Wrangell Sentinel -


The Way We Were


In the Sentinel 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago.

April 10, 1913: Each day of this season shows a greater activity in the commercial fishing of Southeast Alaska. During the past week, several cannery crews have come north and mild curing and salting outfits are migrating this way like the birds of summer. The seven small trolling boats from Astoria, Oregon, have arrived in Ketchikan, where they will have headquarters this season. The Hydra and outfit of power trollers, supplies and gear. The Little Tom chartered this season from Pillar Bay cannery by T.E.P. Keegan, who was superintendent of the Shakan last year. Mr. Keegan will salt and mild cure near Chatham Straits. The Shakan Cannery crew arrived this week on the Mariposa Wednesday.

April 8, 1938: Seven o'clock last night marked the fortieth year in Wrangell for Mrs. Emma Case. On April 7, 1898, the late T.J. Case arrived in Wrangell from Loring with his family and an entire general merchandise store aboard the sawmill barge Garnet that was towed by the old tug Alaska. “It was quite an adventure for us,” stated Mrs. Case today, “I had been in Wrangell when a little girl but my first sight of the town when we rounded Elephant's nose was the most thrilling I have ever experienced.” “The sleepy little village had been transformed as if overnight into a metropolis by the proposed route through Wrangell and Telegraph Creek overland to the Klondike. The beach was white with tents and when we landed the barge on the mudflats there was a bustle and hurry about everything that only a boom town can possess.” “At high tide Tom hired a crew of men to unload the barge and build the store. My three small children and myself were installed in a one-room shack and quite forgotten in the rush to open up the business. We were lucky, indeed, to get the shack because there was a scarcity of permanent dwellings and even businesses were carried on in tents. There were many tent saloons which stayed open all hours; there were tent meat markets and even real estate offices.”

April 12, 1963: Wrangell's 11th annual Salmon Derby, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, will get underway late this month. Art Nelson of the Derby committee who, with Dan Roberts and Ole Buness has been handling the big local fishing sports event since its inception announced it at the Chamber luncheon yesterday. Tentative date, he reported, was April 23.

April 7, 1988: Walls started going up. Beams were lifted into place. Actual construction laid to rest rumors last week about City Market's plans for its lot across Front Street. The new structure will house City Market Pro Hardware as Benn Curtis and Chet Powell branch out across the street from their successful grocery and housewares store to open an affiliate of the worldwide hardware chain. But the building's nearly 17,000 square feet also will house a showroom for Johnson Building Supply. In addition, Nugget Video will find a new home there, and Vi Twedt of Wrangell will open her own hair styling salon. “We feel there's an opportunity here in this venture,” Curtis said last week. “A family can come here, and the wife can go to the hardware store, the husband can go grocery shopping and the kids can go in to get a movie.” “And have off-street parking,” Powell added. “We're creating a new shopping district in Wrangell.”


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