The Way We Were

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

July 28, 1921

An offer of several hundred books for Wrangell was received from the Juneau library this week. The books are from the Gastineau mine, which closed. The Juneau library is too crowded for them and many are duplicates of books already on hand. They will be sorted at Juneau and those which are in bad condition will be discarded. The offer of the books was made to Wrangell because of the response here to the American Library Association’s call last year for help in the “Better Books” movement. Several of the local organizations and a number of individuals subscribed varying sums and the money was sent to Mrs. F.A. Metcalf in Juneau, to be forwarded to the library association. It is thought that the money to pay for transporting the books from Juneau can be raised easily. A Wrangell library should not be impossible if there are enough people interested in its establishment and maintenance.

Aug. 2, 1946

If Wrangellites are wondering about the whys and wherefores of the snappy new telephone booth installed between the windows of the Army Signal Corps in the Federal Building, the Sentinel can, as always, give the latest dope. In the near future, perhaps two weeks, Wrangell residents will be able to call up their Petersburg neighbors by phone, and vice versa, and hold telephone conversations. Preliminary tests have already been made, Staff Sgt. Sam Pickering said, and results are satisfactory. All the final service is waiting for is a line to be strung about two miles from the cable landing on Mitkof Island to Petersburg proper. The phone booth has metropolitan-style sliding doors, which automatically turn on a light in the booth.

July 30, 1971

Fire danger in Wrangell area forests this week is the highest in recent years. The U.S. Forest Service put the six logging operations in the 1.5 million acre Wrangell District of the Tongass National Forest on so-called Hoot Owl working shifts. The ruling keeps crews out of the woods at prime fire danger hours of noon to 6 p.m. Forest Service personnel were flying a fire watch and firefighting crews stayed on alert. District Ranger Gary McCoy said fire indexes rose to the extreme rating of 10 on a scale running from 2 to 10. The 10 was recorded at Bradfield Canal, where daytime temperatures have been in the mid-80s. The Hoot Owl directives were given to loggers Monday at Sykes Logging (Bradfield Canal), Elmer Day Logging (Snow Pass), Hamilton Log (Anita Bay), Tyler Log (St. John’s Harbor), Nelson Log (Sokolof Island) and Galla Log (Elephant’s Nose).

Aug. 1, 1996

There seem to be a lot of bears in town this summer. Roaming through residential streets, staking out the city dump to the point that officials have urged residents not to go there, and chasing people’s pets around. In the past month, 30 bears have been seen at one time at the landfill. Five bears, including two that were described as large and aggressive, have been carted off to the southern end of the island. The U.S. Forest Service has some advice for people on how to survive or, better yet, avoid bear encounters. According to wildlife biologist Scott Posner, who manages the Anan Creek Wildlife Observatory, most of the bears seen locally have been black bears. The few brown bears spotted have been outside the city. Most encounters have involved people walking their dogs. “Be sure if you plan to walk your dog in these areas where bears have been seen, to have good voice control over your pet, or walk with it on a leash. Letting them romp around in the woods may end up with him coming back with a bear right behind,” warns Posner.


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