The Way We Were

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

Feb. 8, 1923

The opening of the Million Dollar Club in Wrangell Saturday night will without doubt be one of the greatest pleasure events in the history of Southeast Alaska. The thrilling life of bygone days of the Klondike will be lived over again as dramatic scenes are re-enacted. The famous Native orchestra of Metlakatla will furnish the music. Special boats will arrive from Juneau, Petersburg and Ketchikan bringing Elks and their ladies. The old rink is today an example of what money can do. Since it was leased by the millionaires, it has been transformed into one the most elegant clubs on the Pacific coast. Certainly there is nothing like it anywhere in Alaska, and even the famous Arctic Club in Seattle is a woodshed in comparison. And the dance hall! It is simply a dream. And we know you’ll say so too when you see it. There will be no children present, but the children have not been forgotten, as a special party for them will be given in the Starland at the same time as the big event. On some former occasions people have complained of not being warm enough in the rink, but no one need be apprehensive about Saturday night, for the grand opening will be a warm affair in more ways than one.

Feb. 6, 1948

At the city council meeting last night, Carl Bradley appeared to represent the Binkley Canning Co., which is asking that a road be built across Shustak Point on Zimovia Strait. The road will make other private property on the point more accessible. James Gillen appeared, also urging that the road survey be made. The council decided to write George Parks, federal cadastral engineer, in Juneau to ask that a survey be made immediately and an estimate be given on the cost. Jim Meyers, another property owner on the Point, asked that the road not be built through the center of his property, as he said his lot was not large enough to be cut in half.

Feb. 9, 1973

Wrangell’s four-man police department traveled 24,725 miles on patrol during 1972 and made 218 arrests, 77 of which were felony crimes. Figures are contained in the department's activity report, which includes comparison figures from 1969 through 1972. The report was prepared for presentation to the mayor and city council, the city manager and the citizens of Wrangell. In addition to statistics on police activity, it presents brief explanations of the figures included in the report and general information on the department’s operation during the past year. Fifty-four accidents and 883 criminal complaints were investigated. A total of 282 citations for moving violations, parking violations and mechanical vehicle faults were issued. Traffic warnings in cases where drivers were not cited totaled 191 for the year.

Feb. 5, 1998

With the hiring of five area residents and the employment of a local electrical contractor, the long-awaited renewal of activity at Wrangell’s former Alaska Pulp Corp. mill has begun. According to plant superintendent Rick Klinke, four watchmen have been hired, and a local electrical contractor is examining the numerous motors on the site that have sat idle since the mill’s closure in 1994. Reached by phone, plant manager George Woodbury said the plant will start up when the equipment is ready and logs are on hand. “We’re assessing what has to be done at the mill. Everything is in the ‘spring decision’ mode. We’ll get started as soon as we're satisfied that we’re not going to get snowed out.”


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