The Way We Were

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

May 24, 1923

The health center is now established in the quaint old building which has stood for more than half a century on the government reserve near the courthouse, and which during the past 10 years was used for a time as a U.S. Commissioner’s office and later as a hall for the American Legion. This historic building, which is constructed of logs, was built in 1867 by Capt. Bancroft who built Fort Wrangell. With the exception of the customs house, it is the only one left of the eight buildings which comprised the garrison. The garrison was abandoned in 1877, at which time the buildings were turned over to the civil authority.

May 21, 1948

Lee Ellis, local big game hunter, had a close call Tuesday with a big brown bear at Gambier Bay when the enraged and wounded bear attacked him as he was trying to track it down after being shot by Dave Buttles, a member of a big game hunting party which Ellis was guiding. In an early morning hunt, Buttles, a crack shot, had wounded the bear, which disappeared up a knoll. Ellis said as he approached the foot of the knoll watching for signs of blood to determine where the bear had gone, Buttles shouted: “Look out, Lee, he's coming for you!” Ellis said, “I had turned my head toward Buttles to see where he was aiming and by the time I turned toward the bear he was about 15 feet from me and coming down the slope at me. I put a .300 in his chest, but he was coming with such force I knew it couldn’t stop him.” The bear hit Ellis and the two of them rolled over and over, coming to a stop with the bear on top. Ellis was wearing hip boots and the bear concentrated on chewing the top of Ellis’ left boot, but once dug his teeth into Ellis’ thigh. It took two more shots from the hunter to finish the bear. He flew home, where his wound was treated. He also suffered body bruising when he and the bear rolled down the slope. Ellis is on crutches but expects to leave June 4 with another party on a bear hunt.

May 18, 1973

An ordinance was introduced at the city council meeting dealing with liquor sales. The ordinance extends the open time for retail liquor establishments by one hour, increases the time for clearing the house after closing by 15 minutes and provides that bars could remain open on some municipal election days. In other action, the council heard from Mayor Don House, who urged that caution lights be installed at the elementary school and that the state be prompted in the strongest possible language to accomplish the work before a child is injured or killed.

May 21, 1998

“A turtle doesn’t go anywhere unless he sticks his neck out,” City Councilman John Baker said moments before the council took a vote on the purchase of Wrangell Fisheries last week. The council met in a special session on Thursday afternoon, May 14, and with a vote of 5-1 passed the motion to purchase Wrangell Fisheries. The special meeting and action followed discussion and pleas during the previous Tuesday evening meeting, all encouraging the purchase. With this action, the city’s attorney was given the authority to proceed with the title search, obtaining lists of equipment and assets, and putting together a formal proposal for the purchase.


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