Take a Trip Through Our Community’s Rich History

Compiled by Nisqually Valley News staff
Posted 7/20/21

Enjoy these snapshots of articles written in past issues of the Nisqually Valley News from 45, 35, 25 and 15 years ago, respectively.

A Look Back at This Week, 45 Years Ago:

- Trees blocking …

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Take a Trip Through Our Community’s Rich History


Enjoy these snapshots of articles written in past issues of the Nisqually Valley News from 45, 35, 25 and 15 years ago, respectively.

A Look Back at This Week, 45 Years Ago:

- Trees blocking the southwest corner of First Street and Jefferson Avenue became a cause of concern for the Yelm City Council in 1976. The council embarked on the work of deciding if the small group of trees was in the right-of-way of city streets.

- Patricia Lynn Owens and Scott Gene Hull became engaged to be married. Owens was a Yelm High School graduate.

- “Mr. and Mrs. Martin Carl Osborn” were sent to observe their golden wedding anniversary on Sunday, July 25, 1976.

- Michelle Franklin, Patsy Walker, Donna Anderson and Dirndl Divelbiss were selected as the 1976 Prairie Days princesses.

- Wayne S. Hardy and Bernadine Schuman, both of Yelm, applied for a marriage license at the Thurston County Auditor’s Office.

- The Nisqually Valley Rockhound Society was set to present a copy of a 18-by-24 inch picture of Willow Lawn School, Yelm’s first schoolhouse, framed in petrified wood, to the “town of Yelm” during the Prairie Days event. Petrified wood is the state’s official gem.

- Gary Church took over as the director of the Yelm Senior Citizen’s Center. Church was a graduate of the University of Washington in the school of social work.

A Look Back at This Week, 35 Years Ago:

- Dana Morgan reigned as the 1986 Prairie Days queen.

- The Thurston County Fair made a number of changes in 1986, which included the addition of an “Adopt a 4-H Club’’ concept for non-farmers to become part of the fair’s festivities in a larger way.

- Rainier Mayor Pete Slusher resigned his position at a Rainier City Council meeting. Becky Waldron was chosen as the city’s new mayor. The change was set to be effective Aug. 1, 1986.

- The Department of Licensing cracked down on the practice of Robert Berecz, a Centralia physician who demonstrated unsafe practices in two instances.

- In Rainier news, the Coffel-Kuffel-Sprouffske Reunion was set to be held at the Ockfen farm on old Highway 99 on Aug. 3, 1986.

- James Francis Miser, 71, died on July 21, 1986 in a health care center in Olympia. He had been a resident of the Yelm-McKenna area for 17 years. He was born Dec. 6, 1914.

- Pat Miller won the 1986 Prairie Days golf tournament after he carded a six-under-par 65 score.

A Look Back at This Week, 25 Years Ago:

- Martha Millington reigned as the 1996 Prairie Days queen.

- Longtime Yelm residents Glen and Sonja McCarten were selected at the Prairie Days parade grand marshals.

- Colorful hot air balloons were sent to dazzle onlookers as they soared through Yelm’s skyline during the Lighter Than Air Fair set for Aug. 2-4, 1996.

- Hart’s Lake Residents Shirley and Mal Thompson came face-to-face with a cougar after it killed two of their llamas and expressed interest in their chickens. The Thompsons killed the cougar with a handgun before it could do more damage.

- Christine Jewell and Stephen Nolan were married June 29, 1996, at New Life Christian Center in Yelm.

- Army Private Thomas E. Anderson graduated from the armor crewman course at Fort Knox in Radcliffe, Kentucky. Anderson was a 1995 Yelm High School graduate.

- Glenda Tofaeono and Scott Neer, of Rainier, announced the birth of their son on July 14, 1996.

- Tamara and James White, of Rainier, announced the birth of their daughter on July 18, 1996.

- Sally and Forrest Bradford, of Yelm, announced the birth of their son on July 20, 1996.

A Look Back at This Week, 15 Years Ago:

- S.E. Thurston Fire and EMS suspected that an acre-large fire near Rainier Primary School was human-caused. Fire Chief Rita Hutcheson said Rainier residents were lucky the fire didn’t get out of hand.

- Vandals unplugged Rainier fire hydrants two nights in a row, putting the city’s residents at risk since the water pressure was too low to use the hydrants in case of a major fire.

- Rainier’s new Fire Protection District No. 4 station was set to open soon at its new location on 133rd Avenue, a block off of State Highway 507.

- A 39-year-old woman driving a 2000 Mercury Villager van pulled out of the Yelm Middle School parking lot and “clipped” a motorcyclist named Terry Bastion, of McKenna.

- In yet another loss for the Roy Police Department, longtime officer John Holdam quit instead of returning from a leave of absence. The news came in the wake of Chief John Hawk’s sudden retirement.

- “This is not the first time Councilman Bob Isom has lashed out against JZ Knight, Steve Klien or the students of RSE,” wrote Victoria Blazejewski, of Bald Hill, in a letter to the Nisqually Valley News. “His comments reek of bias, prejudice, lack of objectiveness and divisiveness.”

- Work began on the resurfacing of Rainier High School’s track, a project that used recycled tennis shoes as part of its materials.


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