The Way We Were

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

July 2, 1914: Everything is rounded into shape for the celebration of the Fourth of July, and if the weather permits, it is going to be one best that was ever pulled off in the town. From early morning to late at night, there is something doing and the sport committee has arranged it so that something new is happening every 15 minutes, so you want to be on tap early and not miss a thing. The first thing on the program is the salute of the day, and at 9:30 a.m. there will be Patriotic Exercises in Red Men’s Hall from which you are to go to the wharf and watch one of the best log rolling contests that ever was, as all the logging camps in the vicinity are going to be represented and the contests will all be close. From the logging contest you are to go to your lunch, and then at one p.m., the sports will start on Front Street, and just before six there will be a tug-of-war between Wrangell and Petersburg. All the boat races will be before supper, starting at 6:30, and there are going to be some races too, as several boats have already registered and paid their fee of 50 cents, as all boats to run must do.

June 30, 1939: Designed to give a happy time to children, the sports program for the Fourth of July, outlined by the committee, is concerned primarily with youngsters of school age, with only two events, girl’s and boy’s slow bicycle races, going as high in age as 16 years. Two dances are scheduled for the pleasure of adults, the Alaska Native Brotherhood holding a dance on Saturday night, July 1st, and the American Legion on the night of July 3rd. The street events will start at 10:30 the morning of the Fourth. In the afternoon, a softball game is scheduled at the school grounds. The picture show provided by the committee last year proved to be such a success with the children that similar arrangements have been made for this year.

July 3, 1964: Wrangell’s gala Fourth of July celebration, planned as one of the biggest in years, with thousands of dollars offered in prizes, will get underway Friday with one of its most unique events – the scrapfish derby (This has no relation to the salmon derby and tickets are not needed for the kids to fish.) Youngsters 6-14 will tangle (probably lines) in this major event for trophies and cash awards. Scene: the crab cannery float. Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with an hour off for lunch. Friday night, the Fourth of July Queen will be chosen and crowned at the Coronation Ball at the ANB Hall. Contestants for queen are Andrea Barlow, Becky Stokes and Joanna Petticrew.

June 29, 1989: U.S. Army Corps of Engineer officials and the Wrangell sawmill have worked out a compromise to provide the mill with additional wood waste disposal areas, a corps official says. Corps spokesman John Killoren told the Sentinel Tuesday that Steve Seley Jr. had agreed to withdraw his company’s application for a 20-acre wood-waste fill in the tidelands area at 5 1/2 Mile Zimovia Highway. In exchange, corps officials have agreed to allow Seley to reactivate two existing wood-waste fills in the area and expand them to provide for another 10 acres of fill capacity, Killoren said. The result will total roughly 20 acres of additional fill capacity. Killoren said the compromise was hammered out Tuesday morning when Seley flew to Anchorage for a meeting with corps’ regulatory staff. “The discussion was very positive, our folks said,” Killoren said about 30 minutes after the meeting ended. “It’s something that is workable and within the needs of Seley.” The compromise came as corps officials reviewed data submitted by three federal agencies about the mill’s permit application. Killoren last week said corps officials had counseled the mill to continue exploring all other options for wood waste disposal. Killoren said the fact that the three federal agencies had recommended the corps deny the mill’s permit application did not bode well for the future of that application.


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