Wrangell Sentinel -


The Way We Were


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

September 4, 1913: The cannery tender Irene Barnes of the Lake Bay cannery caught fire early yesterday morning, Wednesday and exploded splitting the boat wide open and seriously burning Captain M.L. Burke and slightly injuring E. Chryton, who worked as a deckhand on the boat. The explosion occurred as Mr. Burke was lighting a gasoline stove to prepare his breakfast early in the morning. It seems that the gasoline tank was leaking and had filled the bilge with gasoline and as soon as a match was struck the whole inside of the boat took fire, with a loud explosion which split the boat wide open. Captain Burke barely escaped with his life, reaching the ladder as the boat started to sink and in almost an unknown way he climbed up the ladder where several persons had gathered to learn the cause of the explosion, who took the lines off the wharf and pulled the boat up to shallow waters where she sank and in all probabilities the engine will be saved.

August 26, 1938: Cannery Workers Auxiliary Union members, under a committee headed by Mrs. C.L. Wies, president of the union, Mrs. Henry Bowman and Mrs. S.W. Jenkins are giving a dance Saturday night at ANB Hall. As a departure from the usual admission of one dollar for men, a general admission of 25 cents is being charged. Tickets were on sale Wednesday night and are finding a ready sale. Business houses in Wrangell were approached for donations for spot prizes, valued at not over one dollar, but some firms insisted on giving more. The Diamond K Packing Company donated a case of salmon. Mrs. Lee Chisholm, Mrs. Mary Grant and Mrs. Helen Ronning each donated a case of beer from their beer parlors. The cases will be broken up Mrs. Wies stated into spot prizes of not over one dollar value.

August 16, 1963: In the soft light of candles, at the St. Philip's Episcopal Church last Saturday evening Miss Suzanne Maryella Grant became the bride of John Robinson Leverett of Bellingham, Wash. The Rev. W.C. Files pronounced the vows. The bride was given in marriage by her father, Mr. Neil Grant. As “something borrowed” the bride wore her cousin's, Mrs. Joseph Smith's wedding gown of imported white silk organzo over satin with a bodice and train of French Alencon lace. Her shoulder length veil was attached to a white rose clustered with stephanotis and her bouquet was white orchids and stephanotis over a white prayer book given to her by her choir instructor at St. Philip's church, Mrs. John Coulter. Miss Karen Gudmundson of Bellingham was bridesmaid and wore a sheath of Pistachio green silk shantung with a matching veil. She carried a cascade of gold and bronze chrysanthemums. Mr. Gene Abbott of Bellingham, was best man. The bride and groom and their attendants were all schoolmates of Western Washington College of Education at Bellingham.

August 25, 1988: The Wrangell Hospital Board needs a minimum of $561,000, and perhaps as much as $1.3 million, just to complete expansion and remodeling of the facility. Board members at a special meeting Tuesday learned that a second round of bids let for the job came in far higher than the $1.25 million left in the budget. Board members made no decision on how to cope with the financial problem. Instead, they agreed to meet again today to put together a list of options, then present that list to the City Council at a special meeting set for 5 p.m. Aug. 30. Included in the latest round of bids were those for remodeling the existing hospital to meet state health code, putting a roof over the structure, exterior finishing and completing the electrical system for the facility. Only two contractors, Ritchie Construction of Wrangell and Dawson Construction of Washington state, once again bid on the jobs. By taking the lowest bids for various portions of the work, Hospital Administrator John Vowell said the price tag overall would come to about $1.8 million. Such a decision could create a problem with more than one contractor working on the premises at one time, he said, and he cautioned that any conficts could result in monetary claims against the project.


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