Looking back in time: Pacific Highway expansion through Lewis County slated for over $1.5 million

Compiled by Daniel Warn / [email protected]

In 1952, the Pacific Highway was one of the main interregional arteries in the state, and it was to extend further through Lewis County.

“Two new contracts for work related to the new Pacific Highway route through Lewis County on Tuesday pushed the state’s Department of Highways contract totals in the region above the ( $1.5) million,” The Chronicle reported.

According to District Highway Engineer Paul McKay, bids have been opened for the construction of two reinforced concrete bridges over the Newaukum River 1.5 miles north of Napavine and for the grading and surfacing of a section of National Avenue in the north of Chehalis.

The contract for the bridges went to Rumsey and Company of Seattle for $214,690. The bridge contract was the idea that put the total of Lewis County’s section of Pacific Highway in the $1.5 million territory.

Several other projects, including road reconstruction and grading where area streets intersect with then-existing portions of the Pacific Highway, made up part of the remainder of the $1.5 million that was all associated with the forward progression of the Pacific Highway.

RL Moss and Company of Zenith won the grading and paving contract along National Avenue for a bid of $46,962.

May 7, 1932:

• Members of the Centralia Kiwanis Club hosted a banquet on May 6, 1932, where the club’s district governor, Clinton B. Wood, was the speaker.

• Aldon Taylor, then 68, a pioneer resident of Winlock, died in May 1932. Funeral was held May 6, 1932 at Cattermole Chapel.

• Special services for Mother’s Day were to be held on May 8, 1932 in several area churches. Reverend Marion McQuary was due to speak at 11 a.m. at First Christian Church, for example.

• After numerous complaints about certain areas of Centralia Mall streets having two-hour parking restrictions, Police Chief JC Kriebel released a statement saying the new bylaw would nonetheless be enforced.

• The Centralia School District Girls’ Athletic Association held a game day for eighth graders at Centralia High School. Competitions, games and relays were on the program.

• Reverend Ralph Heins of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Winlock announced that he has been called to serve the Lutheran Church in Lebanon, Oregon.

• Alice L. Ruth, “a well-known and highly respected former resident of Chehalis for several years,” died the previous Wednesday, The Chronicle reported.

May 7, 1942:

• “About half the population of Centralia had been registered for wartime sugar rationing Tuesday night, and George M. Williamson, district ration administrator, said it looked like the Thursday night deadline would see everyone with their ration books,” The Chronicle reported.

• Governor Arthur Langlie declared May 12-18 to be Washington state’s “Goodwill Week,” a notion that would help Americans keep their morals in perspective during their then-international struggles .

• Prosecutor Max Church has filed a second degree murder charge against Sam Taylor, 64, of Forks, following the shooting death of Floyd Whitney, 38.

• The region’s Chamber of Commerce hosted a banquet where Chehalis High School graduates took pride of place.

• Eugene Blake Saunderson, then 75, died the previous Tuesday in Centralia. Saunderson had resided in Washington for 40 years after moving west from Pennsylvania.

• “Gathering 14 hits from four Bengal pitchers, the Aberdeen Bobcats went undefeated in the North Division High School Diamond Conference here on Tuesday afternoon, when they beat the Centralia Tigers, 16 to 2,” according to Chronicle sportswriters.

• Wanted: “Elderly lady for housekeeper and companion for elderly man in the countryside.”

May 7, 1952:

• Centralia Community Pool was “scrubbed and cleaned” for opening June 1, 1952. Work progressed on a new wading pool for the little ones.

• Centralia has received petitions for work on the streets and lanes around Plummer Lake and a 10-foot driveway extending 160 feet north of Walnut Street between South Pearl and South Silver streets.

• Al Aldrich, director of the Chehalis Chamber of Commerce, announced his resignation the previous Wednesday. He planned to go into private business in Chehalis.

• “A world-renowned female engineer, author, scientist and educator, Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth, mother of Mrs. Dick Tallman, Chehalis, is invited as a guest speaker at the Chehalis Chamber of Commerce next Tuesday,” reported The Chronicle.

• Five new draftees selected from Lewis County were due to report for induction into the armed forces on June 5, 1952. Although the Second World War was a decade over, people were still being registered and called up for service.

• While the Office of Price Stabilization was to give many areas of the state a discount on door-to-door milk delivery, prices in Lewis County were to remain constant.

• The Fox Theater screened two films on May 7. “Girl in Every Port” was scheduled at 7:22 p.m. and 10:38 p.m., while “The Racket” would play at 8:48 p.m.


“A Look Back in Time” appears in every Saturday edition of The Chronicle. Clips of newsreels were reviewed at the Lewis County Historical Museum.