A Look Back in Time: 20th Annual Loggers’ Jubilee Celebrated in 1962; Morton Native Made Famous by World’s Fair Leads the Parade


“Beauty, brawn and Gracie vied for the attention of spectators” at the 20th Annual Morton Loggers’ Jubilee on Sunday, Aug. 13, 1962, The Chronicle reported.

An estimated 5,000 people attended the event, about four times the city’s population at the time. During the day, spectators watched the mile-long parade preceding the afternoon logging show, where “with keen eyes and bulging muscles, (the loggers) chopped, climbed and drove through 12 action packed contests,” The Chronicle reported.

During the festivities, those who “braved” rain showers had the opportunity to watch as Kelly Stanely, of Kosmos, established a new 20.1-second Jubilee record for speed climbing.

“Heavy showers” were reported to have begun during the parade, continuing intermittently throughout the afternoon and cutting into logging show attendance. Despite the rain, The Chronicle reported a “good-size” crowd of about 4,000 still showed up to watch “the woodsmen strut their stuff.” 

The Loggers’ Jubilee was reported as being a two-day festival sponsored by the Morton Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from the jubilee went to fund youth activities.

Morton native Gracie Hansen helped lead the Sunday parade. Hansen was reported as being “appropriately dressed for the parade,” wearing a white beaded cocktail dress with a white ostrich feather. Hansen was later given a gold colored ax during the afternoon show.

Hansen, who The Chronicle reported had “achieved fame at the (1962 Seattle) World’s Fair,” ran a nightclub at the fair. According to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Hansen ran the Paradise International Club, which “provided Las Vegas-style entertainment with showgirls.”

Hansen’s club on the fairgrounds “packed in crowds — in good part because of Hansen's knack for generating newspaper headlines in the mildly scandalized town — while rumors of police raids, lawsuits and Hansen's own background as a madam (untrue), kept gossips chattering endlessly,” according to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

“Beauty was provided by Miss Deanna Field, of Morton, and the seven members of her court,” The Chronicle reported, while “the loggers provided the brawn and the skills to keep the audience on the edge of the bleachers during the rain-sprinkled logging show.”


Saturday, Aug. 13, 1932

• Former Centralia resident “Mrs. Herbert Harrington” was killed in a car accident near San Diego, California. The Harrington family was returning to their San Diego home after a trip to Oceanside, California, when the family’s car experienced a head-on collision with a car traveling north from Tijuana. “Mrs. Harrington died almost instantly,” The Chronicle reported. Her husband, Herbert Harrington, suffered “severe facial lacerations” while the couple’s two children, Bert and Mary Lou, suffered “bruises and shock.” According to The Chronicle, Harrington had been well known within the Centralia community, where the family had lived for 12 years before moving to California six years earlier.

• W.E. Bishop, a Chehalis attorney, was scheduled to speak at the Chamber of Commerce meeting on Monday, Aug. 15, regarding Initiative 69, which would have implemented a state income tax. Bishop was opposed to the initiative and was asked to give the address after the chamber learned previously scheduled Tacoma mayor and Republican candidate for governor Melvin Tennent had to reschedule to Aug. 29.

• A total of 33 candidates for office, excluding precinct committee officers, had filed as of the filing deadline at noon on Aug. 13. A total of only four democrats had filed for election. Six Republicans had filed for county commissioner in the first district seat, eight for the third district’s commissioner seat, two for state senator and seven for state representative. Six candidates had filed for superior court judge.

• Three Seattle residents were hospitalized after a car accident on Jackson Highway, 10 miles southeast of Chehalis. The accident occured when “Mr. and Mrs. C.F. Haas” and K.W. Sorrels had a head-on collision. The Haas’s were “painfully bruised and suffered severe skin cuts,” while Sorrels “suffered some fractured ribs and other injuries.” All three individuals were transported to St. Helens Hospital in Chehalis.

• Rooms in Centralia were listed for rent at $0.35, $0.50, $2 and $2.50 a week.

• Five-room houses on Gold and Cherry streets were listed at $12.50 a month in rent.

• German President Von Hindenburg announced Chancellor Franz Von Papen would remain in office. The decision by Hindenburg followed a 15-minute conversation with National Socialist Party leader Adolf Hitler in which Hindenburg rejected Hitler’s demand to be made chancellor. It was reported Hindenburg rejected Hitler’s demand for “moral reasons and for the sake of the fatherland.” Hindenburg encouraged Hitler to be content with a cabinet office. However, Hitler “asserted nothing but the Chancellorship would satisfy him and that he would not share responsibility with others.” It was reported that Hitler had given assurances “no illegal attempt would be made by the National Socialist Party to seize the governing power.”


Thursday, Aug. 13, 1942

• Fourteen men were sent to Fort Lewis from the Chehalis Draft District on Wednesday, Aug. 12. The men were drafted into the U.S. Army and had passed their physical examinations two weeks prior. The 14 men were Claude DeMore, Allen Wiren, Floyd Thompson, Kenus McClanahan, Roy Maki, William Matthew, Darrel McMurphy, Fred Moses, Alton Jobest, William Donahue, Walter Zwiefelhofer, Robert Gardner, Ernest Ball and James Lewis.

• The enlistment of five “young men” from Lewis County was announced on Wednesday, Aug. 12. The names of the men were Joseph Van Eaton, Lyman Williams, Dean Trathen, Thomas Price and Theodore Butcher.

• In a column titled “With Our Boys In Service” and dedicated to Lewis County and southern Thurston County servicemen, The Chronicle gave an update on the whereabouts of various soldiers from the area. Ivan Terry, a Centralia High School graduate, was listed as being “somewhere in the Pacific.” Several other local men were listed as currently undergoing training in various military branches at bases throughout the United States in preparation to be relocated abroad.

• Centralia High School Principal Leslie McIntosh announced a new class on aeronautics, open only to juniors and seniors. The course was announced as being “in line with the nation’s present and probable future need for technicians,” The Chronicle reported. The class would cover aerodynamics, aerial navigation and meteorology.

• The Chronicle reported a majority of Centralia College students listed “lower cost” as a deciding factor in their decision to attend the college, then known as Centralia Junior College, as part of a survey given that spring. Other reasons given by students included “smaller classes, a friendly spirit, greater opportunity for lower classmen, personal contact with faculty members and more careful individual attention by the college,” The Chronicle reported. According to The Chronicle, the total cost of attendance at Centralia College was $90 a year.

• A class for students planning to become aviation cadets was announced for Chehalis Senior High School, today’s W.F. West High School. According to The Chronicle, the primary purpose of the class was to “provide young men with a background of aeronautical studies which will make them better able to quickly assimilate the cadet training courses of the Army and Navy.”

• Teachers for the Chehalis Public School District were scheduled to return to Chehalis on Saturday, Aug. 29, for an organizational meeting ahead of the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 31. In the past, Chehalis school teachers had met on Labor Day with school beginning the next day, but the district had decided to observe the 1942 Labor Day.


Wednesday, Aug. 13, 1952

• A Chehalis contractor was given the contract for concrete-related highway construction work near the Green Hill School, then known as the State Training School For Boys. At the time, based on The Chronicle’s reporting, the area was considered to be “south of Chehalis.” The contract was for $30,000 and the work was scheduled to take about two and a half months. “I am pleased that the contractors are doing business with local firms because it will bring more money into the Twin Cities,” said Frank Pakar, the Chehalis contractor who was awarded the contract.

• The Chehalis Fire Department requested a 15% increase in pay on Monday, Aug. 11. Chehalis Mayor Lenoard Sonnemann said the city had not yet begun work on the new budget but was likely to begin within the next week.

• Lonnie St. Clair, of Morton, pleaded not guilty to charges of “family non-support,” drunk driving and a hit-and-run. The hit-and-run accident was alleged to have occured on June 24. St. Clair was being held in the Lewis County Jail on $1,500 bail.

• Centralia firemen responded to three fires on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. One was a brush fire started by sparks from a passing train. The worst fire was a roof fire on West Third Street. “On arrival the firemen found the back porch roof and part of the main roof burning,” The Chronicle reported. The fire, which was blamed on sparks from the chimney, was quickly put out with “only nominal loss.” On Wednesday morning, the fire department was called due to smoke from a fire in an overheated refrigerator motor.

• Two Lewis County men were appointed to serve on the finance committee of the Washington State Weed Association. The men were Henry Bouchard, of Silver Creek, and state Rep. Arthur Cory, of Chehalis. The appointment was made by Weed Association President A. Lars Nelson.

• The Centralia Community Swimming Pool was scheduled to host a Board Swimmeree on Saturday, Aug. 16. The swimmeree, which was sponsored by The Chronicle, was to include a racing and diving competition, as well as a formation swimming performance by a group of “young girls.” Bleachers were to be erected around the pool for the spectators. The opening event was expected to be a 25 yard dog paddle for six year olds.

• A 14-year-old Chehalis boy named Gerald Birley received a letter from a 17-year-old fifth cousin once-removed from England informing Birley of their relationship. The letter was sent by David Birley, of Manchester, England. According to the letter, the “two youths” were descendants of John Birley de Birks of Kingham County, who was born in 1710 and died in 1767.


Monday, Aug. 13, 1962

• Four boys from Newaukum Hill did not return from a hike before dark on Saturday, Aug. 11. A 15-person search team spent the night looking for the boys, who ranged in age from 11 to 14 years old. The search team was led by Deputy Sheriff Bill Weister and included the boys’ fathers. When the boys eventually returned Sunday, they said they had taken a wrong fork in the trail. When the boys went to bed, they gathered ferns and used them for bedding.

• Puyallup couple Richard and Marjorie Robbins were killed in a car crash 9 miles west of Cle Elum on Friday, Aug. 10. Richard Robbins was the son of “Mrs. H.E. Robbins” of Centralia. Two of their children were injured in the crash, with their daughter Maureen receiving a broken leg and their son Ricky receiving a broken nose.

• Six people, including five children, were injured on Saturday, Aug. 11 in a car accident at the intersection of 13th Street and Market Boulevard. The six passengers suffered cuts and bruises in the accident. The patients were all treated at St Helens Hospital in Chehalis.

• Lewis County had experienced rain and sunshine on Sunday, Aug., 12 and weather forecasts were expecting similar weather for the rest of the week. The five-day forecast called for “cooler temperatures but also some sunshine,” The Chronicle reported. Rain showers were expected throughout the week.

• George Nelson, of Centralia, returned from a 42-day “down under” cruise and was reported as having negative views of the places he visited. “It’s filthy,” Nelson said, “and the flies are thick and crawl all over the food in the open markets.” Nelson said he and his wife still enjoyed the trip and believed they’d “remember it as one of the highlights of their lives,” The Chronicle reported. Nelson had visited Sydney, Australia and Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. Nelson described the two cities as being “rather different,” despite both being under, at least official, British control, adding people in both places shared a common desire, “that Australia and New Zealand could become the 51st and 52nd states in the USA,” The Chronicle reported.

• A modern, two-bedroom Chehalis home with an attached garage was listed for $7,700.

• A two-bedroom, furnished house was listed for rent at $50 a month in Chehalis.