The Way We Were

From the Sentinel 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago

July 20, 1922

It is safe to say that no governmental activity has contributed so much to the growth and development of Southeast Alaska as road building, and none has contributed more to the pleasure of those living here. The government roads radiating from the centers of population have resulted in the building of many little farms and the location of many settlers. Scores of working men who might not have remained in the territory have built homes along the roads that reach out from the towns and have thus become fixtures in Alaska. It has aided in the development of agricultural resources and mine development. The people in the cities have been given an opportunity to get out into the country and life has been made more agreeable. They have also contributed immensely to attractions for tourists, and the tourist traffic, now large, is destined to be the foundation of one of the largest of our industries.

July 18, 1947

Mrs. Nicie Ronning, of Wrangell, who recently completed a beauty course in the south, announced today that she will reopen her beauty shop, the Wrangell Beauty Salon, on July 28, in the former W.E. Byrd residence. The former residence has been redecorated and renovated into an attractive beauty parlor and Mrs. Ronning will manage her own shop. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and Mrs. Ronning is equipped to render all lines of beauty work.

July 28, 1972

The U.S. Coast Guard plans to devote more time to Wrangell and other Southeast ports. Bosun’s Mate Chief Robert Schmidt, 32, officer in charge of the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Team at Petersburg, said members of the unit will be in Wrangell frequently now that a 23-foot patrol craft has been put into service. The fiberglass boat, equipped with twin 140-horsepower inboard/outboard engines and capable of speeds up to 40 miles an hour, was operating last weekend in the harbor and the waters around Wrangell. Coast Guardsmen were checking for required safety equipment and safe operation of vessels, Schmidt said.

July 24, 1997

When Agnes Tschohl’s son, John, called and invited her to go with him to Alaska on a fishing trip this summer, she enthusiastically said yes. After all, she thought, she was the one who had taught him how to fish in the first place. Leaving her home in Hopkins, Minnesota, she arrived in Wrangell on June 26, accompanied by John, her other son, Tom, and grandson Matthew, all ready to go ocean fishing for the first time. Their hosts were Hellen and Steve Keller, of Silber Wind Charters. After arriving in Wrangell the group spent two days on the Brandy K, then a day on shore where Agnes went shopping and sightseeing with Helen while the boys went up the river. Returning to the boat the next day, Agnes was sitting close to the back in a chair when suddenly her pole gave the notorious pull recognized by all Alaskans – the halibut strike! Rushing over, she grabbed the pole and recalled everyone began shouting, “Keep turning, keep turning.” “It wasn’t hard,” Agnes says, “but it didn’t get away.” She caught a 163-pounder that day. The group returned home a few days later, loaded with boxes of frozen fish. Soon after arriving home, Agnes was heading to a big party in her honor. They were going to celebrate her birthday with friends and a large cake. After all, this July 5 was her 97th birthday.


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