The Way We Were

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

May 22, 1924

Among the passengers aboard the Queen, which was in port Saturday morning, was John Hooper, president of the American & Canadian Tourists Societies. Speaking to a representative of the Sentinel, he said: “This will be Alaska’s greatest year. Every boat is filled for July and August, with many loaded for June and September. Ketchikan and Petersburg cannot take care of any stopovers, so the bulk of this will go to Wrangell, Juneau and Skagway, who are best prepared for this season’s stopovers.” Mr. Hooper is recognized as the tourist head and expert in all tourist matters, having been connected with the organization for 14 years. He is a tourist, not connected with any ticket agency, tour bureau or steamship company.

May 20, 1949

To Tom Voorhies, local commercial fisherman, goes the honor of getting the “champeen” halibut caught in this area this year. Tom hooked a 250-pounder this week. After landing it he said, thanks, but he’d rather have several smaller ones instead. About 50 loads of halibut were landed at the cold storage during the week, totaling about 112,900 pounds. About 94 trolling loads were sold, totaling about 27,400 pounds. Prices this morning at the fish docks were 15.5, 11 and 14.5 cents per pound for halibut and 30, 25 and 25 cents for salmon.

May 24, 1974

A record effort in the Wrangell-Petersburg king salmon fishery last week resulted in a reduction of the Stikine gillnet period from three days fishing to only two. The third week of the season, which began May 12, saw 51 boats go out, compared to only 25 last year during the same third-week period. Alaska Department of Fish and Game statistics show last year’s effort was nearly twice that of the year before. The average number of fish caught per boat is on the decrease. In 1972 during the same third-week period, the average catch was 38 per boat, while in 1973 the average was down to 23. This year’s third-week average was only 15 fish per boat. Fish and Game Assistant Area Management Biologist Brad Brahy could not predict how the remainder of the season will go, or whether there will be any further reductions in the fishing periods. “We’re playing it cautious because of the increase in effort. It’s a day-to-day thing,” he said.

May 20, 1999

Most communities, including Wrangell, tend to grow and change in a random and piecemeal way. Sometimes a pleasant, culturally and economically robust community results, but many times it does not. The alternative is to plan for change in a rational way beginning with a local vision of an ideal place. During four days last week, two graduate students from the University of Washington’s Urban Planning Program were in Wrangell, gathering information on how to enhance the downtown/waterfront area. Sara Philllips and Shannon Winger spent their days in Wrangell talking to a number of people with a wide range of interests in the community’s life. Phillips and Winger are positive about the possibilities of producing an agreement in Wrangell integrating the downtown/waterfront area for the use of residents, tourists, businesses and industry. Their report in the fall will make interesting reading for those concerned about a viable, livable Wrangell in the next century.

 

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