“Two Chehalis women barely escaped death last evening at the railroad crossing near the Northern Pacific depot when their car was truck by a lone engine,” The Centralia Daily Chronicle reported.
“The driver, Mrs. Cecile Finch, 680 Folsom street, said she became confused from the glare of the lights on the wet pavement and drove directly in front of a slowly moving engine. The other occupant of the car, Mrs. Rapholz, 1317 Cascade avenue, suffered a broken collar bone when the engine struck the car on the side where she was sitting. Mrs. Finch’s car was considerably damaged but she was uninjured.
“Immediately following the crash, when the engine was still partially blocking the crossing, Fred Wiese, Corvallis, Oregon, attempted to drive around the back end of the engine and became stalled on the rails. Until his car was pulled off the tracks, the railroad engine could proceed in neither direction. The steering apparatus on his car was broken.
“State Patrolman Bill Reynolds, who attended the accident, said the glare of the lights from the bus station reflecting on the wet pavement practically blinded all drivers who approached the crossing from the west.”
Man Falls from Freight Car, Breaks Arm
120 years ago, in 1886
The Lewis County Bee reported on an injury of a railroad employee.
“Charley Ross, of Centralia, who has been working on the railroad, returned home a few days ago,” the newspaper wrote. “While at work as brakeman he fell from the top of a freight car at Tenino and broke one of the small bones in his arm.
“We did not learn which arm.”
Mr. Farmer Finds Mr. Bull, Not Mr. Bruin
100 years ago, in 1911
A local farmer caught something else besides a bear in a bear trap.
“John Sinclair planted a bear trap in his apple orchard a few days ago thinking he would catch Mr. Bruin, who had been feasting on his apples,” The Chehalis Bee-Nugget reported.
“After three or four days, John returned to the trap to get his catch and was greatly surprised to find his old bull tightly clinched in it, instead of the bear so John had to get out and call in his neighbors to help him release the bull of his snare.”
Plane Flips Upside Down During Storm
50 years ago, in 1961
An L-2 Aeronca plane,owned by William Hofmann, Chehalis, suffered $300 damage when high winds turned it upside down at the Chehalis-Centralia Airport.
Chehalis was believed to be the hardest hit with winds reading 60-65 mph, as registered by the speed indicators of the planes at the airport.
“Water short-circuited the air raid siren at Henderson Park, causing it to sound continuously for 19 minutes, between 1:40 a.m. and 1:59 a.m.,” according to The Daily Chronicle.
Thirty minutes later, the Chehalis Fire Department lost its business phone and alarm system because of water seeping into the telephone cables. The telephone company quickly provided two emergency lines.
The Chehalis Police Department received 53 telephone calls from local citizens.
King Kong Comes to the Fox
25 years ago, in 1986
The Fox Theatre in Centralia announced “King Kong Lives” was coming to the theatre. “America’s Biggest Hero is back ... and He is not happy,” the advertisement in The Chronicle read.
Roads Sinking in County
10 years ago, in 2001
Two roads were sinking in Lewis County. One was Telegraph Road north of state Route 506, which was closed.
“The road is closed,” said Lewis County Engineer Pete Ringen. “Both lanes are affected. We will not be able to repair it anytime soon. Part of the road dropped down. The road is still there, but it would be risky for people even to walk on it.”
Davis Lake Road, east of Morton, also had sunk.
“As of yesterday, the road surface had dropped about two feet, and both lanes were affected,” Ringen reported. “This is a location where we’ve had a history of problems, and, unlike Telegraph Road, we’re hopeful that we may, emphasize may, be able to reopen the road after some short-term repairs while we investigate a long-term solution.”
Three Tigers Voted All-State First Team
Five years ago, in 2006
The Associated Press All-State First Football Team included three Centralia Tiger football players. They were offensive lineman Scott Clements, linebacker Shay McElvain and defensive lineman Joey Tivnan.
Adna’s Derek McCann was selected first-team offensive-lineman in the 2B Class, and Onalaska’s Peter Gentile, was first-team for the 1A ranks, also as offensive lineman.