‘Lovers Lane Bandit’ Captured
On Sept. 16, 1960, a 23-year-old man from rural Chehalis was under armed guard at the Centralia General Hospital for a wound he inflicted upon himself. He was charged with being the “lover’s lane bandit.” The bandit had conducted armed robberies of amorous couples in cars since the beginning of spring. The sites of the robberies were Claquato, Newaukum Hill and Zenkner Valley, according to Lewis County Undersheriff W.L. Murray.
“A couple reported the suspect approached the car with a pistol,” The Daily Chronicle reported. “The car windows were rolled up and when the couple refused to roll down the window, the suspect fired one shot. Murray said the shot was fired by the suspect into the ground to indicate he meant ‘business.’
“As the couple got out of the car, they noted the suspect was bleeding profusely from a wound on his right leg. Murray said the suspect apparently shot himself accidently.
“The couple took the suspect to the hospital for treatment. The couple contacted the sheriff’s office and the suspect was placed under armed guard.”
Peaches Growing Well
120 years ago, in 1890
The founder of Centralia brought a sample of the peaches he grew to the newspaper.
“Mr. George Washington, today, brought us a sample of peaches which grew in his garden,” The Centralia Weekly News wrote. “They measure nine inches in circumference and are very luscious looking peaches. The tree upon which they grew is only three years old.”
Second Fair Expects 25,000
100 years ago, in 1910
The upcoming Southwest Washington State Fair, celebrating its second year from Sept. 19-24, was expected to host 25,000 people.
“The fair grounds are in excellent shape, added water and light having been arranged for so that there will be ample arrangements of this kind for the immense crowd that will attend,” The Chehalis Bee-Nugget wrote. “The management has prepared places on the grounds where visitors may eat their lunches in comfort.
“There will be plenty of small lunch stands in different places and the big restaurant under the grandstand has been secured by the W.C.T.U (Woman’s Christian Temperance Union) ladies of Centralia. This restaurant will seat 300 people at a time.”
New School Built for Girls Institution
75 years ago, in 1935
The state school for girls at Grand Mound was a construction site of a five-room, one-story academic school. Dave Garvin, of the Chehalis Boys’ School, served as building inspector, with Andy Galbraith as construction foreman. Boys from the Chehalis institution did the excavation work. The building cost was $25,000.
The academic school would serve girls from the fourth grade through high school. In 1934, 13 girls received diplomas.
Rogerson Honored at California Art Show
25 years ago, in 1985
Dixie Rogerson, Centralia, was honored at the Los Angeles Convention Center’s Art Expo ’85, where her art was featured. She had been an artist/teacher for 30 years.
Mill Closure Shocks Community
10 years ago, in 2000
East Lewis County had experienced mill closures before, yet the future closure of Morton Forest Products Co. was a shock. By the end of the month, 85 employees would be without a job.
Adna Honors Frazier
Five years ago, in 2005
Adna High School retired jersey No. 34, which had belonged to 1989 All-State tailback and Class B-11 Player of the Year, Ken Frazier. During the 1989 season, Frazier scored a then-state record of 42 touchdowns. Adna had a 12-0 season and won the state B-11 championship.
Adna coach Phil Zukowski called the 1989 team, a “host of bulldogs.”
“Almost all the players on that team had been at Adna their whole lives,” Frazier said. “It was family. We all believed in each other and trusted each other. It made the title all the more special.”
From the Files of The Chronicle is compiled by Edna Fund, a Centralian who describes herself as a “history sleuth.” She can be contacted at Dutch@localaccess.com or at 269-7515.