The Way We Were
In the Sentinel 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago.
Nov. 21, 1912: The cable ship U.S.A.T. Burnside, whose crew has been busy since Nov. 11effecting a repair on the Army Cable, docked at St. Michaels Wharf Tuesday afternoon and lay until midnight taking on water. The Burnside has experienced much trouble in picking up the cable on account of silt from the Stikine River. The Burnside, being heavy and hard to handle, was about 30 minutes making a landing, which is believed to be as stated by a spectator the reason why she almost never ties up when in port. Many interesting stories are told of this historic ship, which was captured from the Spanish during the Spanish-American War and now transformed into a transport and cable ship. On one occasion she was returning to San Francisco from the Orient. The Customs Officials of San Francisco got a tip from some source that the “jackies” had layed in a stock of fine Havana smokes, silk umbrellas, stocking, etc. so when the Burnside appeared they went aboard expecting to find dutiable goods. Much to their surprise, however, none were declared, so “Loeb fashion” they commenced a search. They tapped the walls for hollow spaces where the goods might be hidden and as the story goes found some false beams of wood, which were filled with goods dutiable to the amount of several hundred dollars.
Nov. 19, 1937: A meeting of the harbor committee called Wednesday afternoon by Mayor Hunford was attended by all the council except H.H. Hungerford. After conferring with Street Commissioner C.H. Lloyd and M.M. Custard and L.L. Meadows, of the contracting firm now dredging a basin for small boats in the inner harbor at Wrangell, the committee decided that, as the dredged material from the harbor has been found unsuitable for use at present in street fills, to have it stock piled. It is believed that later on as the material hardens through drainage of its water content, it will make superior top surfacing for the streets, as it is blue clay which packs like concrete.
Nov. 23, 1962: After being in business in the Wrangell Variety Store since April 17, 1946, in Wrangell, Mr. and Mrs. R.W. McKibben have sold their business to Mr. and Mrs. Alf Erickson. McKibben said that Wrangell will continue to be their home and that they will always be “at home” to their many friends up on the hill. Mrs. McKibben will take a well-earned rest, for the present he said. In recalling the events of their nearly 20 years in the business, McKibben said, “Over that time we have seen many changes in Wrangell. Boys and girls who patronized our store when we first went into business are now sending their children in to shop. We survived the big fire of 1952, the shutdown of the saw mill for many years, the Farwest cannery fire, and the discontinuance of passenger service here by Alaska Steam. “Our friends have been loyal patrons through the years, which we thank them and we extend our best wishes to the new owners and will aid them in any way possible.
Nov. 19, 1987: Ed Bradley and his son-in-law Jon Keso, were nursing bruises this week after an explosion resulting from a propane leak sent them flying Nov. 14. “I was thrown into the air and Jon was blown over the top of a car and landed in our pit area,” Bradley, owner of C&E Bradley's said in an interview Monday. Bradley shrugged off the seriousness of burns he sustained in the fire that broke out after the explosion, saying only that “I look like I have a red sunburn.” Bradley was treated and released from Wrangell General Hospital after the Nov. 14 incident. Fire Chief Gordon Buness said propane leaked from a propane delivery truck at about 10 a.m. Nov. 14 while the vehicle was parked inside Bradley's warehouse on Zimovia Highway.