The Way We Were

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

Nov. 8, 1923

The returns of Tuesday’s special election show that the people of Wrangell are overwhelmingly in favor of a division of the territory. The vote of the Wrangell precinct stood 199 for and 7 against territorial division. There were 35 more votes polled at the special election last Tuesday than at the last municipal election. The special election was for the purpose of obtaining an expression from the people before submitting the matter to Congress for consideration.

Nov. 12, 1948

Col. O. F. Ohlson, receiver for Alaska Asiatic Lumber Mills Inc., reported that no bids were received on the receiver’s invitation for bids on the company’s property in Wrangell. The bids were to be opened in the receiver’s office Nov. 10. “It is true,” Ohlson said, “that the present situation does not look very good to prospective investors as all of the larger sawmills in Southeast Alaska except the Ketchikan Spruce Mill are closed down because of the present maritime strike, and the fact that the U.S. Army is not purchasing lumber and will not be in a position to do so for some months.”

Nov. 7, 1973

City Manager Herb McNabb this week recommended that the city council move ahead on plans for a community swimming pool. In a three-page memo to councilmen, McNabb outlined the need not only for a pool but for a large indoor recreation complex and suggested a way in which it could be financed. The administrator hinted at “a substantial sum of money” which may be donated toward construction of the pool, but did not elaborate. The donation, coupled with community donations and a possible revenue bond issue, could finance the project, McNabb told the council. The proposal is scheduled for council discussion at a meeting Nov. 13.

Nov. 5, 1998

In an interview Tuesday afternoon with Richard Buhler Jr., vice president of Silver Bay Logging Co., and Georginna Buhler, corporate administrator, it was learned that the mill at 6-Mile Zimovia Highway is now employing approximately 50 full-time workers, all of which are Wrangell residents. According to Richard Buhler, most of the employees are working on a five-and-a-half to six-day shift, and 30 to 35 of them are working specifically in the mill area. Dick Buhler Sr., president of Silver Bay Logging, purchased the mill from Alaska Pulp Corp. after APC was forced to shut down due to the Forest Service timber contract cancellation in 1994. Silver Bay started up the operations again in April of this year, and the Wrangell community anticipated the rehiring of the 150 former mill workers who had been out of work for nearly four years.


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