.”  Title to the vehicle was duly turned over to Sheriff Severyn’s department.  Operating under the sheriff’s office it is necessary to have at all times a deputy driver.  F.J. Shattuck and Herb Creevey, employees of King county, can qualify as drivers.  During the summer both are busy with seasonal duties and a third driver will be deputized to serve when necessary.  A reserve fund is necessary to reimburse the driver who does not have a county expense account for time lost or incidental expenses.  A first aid kit is to be purchased, also blankets, sheets, pillows and pillow slips and there are certain laundry bills for blankets and linen that cannot be paid by county funds.  It is hoped to have a reserve fund of $100, and a week ago this did not seem possible until the gift of $43 from the Japanese Association and $5 from the Japanese Mother’s Club this week boosted the $2.29 cash on hand to $50.29.  There is yet to come the proceeds from the card party Saturday night, sponsored by the Burton Improvement and South End Community Clubs.  Undoubtedly additional donations will complete the $100.  In addition to cash donations Joy Billingsley gave two days’ work, lettering the inscription on the ambulance.  That there is need for a local ambulance has been apparent for some time.  During 1939 Deputy Shattuck made 75 trips with sick people, and in one case it was necessary for King county to employ a city ambulance at the cost of $22.  During the past week the new ambulance has been used three times.

  • Takes Over Kimmel Interest in Hardware – Announcement was made this week that George McCormick had purchased from C.G. Kimmel his interest in the Vashon Hardware and is now the sole owner of the business, which he has managed for the past 11 years.  Established and opened for business January 1, 1929, the Vashon Hardware Company was operated successfully under the management of Mr. McCormick until it is now a store of which even large communities than this could be justly proud.  For a number of years McCormick managed the business with no outside help in spite of steadily increasing business, but in the past year he has had the assistance of his younger brother, Earl.  Both brothers are ardent sportsmen and have a fine stock of sporting goods in addition to other lines usually carried in a store of this nature.

  • The kitchen of the Masonic hall has been greatly improved by the recent installation of a fine new electric range.

  • Water District May Be Formed – There is some rumor that a water district, to serve patrons in the vicinity of Ellisport, is being considered.  This would do much to improve the value of property in the territory which would be served in this event.

  • When B.C. Indians Terrorized Waters Off Vashon Island – In the fruit picking season, Vashon Island now-a-days draws on the Indians of British Columbia for help in harvesting the berry and other crops.  But back in the 1850s, the British Columbia Indians came down to kill and pillage, using the Island as a basis for piratical operations, as explained in the following paragraph from Lewis & Dryden’s Marine History of the Northwest:  “The Northern Indians who two years before had murdered ex-Collector of Customs I.N. Ebey were guilty of another dastardly crime in 1859, destroying two schooners and massacring their crews.  The Blue Wing, owned by Ernest Schroter of Steilacoom, and the Ellen Maria, Capt. McHenrie, left Steilacoom for Port Townsend January 25 (1859) and for two months no trace of them could be discovered.  In April an Indian reported at Steilacoom that a small vessel had been destroyed at Vashon Island and her crew killed; this rumor was followed up until the particulars of the horrible affair came to light.  As the Blue Wing was passing the north end of Vashon Island, she was attacked by a party of 10 Indians and five squaws, who murdered the crew and plundered and scuttle the schooner.  They afterward attacked the Ellen Maria and Capt. McHenrie ordered them away as they attempted to board the vessel, and when they refused to leave fired on them, killing a brother of Hydah Jim, the leader of the pirates, and wounding another Indian.  The savages retreated but returned at midnight while the schooner was lying at anchor, murdered all hands and burned the schooner.  – Marine Digest.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – 1882 and 1883 was presented.

 February 29, 1940

  • New Dry Goods Store For Vashon – With the appearance of spring weather Vashon is showing signs of new activities.  Announcement was made this week that C.J. Ramquist had rented the building formerly occupied by the Daily Needs and plans to open a dry goods and variety store in the near future.  M.P. Bickle has started work on the lot recently purchased west of the Vashon Hardware.  The old orchard is being torn out and as soon as weather permits work will start on a building to house the Vashon Furniture Company.  Improvements which will modernize other Vashon business places are under consideration.  Work on the beautiful new office of the Bacchus Lumber Company still continues.  Already one of the handsomest business houses on the Island landscaping will add further attractiveness.  A modernistic front, decorated in black and white, is lighted at night with fluorescent lights that gives that vicinity of the village a distinctly metropolitan air.  Expansion and improvements are producing an air of optimism that is evident in the little village of Vashon and business people are already looking forward to better general conditions.

  • Hardware Store To Be Remodeled – Work will begin this week on the complete remodeling and modernization of the Vashon Hardware Company’s store.  When completed the store will be entirely changed both inside and out.  The front will be streamlined and modernistic, finished in the new waterproof plyboard that has been artistically utilized in the new drug store building and the Bacchus building.  The partition on the south of the store room will be moved, giving a 46 foot frontage with added floor space and show windows.  The interior will be redecorated and the ceiling finished in fireproof material.  Shelves will be lowered and rearranged.  A new warehouse extending to the alley will be built on the rear of the present building.  When alterations are completed it will be difficult to recognize this as one of the first business houses to be built at Vashon, and one which has housed several of the Island’s most important businesses.  At the completion of the remodeling Mr. McCormick will add several new lines of merchandise to his already large stock.

  • Vashon High School Basket Ball Team Wins Championship – Tuesday night at the Port Orchard gym the Pirates won the Tri-County title from North Kitsap in a sudden death playoff 27-21.  By winning this game the Pirates not only won the coveted cup, but they become the first team from the Tri-County league to qualify for the district meet, which is to be held at Kirkland, March 4-9.  This was the second consecutive time that the Pirates have eliminated the Vikings from the playoffs.  Taking the Tri-County in their stride, the Pirates will now point for the district title, and then for the state.  One down and two to go.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – 1884 history was presented.

back to top


March 1940
March 7, 1940

  • Local Cooperative Chick Hatchery Operates Steadily – In spite of a gloomy outlook for the poultry farmer the Vashon Island Cooperative Hatchery has delivered 7,800 leghorn pullets and 1,480 heavy breed chicks during the past two weeks.  The hatchery made its first setting December 30 and since that time has taken all the hatching eggs produced by its flock as in normal years.  Early hatches accumulated for some time and just as the new plant on the old Miner place seemed about to overflow sales began.  While hatches are still coming along every three days and the inventory is large there is some room left in the plant and orders on hand would indicate the plant will continue operations for several weeks more.  A price policy has been maintained which has given the poultryman willing to take early February and January chicks.  They have been able to get them at the price of ten-day chicks.

  • Funeral Services For Mrs. K.J. Fjeld – The obituary for Mrs. K.J. Fjeld was published.

  • Florence Goodsell Passes Away in Seattle Hospital

  • Department Of Public Service To Hold Hearing At Ellisport – Patrons of the Ellisport Water System were notified this week of a public hearing to be held at 10 o’clock Monday morning, March 11, in the club room of the KVI lodge.  This hearing will be conducted by a representative of the Department of Public Service upon the complaint of the Woman’s Club of Ellisport and other patrons relative to service being rendered.  It is the earnest wish of all concerned to have as many interested persons as possible present and to find ways and means for working out some equitable plan whereby existing difficulties may be eliminated before the summer months.

  • News of Island Churches, Clubs and Social Doings of the week – Personal Notes – Thursday evening, the Masons and their friends observed Leap Year day with a tolo dance at the Masonic hall at Burton.  The ladies invited their escorts, called for them and paid their admission.  Music was furnished by Glen Willers and his accordion.

  • South End Club Is After Street Lights – A copy of the letter sent by the Metropolitan Park District to the Pierce county board of commissioners was received today by C.R. Roediger, and reads as follows:  “We have a letter from C.R. Roediger, secretary-treasurer of the South End Community Club regarding their request on you for lights to be installed on Pierce County road through Point Defiance Park, leading to the ferry landing.  We are informed that Commissioner Davisson of the Public Utilities Department, has agreed to furnish the electrical energy necessary for this service, and has estimated a total cost of the necessary equipment installed for four lights on this road, at approximately $275.00.  For years, we have furnished police protection to this area, and have provided parking space for a number of cars of residents in the community.  This protection, however, has been handicapped by the lack of proper lighting of this road, and we urge that you take immediate steps to authorize Mr. Davisson to install proper equipment, which he estimated to cost $275.00.  We do not feel that this expense is a Park District obligation and shall expect Pierce County to assume any and all cost.”

  • Battery Radio Aids In Fishing…Mebbe – Isaac Walton wouldn’t turn over in his wooden kimono if he could read this one!  Clarke Thomsen, president of the Hounds of the Sound club, is modern in most everything…even to the manner in which he goes fishing in front of this home at Tahlequah.  His latest in improvements providing comfort and entertainment include a battery radio in his peanut shell equipped with a keel.  Thomsen uses a small plywood boat he and his wife built.  It is very small, in fact.  Every time a flock of seagulls goes by, the draft created sends him a few hundred yards off his course.  Anyhow, Thomsen is a fisherman.  He landed a 14-pound salmon Sunday evening and the radio was tuned in on the Ford Symphony hour.  Mebbe the strains of Strauss had something to do with the salmon taking the lure…yes, mebbe.  But Thomsen is a good sport and believes in advertising.  He took the fish to Tacoma on Monday morning, had it iced and shipped to a friend in Oregon.  And that’s good advertising for Vashon Island.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – 1884 was continued.

March 14, 1940

  • Ellisport Water System Under Fire Monday – At a public hearing held Monday morning in the club room of KVI residents of Ellisport testified before Ralph J. Benjamin, a member of the public service commission, relative to the conditions of the Ellisport Water Company’s system.  John Wilson, engineer for the department of public service, testified as to the actual condition of the system, and of the various attempts that had been made to prevail upon the owners, Mrs. Iva Curtis and her son, Alfred, to make improvements that would better service and furnish customers with pure, clean water.  It was stated that the state department of health had pronounced the water unfit for use.  Correspondence introduced dated over a period since June 17, 1938.  Various patrons testified that the water a great portion of the time was so filled with mud that it was unfit for use.  Housewives complained that much of the time it could not be used for household purposes when available, and that the supply was so poor that quite often in the summer months for periods of several days water could be drawn only at night time.  James Wallace, chief engineer for KVI, was an excellent witness as he explained the necessity of hauling water from Vashon and Portage to be used in cooling the huge tubes which are a part of the transmitter equipment.  He also stated that approximately $500 worth of 3 inch pipe had been donated to the company which was to furnish a line from the reservoir to KVI property, but recent investigation disclosed the outlet still remained a much smaller pipe, although the larger pipe had been delivered four years ago.  In a situation fraught with possibilities of rancor, patron after patron testified calmly and conservatively to facts supporting their dissatisfaction with the system, and with a laxity which they felt was utterly inexcusable in a time when good water was considered an essential.  George Thompson, who had been active in the attempt to better conditions, working in conjunction with the Ellisport Woman’s club for several years, presented some 10 or 12 witnesses, all of whom supported his original testimony, or offered some strengthening bit of additional testimony.  Alfred Curtis, representing the water company, declined at first to testify, but upon the insistence of Mr. Benjamin finally took the witness stand.  A considerable portion of his testimony was in collaboration of that of the patrons, although he corrected a number of statements previously made.  Lack of funds, and physical conditions of the spring from which the water supply is drawn, were advanced as the reason for absence of cooperation in making improvements and accepting proffered help.  The hearing was adjourned at 12:30 with a promise of a decision in the matter at as early a date as possible.

  • Commercial Club Entertains the Young People Monday – At one of the most pleasant meetings ever held on Vashon Island the Commercial Club Monday evening paid tribute to youth.  The guests of honor were five charming young ladies, candidates for the title of Miss Vashon Island, and members of the high school basketball squad, substitutes and managers.  Paul Billingsley, president, expressed the pride of the community in having a school which had given us a winning team.  As proof of this Mr. Billingsley pointed out the Tri-County League cup recently presented to the school.  Mr. McElvain, superintendent, was then introduced and paid a fine tribute to the boys and their accomplishment, and to the work and worry that had been expended by Coach Robert Eckman in developing a team of this caliber.  When he was introduced Mr. Eckman told in an amusing way of the manner in which the boys had gone through a difficult season with honor to themselves and their school.  At the conclusion of his remarks Mr. Eckman called on the team captain, Robert Wight, who paid a tribute to his team-mates and coach, and thanked the Commercial Club for the recognition they had been given.  Mr. Eckman then introduced the other players and managers which included Lad Bacchus, Charles Allison, Paul Schwartz, Dean Hobson, Douglas Cullen, Jim and John Penny, Jim Matsumoto, Masa Kunugi, Manager Jim Miller and his assistant, Bob Smock.  Dave Schwartz, and alumnus, was also introduced.  Dave is at home for a week after having successfully passed his West Point entrance examinations.  Each boy received an ovation that left no room for doubt that each person present was thoroughly proud of what the season had brought forth.  Miss Mary Anne Agren was presented with a huge bouquet of roses in token of her choice as Miss Vashon Island.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – 1885 was presented.

March 21, 1940

  • Separate Room For Retail Sales Department – Work is being completed this week on a storeroom at the Beall Greenhouse Company’s plant in which will be housed the new retail department.  Although the Bealls have done a retail business on the Island for many years its steady increase demands facilities outside the regular packing plant and offices.  The new room will occupy the space of the old cold storage room, with an entrance out onto the main driveway.  There will be better display facilities with this arrangement.  The interior of the store will be furnished in knotted cedar and attractively furnished.

  • Captain Williams Passes Away

  • Lands What May Be Record Sea Bass – What is believed by sportsmen to be a world’s record for a sea bass of this particular species was landed Sunday by Clarke Thomsen, Tahlequah.  The bass weighed 9 ½ pounds.  According to the Fenn Reel blue book, the largest sea bass of this type ever caught weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and was landed off the banks of New York in June, 1929, by Peter Volkman.  Thomsen was trolling for salmon when he made the catch, the first ever taken in this fashion around Vashon Island, it is declared.

  • High School News – Great Success – The operetta the “Flower of Venezia” directed by Mrs. Mae Young Judson survived a matinee and evening performance amid a shower of praise last Friday, and in all respects was a great success.

March 28, 1940

  • Vashon High Quintet Wins Y.M.C.A Tournament – From a field of 16 schools who participated in the Washington Prep Invitational Tournament, the Vashon Pirates captured the Y.M.C.A. trophy last week.

  • Zimmerman Funeral Held Wednesday – The obituary of Worley J. Zimmerman was published.

  • Dunsford Buys Ellisport Water System – Negotiations were practically closed this week whereby Maurice Dunsford takes over the interests of Mrs. Iva Curtis in the Ellisport water system.  Mr. Dunsford has not completed his plans, but is in consultation with engineers who are working out details of complete rehabilitation of the system.  This will consist of a new tank elevated to give service to a larger number of patrons, developing of springs which furnish water, enlarging mains to provide a greater volume, overhauling and replacing meters that have not functioned for a long time, and in other ways making provisions to serve Ellisport as efficiently as any community on the Island.  When the system is completed it can furnish ample water to the entire community and as far north as Klahanie (Keplo) Beach.

  • Debate Trophy – Vashon high school had another honor bestowed upon it when the debate squad received a trophy for the tri-county championship.

  • Senior Play – The try-outs for the Senior play “Turning the Trick” are over and the pupils likely to take part are: Judith Shride, Merry Bogunovich, Wanda Robinson, Mildred Griffin, Betty Mae Wilder, Art Robinson, Dick Shride, Bill Partee, Jack Petersen, Glen Polhamus, Don Kress.  The play is a comedy mystery.  The seniors will demonstrate their acting ability Friday, April 26.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island by O.S. Van Olinda – 1886 through 1888 was presented.

back to top

April 1940

April 4, 1940

  • Receives Appointment To Annapolis – Telegrams and letters, confirming his appointment, were received last week by John Smith of Portage.  John has been nominated for entrance to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis by Congressman John Coffee, representative from the South District.  At present John is enrolled at the University of Washington, where he is making an enviable record.  The course he is taking is such that he will not have to take mental tests to enter the Academy, although he will have to pass a rigid physical examination.  John is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George Smith, Sr.  His father is an officer aboard the U.S. Lightship Swiftsure.

  • State Highway Patrol for the Island – Beginning Monday Vashon Island became part of the highway patrol system, when officer L.D. “Moon” Mullins took over his duties here.  He will work out of the Tacoma office, District 1, under Captain Harry Snider.  Captain Snider stated that the officer would be on regular patrol duty practically every day of the week, and that traffic violations of drivers on the Island would be under the same scrutiny as elsewhere in the state.  An effort will be made to clear the Island highways of so-called “jalopies” and youthful and unlicensed drivers.  An attempt is being made by Mullins to secure a justice of the peace for the Island, so that Island residents will not be subjected to the expense and inconvenience of appearing in a Seattle court.  He is also working with officials to secure a testing station for a five day period early in June.  This will also save Island drivers the annoyance of going to the Seattle testing stations.

  • Injured in Traffic Accident Here – Five persons miraculously escaped death Tuesday when a car, driven by Mrs. Simon Edwards, collided with one driven by George Olsen.  The traffic report showed that the accident was due to faulty brakes on the car of Mr. Olsen, who assumed the entire blame.  The accident took place on a three way corner on the Walls hill.  Mrs. Edwards, accompanied by her son, Phillip, and Mrs. Clifford Andersen, was on her way to Seattle, to bid farewell to members of the family leaving on the fleet of Edwards’ fishing boats.  They were coming from the south and did not see Olsen’s car which was approaching the same corner from the east.  Unable to stop his car Mr. Olsen attempted to run into a blind road, but was struck by the Edwards car before he could pass the corner.  His car was overturned and almost demolished but in some miraculous manner his little daughter Joanne, who was with him, escaped serious injury.  Mr. Olsen suffered face cuts and an injured neck, while Mrs. Andersen sustained leg cuts and injuries.  They were taken care of by Dr. McMurray at his office.

  • Owner Of Watseka Dies – Word was received this week of the death of Mr. A.L. Larsen, owner of Watseka Lodge on Maury Island, who passed away in Idaho three weeks ago.  Mrs. Larsen and her daughter visited the Island recently.  Watseka Lodge will again be occupied this summer by the Catholic Sisters, as it was last year.

  • Frank Enochs Out To Break Record – A field of peas now in full bloom on the Frank Enochs ranch.  Mr. Enochs is the Island’s best gardener, and this spring he is better than ever.  A large field of peas that are six feet tall have been white with bloom for some time.  The first blossoms were nipped by the frost, and fell off, but with the recent warm weather they are now setting and Frank expects to have peas to market before the end of April.

  • Editorial – When the Census Taker Comes – It is unavoidable that on Vashon-Maury Island there are a certain number of conscientious objectors to answering some of the very personal questions which will be asked this month by neighbors taking the federal census.  It fact we believe the majority of American women, who may be perfectly willing to tell their age to these census enumerators if they came socially to call, would still feel a bit resentful when these same neighbors come in an official position and ask them how old they were on their last birthday.  Many of us feel that the questions in regard to our financial status are nobody’s business but our own.  If our home is mortgaged and we are making regular payments quite likely we feel we are fulfilling our destiny.  We may even be unreasonable enough to feel that likewise under the head of our business comes the more personal matters and that government hirelings should be able to deduct other pertinent and impertinent facts if we confess we get water from a well or faucet.  But before we get too hot and bothered about the whole thing let’s remember that if we don’t want the census enumerator to know these facts, and have all the fun of writing up our secret lives, all we need do is haughtily demand a blank and say, “I am perfectly capable of filling in the darned thing myself.  And I can still find 3 cents for a stamp, somewhere around the old homestead!”  Let’s keep in mind that primarily the enumerator is in the game to make a few honest dollars.  He or she didn’t think up the questions; they have been instructed not to attempt an answer to controversial questions, so generally speaking it’s useless to try to pick a quarrel.  The enumerator is simply hired help set to do the dirty work.  We believe that the psychology back of the general protest is a lurking fear of what has happened in other countries when citizens become indexed.  The very spirit of American revolts against that sort of record of those things we consider our own business.  But the census takers on Vashon-Maury Island are people most of us have known for years.  There is material for rumpuses galore, but before we make them and ourselves mad and miserable just remember you don’t have to tell them a single fact.  We’ll feel a lot better taking the census form, sitting down calmly and quietly to fill it out instead of having questions fired at us point-blank.  The enumerators doubtless feel just as foolish asking the questions as we do about answering them.  (But about that matter of age – lookout for that if you ever expect to ask for old-age pension and haven’t a birth certificate.  Tell the truth, sister, even if it hurts.)

  • The Report of Condition of Vashon State Bank at the close of business on March 26, 1940 showed total assets of $213,633.66.

  • Those Initials – Some day our readers are going to hear the editor is in Steilacoom.  The principal reason will be that folks just won’t give us the correct initials, or spell names correctly.

  • The Puget Sound Power and Light are building a line to Camp Sealth which will be in operation by the opening of the summer season.

  • Three fishing boats, the “Bernice” the “Celtic” and the “J.B. Edwards” sailed for Alaskan waters from Seattle Tuesday morning.  Two of the boats will return to Seattle every three weeks while the “Bernice” will remain in the north all summer.  Those who sailed included Simon Edwards, Ole Edwards, Carl Edwards, Perry Hansen, Clifford Anderson, Berger Edwards, Ernest Siversen and Barton Edwards.

April 11, 1940

  • Ice Creamery Will Open – One swallow may not make a summer, but when we hear that Larry’s Super Ice Creamery is opening we know that summer is practically here.  The 1940 opening of Larry’s will take place Saturday, April 13, in the newly renovated and redecorated room formerly occupied by the Evans’ Radio Shop.  The same variety of soft and regular ice creams made and sold under sanitary conditions will be available.  Between two and four o’clock there will be a free cone given with each one purchased, so needless to say there will be a land office business to herald this popular spring opening.

  • House Burned In South End Saturday – Fire of undetermined origin destroyed the William Berry residence at Southern Heights last Saturday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock.  The loss amounts to approximately $1500.  The house was constructed more than four decades ago by the late Samuel Berry.  The Berrys are of the opinion that the fire may have been caused by defective wiring or rats carrying matches between the walls along with inflammable matter.

  • Death Closes Useful Life – The obituary of W.J. Magowan was published.

  • Ferry Matter Aired At Commercial Club Meeting Monday – Monday evening at one of the most interesting meetings of the year, members of the Vashon Island Commercial Club discussed several matters of importance.  Probably the one most thoroughly discussed was the matter of summer ferry transportation.  The ferry committee reported that only minor changes, to give more Sunday trips to Vashon Island, were contemplated at Vashon Heights.  A few objections to a change in boats, putting on the Elwha in place of the Vashon, were voiced.  The matter of curtailment of service at the South End, with completion of the Narrows Bridge was aired from every angle.  The operators insist that volume of traffic will permit only a 10 hour service between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  Due to union regulation the 10 hour day must be adhered to.  This opinion is not, apparently, shared by residents of the Island, who are certain that such curtailment of service would be disastrous.  A meeting will be arranged soon with representatives of the Commercial Club, the traffic department of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Public Service present.  It is believed that some solution can equitably be worked out without too great a hardship inflicted on either the ferry company or Vashon Island.  Appreciation of the difficulties which face the operators was voiced and the sentiment expressed that they must receive fullest cooperation from Island people if more adequate service is given.

  • Editorial – Three Months Too Long – Island residents are growing weary with delay in repairing the washout on the Cove road, between the Tjomsland and Kimball places.  According to residents of Cove, who must use the road frequently, the washout occurred late in 1939.  It took out an area 20 feet wide extending almost halfway across the road, which at this point is now wide enough for only one car.  At Monday night’s meeting of the Commercial Club the chairman of the road committee reported that the county engineer’s office shifted the blame to the state office on the plea that “all jobs costing $500 were the responsibility of the state highway department.”  One man, familiar with such work, on Tuesday replied to an inquiry as to the probable cost, “Aside from the permanent surfacing I would take a contract to make repairs for $50.  The county has burned almost as much kerosene keeping flares going as it would have cost to repair the washout.”  Others complain that the visibility is very poor coming from the west, and that one unfamiliar with the situation could easily have a bad accident.  Blind corners, frequently reported to the proper source by those variously friendly and unfriendly to the administration, are still ignored.  Last week’s accident at the bottom of the Walls hill where the corner is hidden by a high fence has brought this matter definitely to the minds of those familiar with that and other corners.  Only a kind providence has prevented several near accidents at the Covington corner from being disastrous.  Vashon Islanders are not making these pleas just “because it is election year,” as is frequently charged.  These dangerous corners have gone for years without improvement.  The washout on the Cove road has menaced motorists for more than three months.  We cannot blame the local road crew for they take their orders from the county office.  But it is certain that the proper officials should realize their responsibility to Vashon Island as part of King County.  The remark of a state officer last week who said, “It seems as though something should be done to make Vashon-Maury Island part of the State of Washington” is as pertinent as Sunny Jim’s cryptic “the 47 United States and the Soviet State of Washington.”  Only most Vashon Island residents would be satisfied just to be considered as part of King County.  It is hard to imagine a washout on a traveled mainland road elsewhere in the county remaining for three months in status quo, reducing an important link in the highway system to one-way traffic.

April 18, 1940

  • 1940 Valedictorian and Salutatorian Chosen – Announcement was made this week that the highest scholastic honors for Vashon Island High School go to Wanda Robinson and Grace Matsumoto, valedictorian and salutatorian of this year’s graduating class.  Wanda entered high school in Alaska, coming here in her junior year, while Grace is a native of Vashon Island.  In addition to Wanda and Grace other students, comprising the ten highest ranking seniors, were announced.  They are Winifred McPherson, Shirley Blekkink, Jack Petersen, Lawrence Larsen, Judith Shride, Marie Johansen, Mildred Griffin and Betty Mae Wilder.  Shirley Blekkink and Jack Petersen tied for fourth place.  This year’s senior class is the largest in the history of Union U.  There are 62 students, 29 of which are girls.  As frequently occurs in our high school the boys outnumber the girls, this year by four.  Members of the class are: Mary Ann Agren, Doris Jean Bitle, Thelma M. Brewick, Shirley Jean Blekkink, Merry Bogunovich, Vera Cader, Lorraine Valerie and Lorna Prior Croan, Eleda Karly Dyrness, Joan Isabell Griffith, Mildred Louise Griffin, LaVeda Devonne Gust, Gloradawn Hoel, Marie Hazel Johansen, Jensine Nevada Kimmel, Carralee Jean Kimmel.  Virginia Mae Long, Sachie Myshiro, Pauline Kay Moore, Ruth Winifred McPherson, Grace Toshiko Matsumoto, Mary Yoshiko Nakamichi, Bette Jean Quinlan, Wanda Robinson, Dorthea Mae Shephard, Judith Shride, Borghild Sovold, Betty Jane Tjomsland, Virginia Kathryn Therkelsen, Betty Mae Wilder.  Paul Daniel Amundsen, Edward R. Babcock, Douglas Bacchus, John C. Coffin, William Dahl, Alfred E. Edwards, Stanley, Ellisen, Terrance and Elmer Frombach, William Walton Fitzpatrick, Lee Huston, Donald C. Kress, Lawrence Edward Larsen, Charles Joseph Law, Jim Miller.  James Branigan Penny, Robert Glen Polhamus, Joseph Henry Pettelle, Jack Petersen, William Bentley Partee, Arthur Charles Robinson, John Howard Rodda, William Steed, Richard Eugene and Frank E. Shride, Robert J. Smith, Frank Sawyer, William Harold Smith, John Taylor, General Marion Wheat, Earl Walter Willers, Edwin A. Lewis.

  • KIRO Authorized To Erect Transmitter – Vashon-Maury Island is now definitely assured of being the location for the most powerful radio broadcasting station in the Northwest when word was received that the federal communications commission had authorized construction by KIRO of a 10,000 watt transmitter.

  • R.S. Hearst is nursing a sore hand which he cut with an ax while chopping wood at his home in Paradise Valley Tuesday.

  • Does Anyone Know When Bees Are Beeing? – A request: Ordinarily a newspaper does not request contributions of this nature, but we wish some well-informed person, before next week, would write us a short article on the subject, “Bees On Vashon Island.”  We’d like to know why more people here don’t keep bees; what the relation is between pollenization in various fruit trees and bees; what general crops could be raised that would furnish honey, etc., - just anything that we greenhorns should know about bees.

  • History of Vashon-Maury Island – 1888 and 1889 was presented.

April 25, 1940

  • Work On Cove Road Job Progresses – Road district employees are at work on the washout on the Cove road, which has constituted a traffic menace since the first of the year.  A certain amount of difficulty is being encountered, but although the work is progressing slowly every effort will be made to avoid closing the road and inconveniencing those who use it regularly.  A large culvert, 18 inches square, is to be put across the road at the place the washout occurred.  Road engineers decided that the best plan is to tunnel in from the north side of the road.  The present highway is the same in places as the road laid out 60 years ago, and apparently at this particular place there was a log culvert, later filled up and the logs buried.  Working in cramped space in the tunnel the workmen find that these logs, tho decayed, hinder excavation operations.  West Siders, who appreciate the danger of the washout are gratified that the state and county have at long last gotten together and that the work will be done by the time summer tourists begin to arrive.

  • C.M.T.C. – Organization of a company of young men from Vashon Island to go as a unit to the CMTC at Fort Lewis is being promoted by Paul Billingsley and Capt. Russell D. Powell.  With a limit on attendance imposed Vashon is fortunate in having a quota of 10.  Camp will be held at Fort Lewis from July 2 to July 31.  Young men from 17 to 24 years are eligible.  There is no pay attached to attendance, but all necessary expenses will be paid, such as board, lodging, expert medical attention, uniforms, equipment, arms and laundry.  Transportation is paid to and from the camp.  No obligation for future service in any component of the army of the United States is attached to attendance at a Citizens’ Military Training Camp.  The objects of the various camps are to bring together young men of high type from all sections of the country and thereby develop closer national and social unity; to teach the privileges, duties and responsibilities of American citizenship; to stimulate patriotism; to interest young men in the importance of military training; to teach self-discipline and obedience and to develop the physical standards of American youth through participation in military exercises, athletic games and sports, conducted under expert directors.

  • Blackfish Thumping Causes Wonderment – Two large schools of blackfish surged by Tahlequah last Thursday afternoon, thumping their tails, spouting and putting on a regular circus for the folks at the popular South End beach.  A battle royal between two of the fish enlivened the novel affair.  After passing Tahlequah, one of the schools went over to Point Defiance and the other down the West Pass.

  • Attend Caucus At Kent – Several Islanders were at a Republican caucus held Monday night in Kent.  Those in the party were A.H. Petersen, Capt. Russell Powell, Francis Sherman, Frank Kneebone and Agnes L. Smock.  R.K. Beymer of Tahlequah drove down from Seattle for the evening.

  • Work Begins At KIRO – Work was started Monday morning on clearing ground for the new KIRO transmitters to be built near Portage this summer.

  • Windows Installed In Short Order – Good management and workmanship were demonstrated last week by Deb Harrington and three of the carpenters employed on the remodeling of the Vashon Hardware store.  Delivered on the Monday afternoon auto freight which reaches Vashon about 2:15, 350 square feet of crystal window glass was unloaded, unpacked, and put into place in less than two hours.

  • The obituary of Clinton Myron Harrington, 73, was published.

back to top

May 1940
May 2, 1940

  • New Ellisport Water System Completed – With less than 24 hours interruption of service the rebuilt water system of Ellisport began delivering clean, pure water in an almost limitless amount to patrons Saturday.  During the past four weeks Maurice Dunsford, the new owner, has practically rebuilt the system into one of the most modern on Vashon Island.  For a number of years an antiquated system has poorly served patrons, with the result that the once flourishing summer colony of Ellisport has practically disappeared, and only those property owners, who had no other choice, remained.  With the assurance of sufficient water for household and garden purposes cottages are being rented, which for several years have remained vacant.  Several permanent residents have started work on new lawns, and are preparing to plant gardens.  Shortly after a hearing, conducted in March by the department of public service, Mr. Dunsford purchased the water system from the former owners.  The system at that time was badly run down, an ancient tank was so badly cracked that only a small amount of the water pumped could be delivered; inadequate mains limited the service so that patrons were frequently without water for long periods of time.  Water was pumped to the tank from an open pump to which it ran in an open ditch from several springs.  Due to the fact that the springs at the bottom of a large wooded canyon issued from quicksand it has previously been considered impossible to cover them in a sanitary manner.  In rebuilding this problem was met in a clever manner.  Cribs were built and sunk as deeply as possible around four of the springs and tight, well-ventilated houses built over them.  After this was completed many tons of rock were dumped on the surrounding surface, previously the bottom of a pond, to form a foundation for dirt shoveled from the side of the canyon.  These springs are at the bottom of the canyon running west from Ellisport mill.  Shaded by giant maple trees it is a veritable beauty spot, entirely hidden to the passerby.  In a building near the springs a 3 h.p., slow-speed motor pumps from a large concrete receiving sump, into which the water flows by gravity from the springs.  Pipes and valves are arranged in such a manner that any part of the system can be cut off for cleaning or repairs without interrupting service.  The pump, which is a double acting, horizontal type, has a chain drive and will be entirely automatic, insuring continuous service with only occasional attention.  Water is pumped from the bottom of the canyon to a 20,000 gallon tank on top of the hill, near the road running west from Madrona Lodge.  The tank is built of fir staves on a concrete base.  Inlets and outlets are so arranged that the water circulates continuously, which, added to the fact that it never sees daylight from the time is comes from the spring until drawn from the faucet in the home, is assurance of its cleanliness and purity.  Instead of inadequate pressure there is more possibility that patrons at the lowest point may be inclined to complain of too much.  The pressure ranges from 80 to 90 pounds at the lowest point to 20 to 30 pounds at the highest point, where formerly a feeble dribble was delivered.  The inch and a quarter mains have been replaced by three inch pipe to the bottom of the hill, where it branches through smaller mains.  The entire system is one which any community can well be proud, and the efficiency with which this work has been done, by three to seven men, in such a short time is a credit not only to Maurice Dunsford, but to those who worked with him because they recognized the importance of what they were accomplishing to their community.

  • Portage System Adds 10,000 Gallon Tank – The growing Portage water system has been further improved, and better facilities added by a new 10,000 gallon auxiliary tank completed last week.  The new tank is located off the hill northwest of Portage, just back of the former home of W.F.Martin.  It is 55 feet from the surface of the ground to the top of the tank, which rests on a wooden foundation 40 feet high.  The tank will afford a better supply and pressure of water for patrons living at the south end of the system, who were previously supplied from the tank north of Center.

  • Letter Explains Purpose Of C.M.T.C. – We believe the following letter, received this week from Paul Billingsley, paints a true, concise picture of the need and purpose of the C.M.T.C.   Burton, Washington, April 29, 1940.  Dear Mrs. Smock:  The account of our C.M.T.C. program in your issue of April 18th presents well the nature and objects of these military training camps.  One additional feature, however, should have been emphasized; namely that here on Vashon Island the program is being sponsored by the American Legion.  Paul Billingsley and Capt. Powell are respectively chairman and secretary of the Legion’s C.M.T.C. committee.  It is particularly important that the young men of Vashon Island, and their parents, understand that it is the American Legion which is sponsoring this training camp for their enjoyment and benefit.  For Legion members, one and all, have experienced something similar.  They have first-hand experience, and can recall the bitter as well as the sweet tastes of it; and they recommend it to the people as a good thing.  They recall also that the C.M.T.C. program was set up by our government at a time when first-hand experience of military training and of war was still a vivid memory to citizens and legislators alike.  The program, then established, had a two-fold purpose; to make better and fitter citizens by getting our young men together for a period of outdoor life and cooperative effort and to provide our nation with a reserve, against emergency, of training leaders.  The young men of 1940 have not, in their lives, encountered an overwhelming need for their services and help.  The business world, harassed by depression and uncertainly, has needed little new man power.  But beyond our national boundaries, across the bordering oceans, a world in which the cowards, the wishful thinkers and the unprepared are getting a short shrift.  In such a world the United States of America needs above everything else trained young leaders; trained in body, in technical skills, in political judgment and in military skills.  Weakness in these respects has kept no nation out of war in the past, and the fate of the weak in the present war points the same moral.  Even in 1940 we will be master of our fate only in so far as we are strong.  So the American Legion has unanimously endorsed, this year, the Citizens Military Training Camp.  The Legion knows that attendance at the C.M.T.C. during July will be a privilege to our young men.  They will have a fine time at no cost, their acquaintance and background will be broadened, and they will have taken the first step toward leadership, out of the ruck, if further military service is ever asked of them.  The Legion requests the cooperation of all in securing for Vashon Island a good representation in this year’s C.M.T. Camp at Fort Lewis, July 2-31.  Very truly yours, Paul Billingsley, Chairman, C.M.T.C. Com. Vashon Island Post 159, American Legion.

  • South End Club Seeks Eighteen-Hour Service – Organization Favors No Change In Length Of Ferry Service – Climaxing a session in which the factional barometer registered some tropical and arctic temperatures, the South End Community Club, one of the largest civic organizations on Vashon Island, went on record Saturday night as demanding an 18 hour service when the new ferry schedule goes into effect after the opening of the Narrows bridge.  At the opening of the meeting C.R. Roediger, secretary-treasurer, pointed out that the state department of public service is not unmindful of the ferry situation that will be created by the opening of the Narrows bridge, and is making a definite effort to have a suitable schedule arranged in advance.  A motion made by R.K. Beymer finally carried after amendments had been tacked on by Gllbert Smith, Fred C. Smith and Charles G. Huhn, Jr. demanding that the first ferry (it must be a vessel that transports anything that travels on wheels) depart from Tahlequah at 7 a.m. daily.  This was done to preclude any attempt to have the “Yankee Boy” operate on an early run.  The secretary was instructed to send a copy of the motion to the state department of public service.  Huhn, Jr., speaking for a delegation of members and non-members of the South End Community Club stated he believes the figures available to the public concerning the cost of operation and profits of the Washington Navigation Company are inaccurate and incomplete.  He and Edwin H. Gleb, who made a trip to Olympia to obtain figures that it developed later had been public property for more than two years, said in their opinion a new ferry company would be more acceptable than the Washington Navigation Company or any offspring of this organization.  Bill Skansie, one of the stockholders in the Washington Navigation Company, was put on the pan several times.  Gleb quoted Skansie as saying “he would operate during the summer and get the gravy, and then didn’t care what happened to the service between Point Defiance and Tahlequah.”  Paul Billingsley, president of the Vashon Island Commercial Club, gave a comprehensive outline of the problems that Vashon and Maury Islands must face when the new ferry schedule is finally compiled.  He also pointed out that the major portion of the population of Vashon Island is located south of Center, and declared there is no legitimate reason why the entire community should not profit by the opening of the Narrows Bridge, with at least the prospect of more frequent service and increased traffic between Point Defiance and Tahlequah.  Billingsley displayed a map of the entire territory, showing the centers of population.  Huhn, Jr. also presented figures on the company’s revenues.  Billingsley then dusted off his records compiled over a period of years.  (They are so complete that persons often call on him for correct data on the ferry company’s operation.)  He showed no serious discrepancy with Huhn’s figures.  Billingsley told the crowd that he had devoted a great deal of time and money to obtaining ferry operation data; had attended many public hearings; that he really believed he was a “prize American sucker” and should be given a cast iron scroll for his vest.  Huhn Jr. and Gleb declared they felt that there should be a public hearing on the proposed schedule, and that matters now pending should not be handled by a committee.  Billingsley then pointed out the unfavorable results of such action in the past and the wisdom of settlement by more or less friendly negotiations.  Huhn Jr. pointed to the fact that some former patrons of the boat operating between Dockton and Tacoma are now using the ferry and that ferry business is building up.  The fact is that these folks are using the ferry in an effort to discipline Capt. John Manson, operator of the aforesaid boat.  Otto Therkelsen and Howard Willsie, operating a truck service between Vashon Island and points on the mainland, stressed the need of an early morning ferry.  Some of the folks began to act like a person with a splinter in his or her finger, and wanted to get it out right away.  Speedy action followed, after various amendments had been offered to the original Beymer motion.  Preceding the business session, dinner was served under the direction of Mesdames Fred G. Pohl, Gilbert Smith and W.C. Hager.  The committee received many compliments on the menu.  Decorations were comprised of beautiful tulips, other flowers and shrubbery from the Sheffield gardens.  The next meeting of the club is announced by president David B. Cook for Saturday, May 25.

  • Mrs. Alice C. Wolverton of Maury is planting 6,000 gladiola bulbs this week at her home, “Hollymere.”  The planting is under the supervision of James Penny.

May 9, 1940

  • Commercial Club To Show Pictures Of New Bridge – With the opening of the Narrows Bridge but a few weeks off Monday night’s dinner meeting of the Vashon Island Commercial Club will have two features of particular interest.  Henry Foss of Tacoma will be present and will show motion pictures of the progress being made on the bridge.  Mr. Foss has many friends here and his visit here Monday night promises to be a pleasant one.  The opening of the Narrows Bridge is bound to effect the operation of the South End ferry.  Recently a hearing was held in Tacoma at which operators of the ferry, Island representatives and members of the department of public service discussed the future of the South End ferry, its operation and schedule.   A report of this meeting will be given Monday night by President Paul Billingsley.  It is planned to have also a speaker from Seattle to explain the workings of the fire district law enacted by the 1939 legislature.  The formation of one or more districts here is being seriously considered.  While the cost would mean a small increase in taxes this would be counteracted by the saving in insurance that would result.  Monday night’s meeting will be held in the club room at the Island Club, with dinner at 6:45.  Reservations should be made with Ira Thompson not later than Monday morning.

  • To Build Addition To Kimmel Store – Change is the order of the day at Vashon and Wednesday found still more activities started.  Workmen began leveling the ground between the Alibi and the building to the south which will soon be occupied by the Vashon Beauty Shop.  Work will start at once on moving the building occupied now by the Alibi back 100 feet.  A new building for the Alibi will be built in the present alleyway to the south.  The addition to the Kimmel building, now occupied by the offices of Dr. V.C. Coutts and Luella T. Sanderson, will be moved south next to the new Alibi.  With these buildings out of the way work will begin on a fine new addition to the C.G. Kimmel store which is rapidly outgrowing its present quarters.  The new room will be 30 feet by 100 feet, of brick construction to match the present store and the office building, with which it will join.  On the west side of the block work was started this week on the building housing the barber shop.  New timbers are being placed under it; the front will be torn away and replaced with a modern one to match the Vashon Hardware next door.  Anticipating a large number of summer residents and increased business Vashon merchants are getting these changes completed as rapidly as possible.  Ground has been cleared and work will start soon on the Bickle furniture store west of the hardware.

  • History Of Vashon-Maury Island – 1890 was presented.

  • Selected To Attend Evergreen Boys’ State – Announcement was made this week that Bob Smock had been selected by Island Post, American Legion, as their representative to attend the 1940 Evergreen Boys’ State to be held at Camp Murray, June 15 to 22.  Two hundred boys from the entire State of Washington will be selected to attend this meeting.  The purpose of the Boys’ State is to bring to the boys of Washington a knowledge of the fundamental principles of American Government through actual participation, as elective officers in control of city, county and state offices during the Boys’ State; to demonstrate to them the superiority of our form of government; to teach them Americanism and to create in them a desire to actively take part in the civic life of their respective communities.  City, county and state governments will be organized naming the boys in a manner provided by law.  There will be the various types of courts which will function according to provisions of law.  The boys will be instructed in advance by qualified, trained leaders, thirty in the various branches of activities.  The boys will participate in all kinds of athletics.  There will be a glee club, dramatics and public speaking.  There will be inspirational addresses, with each boy given definite responsibilities and every effort made to develop experience and appreciation of the American form of government.  Bob feels he is privileged in having part in this program which is typical of the valuable Americanism plan of the American Legion, one of the greatest forces today in protecting our form of government for future generations.

May 16, 1940

  • Jack Petersen In First Place – Out of the six high school track teams competing at Poulsbo for the Tri-County track pennant, Bremerton came in first, Poulsbo second, Port Orchard third, Vashon fourth, Silverdale fifth and Vaugh sixth.  Three new records were established in the 880, pole vault and the mile.  The Vashon track boys who won letters by earning points are Robinson, who took fourth place in the 880, Jack Petersen who won first place in the discus, Earl Willers who captured third in the javelin and Jim Penny who won third place in the 220.

  • Kimmel Will Sell New Hosiery First – It was announced by the C.G. Kimmel store’s buyer, Mrs. Mollie Sharp, that a few pairs of the new “Nylon” hose would be available this week.  Though the definite number was not known it was anticipated that the first shipment would be scarcely more than enough to fill orders that have been waiting since the new fabric was first announced.  Although these new stockings will be slightly higher in price the synthetic material presumably has wearing qualities that make it much more durable than real silk.  If this is the case it will revolutionize and reduce that item of milady’s budget that now causes many a headache.

  • Notice To Berry Growers – Loganberry growers should be on the lookout for the loganberry fruit worm fly.  Some fields should be dusted with a rotenone dust immediately, and other fields possibly a little later.  For best results, three applications of dust during the blooming period is recommended.  Strawberry growers should be on the lookout for spittle bugs and also root weevils.  The spittle bug builds a nest which looks like spit; this causes the leaves to curl and stunts the plant, greatly reducing the crop.  Rotenone dust is also very effective for this insect pest.  Any field of strawberries should be baited for the root weevil.  This insect pest can only be killed in its beetle stage and so appearance of these beetles should be closely watched.  At the first sign of these beetles, a special poison bait is recommended.  Three applications during the next two or three months will give best results.  Agricultural Committee, Vashon Commercial Club.

  • Children Escape Injury As Stairs Fall – Several children, students at the Burton-Southern Heights school, narrowly escaped injury Friday when the outside steps at the back of the building collapsed.  Fortunately there were no serious results, although the children were scratched and badly frightened.  The mishap occurred during fire drill and the youngsters were too intent upon what they were doing to have any advance warning.  Parents were much disturbed over the fact that an important part of the building as the stairs at one of the entrances could be so badly rotted without having been discovered or if known not corrected.  This condition might exist in a private home, but they feel it is nothing short of criminal, where children’s lives could so easily be endangered.

  • Consolidation Study Approved – A unanimous vote in favor of a study of consolidation of Island schools was given at the meeting of the Vashon Grammar School P.T.A. held last Tuesday. 

  • Commercial Club Holds Interesting Meeting – A representative from the Seattle WPA office spoke briefly on the subject of a bathing beach for the Island.  Plans have been made to construct a bathing beach, with boom logs forming a sort of tank, about three blocks west of the Burton dock.  Douglas Doyle and Cecil Petree have been selected as instructor and life guard respectively.  It was strongly advised that a matron be employed to look after the younger children, probably one of the women now cooking at one of the grammar schools.  C.F. Van Olinda, in response to a request of President Paul Billingsley, described the manner in which the Vashon Island Transit Company had received recognition for having operated the past year more than 7,000 miles without accident.  Two drivers, Johnny Staples and Charles Lowrey, were presented with pins as having made outstanding records.  Johnny driving some 33,000 miles without accident and “Chuck” approximately 30,000.  These awards were made by the National Safety Council, sponsored by a number of insurance companies, the same agency which presented pins to our high school bus driver last year.

  • Death Calls Beloved Pastor – The obituary of Rev. William J. Sharp, pastor of the Burton Community Church, was published.

  • History Of Vashon-Maury Island – 1890 and 1891 were presented.

May 23, 1940

  • Convention Was A Great Success – More than 50 delegates to the state convention held here Saturday, came from Leagues of Women Voters in Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and Vancouver, to be entertained by the Vashon-Maury league.

  • Addition To Church Planned – Plans are being made to build an addition to the Presbyterian church which will provide more room for the primary department of the Sunday School, the Auxiliary and social needs of various church groups.  The church and manse will be painted in a program of improvements.  Plans call for a 14 by 36 extension on the east side of the church, enlarging the primary room and adding a kitchen and storage room. 

  • Eighth Grade Exercises Monday Night – Mrs. Louis Taylor, superintendent of Pierce County schools, will be speaker at the graduation exercises of Vashon-Maury eighth graders, Monday evening in the auditorium of the high school.  All Island schools, with the exception of Lisabeula which has no eighth grade, will be presented.  Students completing the 8th grade and preparing to enter Vashon Island high school next fall are: Burton: William Brammer, Quentin Edson, Jean Fitzpatrick, Janet Green, Roy Gurnaud, Beverly Hofmeister, Forrest Jennings, Roy Lander, Verna Robinson, Jane Selleck, John Van Devanter.  Center: Lorna Bacon, Dorothy Burton, Kathryn Fuller, Helen Garvin, Bob Haack, Alice Hendricksen, Bill Jenn, Bob McCone, Haruka Otsuka, Eleanor Thomas.  Columbia: Gloria Fosmark, Carl Hansen, Calvin Dial, Beatrice Long, Anna Lorentzen, Charles Moore, Erling Nordeng, Drickie Ober, Clarence Paulson, Vera Rose, Marie Sovold, Jean Underwood, Mary Jane Utesch.  Dockton: Bernice and Margaret Beratich, Theodore Calhoun, Gene Miller, Goldie and John Roncevich, Ethel Taylor, Eugene Turner.  Vashon: Dorothy Adams, Sid Bacchus, Zelma Gail Blekkink, Verna Brown, Katherine Buchanon, Connie Collier, Russell Cronander, Mary Fujioka, Eva Gorsuch, Donald and Nedra Gust, Mickey Hawkins, Vernon Johnsen, Ronald Law, Ethel Mann, Barbara Metzenberg, Ben Pedersen, Shirley Potter, Larry Frigg, Marjorie Lou Steen, Takahiko Togami, Clarkia Wertz, Rod Willis, Alice Woo Boo, Wilmetha Wyman, Florence Zummerman.

  • Mrs. Eliza E. McIntire – When the high school was removed in 1911 from the hill top in Burton to the Newport site, the building was purchased by James McIntire and remodeled into a dwelling place where he and his wife spent the remaining years of active and happy lives.  In this home Mr. McIntire passed away about seven years ago, since that time his widow had been in failing health and during recent months confined constantly to her room, watched over by her only surviving daughter, Mrs. E.W. Stewart, assisted by the devoted nursing of Mrs. Mary B. Rees.  At Mrs. McIntire’s request her bed was placed beside the windows, once those of the old assembly room, where she could look out across the valley toward College Hill, even as the scholars used to do, watching for the signs in the afternoon shadows that told the hour of dismissal approached.  And thus it was at 4:30 on last Sunday in the old school house, she laid aside the problems of life and went home. (Contributed)

May 30, 1940

  • Control Methods Tried At Beall Greenhouses – Experiments which were begun two months ago at the Beall Greenhouse Company’s plant, are being carried on in an effort to find effective control methods for the leaf tier and leaf roller, pests which present a real problem to greenhouse operators and horticulturists.  Already they are attacking holly trees heavily on the Olympic Peninsula.  The hand picking method, with the rolled or tied leaves being picked by hand, is slow and expensive, but is used to a certain extent.  Various types of lights are being used to determine which attracts the insect most effectively.  So far the ordinary mazda, a projection flood lamp, the new Kirsten lamp, a white and green florescent lamp have been used with varying results.  To date the projection flood has proved the most effective, but other lamps will be tried until the best one is found.

  • Vashon Village Is Here Again – Dear editir:  Sum time ago u invited yir reedirs to rite in about beez – and every weak I have red yir papir thinking that shurly sum won wud rite in about these busy littul creechurs, but I don’t find a artickle about beez.  I don’t know a lot about beez excep that beez is all rite in there plase, witch is a clover-feeld, but wen won gets into a speeding car by mistake, then they is a disastir.  Also, I no that beez is good stingers.  But watt I want to say is that I red a item witch sed, “The absinse of bumbil-beez prevented the fertilizashun of red clover in Noo Zeeland.  Then 95 bumbil-beez were shipped in and 9 years latir that country prodused won-millyun dollirs wurth of red clovir seed” – witch is pretty good wirk for 95 bumbil-beez, bee-leeve me.  Yirs sinsirly, Vashon Villager.

  • To Enlist Aid Of Business Houses – Aid of Tacoma firms selling merchandise on Vashon Island will be enlisted by the South End Community Club in its efforts to bring about a satisfactory ferry schedule when a different service will be necessitated by the opening of the Narrows Bridge.  It was the consensus of opinion that the proposed ferry schedule would be definitely detrimental to Vashon Island in general and particularly to the residents of the South End, who are mainly dependent upon the Point Defiance-Tahlequah line.

  • Largest Class in Local History To Graduate Friday – Sixty-two seniors, the largest class in the history of Vashon Island High School, will be graduated Friday evening.  The 12-year record of more boys than girls remains unbroken, the boys outnumbering the girls by two.  Wanda Robinson, daughter of Mrs. Ozella Robinson, of Burton will deliver the valedictory, and Grace Matsumoto, daughter of Mrs. J.Y. Usui, of Center, the salutatory.  Roster Class of ‘40: Mary Ann Agren, Doris Jean Bitle, Thelma M. Brewick, Shirley Jean Blekkink, Merry Bogunovich, Vera Cader, Lorraine Valerie and Lorna Prior Croan, Eleda Karly Dyrness, Joan Isabell Griffith, Mildred Louise Griffin, LaVeda Devonne Gust, Gloradawn Hoel, Marie Hazel Johansen, Jensine Nevada Kimmel, Carralee Jean Kimmel.  Virginia Mae Long, Sachie Myshiro, Pauline Kay Moore, Ruth Winifred McPherson, Grace Toshiko Matsumoto, Mary Yoshiko Nakamichi, Bette Jean Quinlan, Wanda Robinson, Dorthea Mae Shephard, Judith Shride, Borghild Sovold, Betty Jane Tjomsland, Virginia Kathryn Therkelsen, Betty Mae Wilder.  Paul Daniel Amundsen, Edward R. Babcock, Douglas Bacchus, John C. Coffin, William Dahl, Alfred E. Edwards, Stanley Ellisen, Terrance and Elmer Frombach, William Walton Fitzpatrick, Lee Huston, Donald C. Kress, Lawrence Edward Larsen, Charles Joseph Law, Jim Miller.  James Branigan Penny, Robert Glen Polhamus, Joseph Henry Pettelle, Jack Petersen, William Bentley Partee, Arthur Charles Robinson, John Howard Rodda, William Steed, Richard Eugene and Frank E. Shride, Robert J. Smith, Frank Sawyer, William Harold Smith, John Taylor, General Marion Wheat, Earl Walter Willers, Edwin A. Lewis.

back to top

June 1940
June 6, 1940

  • Ferry Situation Is Proving Bothersome – Tahlequahites are wondering of there’ll be a Santa Claus in the person of the State Department of Public Service.  There is no word forthcoming as to what may be expected in the form of a ferry schedule between Point Defiance and Tahlequah when the Narrows Bridge opens July 1.  So far as is known the Washington Navigation Company, holder of the ferry franchise, has filed no proposed schedule with the state department so far as is known.  Information that has leaked out through several channels to the effect that nothing more than a 12-hour service may be expected, even during the summer months.  However, there is a possibility that the State Department will make a determined effort to force the Washington Navigation Company to give additional service, even if it means subsidizing the Yankee Boy for trips early in the morning and late in the evening.  While the Yankee Boy is only equipped for foot passengers it will at least provide additional service to the Island.

  • Canning Project to Begin – All those planning to donate jars or foods for the summer canning project at the Vashon Grammar School are requested to phone Mrs. J.F. Beattie, Red 74.  Arrangements can also be made to have fruits, vegetables and cans picked up.  The canning project is being sponsored by the Vashon P.T.A. in preparation for next winter’s hot lunches.  It will be carried out by Mrs. Tabby Boggs under the supervision of the WPA.

  • Bill Walls Will Attend Boys’ State – Selected by the Island Lodge of Odd Fellows Bill Walls will be their representative at the 1940 Evergreen Boys’ State to be held at Camp Murray June 15 to 22.

  • Ferry And Boat Schedules – Attention is called to Sunday ferry schedule changes appearing in this issue.  The new schedule of the Virginia V which resumes service June 10 appears in this week’s News-Record.  The new Sunday schedule, which permits a fine opportunity to see the Narrows Bridge, will interest many.

  • The obituary of Mrs. Jennie M.S. Randall, widow of the late Dr. Edwin M. Randall, was published.

  • Alleged Kidnapper Arrested By Local Peace Officer – Recognized by Deputy-sheriff F.J. Shattuck aboard a Seattle-bound ferry William King, 21, is being held in King County jail, awaiting his second trial on morals charges.  The officer recognized King from a description filed in the sheriff’s office when kidnapping charges were preferred against him by a sister-in-law.  The arrest was made as the suspect rode off the ferry in a car in which he had been given a ride. 

  • Promote Purchase of Pulmotor – The recent near drowning of Dr. and Mrs. Frank Grandy has made the Burton community conscious of the need of a pulmotor.  Dr. Grandy has been instrumental in having placed on exhibit in the Burton Pharmacy a modern pulmotor, such as are now in use in many places.  More than half of the price of the equipment has already been pledged for its purchase. 

  • Tahlequah Summer Residents Arriving – With a view to protecting their children from the spreading epidemic of infantile paralysis in Tacoma, summer residents at Tahlequah are arriving two weeks earlier than customary.

  • The Vashon Island Christian Workers Committee Bible Class meets this Friday evening at the home of Mr. Frank Bibbins at Quartermaster.

  • Nearly a hundred residents of Cove and Colvos made an excursion aboard the “J.B. Edwards” to Poulsbo Memorial Day.  At Poulsbo the party enjoyed a picnic.

June 13, 1940

  • Poultney Appointed Justice of Peace – Arthur Poultney received his appointment as justice of the peace for Burton precinct from the office of the prosecuting attorney.  His jurisdiction also included other Island precincts and he is authorized to hear cases brought by the state patrol, state department of fisheries, state department of licenses, state department of agriculture, state department of public service and the King County sheriff’s office.  With the appointment of Mr. Poultney to this office the matter of trying the type of case that falls under the category usually handled by a justice of the peace can be taken care of here, and need not be taken into Seattle, taking residents from the Island on matters that can now be handled locally.

  • “William Shakespeare’s” To Be Opened June 22 – The Shakespeares, Bill and Betty, announce that their new eating house, “William Shakespeare’s”, will open Saturday evening, June 22, when they will hold open house between 7 and 10, at which time the public is invited to visit and inspect this delightfully new restaurant.  Chicken and steak dinners will be served by reservation.  Salads, sandwiches, ice cream and cold drinks will be served at all hours.  “William Shakespeare’s” is located near the top of the Vashon Heights hill and is not only tasteful and modern but commands one of the most scenic views in the Northwest.

  • Uncertain Ferry Schedule Hurts – Due to the uncertainty of the ferry schedule that will be necessitated by the opening of the Narrows Bridge the summer cottages at Tahlequah are not being rented as rapidly as in years past.  This is the first time in six years that every cottage has not been rented by the first of June.

  • Meat Market Opens At Portage Mercantile – Announcement is made in this issue that a new service in connection with the Portage Mercantile, is a modern, up-to-date meat market.  Under the management of Vinc Micela customers of the Portage store will be able to buy there a full line of quality meats at the lowest prices consistent with the best.  Cliff Lavender, owner of the Portage Mercantile, announces at the same time a sharp reduction in 600 shelf items, on fully half of the items in his store.  Catering to a steadily growing business, which has benefitted by his years of experience as a grocery salesman, Mr. Lavender feels that a full line of meats must be available for customers.  It was to provide this added service that arrangements with Mr. Micele were made to open up a complete meat market.  Taking over less than a year ago a badly run-down business, Mr. Lavender has in a quiet, efficient manner built up business and stock to a gratifying level.  The sale announced in this issue of the paper will be of great interest to thrifty shoppers among regular customers of the Portage Mercantile and to the summer residents who are returning in increasing numbers to Portage and other places on the Island. 

  • Large Number Attend Commercial Club Meeting – Predominating were residents of Burton and the South End at a meeting of the Vashon Island Commercial Club held Monday night at the Island Club.  The matter of an adequate South End schedule when the Narrows Bridge opens the first of the month is still a great worry.  Pierce County commissioners have subsidized the Fox Island ferry at a cost of $17,500 to provide 13-hour service for some 250 residents, but, it appears, they do not feel like making any effort for the benefit of the many times that number from Vashon Island.  In any event it is certain that a schedule that limited will not adequately serve this territory.  A ferry hearing to be attended by members of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce traffic committee, representatives of the Department of Public Service and the ferry company, and interested residents of Vashon Island is set for Thursday morning at the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce.  It is hoped that the Skansies can see as do we of Vashon Island that we must have more than a 13-hour schedule.  If this cannot be done an effort will be made to enlist state aid in the operation of this line.

  • Will Conduct A Recreation School – Mrs. Mary Lee will open a recreation school at her home south of Vashon Monday morning.  She will take pupils by the day or week, give kindergarten instruction, coach retarded or advanced pupils.  Mrs. Lee will also care for small youngsters for a few hours or a day.  Most of the instruction will be given outdoors in the Lee’s beautiful yard, which is sheltered from all dangers.  A large, new garage, never used as such, will provide an ideal schoolroom in rainy weather, or for the more advanced students who require quiet for study. 

  • Forum – Burton, Wash., June 1940 The Vashon News-Record, Vashon, Wash.  To the Editor: Why is it that the citizens of Vashon Island, who are interested in keeping their youth on the right path, allow a thing such as the dance situation here in the summer to exist?  Many of the younger people enjoy dancing above other forms of recreation, but in the summer months they have the choice of not dancing or attending a dance where the majority of the dancers are disgustingly drunk.  Is this the kind of social life that the parents of Vashon Island wish their sons and daughters to have?  I am a young man of high school age more or less, and although I do not like to take a decent girl to the summer dances here, the girls with whom I go and like to dance – therefore we go to the dances and try to remain aloof from the crowd.  Have you ever tried to have a wholesome good time with drunks yelling in your ear and walking on your feet?  You should try it some time, it’s really quite enlightening.  If this were a necessary evil, or one from which the Island in general benefitted, I would tolerate it and keep my silence, but the Island does not benefit in any way from these orgies.  Let me outline my contentions.  First, a non-resident comes to the Island and sponsors the dances at which a non-Island orchestra plays to a crowd, which is composed chiefly of non-residents.  This prevents a respectable dance being held because a certain number of our Island youth attend these dances in order to associate with the “town crowd” and to be considered one of the local small-time “smart set.”  Second, a respectable dance cannot be made to pay, it is said, because this other “attraction” keeps the crowd away from the local dance to such an extent that the attendance is not sufficiently great.  Let us grant that this is true (although I doubt the statement.)  Fine.  The local organizations sponsor many benevolent and charitable activities, why should they not be willing to assume a slight loss at weekly dances?  It would not be a great expenditure, and it seems that improving the associates and environment of the youth of the Island during their few recreational activities would be a much better investment than many other things for which money might be collected.  Also, since the competing orchestra is only to consist of four pieces this year, it should be simpler to attain the attendance necessary to realize a profit.  The young people of today do not want to associate with a bunch of drunken bums, but if their only means of enjoying their favorite recreation lies in that alternative, we shall probably choose it.  How about it, parents, will you try to establish a decent dance or do you want your sons and daughters and other peoples sons and daughters to attend such affairs and associate with people who may easily drag the weaker ones down to the level which you will so readily condemn when it is reached by them with your help?  One of the “younger generation.”

  • The obituaries of Hatsuguma Tanaka and Mrs. Charles Cristman (Cora Mathis) were published.

June 20, 1940

  • Will Give Dance At Center – In response to popular demand Island Lodge will give a dance at their Center hall Saturday night, June 29.  A cordial invitation is extended to all who enjoy an evening of good entertainment.  Ed Woods’ orchestra will furnish the music.

  • Organization Meeting Of Local Red Cross Chapter To Be Held Friday Night – Confronted with the greatest concentration of human suffering the world has ever known American stands today as the only source of relief.  More than 5,000,000 children, women and old men, refugees from war, are destitute.  Their only hope is the United States.  Feeling that the people of Vashon-Maury Island lack only the opportunity to have a part in carrying on this work, a meeting will be held at the Island Club Friday evening, June 21, for the purpose of forming a Vashon-Maury Red Cross Chapter.

  • Vashon Island Gains Ten Per Cent – Preliminary figures for the 1940 census are to some degree gratifying to Vashon Island, for instead of the stagnation indicated by the loss of one resident in the decade 1920-30, the decade 1930-40 shows a net gain of 269 residents.  The population of Vashon-Maury Islands, which was 2801 in 1920 and 2800 in 1930, is 3069 in 1940.

  • Refused Excellent Job By Union – Milton, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. George Walls, was a member of the class which graduated from the Washington Technological Institute in Seattle Friday evening.  Milton made an outstanding record in his work and graduated at the head of his class in Diesel engineering.  The engineer of a large cannery had offered a job to the most outstanding Diesel student and Milton was offered the job only to find that the union would not permit him to work because he had not had actual experience.

  • Islanders Win Partial Victory In Ferry Fight – Meeting in Tacoma Waxes Warm; Skansie Asked to Quit – by C.R. Roediger - After a conference Wednesday morning at Paul Billingsley’s home, the ferry committee decided to appeal to the State Department of Public Service for a postponement of the public hearing scheduled by the department for June 27 in the Hotel Winthrop, Tacoma, at 10 a.m.   Unleashing a verbal offensive that dented the carefully molded defense line of Attorney Charles Peterson, representing William Skansie, heir-apparent to the Washington Navigation Company’s franchise.  Forbes Haskell won the first round in the battle to obtain adequate transportation to Tacoma for Vashon and Maury Islands.  The meeting was held at the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce, following weak steam-roller tactics on the part of Jay W. McCune, representing the Tacoma organization.  McCune urged accepting a 12-hour schedule.  Ralph W. Benjamin, supervisor of transportation for the State Department of Public Service, conducted the two-hour session that developed the following points:  (1) The Washington Navigation Company in liquidating its affairs when the Narrows Bridge opens July 1 is going to turn over its franchise and one 20-car ferry to William Skansie and Mrs. Mitchell Skansie for a reported figure of $30,000.  This figure seems high to the committee, since the ferry in question is carried o the company’s books at value, after depreciation, of $16,000, and since the Department of Public Service refuses to allow any value to the franchise.  Furthermore, the larger ferry “City of Steilacoom,” to be used on the Fox Island run was bought by Pierce County for $15,000.  (The committee representing Islanders looks with suspicion on this reputed deal.)  (2) The heir-apparent will only give 12-hour service between Point Defiance and Tahlequah, beginning at 7:05 a.m. from Tahlequah.  (3) This schedule is not at all acceptable to the committee comprised of Billingsley, Haskell, Axel Peterson, W. Coy Meredith and the writer, nor to the Island residents as expressed through their community organizations.  (4) Haskell requested Attorney Peterson to relinquish the ferry franchise and sell the ferry to some company that is willing to give adequate service to Islands with a population of 3,069 (nearly double in the summer.)  Peterson with a touch of irony in his voice, thanked Haskell profusely, but declined to follow the suggestion.  To Peterson the request was as welcome as a sandwich with clam shells for filling  (5) Director Benjamin also indicated that if a 12-hour schedule finally goes into effect he will enlarge the franchise now held by Captain George C. Rickhard to operate the Yankee Boy between Spring Beach, Point Delco and Point Defiance so that the trim little vessel may load and unload passengers at the ferry pier, at Tahlequah.  Billingsley and Haskell refused to yield an inch in their battle for a worthwhile ferry service, and also demanded an extension of the commutation tickets for motorists patronizing the ferry.  They were severe in their criticism of the fact that the ferry operators are unmindful of the public’s transportation requirements.  A delegation of Tahlequahites, imbued with the idea that the committee might sell ‘em down the river, was on hand to see what it feared might be the unveiling of another Trojan Horse.  They were amazed at the battle put up by Billingsley and Haskell but made no comment.  The committee members expressed hope that the delegation will supply constructive assistance toward reaching a solution of the ferry problem.  After the meeting, Billingsley and the writer conferred with Charles B. Welch, editor of The Tacome News-Tribune, and were assured that every assistance would be given Vashon and Maury Islands in the fight to obtain adequate ferry service.  The opening gun in the campaign was fired Friday with the publication of a letter penned by Billingsley.  Prior to the meeting, Billingsley told the committee members that he had enlisted the aid of the King County commissioners in maintaining the dolphins at Tahlequah, which would mean a saving of approximately $1,500 yearly to the ferry operators.  The commissioners agreed to back him up 100 per cent, he said.  They expressed a preference for a change in management.  In this connection it was thought possible that a similar arrangement could be make with the Pierce County commissioners, but the present ferry operators flatly refused to consider additional service even if this plum were plucked and placed in their financial basket.

June 27, 1940

  • Deer Swims From Point Defiance to Tahlequah – The upper part of its body gleaming in the moonlight, and with a phosphorescent hue in its wake, a deer swam from Point Defiance to Tahlequah on Tuesday evening while a score or more persons watched the unique sight.  Tired from the long swim across swirling waters, the little animal reached shore in front of the Arthur Fries home, half-way between the ferry pier and the entrance to the West Pass.  Crowds of youngsters were on hand to welcome the stranger, as it wended its way on unsteady “pins” along the water’s edge.  Shortly before 10 o’clock it started towards Spring Beach, and no reports of its whereabouts have been made since.

  • Yankee Boy Deckhand Is Painfully Injured – Caught in a painful squeeze play between his boat and the Elsie C. III, Orval Luther Jones, 22, deckhand on the Yankee Boy, was painfully injured Thursday afternoon about 5:30 while the two craft were loading at the Point Defiance pavilion.  D.A. Somerville and Vance E. McClure, Tahlequahites, assisted Lindy Merritt, Yankee Boy mate, in caring for the injured youth until the police ambulance arrived.  Jones was removed to the Tacoma General Hospital.  He was released Saturday, and is recovering from his injuries at Spring Beach.

  • Work Progressing On KIRO Clearing – Contracts for equipment for KIRO, Queen City Broadcasting Company’s new transmitter on Maury Island, were let last week.

  • R.W.F. Martin Dies In Vancouver, B.C.

  • Vashon-Maury Starts Red Cross Drive

  • Fire Threatens Heights – Fire which spread when a group of boys attempted to burn a pile of lumber remaining from a wrecked house, threatened adjoining property Wednesday morning, but was brought under control by the quick work of county men under Herb Creevey.  The fire started south of the Cunliffe property on the road running toward the beach from the pavement at the top of Vashon Heights hill, back of Twickenham Estate.

  • Swimming Courses to Be Given At Park – Beginning Monday applications for free swimming lessons, under the direction of Douglas Doyle, can be obtained at Vashon-Maury Park.

back to top

July 1940

July 4, 1940

  • Local Sea Scouts Win Tacoma Race – Before one of the largest crowds ever assembled in Tacoma eight members of the crew of the Sea Scout “Cachalot” of Vashon won the first rowing race they entered.  Boys who took the honors were Ben Pedersen, George Petersen, Walter Wertz, Dick Clare, Paul Harrington, Stuart Campbell, Bob Van DeVanter and Bill Smock.  Their coxswain was Kelly Weiss, mate of the “Cachalot.”  The race was over a mile course, between Point Defiance Park and the pavilion.  The crew and boat were taken to Tacoma by Mr. Billingsley and his yacht, the “Suzie Q.” –Your Sea Scout Reporter, Bill Smock.

  • Curtailed Ferry Service Is In Effect For Island – First Boat Leave Tahlequah at 7:15 a.m. – Vashon Island’s curtailed ferry service between Tacoma and Tahlequah is now in effect.  The first boat – The M.F. Defiance departs from Tahlequah at 7:15 a.m., and the final trip out of Point Defiance is 12 hours later.  The ferry then goes to Gig Harbor for the night.  Generally speaking, Vashon and Maury Islanders, will have a 13-hour service between these points, with a ferry operating approximately every hour except between 10:15 a.m., and 1 p.m.  During the summer season the company plans to operate a ferry with a carrying capacity of at least 40 cars, it is said, and will use a small vessel probably the M.F. Fox Island, from September to May.  The only way of getting off or on the Island during the late evening will be via the launch Yankee Boy, which will carry only foot passengers.  The Yankee Boy will depart from the Point Defiance pavilion at 7:30 and 10:45 p.m., making stops at the ferry pier at Tahlequah and Point Dalco.  Persons desiring an earlier boat than 7:15 a.m., and not requiring transportation for car of truck, will have to walk to Point Dalco for the 7 a.m. Yankee Boy.  Fulfilling the prediction made several weeks ago by Paul Billingsley that a public ferry hearing would prove bad medicine for Vashon and Maury Islanders, the session held last Thursday in the Hotel Winthrop, Tacoma, resulted in the transportation company scoring what it is hoped will be only temporary gains.  Attorney L.L. Thompson, former state attorney general and a summer resident of Burton, proved bad medicine for the committee battling for better ferry service.  His testimony was very detrimental to the Island in that he declared under oath that he was well satisfied with the schedule proposed by Skansie.  Thompson stated that in his opinion there would be insufficient business to warrant evening service by the ferry operators.  Lonergan, assisant to the president of the Black Ball ferry line, and classified as a transportation specialist, also supported the Skansie claim that night service would be ruinous from a financial standpoint.  But he was forced to admit, however, that one ferry line that had proved a white elephant under the Black Ball banner is making money for the new operators.  Otto Therkelsen, operating a freight line from Vashon Island to Tacoma, aided in defeating the committee’s plan for increased service, by stating that the proposed schedule suited his requirements.  Billingsley was the only witness put on the stand by Attorney Williams.  His testimony irked Peterson, which is natural, as Billingsley speaks with authority on transportation problems.  Peterson’s line of questioning was on the facetious side, and he wound up by drawing from Billingsley that he had not been in the ferry business.  Billingsley retorted that while he wasn’t in the ferry business he certainly looked at the transportation problem from a business man’s angle as well as a ferry patron.  Billingsley warned Islanders that a public ferry hearing would probably mean defect – as it has in the past – but a certain group, particularly Tahlequahites – voiced approval of the public session.  The hearing, however, was called by the State Department because it was not satisfied with the attitude of the ferry company.  Attorney Martin L. Potter assisted the Ferry Users’ committee, and Harold Broomell, Tacoma attorney, appeared for a Mr. Walton, operating an amusement enterprise at Lisabeula.  Their line of reasoning again brought out the hackneyed skeleton from the closet that “figures don’t lie, but liars do figure.”

  • Forum – Dear Sir:  In a recent issue of your paper we read with indignation the haphazard, muddle-brained complaints of one who signed himself “one of the younger generation.”  These complaints concerned the conduct or misconduct of visitors to the Island from Seattle and Tacoma.  This self-styled “young mad of high school age or there-abouts” bemoaned the fate of Island boys and girls in having to attend the same dance that we from the city attend.  He attempted to give the impression that we come to the Island to satisfy an urge to stage a drunken brawl.  Without even bothering at the present to defend ourselves against such an asinine charge, we want to show the main reason why our presence should be welcomed.  That reason is the trade we bring.  City people who spend the summer on Vashon Island more than double the quantity of food, shelter and clothing sold; they give work to mechanics, carpenters and gardeners.  Week-end visitors like ourselves also contribute to this trade.  But we do something else, too.  We make it profitable for private enterprise to give regular ferry service to the Island – a service of which every Islander takes advantage at some time or another.  Now let us return to the defense of our conduct.  It must be admitted that some people so attend these dances in a state of inebriation.  But there is certainly no predominance over the number of such persons at any similar function.  Much less may it be said that the city folk are responsible for this supposed predominance.  Still less may it be said that a separate dance for Island folk would bring out only those who are paragons of virtue.  Not even “one of the younger generation” would claim that everyone on Vashon Island is a teetotaler.  We assure the sensible people of Vashon Island that we do not judge them all by the inane drivelings of this matoid, that we will continue as in the past to enjoy happy evenings as their social functions, and will continue to conduct ourselves as gentlemen.  We are not ashamed of our conduct, and neither, Mr. “young man of the younger generation – of high school age or thereabouts,” – are we ashamed of our names or ages.  Joseph Carey, age 22, John Kelly, age 21, Richard Kelly, age 22, Robert O’Gorman, age 21.

  • Mrs. Bill Robinson has completed the window signs for the Alibi and Ona’s Beauty Parlor, and her clever and artistic work has received much favorable comment.

  • More About Deer – Apparently the little lady deer, that swam from Point Defiance to the Island ten days ago, furnishing an exciting spectacle for Tahlequah beach folk, is getting to know her way ‘round.  Saturday morning members of the household at the Lamereau place on Judd Creek awakened to see the lovely little yearling grazing on the front lawn.  Apparently she can sense a real friend, for Vernon Lamereau is one of the most ardent defenders of wild life hereabouts.

  • Two Island Boys Win Lodge Hike – Although few of their friends will recognize this as our young friends, Calvin Frombach (left) and Terrence (center), it is the way they look to a Seattle Star cameraman Saturday night at the completion of a 17 ½ mile hike in which they won first and second places.  Sponsored by Rustic Lodge, a resort on the Black Diamond highway, the boys entered the race with only a minimum of preliminary training.  Terrence, a previous contender in the Seattle Star annual race, won first place and $75, while Calvin came in second to win $50.  They came in only five minutes apart.  Terry making the 17 ½ miles in two hours and 50 minutes, and Calvin in two hours and 55 minutes.  The boys were out in front from the start at Columbia City until they reached the lodge, which is three miles closer to Seattle than Lake Wilderness.  Terrence, president of the Class of ’40, V.I.H.S., will use this prize money to finance a course at Edison Vocational School in Seattle, where he plans to enter this week.  He will take up mechanical training.

 July 11, 1940

  • The American’s Creed – At an extremely interesting and instructive meeting of the Vashon-Maury League of Women Voters, held this week, in connection with a quiz on the Constitution the president mentioned “The American’s Creed” by William Tyler Page.  It developed that not all present were familiar with the creed, although everyone knew of it, and it has for some years been taught in many public schools.  Mrs. Paul Billingsley contributed the information that the author, William Tyler Page, each year led “The American’s Creed” as it is recited by those attending the national convention of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Feeling that the subject matter is at this time more pertinent than at any other period in American history it was suggested that the News-Record publish the following, in the event that other readers, like several League members, were not familiar, or had forgotten the text. – THE AMERICAN’S CREED – I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principals of freedom, equality, justice and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.  I, therefore, believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and defend it against all enemies.  William Tyler Page.

  • Ferry Service Is Well Patronized – The curtailed Point Defiance-Tahlequah ferry service is being well patronized.  Especially good was business over the Fourth and week-end, despite the fact that not everyone is familiar with the schedule put into effect upon the opening of the Narrows Bridge.  One of the company’s employees, who requested his name not be used, declared that he sees no reason why Vashon and Maury Islands should not enjoy a 16-hour service in the near future.  He declared that Islanders have never had an adequate service, particularly on Sundays and holidays, and feels that with the increased number of round-trips daily and Sunday patronage between Point Defiance and Tahlequah will show a marked improvement.  If such is the case, two eight-hour shifts will result, and Vashon and Maury Islands may look forward to a real boom, he pointed out.

  • The Report of Condition of Vashon State Bank at the close of business on June 29, 1940 showed total assets of $214,047.29.

 July 18, 1940

  • Inadequate Service Irks Week-End Visitors – Failure of the ferry “Elwha” to take care of city week-enders resulted in many indignant protests on the part of visitors, who sat in line for hours at the Heights Sunday afternoon and evening.  It is reliably reported that at one time there were 150 cars in line, with between 60 and 70 being left behind on several trips.  A large number, tiring of waiting, returned to beach cottages, planning to get a morning boat on Monday.  As a result there was an overload on the eight o’clock trip, and although a second trip between Vashon Heights and Fauntleroy was made matters were not vastly improved.  This threw trips later in the day off schedule and caused loss of time and money, not to mention endless annoyance, to every passenger who had to be at a certain place at a specified time.  This condition has been growing worse since in June, and with all their ferries purportedly in use the Black Ball Company seem unable to remedy the situation.  A representative of this paper called Monday afternoon, representing also the Vashon Island Commercial Club, to find out what the company proposed to do to relieve the situation.  In the absence of Capt. Peabody and C.V. LaFarge, president and traffic manager of the company, Mr. H.C. Strassburger stated that the company was regrettably aware of the condition, and that they were attempting to work out some solution.  He stated that the increase of business had occurred so suddenly, and without extra boats available the best that could be done was to handle as much traffic as possible.  Asked why the released Washington ferries could not be obtained since they were still property of King County and the Kitsap County Transportation Company was presumably operating under the old contract, Mr. Strassburger threw up his hands and said that the contract was something they did not wish to consider, adding that it was no longer considered in effect in the courts.  Assurance was given that Capt. Peabody, whom, it was stated, was now in California buying ferry boats, would be contacted by phone and any action he might suggest would be taken as soon as humanly possible.  Mr. Strassburger, who repeatedly said that the company was sorry for the inconvenience, and that something would eventually be done, was assured that even being sorry couldn’t repair the damage that was being done Vashon Island by inadequate week-end service.

  • At the Miramar Inn, Spring Beach, Mr. and Mrs. Forest R. Ritz entertained at eight tables of contract on Saturday night.  Guests from Tahlequah included Mr. and Mrs. Fred G. Pohl, Dr. and Mrs. David B. Cook, Mr. and Mrs. R.K.Beymer and Mr. and Mrs. C.R. Roediger.  The Tahlequahites outboarded it to the popular beach resort on the West Pass.

  • Appointed Deputy Fire Warden – Hamilton Baskin has been appointed deputy fire warden for Vashon-Maury Island during the summer months.  In case of fire he can be reached by calling Red 91.  Mr. Baskin has already found Island residents ready and willing to cooperate in reporting fires.  Vashon Island has already had one disastrous fire that burned over a wide area south of Magnolia Beach, and officers have been effective in checking several other potentially dangerous blazes by alert vigilance.  It is hoped that with proper cooperation the Island can escape such fires as those of last summer. 

  • Makes Large Sale Of Bulbs – It is an ill wind that blows no good, and conditions that have wrecked the bulb industry in Holland are benefitting an Island resident.  Jack Coulson, who six years ago took over a farm on Maury Island and embarked in the growing of bulbs reports that orders are coming in as fast as he can take care of them.  One large mail order house notified him recently that they would not purchase elsewhere any bulbs that he could supply.

  • Dockton Man Stricken – Taken to Columbus Hospital, Seattle, Friday in an unconscious condition it was at first feared that John Peterson, 69, of Dockton was suffering from infantile paralysis.  He was later moved to the isolation ward of Harborview, where his case was diagnosed as spinal meningitis.  Although his condition was considered critical, and he is still in a grave condition, Mr. Peterson is showing a decided improvement, according to reports received here Wednesday.

  • Lisabeula Beach Proves Popular – During the past week a large number registered at Lisabeula Beach and cottages were filled to capacity.

  • Child Injured In Fall From 40 Foot Bank – Charles Minshall, 11, of Seattle, who was visiting his aunt, Mrs. W.E. Mitchell of Ellisport, suffered painful injuries Sunday when he fell over the edge of a 40-foot bank to the rocky beach below.  The youngster had been riding a bicycle around a madrona tree which stood in the Mitchell’s yard about three feet from the edge of the bank.  Failure of the brakes to hold and the slippery madrona leaves proved a bad combination, and Charles hurtled over the edge to the beach below.  Dr. F.A. McMurray was called and rendered first aid, after which the boy was moved to Harborview.  His injuries consisted of a fractured collarbone and a deep gash in the right arm.  Fortunately there was no concussion or internal injuries.

  • Editorial – Oil Is Needed – But Not On Troubled Waters – Motorists and residents along two important links of highway are being tortured by dust.  Letters to the South District commissioner have to date been ignored, and indignation is waxing high.  The Farm-To-Market road, linking the South End and Cove roads, one of the most scenic roads on the Island, is in terrible condition and badly in need of oiling.  In the 160-acre cherry orchard of the Wax place the fruit nearest the road is weighted down with dust, and travelers traversing this stretch are in like condition before they go the entire length.  On Maury Island for almost two miles the dust is so thick that no fruit growing along the road can be used, and housewives have to dry their clothes indoors to avoid washing them a second time.  As usual oiling of roads on Vashon-Maury Island is being postponed until well into the tourist season.  Those roads which have been preciously it must be granted are a great asset, but their effectiveness is marred by the in-between sections that are in their native state.  It should not be necessary to point out the fact each year that value of property, and the taxes that might accrue, is not benefited by this condition.

 July 25, 1940

  • Log Boom Sweeps Tahlequah Boat Away – Sent in by a strong tide, a log boom in tow of a Foss tug early Sunday morning swept away Art Fries’ motorboat and buoy at Tahlequah.  The boat was later picked up near Spring Beach by its owner, and David Rees, clad in conventional night raiment, Tahlequahites, awakened by the commotion, enjoyed the pajama parade.  Foss replaced the buoy, with the customary etcs.

  • Curiosity Is Aroused By Failure Of Ferry To Run – Vashon Island residents were greatly pleased Friday with the good news that the M.F. “Defiance,” belonging to the Washington Navigation Company, had been secured for a week-end stand-by, to take care of overloads on the “Elwha” between Fauntleroy and Vashon Heights.  The story was published in city dailies, and circulated here when news was received from the Black Ball offices.  Apparently the irritation and delays of the past month were to end.  Report came Saturday morning from West Side residents that the boat was enroute to Seattle, and hopes of an abatement of waiting, which has discouraged week-end visitors, appeared about to be realized.  Preparatory to the sailing from Fauntleroy at 10:30 the Defiance was inspected by Capt. George Morgan, federal steamboat inspector of hulls, and forbidden to operate.  Capt. Morgan, in line with the policy of his superiors, would give no information of what he found, but the rumor was current that he had found soft planks and ribs in the hull, and that under no condition would the “Defiance” be permitted to operate as planned.  Needless to say this report caused considerable consternation on Vashon Island, as the “Defiance” had been operating on the South End with more or less regularity, and was understood to have been inspected regularly and kept in repair, according to facts brought up at a recent hearing before the Department of Public Service in Tacoma.  It was also stated on presumably authoritative information, that the ship’s papers had some time to go.  As a result of the unavoidable failure of the “Defiance” to operate there was the usual delay, disappointment and criticism as week-end visitors, expecting additional facilities, were again obliged to wait their turn at the Fauntleroy dock on Saturday, and the Heights dock on Sunday.  In an effort to obtain information to what was wrong with the “Defiance” the News-Record on Monday called Capt. Daniel Hutchings, from whom the information presumably might be forthcoming.  The office was informed that such information could not be given over the phone, but that the captain would talk to a representative of his office.  Later in the day it was discovered that all the talking he would do was to state first that any information would have to be obtained from Washington D.C., later modifying that statement by saying that the owners of the boat could be questioned and the information secured from them.  Capt. Hutchings stated that this was a private matter, and could not be discussed with the public, particularly when the public was in any manner connected with the press, for which he stated he entertained a high respect, but little confidence.  (The captain’s manner is definitely seafaring, and lusty, and nothing he says is reserved from those anywhere in his vicinity.)  Acting upon the suggestion that information be obtained from the owners of the boat the News-Record called William Skansie of Gig Harbor Monday evening.  Mr. Skansie was aghast at the idea that any such thought was ever expressed that the “Defiance” was not entirely seaworthy.  He confirmed the report that the ferry had been recently inspected in Pierce County, and said that Saturday’s difficulty was entirely a matter of failure to have the ship’s papers properly made out so it could operate on a run other than the one she had been on, namely the Gig Harbor – Point Defiance – Tahlequah.  And thus the matter remains in status quo, with little chance to determine whether the difficulty rested with the papers or the hull of the “Defiance.”  In the meantime, lacking equipment for taking care of the week-end traffic, the Puget Sound Navigation Company is without any kind of ferry not in use.  Since early in the season this condition has been acute, and will remain so until the arrival late in August of the ferries purchased in California.

  • What Is The Public’s Business? – An Editorial – The editor of the News-Record was informed Monday afternoon by a federal employee that whatever it was or was not that prevented ample ferry service over the week-end was none of the public’s business, - and told this in no uncertain tones, with no attempt at the courtesy any taxpayer should normally expect.  If a private individual had been forced to take action that so vitally interested the traveling public, and had been asked courteously for a reason he would have felt called upon to answer that inquiry with equal courtesy.  It is not, therefore, out of line to question the blunt refusal and lack of ordinary good business manners.  But this is not, as it happens, the thing we question.  Reports flew thick and fast, naturally, that the standby ferry secured Saturday to relieve the heavy Island traffic of the week-end had been “condemned because its timbers were rotten.”  Presumably this was erroneous, but the traveling public, and particularly Island residents and property owners had every reason to be concerned if a ship which frequently is used at the South End should have been unfit for use at Vashon Heights.  And it is our contention that in spite of the present day arrogance of bureaucracy, and the “go to hell” attitude of small political potentates, a matter ceases to be “private business” when it concerns the tax-paying public as does this matter.  We are told that the ferry in question had been inspected just a short time previous to the opening of the Narrows Bridge.  We know that she had been carrying passengers within the period just previous to and occasionally since that time.  If the ferry was forbidden to operate at the North End because of a technicality then that is one thing.  No one is going to drown because a ship’s papers are made out with blue ink instead of green.  But if a ship’s timbers are firm, when they are reported to be soft, then that is something else entirely.  One then can logically suspect an Etheopian in the coal pile.  There are we grant, frequently facts that can properly be concealed from the public.  But the wide diversity of the rumors, which started to circulate when the Defiance was forbidden to operate at the Heights, and the statement of her owners that it was some technicality relative to her papers which still have some time to go, is so marked that it is our opinion that the traveling public has every right to know the truth in the matter.  As it is likewise no more than fair, when ferry rates are determined in a measure by the amount spent by owners on repairs, we should be told how the ship could reach an unsafe condition in a few weeks.  And it is our contention that under these circumstances this information is not a “private matter,” as contended by Captain Hutchings, but a definitely PUBLIC MATTER.

  • Tahlequahites enjoyed the light rain early Sunday morning, the first experienced here is 63 days.

  • Local School Benefits – Vashon Island Union High School benefited very substantially from state equalization of school support, according to report of the Washington Education Association.  For the year ending June 30, the first year that the new law was in full effect, the local school system received $13,779 from state basic support, on the 25 cents a pupil day basis, and $3,917 more from state equalization, an addition of 28.4 per cent.  Under the plan in operation, the state levels local levies of “tax-poor” districts up to the statewide average of 15 cents a pupil day, merging this equalization aid with the basic support apportionments.  Per diem of the state’s distribution last year amounted to 23.3 cents of 23.6 cents appropriated out of the 25 cents due under the “Showalter” law.

  • Ellisport Boy Cadet At West Point – West Point, New York: David G. Schwartz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Burt I. Schwartz, who was sworn in as a Cadet in the United States Military Academy here on July 1st, has been assigned to 5th Company, New Cadet Class, by Brigadier General Jay L. Benedict, Superintendent.  He is one of a group of 562 new cadets who have just been enrolled in the 1943 class.

  • Officer Schoning Kept Busy – Deputy-Sheriff Schoning has been kept plenty busy this week looking after Indians with too much money for their own good.  Nor have other itinerant workers failed to add variety to law enforcement.  Friday night Schoning was called in the week small hours to one of the Mukai camps to stop a fight between two Indians, both of whom were considerably carved up before the officer and his son, Bill, arrived.  When one of the Indians attempted flight he was brought to earth by Bill, who utilized some of the tackling methods learned on the Garfield football team.  The father’s uniform apparently suffered the greatest damage, which accounts for the less fashionable garb Mr. Schoning has been wearing this week.  Friends may have their joke at the officer’s expense, but all who have watched his work have observed that he is definitely on the job as some of the young fry can testify, with tickets as evidence.

  • The obituary of Mrs. W.L. Schofield (Margaret Luella Kenreigh) was published.

  • Itinerant Robs Landlady – A guest at the Butler rooming house in Burton departed hurriedly Monday morning, taking with him $18, stolen from the purse of Mrs. T. Butler.  The man, who registered at Tommy Sherwood of Tacoma, arrived Saturday afternoon and remained until about ten Monday morning.  He took the “Concordia” to Dockton, and subsequent developments proved that he rented a rowboat at Dockton and rowed to the Yacht Club, near Point Defiance in Tacoma.  Mrs. Butler’s son-in-law, Henry Carley, phoned Tacoma police, and took after Sherwood in a motor boat but he had already landed and made his escape.  A warrant is out for his arrest and the Tacoma police are purported looking for him on other charges.

  • Foot Broken In Collision Of Bicycle And Auto – Twelve-year old Bill Little of Burton is confined to his bed with a badly broken left foot, with which he emerged Thursday evening after his bicycle had been struck by a car driven by Claire Corkery, a summer resident.  Bill had just about completed delivery on his paper route and was returning home carrying in addition to his surplus papers a piece of balsa wood and two dozen eggs.  The accident occurred near the Akehurst corner, at a point where a large maple slightly obstructed the view of the driver.  In an attempt to stop suddenly the brakes were applied with such force that the car swung around, striking the bicycle in the rear.  Bill states he flew through the air but not with the greatest of ease, although fortunately he struck beside the road, rather than on the hard surface.  Even though Bill is suffering and very uncomfortable, with his foot in a cast for some time the lad can still find a ray of humor, and has been intrigued by reports of the manner in which neighborhood dogs have obliterated the trail of broken eggs he left in his flight.

back to top

August 1940

August 1, 1940

  • Smart New Uniforms For Elwha Waitresses – Regular and occasional travelers on the ferry “Elwha” have expressed enthusiastic appreciation of the efforts of the girls at the lunch counter to give a more homelike atmosphere to a rather institutional arrangement.  They have purchased smart new blue and white uniforms, with the name of each on the pocket, and white collars, cuffs and aprons.  Few boats on the Sound can boast of waitresses in uniform uniforms.

  • Crowds Thrilled By Water Carnival – With a crowd of more than 200, including a splendid representation from fashion and other Island points, the South End Community Club staged its fun frolic and water carnival Saturday night at Tahlequah.  Picnic dinners were served on community tables at 7 o’clock, following the marine pageant in which Philip and Millard Gleb, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin H. Gleb, were given the major awards, a 6-16 kodak.  First prize in the boys’ division was accorded The Showboat, a regular barge with paddle wheel ‘n everything.  In the orchestra were Paul Appling, David and Gordon Somerville, David Rees and Wiley Mellish. 

  • Equip Yankee Boy With Loud Speaker – Equipment similar to that used on announcing cars has been installed on the Yankee Boy, and now Capt. Lindy Merritt gives concerts at Point Dalco and Spring Beach, as well as the Point Defiance pavilion.  He is very obliging and gives request numbers, so if you have a pet ditty, and are within ear shot of the boat when it docks, Lindy will strive to please,

  • Illustrated Maps Now Available – Much interest is being aroused by illustrated maps of the Island now being distributed through the courtesy of the Vashon Island Commercial Club.  Printed on white ledger bond, 17x22 inches, in three colors, the map shows clearly all road details, location of important points, etc.  But far more interesting than these are the illustrations showing what goes on around the Island, as well as on it.  The map was designed by Paul Billingsley, president of the Commercial Club, but credit for the art work goes to his daughter, Mrs. Joy Robinson, who devoted an entire week of close and constant work to carrying out the details.  And as one young man said, “She certainly didn’t overlook anything.”  There are enough on hand if distributed discreetly, but each and every map should be placed where it will accomplish the purpose for which it was intended – namely publicity for our Island.

  • Vashon-Maury Pioneers Meet – Pioneers of Vashon-Maury Islands held their annual meeting and picnic at Odd Fellows Hall, Center, last Sunday, July 28th, with some fifty old-timers and their progeny in attendance.  There was a magnificent display of food, some little portion of which was used on the spot, much pleasant visiting among neighbors of old who had not met in many years, and at the business meeting the same old corps of officers were elected for the ensuing term.  A goodly number who have made their homes in other parts came back to talk it over with old friends, among them being: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Risser and daughter, Dorothy, of San Francisco; Lake E Price and wife, Capitola (Fuller), Mr. Price being City Clerk at Kent; Mrs. A.W. (Price) Parrahm, Seattle; Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Risser, Bangor; Mr. and Mrs. L.L. (McDonald) Stetson, Mrs. L.J. Stetson, Florence and Robert Stetson, Port Orchard; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur (Reed) King, Seattle; Mayor and Mrs. David Gammell and Mrs. Luella (Gammell) Lozier, Olympia; Charlotte (Sherman) DIlle, Seattle; Miss D.Del Duca, Seattle.

  • Our Apologies – We find ourselves like the growing boy – not quite big enough for his dad’s coat, but having outgrown his own jacket.  We haven’t material for two more pages, and too much for our present size.  Patience, dear readers!  There will be a bigger paper next week, that will contain the bits that didn’t get into this, as well as the coming week’s.

  • Local Man To Hold Office In Letter Carriers’ Ass’n – Ira Thompson, rural letter carrier of Vashon, was elected committeeman of the first district of the State of Washington at the annual State convention of the Washington Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, which was held at Pullman, Monday and Tuesday.

  • The WPA work on Judd Creek which included painting and replacing the guard rails on the approach, has been completed.

  • “Yankee Boy” Capt. Halts “Log Patrol” – by Charles Roediger – Passengers on the Yankee Boy last Tuesday evening thought they were going to witness a miniature war scene when Lindy Merritt, skipper of the craft, halted the so-called State Log Patrol in the stream at Point Dalco and tried to force the crew of the latter vessel to release a boom stick, which, it is claimed, was stolen from Spring Beach.  Capt. Merritt went alongside the patrol ship, nosed against her bow and turned her towards shore.  He placed an automatic pistol alongside the binnacle in an effort to impress the hirelings of W.E. Craw, head of the so-called State Log Patrol.  One of the crew of the patrol boat seized a sawed off shotgun, it is charged by Capt. Merritt.  The scene had the earmarks of an opening skirmish in the sea lanes.  Merritt decided that the safety of his passengers was more important than the boomstick, which he declares, he purchased from an employee of the Tacoma Yacht Club.  Arriving at Point Defiance, he telephoned the United States marshall’s office, and was informed that he (Lindy) had as much or more authority on the water than did the government official.  Capt. Merritt had the boomstick anchored at his Point Dalco dock as a protection against heavy weather, but, due to strong tidal currents, towed it to Spring Beach, where he had it parked.  The patrol, he charges, under protest from persons in authority at Spring Beach, took the boomstick.  The log patrol, which is a misnomer as it leads persons to believe that it is operated by the state, is in ill-repute among Vashon Islanders because of its arbitrary methods.  Craw’s hirelings proceed to remove branded and unbranded logs as will.  Craw, who is said to work in a Tacoma department store, directs the patrol from behind the scenes.  He tangled recently with R.K. Beymer, Jr. when the latter refused to give up a log.  On another occasion the patrol took a small stick from a woman with two children.  It was a knotty log, unfit for anything but firewood, and only about 10 feet in length.  Tahlequahites were irked over this move.  The patrol spent nearly two hours getting a water-logged hemlock off the Capt. Arthur G. Nelson property.  When they started to tow it away it sank.  The patrol then cut it adrift off the Yankee Boy dock to batter the dock or bulkheads, if a storm arose.  Complaints made resulted in the patrol returning several days later and removing the menace to navigation and bulkheads.  A movement is on foot to raise funds to test the legality of the state log patrol law, the smoke screen behind which Craw and his hirelings operate.  There are many clauses in this law, which was passed by one of the wildest legislatures the state has ever had, clauses that even a layman knows would not stand the test before the state supreme court.

 August 8, 1940

  • Jack Taylor Visits Vashon-Maury Island – On Thursday, August 1st, Jack Taylor, accompanied by George Swayne, County Engineer, paid a long deferred visit to Vashon Island.  The officials were taken on a tour of Island roads by a Commercial Club committee, Cronander, Roads’ Committee chairman, Pack and Billingsley.  Before passing on to consideration of road problems, Commissioner Taylor told the committee that Vashon Island could count on receiving at an early date the fire equipment of Kent, which is being replaced there by new material.  He pointed out the necessity of a volunteer fire fighting organization to handle the fire equipment.  As to roads, the following program for the remainder of the year was promised, after inspection: - 1. Surface West Side highway between turn-off from pavement at the north and the present surfacing at Covington’s corner (except for steep hill east of Cedarhurst, which will not hold oil.  This will receive a dust coat.)  About three miles.  2. Smooth out Covington’s corner.  3. Apply dust coat to side road to Cove dock.  4. Surface West Side highway from south end of present surfacing, at Center road corner, to junction with main Quartermaster Road.  (Project already set up.)  This will give West Side a thorough surfaced road.   About 5 miles.  5. Repair wash-out on shore ½-mile west of Burton.  6. Smooth out corner at Burton Hotel, where the owner, Mr. Clarence Haley, has volunteered to deed county the necessary land.  7. Make immediate survey for sidewalk between Burton and Judd Creek Bridge, through Newport, in order to determine feasibility and ownership problems.  Further steps will depend upon results of survey and upon success of Burton-Newport community in securing cooperation of property owners.  These south end measures were discussed with and approved by the officers of the Burton Improvement Club, H.A. Robbins, Jesse Shaw, and Coy Meredith.  8.  Surface the Maury Island east road from Rendall’s store to Robinson Point.  About 3 miles.  After brief conferences with Theo Berry at Dockton and Louis Rodda at Center the visitors were taken to Betty Shakespeare’s Tea Room to digest the matters decided upon and other less weighty nutriment.  The committee feels well satisfied with the commissioner’s program.  It will complete our system of trunk roads, so that the future surfacing can begin to reach out on feeder roads.  It will alleviate the late summer and fall dust curse on the Cedarhurst hill and in the Cove community.  It will improve the two worst corners on well-travelled roads, i.e. Covington’s and Burton.  It will get the Burton sidewalk problem out where it can be attacked.  Finally the assurance of the serviceable Kent fire equipment gives us much needed protection if we have energy to do our part.

  • The Automatic Inhalator – This equipment, ordered by the Commercial Club committee, Dr. Grandy, chairman, was received last Friday.  It is the best available model, duplicate except for being portable of the one installed in the Tacoma General Hospital.  The committee was given a demonstration of that before placing the order.  The machine is two fold and an be used as a resuscitator, with automatic breathing apparatus which eliminates the need for manual artificial respiration, or as an inhalator if the patient is capable of breathing.  Cylinders of oxygen and of carbogen are on hand.  It is proposed to place this equipment at the King County headquarters at Center, with arrangement for its prompt transfer to points where it may be needed.  As protection in such emergencies as drowning, electrical shock, inhalation of smoke or gas, and various illnesses it will be of immeasurable value to our communities, and general appreciation of this insures early completion of the drive for funds.

  • Surf-Boards Popular At South End Beach – Tahlequah kiddies and grown-ups had a grand time Sunday riding surf-boards on water made choppy by a brisk Northwest wind.

  • Can Golf Survive On Vashon Island? – On Friday evening, August 2nd, a Commercial Club committee met on call of President Paul Billingsley at his home, to consider the pressing problems of the Vashon Island Golf Course.  Present were Haskell, Humiston, Petersen, VanOlinda, McCormik, L.C Beall, Billingsley, and B.H. and Howard Williams.  A series of unfortunate steps have taken Island golf affairs from bad to worse.  1. Lack of money prevented the owner of the course, H.B. Williams, from doing an adequate amount of spring clean-up work.  The course was not put in the best shape of play.  2. The rains of early spring produced an abnormal growth of grass on fairways, which defied cutting by normal methods.  3. Patrons, old and new, were repelled by the unplayable condition of the course, and stopped their patronage.  The present situation, then, is that either the course must be immediately put in good shape and so maintained, or else Vashon Island golf will go the way of our forests.  An abandoned golf course grown up in scrub alders will harmonize well with the burned snags and stumps which face us in many corners of our Islands.  The committee was unanimous in agreeing that the golf course is a valuable asset to Vashon Island and in recommending a determined effort to save it.  It decided to form a membership club, with no responsibility of ownership but with a program of help in improvement and maintenance.  Members of this club will agree to pay dues of $3.00 per month (with 33c tax) for at least one year or until they serve notice of withdrawal thereafter.  A greens committee elected by those members will supervise expenditures for improvement and maintenance and will stand by to give Mr. Williams needed cooperation.  A second committee will revive the social and competitive features of golf.  The committee present led off the list of these new memberships.  All signed the agreement, which will be presented by sub-committees to all Island communities in an effort to secure at least fifty members.  If this is done, our golf course will be made secure and restored to its place in Island life.  People play gold elsewhere, and we need it here if we are to continue our development as an attractive residential tributary to our nearby cities.

  • Kimmel Store To Celebrate Another Forward Step – In 1927 the present store at Vashon belonging to C.G. Kimmel opened for business in a modern building that was entirely adequate for a stock of general merchandise, and the latest word in every respect.  It was not many years until an addition for storage was necessary.  A short time later the hardware department was crowded out and the Vashon Hardware established and yet later still another addition built to house a modern locker system which quickly proved to be an answer to the need of a rural community where much food is raised.  Less than two months ago another addition was necessary to take care of increasing business, and although this involved moving the two story building occupied by the Alibi, and the office building adjoining the Kimmel store this was speedily accomplished, and an addition which approximately doubled the floor space is now built.  Modern shelves and bins, with display islands of the latest design are filled and ready for a self-service system.

  • Advantages For Those Enlisting Now – In order to obtain first hand information in regard to the present conditions of enlistment in the regular U.S. Army, a committee from Vashon Island Post, American Legion, visited the recruiting station in Seattle this week.  The Legion committee feels that in Vashon Island, as in every community, there are young men who can get their best start in life by means of an army enlistment.  All interested can obtain further information and application blanks from Harry M. Janney, Post commander, at Portage, Paul Billingsley, chairman of national defense committee, at Quartermaster, or Capt. Russell Powell, at Burton.

  • First Tomatoes Are Ripe At Tahlequah – Believed to be the first field grown tomatoes ripe on the Island, several pounds were picked Sunday on the Roediger bulkhead at Tahlequah.  Although weather conditions have seemingly been exceptionally warm during the day, temperatures have fallen at night, retarding the ripening of the fruit, which is exceptionally large.

  • Fishing Continues Poor At Tahlequah – For the first time in nine years, fishing is continuing poor at Tahlequah.

  • Fire Controlled By Crew And Volunteer Help – Excellent help in controlling a fire that threatened to spread from Sheffield’s to the Ritz resort at Spring Beach last week was rendered by a local county crew and a group of Tacoma boys vacationing here.  A trail three miles long was plowed by the county bulldozer.  The boys aided by cutting down trees, and in many other ways.  Those who volunteered their services were Ronnie McMillan, Jack Pendale, Dick Bravelflower, Jimmie Boyle and Pat Stewart.  Had the fire not been held by the trail it is entirely possible that the cottages at Spring Beach would have been destroyed.

  • Funeral Services For John Petersen – Funeral services were held Saturday, July 27, in Dockton for John Petersen, a long time resident, who passed away in a Seattle hospital July 22, after a short illness.

  • Work On Clubhouse Progresses – The Vashon Island Sportsmen’s Club met Friday night, continuing work on the clubhouse on Cemetery Ridge.  The automatic water system has been installed, and the building is now supplied with plenty of fresh water.  Plans are under consideration for a huge fireplace to be built in the immediate future.  Members reported that the salmon derby is well under way, with nice cutthroat and salmon occasionally on display at the Alibi.

 August 15, 1940

  • Department Engineer Looks Over Water System – John Wilson, engineer for the Department of Public Service, was on the Island last week interviewing patrons of the Burton water system.  His visit was in reply to complaints recently filed with the department by residents of Burton, who stated that storage and distribution facilities were inadequate for the number served.  It is held that the number of patrons has been increased without adequately enlarging the system.  Formation of a water district such as serves Vashon was being considered.  After going over the entire system and consulting with the owner and operator, Mr. R.W. McKinstry, action was deferred and time granted Mr. McKinstry to make improvements in main and storage capacity.  If this can be accomplished, and the services rendered to which the patrons feel they are entitled no attempt to form a water district will be made.

 August 22, 1940

  • Falcon’s Nest Sold – Since the death of Mr. S.P. Stevens, original owner of the Falcon’s Nest at Vashon Heights, residents of the Island have been deeply interested in its final disposal.  As we go to press late Wednesday night work comes that the log cabin has definitely been sold.  We were unable to obtain the names of the purchasers.  But we are informed that the new owners, two families, have already taken possession although the transaction was completed only today.  The new owners will live here permanently, and have several children, who will attend the local school.

  • To Avoid Disappointment – In order to avoid disappointment, Island patrons are asked to buy figs at the Burmyrna Orchards during the week.  On the week-end they are crowded with visitors from the cities.

 August 29, 1940

  • Ruth Merritt Is Bride of Lt. Alexander B. Swenceski.

  • Ed Woods Killed In Logging Accident – The tragic death of Ed Woods, 35, which occurred Tuesday evening, came as a terrible shock to the entire community.  A resident of the Island since boyhood, educated in the local schools, he was popular with all who knew him.  The accident, which resulted in his death, occurred about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon as Ed worked on a logging project in the woods one-half mile north of the Vashon cemetery.  At the logs were being loaded onto a truck with the aid of a tractor, a cable broke, striking him across the back and throwing him some distance against a stump.

  • Aliens Must Register – Aliens on Vashon-Maury Island may register at the Vashon post office between the hours of 10:30 and 12 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.  All aliens 14 years of age and older must register.

back to top

September 1940
September 5, 1940

  • The obituaries of Isabell Harriett McCormick, Miss Mary Dysart, Mrs. Maria (Smith) Shane and John J.E. Brink were published.

  • Fair Was An Unqualified Success – Did, or did not Vashon Island have a fair?  That question scarcely needed to be asked as hundreds of visitors left the Island Club grounds Saturday night after witnessing the biggest and best fair in the Island’s history.  Fine exhibits, good entertainment, excellent attendance, plus perfect fair weather provided everything the most exacting could have asked.  And of all the pleased people members of the Vashon Island Posts, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, who sponsored the fair, were the most gratified. 

September 12, 1940

  • Five-Thirty O’clock Trip Still On – So popular has the five-thirty o’clock trip from Point Defiance proving that it will be continued during the winter, it was announced this week by Capt. Bill Skansie.  The last trip of the day is from Tahlequah at 6:45.

  • Center School Has New Lunch Room – When it was found that the recreation unit of Center School needed extensive repairs this summer, the board of directors proved their ingenuity and civic consciousness by planning an extremely adequate kitchen and lunch room as an addition.  It will be completed this week and the P.T.A. plans to entertain the school patrons at an evening party that the varnished whitepine beauty of this new unit can be admired.

  • Yankee Boy Service Meets With Approval – Although opposed at the outset by a small clique at Tahlequah, service by the Yankee Boy during the summer months has proven very popular.

September 19, 1940

  • Herb Creevey Installed By Vashon Legion

  • Commercial Club Clears Decks To Solve Vashon Island Problems

  • Three WPA Heads Lopped Off – Supervisor, Time-keeper And Clerk Are Out – Presaging what many believe will eventually sound the death knell of WPA activities in this district, L.P. Black, supervisor; Joe J. O’Malley, time-keeper, and Maurice Johnson, clerk, have been relieved of their respective berths, it became known Wednesday.  Black immediately stepped into a county position on the Island, duration of which, it is declared, is not certain, but he is working as a WPA coordinator on county and government work.  Dismissal of Black leaves Dan Landers as foreman of the 22 to 25 WPA crew now working on the Island.  An effort was made to contact some of the WPA brass hats in the higher brackets, but the only information forthcoming was that there are too many supernumaries on the WPA rolls, and that criticism by taxpayers has resulted in a drastic reduction.  Many of the WPA workers have been and are being drafted into the defense program, with the result that it leaves too many non-relief supervisors, etc., in the field.  Old Dame Rumor has been very busy with a variety of stories, as to just what really occurred, but no definite information could be obtained, it appears, without contacting Washington, D.C. or some other distant point.

  • Falcon’s Nest Will Be Permanent Home – Falcon’s Nest is undergoing some remodeling, and will be the permanent home of the Austin Case family.  Mr. Case, Seattle attorney, recently purchased this noted estate from Mrs. Letha Stevens Cunliff, daughter of the late Sidney Stevens, retired Chicago grocery firm executive, who built the lodge on the 23-acre site overlooking Puget Sound.  Widely known in the Puget Sound region for its log construction, huge living room and carefully-built rustic furniture, Falcon’s Nest cost Stevens an estimated $70,000.  Its site, high above the waters of Puget Sound, offers a sweeping view of Mount Rainier and the Cascades.  Stevens, who first visited the Pacific Northwest in 1926, was famed as a sportsman, and built his Vashon Island home to be near the fishing and hunting in the Puget Sound area following his retirement as vice president of the Reid Murdock Grocery Company in Chicago.  He died in 1934 while on a trip to Alaska.  In addition to its huge living room the property includes eight bedrooms, several baths, separate kitchen and servants’ quarters and garage space for twelve automobiles.  It was furnished throughout in rustic materials, fur and Navajo rugs covered the floors, and decorated with hundreds of Indian curios.

  • First To Join Colors From Vashon Island – The first to be called from the Island in the present National Defense mobilization is Jim Miller, son of Mrs. Wesley Robinson, who left Monday morning for Fort Warden, chief coast artillery emplacement defense for Puget Sound.  He is a member of the 248th coast artillery, anti-aircraft, and will be stationed at the fort for a year.  Jim was graduated from the Island High School with the class of ’40, and has been a regular member of the National Guard for more than two years.  Jim was planning on starting his pre-medics course at the University of Washington this year, but finds that by entering this work he will be unable to attend.

  • Many Attend Wedding of Ella Johansen and Gustav Jacobson.

September 26, 1940

  • Sportsmen Are Making Progress On Clubhouse – Knotty Pine Will Be Attractive in Main Room; Members Active – With a membership that is showing exceptional interest not only in hunting, but in work on the new clubhouse the Vashon Island Sportsmen’s Club is one of the most active organizations on the Island.  Knotty Pine is being used wherever practicable, and shows up to exceptional advantage in the large main room, the ceiling of which was sealed in record time Monday evening.  Deb Harrington and his electric saw were the star performers.  He kept 13 sportsmen on the jump.  In fact, there were so many on a scaffold that each man could only drive about one nail at intervals.  Windows, doors and flooring are still to be placed, but work on the structure, which will be one of the most attractive in the Northwest, is going forward at a good pace.

  • New Non-Partisan Voters Club Is Formed On Island – All Island voters, interested in intelligent voting are asked to attend a meeting to be held at the Island Club Tuesday evening, October 1.  At a meeting of ex-service men, held Tuesday night at the Island Club organization of a non-partisan political club was begun.  Capt. Charles Brown was elected president and Paul Billingsley, vice-president.  Garner Kimmel was authorized to accept membership fees of fifty cents from all interested in joining this new organization.  Other officers will be elected at a future meeting.  The executive committee is composed of Dr. W.L. Ellis, Herb Creevey and Harry Janney.  Members of the membership committee are Jim Keen, L.T. Turner, C.G. Kimmel, Capt. Pedersen, Fred Sherman, Ray Garrison and C.J. Ramquist.  Plans will be made not only to bring candidates for public office here to speak to the voters, but a committee will be selected to check on past records and activities of candidates, particularly those seeking offices in the state legislature and county offices, all of which are of even greater importance to us locally than national senators and congressmen.  The spirit of fair play is insured by the fact that the new organization is sponsored by veterans. 

  • Paralysis Scare Cuts Attendance At School – Attendance at the Burton school has fallen off 50 per cent during the last few days, as a result of the infantile paralysis scare occasioned by the report of one case.  King County health authorities positively refuse to close the Burton School, the district in which the one case is reported, it is declared upon good authority.  Some reports are going the rounds that the child who is suffering from the dread disease was sick in classroom, but this is not a fact, according to Mrs. Floy Poage, principal of the school. 

  • Crackerbox Ferry Now In Operation – Vashon and Maury Islanders got their first taste last week of what kind of ferry service they will be given for the next seven or eight months on the route between Tahlequah and Point Defiance.  The M.F. Fox Island, which is little more than an over-sized cracker-box with a motor, is now on the run, and did an inadequate job Sunday of handling the traffic, according to Tahlequahites.  You are fore and aft practically at the same time, and a grapefruit dropped overboard might make her rock.

  • Island Girl Is Killed In Idaho Auto Accident – by Agnes L. Smock – Word was received Monday morning of the death of Ruth Hewitt, 21, who was killed in an automobile accident near Moscow, Idaho, Sunday evening.  Ruth and a friend, Wilma Jennings, were instantly killed when the car in which they were riding with Edward Vrabel and Walton Ulness, students of W.S.C. overturned on a narrow road.  Relatives in Seattle were informed that the car, going at a high rate of speed, failed to make a turn.

  • Station KIRO Transmitter House Okayed – Tacoma Firm Is Given Award By Queen City Broadcasting Company.  Specifications provide for the most modern radio transmitter house in the West, the main building to include an apartment wing, and special studios, so that service from KIRO to the entire Northwest area will be unimpaired in case of storm, flood, fire or earthquake.  Construction of the two 527-foot towers is already under way, the steel having arrived about two weeks ago. 

  • Tacoma Folks Enjoy Swim At Tahlequah – Here’s a little note that the Chamber of Commerce in Florida and on the sand dunes of California might like to read while they’re taking a breath during the time they dispense climate blah.  Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Fries, Mr. and Mrs. Clarke W. Thomsen and Albert H. Mellish did some fancy bathing Sunday at their Tahlequah summer homes.  Not bad for the 22nd of September, with the thermometer registering about 86 degrees.

  • Thieves Strip Trees At Tahlequah Home – Thieves, who are evidently strong for the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” stripped six apple trees Sunday on the hill in back of the Roediger beach home at Tahlequah, according to a report made to Deputy Sheriff F.J. Shattuck.  The only evidence left by the marauders was a nearby new large box with the National Fish & Oyster company’s imprint on it.  Every apple on two Banana trees, two Delicious, a Northern Sky and King was taken.

  • The wedding of Bugunovich-Livers was detailed.

back to top

October 1940
October 3, 1940

  • Phelps In Favor Of Straightening North End Road – Archie Phelps, Democratic candidate for county commissioner in this district, favors straightening of the highway from Vashon to Vashon Heights.

  • KIRO Transmitter Building Under Way – Ground was broken last week for KIRO’s new transmitter building (pictured above) marking the start of the second phase of the construction on Maury Island of one of the finest broadcasting stations in the United States.  Participating in the ground breaking ceremonies were L.K. Lear, president of the station, Saul Haas, vice-president, H.J. Quilliam, station manager, and James B. Hatfield, chief engineer.  The building, designed by a Seattle architect, will be of full concrete construction and will contain an addition to all of the transmitting equipment for the 10,000 watt station, a modern apartment wing, special studios and an emergency power plant so that service from KIRO to the entire Pacific Northwest area will be unimpaired in case of storm, flood, fire or earthquake.  The contract for the building of the transmitter building, which will cost an estimated $30,000, was awarded to the firm of Allen and Early of Tacoma.  As with the contract for the clearing of the 36 acres of land, which was done by Woodworth and Cornell, Tacoma contractors, it is expected that a number of Island men will be employed.  Work was also started this week on the laying of the “ground” system for the station, which consists of plowing into the ground, at the depth of about 12 inches, two miles of 1-inch copper strip, running in all directions from the two 526-foot towers that will soon be erected.  Mr. Hatfield with his family will move to the Island about the first of November, in order to be here to oversee details of construction as the work goes into its final stages.  They will live in the McIntosh house, adjoining the station, which KIRO has purchased and completely remodeled.

  • Ferry Operating Costs Are Under Investigation – Responding to a request from the ferry committee of the Vashon Island Commercial Club, the state department of public service has assigned two investigators to study and report on the summer operation of the Point Defiance-Tahlequah line.  Island people will recall that the state department of public service promised at the time it authorized the curtailed schedule early in June to keep close watch on the outcome in terms of revenue and costs, and to hold new hearings on schedules and rates when this information was available.  Figures as to traffic and revenues during the summer would be valuable, but the operating policy of the Washington Navigation Company has made actual figures as to costs of no value, the committee learned from authoritative sources.  Instead of using the 20-car ferry “Fox Island”, as proposed at the hearing, with the 40-car ferry “City of Tacoma” for weekends and holidays, the company has operated during most of the summer its largest vessels, the “Defiance” and “Skansonia”.  Economy was evidently no object, the best available information shows.  It will be interesting to compare the costs thus run up with those of a very similar service between Sixth Avenue, Tacoma and Fox Island, operated for Pierce County by a private contractor.  The ferry committee, consequently, has requested the department investigators to prepare for use next spring a report on the Tahlequah operation, giving actual revenues for the entire year, with costs corrected to fit the smaller ferries.  This information will make it possible, it is evident, to determine before the summer season opens if a longer schedule or a reduction of fares – ore both – is possible.

  • Don Bacchus Weds Seattle Girl, Miss Hazel Leighton.

  • Louie Garnett Killed In Traffic Accident – Vashon and Maury Islanders are mourning the tragic death of Louie Garnett, who with his wife and a friend were touring California and was killed when the automobile he was driving collided with another car near Redwood City last Wednesday.  Garnett started his “steamboating” some decades ago with Captain Anderson, who was the head of the Kitsap Transportation Company.

 October 10, 1940

  • The wedding announcement of Charles W. (Bill) Houghton to Miss Bonnie Jean Anderson of Bremerton, was published.

  • In 10th Field Artillery – Earl Brammer Enlists In 10th Field Artillery – Earl Brammer of Burton has enlisted for three years in the 10th Field Artillery at Fort Lewis.  He has not received his final assignment, but reported for duty on Tuesday.  For the past years Earl has clerked in the Burton Trading store, where he has made many friends in addition to a host of others made during his school days here.

  • Center P.T.A. Opens New Lunch Room

  • Young Men Plan To Form Club – The Island has many clubs, but the most unique one is yet to be formed in the near future.  It has its origin with a group of young men of draft age, connected with a local greenhouse.  They plan to join a nation-wide movement and become members of the “I Want To Be A Captain Too” club.  Inspired by the elevation of Elliot Roosevelt to the rank of captain a short time after his enlistment, other young Americans, filling in their way just as important niches as young Roosevelt, express in this manner the sentiment, “I want to be a captain, too.”  In fact they feel that in a son is just as much entitled to rapid promotion as a president’s son.  Another young club formed recently is the West Vashon Commercial Club.  To be sure there are at present only three members, Herb Plumb, Bill Warner and M.P. Bickle, but they ask only time and feel sure that West Vashon will eventually be the busiest section of town.

  • The Editor Roars – This is not plagiarism, for although we use the editorial “we” we do not claim to be running competition to “The Crowd Boars”.  But if we lose what little chance of heaven remaining after being an editor for a long time it will be over you folks who send in important notices, written in pencil in not-too-plain longhand, containing names of flowers of which we have never heard.  Our class is pansies and daisies.  The only thing that makes us madder is names without initials.

  • Terrence Frombach Burned Severely – C.L. Garner reports that his former neighbor and president of the class of ’40 V.I.H.S., Terrence Frombach, is recovering at Tacoma General Hospital from serious burns, suffered almost a month ago.  Terrence had secured work on a fishing boat and he and two other members of the crew were filling the gas tanks.  Their work completed they went below, not noticing the fumes of gas.  An explosion occurred when they started a fire in the galley and the three were badly burned by the explosion, and ensuing fire which consumed the boat to the water’s edge.  In making his escape Terry fell over the prostrate form of a companion and dragged the man to safety.  He suffered severe burns about his ears, eyes, chest and lower arms and hands.  He will be confined in the hospital probably for several months.  Unable to use his eyes and without the use of his hands Terry finds time hanging rather heavily.  The lad has many friends on the Island, and would undoubtedly be glad to hear from those with whom he went to school.

  • Purse Seiners Report Fishing Extremely Bad – Commercial fishermen have found salmon fishing extremely poor in Inland waters since the season opened a few days ago.  Purse-seiners working in the waters off the Standard Oil docks at Portage say fishing is very unsatisfactory, not one worth-while catch having been reported.

  • Sudden Drop In Business Noted On Ferry Line – Despite excellent weather there was a definite falling off in business on the Tahlequah-Point Defiance ferry line Sunday according to informal observers.  This is the first time in months that the South End line has not enjoyed splendid motor vehicle and passenger patronage, even during inclement weather.  Two weeks ago on the last trip Sunday night, with the oversized cigar box known at the M.F. Fox Island, five cars were left on the Tahlequah pier.  A return trip was necessary.  This, it is believed by some, may be responsible for the let-down in traffic last Sunday, as motorists generally dislike waiting on a poorly lighted dock.  Monday night there wasn’t a passenger, nor an automobile to go to Tacoma on the 6:45 trip, so the M.F. Fox Island went direct to her berth in Gig Harbor.

  • Volunteer Service On Draft Board – In line with other communities public spirited citizens of Vashon-Maury Island have enlisted their services for the draft board.  Those who will assist F.J. Shattuck are Mesdames Bess Wood, G.A Welding, C.A. Fisk, Mae Pruner, Ella G. Covey, R.S. Hearst, John Bowman, A.J. Trones, George McCormick, Esther Kalland, F.J. Shattuck and Miss Ann Billingsley.

  • Editorial – Election Boards Need Cleaning Up – Numerous complaints have been received by The News-Record that Island election boards are guilty of violations of election laws.  It is a known fact that campaign literature is displayed at polling places by some of the judges and clerks.  Radios carrying election returns and political propaganda have been used while voters are marking ballot, it is charged.  Also personal solicitation for certain candidates have been made by some election officials.  It is imperative that such violation of the laws should be stopped when voters go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 5, to elect officials or to return present incumbents.

  • Large Number At Improvement Club Dinner – Ninety-two members of the Burton Improvement Club were present at Tuesday night’s dinner meeting, held in the Masonic Hall.  During the business meeting, that followed dinner, the club president Harry Robbins, announced that improvements were being made in the Burton water system which would insure better distribution to the increased number of homes occupied in the summer.  Another important announcement was that the owner of the hotel had given the county a quit claim deed to the dangerous corner near the dock, and that the club has been given a pre-election promise from the county engineer’s office that the bank would be cut away thus eliminating one of the most treacherous spots on the North to South highway.  A resolution was passed by the club opposing any future closing of roads in or about Burton.

 October 17, 1940

  • 204 Are Registered For Draft On Islands – Two hundred and four persons, between 21 and 36 years of age, registered for the draft, it was announced Wednesday night by Deputy F.J. Shattuck.  Here’s how they registered; Vashon, 65; Burton, 29; Cove, 27; Quartermaster, 31; Lisabeula, 9; Dolphin, 10; Maury, 8; Dockton, 9 and Island, 1.  Draftees are requested to keep in touch with the board for registration numbers.

  • Harbor Heights Road Put On Pan By Pugh – There is no other road in Washington, Idaho or Oregon as dangerous as the one that skirts Harbor Heights.  Such is the contention of Fred Pugh, who has just returned to his Southern Heights home from an extended automobile trip in Eastern Washington, Idaho and Oregon.  “There is no doubt about it.” Commented Pugh, “but that a determined effort should be made to have the incoming county commissioner put safeguards on this road.  In all my travels I did not encounter as dangerous a road as this one.  Idaho, long noted for its poor highways, as least safeguards motorists and pedestrians.  To my notion the Harbor Heights road is a disgrace to Vashon Island.”

  • Editorial – Paul Billingsley – A Man Of Action – With all due respect to those who have held the office before him, Vashon and Maury Islanders regret that Paul Billingsley has been forced by ill-health to relinquish the helm of the Vashon Island Commercial Club.  A determined effort was made to have Mr. Billingsley continue as president of the Commercial Club.  His spirit is willing, but doctors absolutely refuse to permit him to take part in Island affairs that would overtax his strength.  However, his successor, Edgar W. Pack, is a man of determination, and The News-Record believes he will carry on the work as faithfully and with the same painstaking effort as did the retiring president, who gave liberally of his time and personal finances.

  • The wedding of Miss Lorraine McCrory and Charles Kimmel was announced.

 October 24, 1940

  • Black Arrowhead Is Found By Sheffield – While planting tulip bulbs recently, George Sheffield turned up a beautiful black arrowhead probably used by Indians hunting more than half century ago.  The head is beautifully polished, and was probably fashioned from quartz. So far as is known this is the first black arrowhead ever unearthed on Vashon or Maury Islands.  Deer abounded on Vashon Island years ago, and Indians came from distant parts to hunt here and hold their potlatches.  As recently as 30 years ago deer were numerous on the Island, as many as 50 in one herd having been seen in the draw between the Sheffield Gardens and the home owned at Tahlequah by Dr. David B. Cook.

  • Personnel Of Fire Department Announced – Through the persistent and faithful work of Harry Robbins, president of the Burton Improvement Club, a definite promise has been secured from Commissioner Jack Taylor that as soon as a paint job is completed the fire apparatus allocated to Vashon-Maury Island will be delivered.  At a recent meeting of the Burton club Mr. Robbins announced the personnel of the fire department as follows:  H.L. Carley, chief, Capt. Russell Powell, assistant; Russell Brammer, Otis I. Putnam, electrician; M. Lund, plumber; John Staples, Jr., George Nelson, H.T. Nagal, truck drivers; Chuck Lowrey, mechanic; Oscar Carlson, Elton Stone, pumpmen; Earl Roberts, Bill McKinstry, nozzlemen; Martin Larsen, Lloyd Boyington, spannermen; Hugh Kenreigh, Frank Selleck, ??; Norman Edson, Benny Hammond, Joe Kennedy, chemicals; Norman Edson, Coy Meredith, J. Shaw, H.W. Robbins, Paul Billingsley, Capt. R. Powell in charge of truck, hose and equipment.

  • Airplane Crash Kills Son Of Island Residents – Although he had not lived on the Island, the home of his parents for the past several years, Lieut. Ray V. Jones, whose death occurred in the crash of an army training plane Monday evening, was a familiar figure to the residents of Vashon.  Frequently on his flying trips Lieut. Jones flew about the village and over his parent’s home.  In this manner even those who had not met him, but who knew his family, felt they were acquainted with him.

  • Rumors of Business Changes Quieted By Owner’s Decision – Rumors have flown thick and fast as to certain business changes to take place in Vashon in the near future.  However the matter has been definitely decided, and Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Ramquist will continue as owners of the Vashon Variety Store.  Mr. Ramquist has resigned as route man for the Superior Laundry and will devote all of his time to his business here on the Island.  The laundry building, north of the village, owned by Mr. Ramquist is now vacated.  The store room, which P.J. Olsen used for a dry cleaning plant before moving into Vashon’s main business block, will be utilized by the owner for a display room.

  • Joe Milligan Enlists For Three Years Service – Family and friends were surprised by news of the enlistment of Joe Milligan, one of Vashon’s young business men and one of the Island’s best-loved young people.

  • Miss Lola Louise Gust – Henry C. Nass Wedding Is Solemnized Friday.


October 31, 1940

  • Missing

back to top

November 1940

November 7, 1940

  • The Betty Ann To Have Opening On Saturday – With two important Island misses at the helm The Betty Ann, formerly the Sweet Shop, will open Saturday with special features for youngsters and oldsters alike.  The Misses Mary Ann Agren and Betty Tjomsland recently purchased the Sweet Shop from the Johnsons.

  • New Fire Truck Arrives Here – With a 280-gallon capacity tank, the renewed fire truck promised by County Commissioner Jack Taylor has arrived and is berthed temporarily at the county building.  The new power grader is here, too, giving the Island two of these machines, which are capable of doing a great amount of work in a day.

  • Sportsmen Plan Busy Week-End – Carrying out a program that calls for a variety of hard work, the Vashon Island Sportsmen’s Club will open a road to the new clubhouse Saturday, it is announced by Kelly Weiss, secretary of the organization. The floor will be laid, and further work done on the huge fireplace, which is nearing completion.  The club plans to hold its annual venison banquet this year in its own clubhouse the tentative date having been set for December 15.  Weiss reports Chinese pheasants are scarce this season for some reason on the Island.  Here’s some news for fishermen: small blackmouth are being caught around Ellisport.

  • The funeral notice of William Hawkins was published.

November 14, 1940

  • Cable To Vashon Island Is Broken Off Pt. Defiance – KVI Broadcasts from Transmitter in South End Store – The submarine cable running from Tahlequah to Point Defiance is again operating, after having snapped Thursday afternoon, due to electrolysis.  The break occurred about 200 feet off the Point Defiance shore, and it took the crew of the cable barge sent over from Seattle some time to locate it.  The break was a clean one, but while making the repairs the workmen found several other bad spots.  One of them on the Tahlequah side, where a chemical toilet had been constructed directly over the tube.  This part also had to be repaired, as it was in a spongy condition.  Radio station KVI, which normally broadcasts from its Tacoma and Seattle studios, had to rebroadcast Thursday afternoon and evening from KNX, Hollywood.  Early Friday broadcasting was done direct from its transmitter at Ellisport, via short wave.  The short wave set was installed in Fry’s Grocery at Tahlequah, and was operated by two men.  Rumors were current for a time that the collapse of the Narrows Bridge in some way had affected the cable, but officials of the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph company, and C.L. Garner, resident manager of the Puget Sound Power company, scoffed at the idea.

  • Island Again Takes It On Chin! – (Editorial) – When the Narrows Bridge opened Vashon Island took it on the chin in the form of a curtailed ferry service between Point Defiance and Tahlequah.  When the huge middle span of the structure collapsed last Thursday into the swirling waters of the Narrows, Vashon Island again became the goat by a still further curtailed service.  It’s high time that the State Department of Public Service get down to business so far as the ferry service between Tacoma and the South End of the Island is concerned.  The ferry operators have filed a definite schedule with the State Department, but they’re operating now to suit themselves.  They give service between Point Defiance and Tahlequah when it suits them…not otherwise.  Persons desiring to reach the Island are subject to the whims of Mrs. Mitchell Skansie, William Skansie and the master mind of the organization, Attorney Charles Peterson.  The M.F. Fox Island, operating regularly from Point Defiance to Tahlequah, has now been diverted for special runs between Point Defiance and Gig Harbor, to care for hundreds of foot passengers and motor vehicle owners, who no longer can use the bridge.  Hence, the Island must suffer, and those desiring to come to Vashon Island must sit in their cars, or in the foul-smelling waiting room at Point Defiance until the ferry operators see fit to make a run to Tahlequah.  Great stuff, great stuff, Mr. Peterson and your associates!  Vashon and Maury Islanders will not forget this raw deal, you may rest assured!

  • “Chuck” Huhn Gives Stanley Morrison Nod As He Marches – Stanley Morrison, erstwhile resident of Shawnee, does not appear to be enjoying his course in Uncle Sam’s “university” on McNeil Island, according to Charles G. (Chuck) Huhn, Tahlequah.  Huhn visited the federal “hostelry” and year ‘round resort maintained for those who sin against society, and saw Morrison marching with his classmates.  The undergrads, as it were, were doing the lock-step on their way to the dining room when Huhn arrived.  As Morrison passed Chuck gave him the nod.  There was no response.  Morrison did not appear to recognize his former friend.  Morrison flew high, wide and handsome during his residence on Vashon Island, and Uncle Sam took him out of circulation when persons he had defrauded complained.

  • King Winter Gets His Sceptre Out On Island – A month ahead of schedule, King Winter for his scepter over the weekend, and Monday night brought a hard frost to all parts of Vashon and Maury Islands, according to reports received at the News-Record office.  Snow, much of it not very convincing, made its first appearance Saturday morning in various parts of the Island.  A dreary sky unloaded its burden before a 15-mile north wind that swept in across the Sound.  Monday night and early Tuesday morning brought hundreds of cases of frozen water pipes, with the result that blow torches were brought into action.  Car radiators also took it on the chin, as Monday night’s freeze came up rather suddenly and automobile owners were unprepared, according to garage operators.

  • Ferry Service To Vashon Island Is Again Curtailed – M.F. Fox Island is Forced To Make Runs To Harbor – Ferry service between Point Defiance and Tahlequah is still being operated on a hit and miss basis, with a representative of the Washington Toll Bridge Authority, bedecked in uniform and pistol holder, setting the time for departure of a boat for Vashon Island.  The M.F. Defiance was put in service Wednesday, replacing the M.F. Fox Island, the Washington Navigation Company’s over-sized cigar box, and, with the M.F. Skansonia, is handling traffic between Point Defiance and Gig Harbor.  Traffic to the Island is of minor consideration, if the schedule maintained the last five days is any criterion.  Island residents are up in arms over the treatment accorded by the Washington Navigation Company, as this concern has a schedule on file with the State Department of Public Service, and is violating it in several ways.  Ferry service between Point Defiance and Tahlequah has again been curtailed.  The M.F. Fox Island, which is supposed to maintain a regular schedule between Point Defiance and the Island is now being used for trips between Point Defiance and Gig Harbor.  Resumption of ferry service between Tacoma and Gig Harbor has been necessitated by the collapse of the Narrows Bridge, and the Washington Navigation Company has taken the liberty of giving the Island the goodbye when extra trips to Gig Harbor are deemed necessary.  The M.F. Fox Island transports passengers and motor vehicles to Gig Harbor for a lower rate than it does to Tahlequah, although the former run is much longer.  But the sad part of the whole affair, as Island residents view the situation, is that the regular schedule to the Island is not maintained.  After the bridge collapsed, Captain Lindy Merritt placed the Yankee Boy in service between Point Defiance and Gig Harbor running until 5 a.m. on Friday.  He also maintained service on Saturday for the Bremerton stage operators.  Paul Billingsley, chairman of the transportation committee of the Vashon Island Commercial Club, is working on the problem occasioned by the bridge collapse, and will meet with Pat Winston, secretary of the Toll Bridge Authority, and members of the State Department of Public Service, as soon as possible.

  • Editorial – Buck-Passing Again In Vogue – That popular game of passing the buck is again going strong.  Just what caused the collapse of the center span of the Narrows Bridge will probably never be known…at least so far as the dear public is concerned.  Engineers are already busy shunting the blame from one person to another.  Clark Eldridge, engineer for the Washington Toll Bridge Authority, spoke some months ago before the Vashon Commercial Club on what a great engineering project the Narrows Bridge was.  He explained the design and construction were new departures in bridge building, and that he was proud that the West was setting the pace.  It now appears that much of Eldridge’s address was pure blah as since the bridge collapsed he has done nothing but pass the buck in the good old-fashioned way.

  • The obituary of John Dudley Roberts was published.

  • 35-Mile Wind Sweeps South End Of Island – A 35-mile-an-hour “zephyr” swept the South End of Vashon Island last Thursday, doing a small amount of damage to bulkheads.  While the tide was only supposed to be 11.4 feet, it ran up to about 13 feel, sweeping beach cottages and bulkheads in a big way.

  • The wedding of Miss Ona Nelson and Herbert Plumb was published.

November 21, 1940

  • Crackerbox Ferry Back On Regular South End Route – Same Schedule Maintained as Before Bridge Collapse – Following numerous complaints made to State Department of Public Service and the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Navigation Company has returned the M.F. Fox Island to the Point Defiance – Tahlequah run.  The Fox Island, which has earned the soubriquet crackerbox because of its inability to withstand a wind or rough water without rocking perceptibly, is on the same schedule that was in force prior to the collapse of the center span of the Narrows Bridge.  Following the plunge of the span in the swirling waters of the Narrows the State Toll Bridge Authority took it upon itself to control the schedule between Point Defiance and Tahlequah, diverting the Fox Island to the Point Defiance – Gig Harbor route whenever it saw fit.  Even the crew didn’t know that run it would follow, the result being that motorists and foot passengers were never certain when a boat would be available from the mainland to the Island.  Austin Case, Seattle attorney, who recently purchased the Falcon’s Nest, made a trip to Olympia in the interest of better ferry service.  Fred G. Pohl, Tahlequah, conferred with Jay McCune, head of the transportation department of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce.  Paul Billingsley, who ordinarily takes charge of transportation problems confronting the Island, was called to British Columbia on business when the State Toll Bridge Authority had most seriously disrupted the regular service to the Island.

  • Paul Billingsley To Show Pictures At P.T.A. Meeting – At the regular monthly meeting of the Vashon Island High School P.T.A. Monday evening Paul Billingsley will entertain the members with a showing of fine motion pictures made on and about Vashon Island.  These films, shown recently at the Burton Improvement Club, were pronounced exceptionally fine, and give one a new appreciation of the beauty of our Island.

  • George Thompson called on Dr. F.A. McMurray Tuesday to have several stitches removed from his brown.  After this when he goes visiting Mr. Thompson is going to look for clothes lines before he begins chopping wood.

  • Driver And Son Have Narrow Escape In Accident At Burton – In an attempt to prevent the escape of a chicken from a sack in the rear seat Chuck Hayes and his young son had a narrow escape Sunday evening, when he lost control of his car in front of the McClintock home at Burton.  The car tore into the railing with such force that it broke horizontal timbers and loosened the heavy post holding them.  Miraculously neither the occupants nor car were much the worse for the encounter, and all were shortly able to proceed on their own way under their own power.

  • Space Offered In Store For Benefit Of Orthopedic – Space in the Bickle Furniture Store at Vashon has been offered the Vashon Orthopedic Auxiliary for the sale of new and used articles given the organization.

  • Five Island Boys In CCC Enrollment For October – Sixty-one young men between the ages of 17 and 23 ½ were enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps on October 29, according to L.L. Hegland, King County Welfare Department Administrator.  Among the young men enrolled were James Hamilton, Arthur Nelson and Marion Wheat of Vashon, Washington, assigned to the Camp at Olga, Washington; Richard and Frank Shride of Vashon, assigned to the camp at North Bend, Washington.

  • Son Accidentally Hits His Mother With An Ax – Mrs. Mabel Diel, Tahlequah, is recovering in Tacoma from a blow accidentally inflicted upon her forehead with an ax in the hands of her son, Dickie.  Mrs. Diel and the lad were cleaning out some madrona trees in front of their cottage on the C.P. Roberts place when the accident occurred.  Young Diel swung the ax over his shoulder, and the back part of it hit Mrs. Diel, who was standing behind.  The blow was so severe that she suffered a slight concussion, according to the attending physician.

November 28, 1940

  • Gives Newspapers Credit For 40-Mill Tax Limit Victory – Herb F. Syford, Tacoma realtor and chairman of the 40-mill tax limit committee, today gave credit for the decisive victory of referendum No. 5 to newspapers of the state, including the Vashon Island News-Record. 

  • Junior Class Will Present “One Mad Night” – A Comedy in Three Acts.

  • KIRO Show Delights A Large Crowd Here

  • Scouts Present Swiss Family Robinson At Benefit Show

  • Honor Roll For First Quarter Announced – Announcement was recently made of the list of high school students who had made grades in the first quarter of the year that placed them on the honor roll.  Honor Roll – Freshmen: Zelma Blekkink, Mary Fujioka, Kathryn Fuller, Marie Sovold, Margy Lou Steen, Beverly Wingerd, Florice Zimmerman, Vernon Johnson, Larry Prigg, Tak Togami, John Van Devanter.  Sophomores: Thelma Danielsen, Mary Matsuda, Marjorie Monro, Evelyn Pedersen, Anne Janet Poultney, Mary Jane Smith, Bernard Habbestad, George Mason, Roy Sundberg, Vern Smith.  Juniors: Rachel Blekkink, Edith Larsen, Shigeko Yoshida, Kenny Garrison, Jim Robinson, Diago Togami.  Seniors: Anne Edwards, Marybelle Tonk, Helen Wegener, Virginia Rand, Lauren Dana, Murray Diller, George Fujioka, Yoneichi Matsuda.

back to top

December 1940

December 5, 1940

  • Tahlequah Rocked By Second Blast – For the second time within a few days, Tahlequah was rocked Monday morning at 7:10 o’clock when a ton of dynamite exploded in the Columbia Powder Company’s plant at Spanaway, outside Tacoma’s city limits, killing four persons.  Tahlequah beach houses were badly shaken, but no damage was reported.  The other shock occurred when dynamite blew up at the Dupont plant last week.

  • Rapid Progress On KIRO Towers – Plainly visible from all parts of the Island the bright light gleaming from the completed transmitter tower on Maury Island will be duplicated by another within a few days as KIRO’s second tower nears completion.  Before the end of the week painting of the first tower will be finished.  The steel towers, fragile in appearance rise 526 feet in the air.  Each will be topped with a light almost four feet high.  The bases are more than 600 feet apart.  Tapering at the lower, as well as the upper end, each tower rests on a single insulator of glass composition so strong that it bears the weight of tons of steel.  Officials of the Queen City Broadcasting Company plan that the transmitter will be in operation soon after the first of the year.

  • Attention, Peach Growers – Masa Mukai, chairman of the agricultural committee of the Commercial Club, is calling to peach growers’ attention the fact that now is the time to apply first spray for peach leaf curl, at the advice from the county horticulturist.  Two sprays of lime-sulphur, one to nine, are necessary, one now and a second the last of January or first of February.

  • Road Men Clear Dangerous Corner – Local road men have cleared a dangerous corner at the entrance of Bethel Park.  At this point the road from the south makes a turn west to Colvos and bushes growing at this corner have constituted a hazard.  Recently a terrible accident was narrowly averted when a truck came very close to colliding with a loaded school bus.  Quick action on the part of the drivers prevented nothing worse happening than a little scratched paint.  The incident was called to the attention of C.M. Ruhlen, road supervisor, and although he had only a skeleton crew of men working he managed to get the necessary clearing done.

  • Mrs. Halsky Taylor To Be Buried On Island – Funeral services for Mrs. Bertha Mae Taylor, 57 years old, member of a pioneer family, who died in Seattle Tuesday was published.

  • Boom Of Logs Wraps Around Ferry Landing – Drifting without lights early Saturday morning, a large boom of logs wrapped itself around the ferry pier at Tahlequah, interfering with transportation to Tacoma.  The boom was sighted shortly after 6 a.m. off Point Neal.  It did not reach the ferry dock until after the 7:15 a.m. trip, and the first bunch of automobiles and trucks were taken care of.  However, by the next trip it was impossible to berth the ferry, and passengers had to do some gymnastics to get aboard.  Cars and trucks were left on the pier.  K.G. Fry telephoned the coast guard in Tacoma, and the tug Andrew Foss was sent out.  After the boom was taken in tow it started breaking up.  Three tugs were required to assemble the logs.

  • Pt. Defiance Pier is in Unsafe Condition – Ferry Service To Island May Suffer Another Interruption – Ferry service, which has been somewhat on a hit and miss basis since the center span of the Narrows Bridge plunged into the swirling waters, may be due for another set-back, as the pier at Point Defiance is reported in an unsafe condition.  This, according to ferry patrons, has been noticed for some time, as there has been a shimmying motion when a large number of cars and trucks is on the dock.  January 7 has been set by the state department of public service for a hearing on whether three ferry slips in and around Tacoma should be closed permanently to public use.  The hearing will be held at the Hotel Winthop in Tacoma.  The order said the department engineer had inspected the three docks.  The Point Fosdick ferry slip was found unsafe and should be closed to all traffic; he found the Point Defiance docks need repairs and should be limited to five-ton loads until changes are made, and the Sixth Avenue dock requires repairs but is too light for heavy loads and also should be limited to five-ton loads.

  • Putting Sugar In Gas Tanks Latest Pranks – Vandals, with a distorted sense of humor, have been engaged recently in putting sugar in gasoline tanks of automobiles, causing serious damage.  The latest report of such malicious tactics was made Monday by R.K. Beymer Jr., Tahlequah, whose car was standing in front of a home near Quartermaster.  The car operated spasmodically for a while, and then quit, the result being it had to be towed to a garage at Vashon.  Indications are that $50 will be required to put the motor in running shape.

  • The wedding announcement of Margaret Elizabeth Furbush to Harry Andrew Engel was published.

December 12, 1940

  • Our Christmas Gift – This year we want to send the News-Record as a Christmas gift to all enlisted men from the Island in either the Army or the Navy.  In order to do this we must have the cooperation of relatives or friends.  Please mail us at once the name and address of any Island boy in the service whom you feel would enjoy receiving the home paper.  We will mail a Christmas card telling him we are proud of what he is doing, and that the paper will come to him regularly until he starts moving so rapidly it can’t keep up with him.  It will require only a penny postal, which is much safer than a phone call, for we have observed that addresses of men in the service are frequently quite involved.

  • New England Scene In Burton Store Window – Winter has descended on Vashon Island.  Anyone doubting this statement has but to drive to Burton and see the New England farm scene depicted in the window of the Robbins store.

  • The wedding announcement of Miss Elizabeth Augusta Raab to Kenneth Beall was published.

December 19, 1940

  • Road Between Portage and Ellisport Damaged By Waves – High tides and waves driven by a strong east wind resulted in considerable damage to the road between Ellisport, which will be closed until repairs can be made.  Between Portage and the Standard Oil dock the roadway is washed out half its width for a distance of 150 feet.  As this road is a portion of the route of the bus line great inconvenience has resulted.  The buses must now double back from Portage to Quartermaster Hill, then down another hill to Ellisport.

  • Vashon Island and Harper residents, delayed in Seattle after the departure of the last bus are finding the new trackless trolleys quite a convenience.  Instead of a long walk down a dark street as was the case with the street cars, the new trolleys discharge passengers right at the Fauntleroy dock.

December 26, 1940

  • Cooperation With Committee Urged – After spending the afternoon driving about the Island with Commissioner-elect Archie Phelps, and hearing him talk at two meetings later in the evening, Edgar W. Pack and other members of that committee were impressed by Mr. Phelps’ apparent desire to cooperate with Island people in a sane and sensible road program.  Mr. Phelps requested that the road committee confer with property owners and submit to him a comprehensive program, listing road projects in the order of their importance.

  • Fred Vye’s Tree – In Memoriam – Under the spreading madrona shading the walk where it makes a sharp pitch upon the hill before his Burton home, Fred Vye built a seat for the comfort of old folks he had observed pausing there to catch their breath on the ascent.  It was a characteristic act of kindness, similar to many others given unobtrusively during his residence in the community; to neighbors, church and temple, brotherly, fraternal, his skill and kindness was always at command.  In summer season, the click of croquet balls upon the lawn and the clink of horse-shoes in his court, betokened the presence of young friends.  Wherever Fred lived there gathered the children; and a living circle greeted Uncle Fred and Grandpa.  When winter holidays arrived he decorated the tall tree, higher than his tall house upon the terrace, with long strands of colored lamps for their delight.  But last week a neighbor’s child stood before the silenced house of darkened windows, and looking wistfully at the familiar place sadly said, “There are no lights on Mr. Vye’s tree this year.”  More than disappointment for lost splendor was in the young voice, sorrow and regret and perhaps wonder, that a friend who had been so permanent should have vanished away.  Yes!  Gone away – and let his memorial be the mounting spire of his green Christmas tree.  And looking upward may we somehow see through its branches shine the light of memory.  –A.W.S.


back to top