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Articles written by Jan Parker


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  • History at a Glance

    Jan Parker|May 23, 2024

    The May 29, 1958, Journal was printed on green paper and featured enthusiastic reports on Forest Festival activities that had taken place the previous weekend. The first story, titled "Forest Festival Draws Huge Crowd from Pacific Northwest," claimed that 25,000 to 40,000 visitors had flocked to Shelton for the festivities. An official traffic count showed more than 55,000 vehicles coming into and leaving Shelton between Friday and Sunday evenings. The Queen's Coronation and Pageant had been...

  • History at a Glance

    Jan Parker, Mason County Historical Museum|May 9, 2024

    On May 11, 1939, the Journal announced Shelton's annual cleanup effort. "With the city offering its cooperation next week, Shelton's annual Cleanup Week will be from Monday May 15 through Saturday May 20. So, this little logging and rayon center should wake up and find itself all spic and span a week from Sunday morning." City residents were asked to clean up their yards, clear out attics and basements, and scrub up the garage and woodshed. The resulting accumulation of unwanted junk and...

  • History at a Glance

    Jan Parker|Apr 25, 2024

    In 1909, H. Enzo Loop, age 28, somewhat reluctantly traveled by steamship from Tacoma to Shelton at the recommendation of his mentor, Mr. Layhue, the deputy state superintendent of schools, to be interviewed for the position of superintendent of Shelton Schools. Loop had a Teacher's Elementary School certificate, after studying for a year at Whatcom Normal School, and had taught for one year at Eastsound School in San Juan County. In the waters near Olympia, Loop transferred to the boat going on...

  • History at a Glance

    Jan Parker|Apr 11, 2024

    "He could be blustery. He could be rough and tough. He could be nice and kind and gentle. Whatever his moods - and most people judged him by either his faults or virtues - there was only one Rudy Werberger." This was the opening paragraph of a memorial article about Mason County grape grower, wine maker and Forest Festival promoter Rudy Werberger, written by Dave James in 1985. Rudy Werberger was born in Austria in 1881. At the age of 20 he emigrated to Roslyn, Washington, got a job in the...

  • History at a Glance

    Jan Parker|Mar 28, 2024

    In her book "Long, Long Ago in Skokomish Valley," written in 1965, Emma Richert included a chapter on transportation. In the very early days in Skokomish Valley, transportation consisted of horse-drawn wagons or buggies, or riding horseback. By 1893, bicycles were coming into popular use. In 1897, Barber Wehnes rode her bicycle from Shelton to visit the Will Hunters in the Valley in an hour and a half - a "nice record," according to the Journal. Emma remembered the crookedness, the narrowness an...

  • Shelton's beginning

    Jan Parker|Mar 14, 2024

    David Shelton and his family took up residence in Sawamish - now Mason - County in 1853. They built their first home at the edge of Big Skookum (Oakland) Bay, approximately where the Shelton Yacht Club is today, and the area became known as Shelton's Point. Most new arrivals were settling at Oakland, approximately halfway between Shelton's Point and what is now Bayshore, which had been officially designated as the county seat; however, a small community began to form at the Point. By 1879,...

  • History at a Glance

    Jan Parker|Feb 29, 2024

    This story is from several editions of the Shelton-Mason County Journal published in 1923. In March 1923, the state of Washington appropriated more than half a million dollars to improve highways within Mason County, making way for the most extensive road operations in the history of the county. The biggest project was in Shelton and included an entirely new route for the Olympic Highway from Mill Creek into downtown. The county had built the existing route - which we now know as Pioneer Way -...

  • History at a Glance

    Jan Parker|Feb 15, 2024

    The November-December 1976 issue of the Simpson Magazine included a story titled "Babe Munson: Boom Boss of the Water Loggers." This story is based on information in that story. In 1889, Albert J. Munson and his wife, Esther, moved from Steilacoom to Shelton, where Albert opened a furniture and stationery store and served in several public offices, including deputy sheriff, county clerk, city treasurer, justice of the peace, police judge and postmaster. Albert and Esther's middle son, born in...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker, Mason County Historical Museum|Feb 1, 2024

    On Feb. 1974, two armed men who had robbed a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Bremerton were thought to be on their way to Shelton. Their getaway car was stopped in Belfair about 8 p.m., and a young woman, the only occupant, was taken into custody. Twenty-three law officers from the Mason and Kitsap County sheriff departments, the Bremerton Police Department, and two detachments of the Washington State Patrol were involved in searching for the suspects. Roadblocks were set up in the area,...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Jan 18, 2024

    John Campbell was born in Stirlingshire, Scotland, in 1830. As a young man he was working as a mate on a sailing ship when he met and became engaged to Mary Duncan, an Edinburgh lass living in Australia. In 1859, he arrived in San Francisco and traveled north until he reached the head of Little Skookum Inlet, near Kamilche, where he settled. Mary Duncan arrived in Olympia in 1860, "with trunks of finery," and the two were married May 12. Between 1869 and 1880, John Campbell kept a diary about hi...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Jan 4, 2024

    In 1928, the newly organized Tacoma-Oriental Steamship company purchased seven freighters and renamed each of them for a Pacific Northwest town or county. The SS Cuprum was renamed Shelton. The remaining six ships were named after Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellingham, Olympia and Grays Harbor. Mason County Journal Editor Grant Angle wrote: "The budding City of Shelton ought to feel 'all puffed up' over the nice recognition of its present and prospective part in the shipping affairs of Puget...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Dec 21, 2023

    To commemorate the first anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Shelton Active Club conducted its second citywide scrap metal drive Sunday, Dec. 6. City residents were asked to have their scrap out by 10 a.m. to be picked by Activans driving donated trucks. Stockpiles were established at 7th and Franklin downtown and at the air raid tower on Hillcrest. The first scrap drive, a few weeks earlier, had collected over 30 tons of valuable scrap metal. Also on Dec. 6, a twin engine...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Dec 7, 2023

    The following story is from the Journal's Mason County Visitor's Guide for 1968. The bright lights on trees from Mason County pop the eyes of boys and girls in 2 million homes every year on Christmas morning. Christmas trees produced here are shipped as far south as Mexico City, east to Kansas and west to the Philippines. California gets 80 percent of the crop. That's why Shelton has earned its unique nickname of "Christmastown U.S.A." This is the place where Santa stops to load his sleigh with...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Nov 23, 2023

    This story comes from the book “Long Long Ago in Skokomish Valley,” by Emma Richert, published in 1965. Some of Emma’s story is based on selections from Myron Eells’ diaries that had recently been published in the Journal. “For many decades the residents of Middle Skokomish have voted in ‘Eells Precinct.’ None of the Eells has lived in the Valley for many years now, but may that name ever be retained in memory and honor of a truly outstanding pioneer family. I am overwhelmed by the impossibi...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Nov 9, 2023

    Florence Waldrip was born in November 1893, in her Aunt Mary's house at the head of Oyster Bay. Her father, Joe Waldrip, owned the Olympia Oyster Company in partnership with W. H. Kneeland. In an interview with the Journal in October 1976, Florence recalled her early life at Oyster Bay and New Kamilche. For several years, Joe and his wife, Zora, raised their family on a houseboat in the middle of Oyster Bay. "There were three children and no railing on the porch, so we had to learn to mind our...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Oct 12, 2023

    In March 1985, the Journal published a special supplement celebrating Shelton's centennial. Several residents with deep roots in the community were asked to contribute their memories of the town's earlier years. The following was written by Ken Fredson. Ken's great-grandfather had come to the Oregon Territory in the late 1840s; his father was born in Oakland in 1888. (Oakland was the first town on Oakland Bay, established in about 1854 and eventually abandoned after Shelton began to take shape a...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Sep 28, 2023

    On Dec. 5, 1948, The Hood Canal News asked its readers, "Can Belfair afford to lose its volunteer fire department? While the work and services of the department are well known by virtually every resident of the Belfair area, there are many who will be surprised to learn that the Belfair Fire Department is BROKE and may have to be discontinued unless citizens rally round with funds and aid necessary to continue the much-needed fire department." The local fire department was funded by community...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Sep 14, 2023

    In the summer of 1935, 25-year-old Dave James came to Shelton to edit the Shelton Independent, the "only Democratic newspaper on the West Coast - or maybe in the world." This story is adapted from a story James wrote for a 1985 Shelton centennial supplement to the Shelton-Mason County Journal. A. J. Chitty had started the weekly Shelton Independent in 1927, much to the annoyance of Grant Angle, who had been publishing the Shelton-Mason County Journal since 1886. According to James, "Chitty was...

  • War games in Shelton: Part two

    Jan Parker|Aug 31, 2023

    This is the conclusion of a story about U.S. Army war games that took place in and around Shelton in August 1941. From the Journal: "Soldiers of the maneuvering troops are finding Sheltonians eager to assist in making their stay in the town pleasant, and local residents have had nothing but praise for the character and actions of the soldiers. A reading and recreation room has been established in the old post office building, and is a favorite spot for soldiers with a few minutes to spare,...

  • War Games in Shelton, 1941

    Jan Parker|Aug 17, 2023

    In the summer of 1941 (about four months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), the U.S. Army was anticipating a possible Japanese invasion of the West Coast, including southwest Washington. At Fort Lewis, officers of the Army's 41st Division drew up plans for "war games" that would enact, as realistically as possible, a Japanese invasion and the U. S. military response. It would be the job of soldiers from Fort Lewis to hold off invaders attacking at several points along the Washington...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Aug 3, 2023

    A front-page story in the May 28, 1938, Shelton Daily Spokesman began: "Despite the fact that he lost the election to the Democratic candidate for county auditor back in 1884, Clermont S. Brumbaugh, pioneer resident and long active in local politics, still treasures a copy of an 1884 issue of the Puget Sound Angus, published in Port Townsend, that showed the results of the territorial election as well as the Mason County election. Mr. Brumbaugh, still active at over 80 years of age, is the sole...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Jul 20, 2023

    In May 1956, the Simpson Lookout magazine included the following story: "I'm the Three-Spot, named after William Shorter, one of the early Simpson engineers. I'm 30 years old, and as steam lokies go, that makes me a grandfather. Steam is going out, stepping aside for the diesels. Simpson has used lokies like me since the nineties, but diesels are running the Simpson rails now. I'm just an old fellow puffing a lot of memories. They had me run out to Camp Govey during the March snows to get some...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Jul 6, 2023

    A front-page story in the May 1, 1938, Shelton Daily Spokesman began: "As the surprise feature of National Air Mail Week comes word today from Shelton Postmaster Jessie Knight that the first-ever flight of mail would take off from Shelton between 4 and 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 18. Well-known local pilot Walter Graham, who will have the honor of taking Shelton's first and only air mail load from Sanderson Field, is in Seattle today to get final instructions." A civic group led by Mayor L. D. Hack...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Jun 22, 2023

    Immediately after the Savoy Hotel was destroyed by fire in September 1925, the Shelton Kiwanis Club, the Active Club and the town council held a meeting to discuss the need for better firefighting capabilities. At that time, Shelton had three hose carts, which had been delayed in arriving at the fire due to lack of practice on the part of the firefighting volunteers. It was decided that the town needed to acquire better equipment, including a motorized apparatus and a larger supply of hose, and...

  • HISTORY AT A GLANCE

    Jan Parker|Jun 8, 2023

    In 1924, Olympic Highway came down into Shelton from Hillcrest. Drivers wanting to continue on the highway had to make a left turn onto Railroad Avenue, then turn right on Fifth Street and drive up to reconnect with the highway, which for a few blocks in town was known as Alder Street. At that time, Alder did not extend beyond Fifth Street to the east. The Peninsular Railroad roundhouse was on Railroad Avenue near Fifth, and a number of train tracks crossed Fifth Street. The streets were paved...

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