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The Way We Were


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

May 8, 1913: Wednesday afternoon Lawrence and Strong returned from the boundary with the first party to come down the Stikine by boat this spring. D.J. Raney, direct from the Teslin diggings, and Telegraph Creek Indians with mail were in the party and they report the river open to Telegraph Creek. Mr. Raney comes direct from the Teslin diggings and says that progress on the creek is very slow on account of the heavy snowfall. He reports that Skookum Jim and party with a crew of workmen and other large crews are on the ground ready for the breakup. Mr. Raney's partner remained at the diggings to report the progress of the camp.

May 6, 1938: A large and responsive audience greeted participants in Wrangell's first music festival held last night in the A.N.B hall, in observance of National Music Week. Miss Sue Harding of the Wrangell High School faculty who directed the program today gave unstinted praise to the fine support and cooperation she received from Director Barrett, Miss Marie Alexander, Mrs. Clarissa Ursich of Wrangell Institute staff and from Mrs. John J. Coulter (Valborg Brunsvold.) The program was well balanced and consisted of a pleasing variety of choruses from operas, a mass, folk music, secular and sacred music. The folk music consisted of eight selections of American, Indian, Hawaiian and Irish songs sung by the Institute mixed chorus and Wrangell High School girls glee club.

May 3, 1963: What a day for Wrangell and what a day for “Miss Alaska Ferry Queen Terry,” lovely daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P.C. McCormack, Sr. of Wrangell. Terry (Theresa) McCormack was chosen for the honor last evening in Juneau at the close of the inaugural trip of the Malaspina. She won the crown from six other contestants from various Southeast Alaska towns. The Queen contest was sponsored by Chris Palzer, concessionaire on the Southeast Alaska ferry system. Besides the honor of being Queen and eligible to compete in the international “Miss Universe” contest next year, Wrangell's petite royal Miss will receive a free ticket for herself and chaperone to the New York World's Fair in 1964-65 where she will represent the “floating freeway to Alaska adventure.”

May 5, 1988: More than 200 Wrangellites boarded the Taku Monday to help the Alaska Marine Highway System celebrate its silver anniversary. Bright blue balloons featuring the ferry system logo flew high at the Wrangell terminal and aboard the Taku as residents joined the 150 passengers aboard for the festivities. The Wrangell Chamber of Commerce sponsored the party - complete with helicopter rides furnished by Temsco Helicopters. Party goers feasted on 100 pounds of salad shrimp donated by Elmer and Pat Mork - hand-picked the evening before by chamber members Judy Daniels, Chuck and Nancy Pond, John and Sue Vowell, Barb Maenhout, Cliff James and Dorothy Hunt. The 300 shrimp cocktails, complete with sauce and lettuce donated by Benjamin's, were as popular as the smoked salmon, carrot and cheese cakes and fruit punch. Pioneers remembered that shrimp was the same Wrangell delicacy served in 1963 when the ferry system in Alaska began. Another bit of history surfaced when mistress of ceremonies for the party, Barb Maenhout, recalled that Mayor Fern Neimeyer is Wrangell's second woman mayor. The other, Doris Barnes, was mayor in Wrangell when the first ferry pulled into town in 1963. Shady Ladies dressed in feather boas, satin and lace sauntered through the lounge passing out Wrangell commemorative buttons, and children carrying balloons looked on with amazement.


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