Tilton Span Opened

On Dec. 13, 1961, a new bridge over the Tilton River was opened by a Lewis County pioneer, Bill Hadaller, with Hugh Kalich, chairman of the Lewis County Commission, cutting the ribbon.

"She's solid boys - you can go on across," Hadaller said of the new bridge at Harmony.

"This judgement was given by Bill Hadaller of Riffe, the first man to officially cross the new Tilton river bridge following ribbon-cutting ceremonies Wednesday morning," The Daily Chronicle reported.

"Hadaller, who referred to himself as ‘Hillbilly Bill,' first pushed a wheelbarrow across the 1,120-foot span and then returned on stilts.

"He provided the humor for a chilled crowd of about 50 Tacoma and Lewis County officials and others who witnessed or took part in the ceremony marking the official opening of the $420,000 bridge. ...

"In a speech during the ceremony, Kalich said the dams being built by the city of Tacoma ‘will make Lewis County one of the best recreation areas in the state of Washington.'"

Construction of the two dams is ‘the biggest thing that ever happened in Lewis County," said Kalich.

Palmer Widow Dies

120 years ago, in 1886

A woman who lost her husband in the previous year followed him in death.

"Last Thursday, after a brief sickness, Mrs. Julia Palmer died at the residence of her father Joseph Remley, near Centralia," The Lewis County Bee reported.

"It will be remembered by our readers that Jonathan Palmer, who as her husband, died about fifteen months ago. He was working around a thrashing machine when his clothing caught in the gearing, while in motion. He received injuries from which he died soon after."

Burbee Boys Reunite After 57 Years

100 years ago, in 1911

The five Burbee brothers met with each other for the first time in many years.

"At the home of Edgar Burbee in this city, an unusual reunion of the Burbee brothers was held a few days ago," The Chehalis Bee-Nugget wrote. "There are six living brothers, the youngest of whom is 62 years of age, and five of the six were at this reunion. Norman Burbee of Castle Rock was unable to attend. The Burbees are Oregon pioneers, having come to the northwest in 1847. Their father, Jonathan Burbee, lived near St. Albans, Me., until about 18 years of age. The mother, Cynthia L. Kessler, lived in Oswego county, N.Y. where she married Mr. Burbee in 1825.

"In 1847, the family crossed the plains to Vancouver, Wash. They followed the Columbia river down to The Dalles, Ore. At The Dalles the father built a boat in which the family floated down the river to Vancouver, where they remained until the spring of 1848, when they moved to Kalama in this state. In 1849, they built a permanent home at Monticello, on the Cowlitz river. The reunion dinner held in Chehalis recently was the first time the five brothers had been together in 57 years."

The brothers in attendance were John, of Satsop, born in 1834; August, of Chehalis, 1832; Edgar, of Chehalis, 1844; Ralph, of Castle Rock, 1841; and Albert, of Grants Pass, Ore., 1849.

‘Swing with Bing' at the Fox Theatre

75 years ago, in 1936

Bing Crosby's movie, "Pennies From Heaven," opened at the Centralia Fox Theatre. "Swing with Bing as he rolls down the open road with a guitar and a yen for a gal who done him wrong," the advertisement in The Centralia Daily Chronicle read.

"The Gayest, Grandest and Fun Show of the New Season."

Vandalism on ‘The Sentinel' Repaired

25 years ago, in 1986

The statue entitled "The Sentinel" in Centralia's George Washington Park had been sprayed with orange and red paint by vandals. A mixture of turpentine and light oil was used to take off the paint.

The statute was erected in the park on Nov. 11, 1924, as a memorial to four veterans who lost their lives during the Centralia Tragedy in 1919.

Scrubber Dedicated

10 years ago, in 2001

One of two pollution control scrubbers was dedicated at the Centralia Steam-Electric Plant. Each day 100 tons of sulfur dioxide was kept from the air with the scrubber.

"The scrubbers not only saved 700 Lewis County jobs, but also about 200 jobs at the Port of Tacoma," The Chronicle wrote.

Fireworks Victim Listed as Serious

Five years ago, in 2006

A 41-year-old homeless man who had been hospitalized after fireworks went off inside his mouth was listed in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Capt. Allan Foglesong , Centralia Fire Department, said they were told it was a mortar. Neighbors heard the loud explosion and found the man bleeding with massive damage to his face.

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