The Way We Were

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

Aug. 9, 1923

Richard Suratt, Wrangell’s well-known cinematographer, recently returned from a trip into the Cassiar where he secured 450 feet of remarkable film for the Pathe News. On the road between Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake, Mr. Suratt secured pictures showing how the most primitive methods of transportation are being replaced by strictly modern methods. The pictures show a caterpillar in operation on the same trail with a 50-horse pack train belonging to the Hudson’s Bay Co. Another section of the film shows the caterpillar meeting a man on the trail with 10 pack dogs loaded with beaver skins. Mr. Suratt was fortunate in getting a most picturesque background which also emphasized the success with which transportation difficulties in the Cassiar are being overcome. This is probably the last year the pack train will be in operation between Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake.

Aug. 6, 1948

The city council met last night at City Hall. Dr. John O. Bangeman, city health officer, reported that garbage was still being dumped on the beaches, the worst offenses occurring at the West Cannery site. He asked that the city have signs made warning residents against violating the law concerning such dumping of garbage and then enforce the ordinance to the letter. He asked that if everyone using a bottle of any kind would break it into the garbage, there would not be so many broken bottles along the beaches. He said he had had occasion to sew up several injuries to children’s hands because of beach accidents. He suggested that bars be requested to break all bottles before putting them out for garbage collection and hauling to the dump, and that housewives be asked to do likewise.

Aug. 10, 1973

The 60-foot tugboat Madrona, of Wrangell, went aground this week on the west shore of Zarembo Island and owner Cap Rondo was waiting for a big tide on Aug. 27 to attempt refloating her. Rondo said the 37-year-old diesel-powered vessel went on rocks Aug. 9 when he attempted to run her to shore to deliver fuel drums for Southeast Logging Co., which has a camp nearby. “We were running for a ramp which we knew marked a safe channel to the beach,” said Rondo. “But the float had drifted about 100 feet from its original spot. It was just enough.”

Aug. 6, 1998

Times are a’changing. Wrangell fire calls now will be answered not only by the traditional trucks, equipment and crew, but will also include two new volunteers who bring another element to each response. Wrangell has just accepted its first women firefighters into the force. The two women, Stephanie Gillen and Penny Allen, both expressed enthusiasm about their new jobs, and said they had each wanted to be a part of the team for a long time. Allen said she has always wanted to be a firefighter. “I have been watching my dad and my brother since I was a little girl,” she said. Gillen said she always was impressed with the firefighters and EMTs. “I have always wanted to do it, but didn’t think you could.” she says. “I think saving lives is the best way to volunteer. Fire Chief Tim Business said there are about 38 volunteers on the roster now.


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