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Pages of History: Bucket brigade saves Fort Dick church in fire

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, January 1952.

Residents of Fort Dick, Smith River, and travelers passing along Highway 101, working with a bucket brigade and small fire extinguishers, were credited with saving the Fort Dick Community Church from destruction by fire.

Some carried water from puddles along the roadway and others brought fire extinguishers from their cars. The fire started in the small wood shed behind the church and spread to the rear of the main building.

The back wall of the church was damaged and part of the roof burned. Church spokesmen said that without the cooperation of those who helped, the entire building would have been destroyed.

Toughest storm of season

The toughest storm of the season hit Crescent City on Sunday night, Jan. 13. Winds measuring at least 65 mph lashed the city, rattling windows, throwing hail, and tearing a corner off the roof of the old Hobbs-Wall sawmill.

While only .88 inch of rain fell in Crescent City, heavy snowfalls fell all throughout California and all interstate highways except 101 were closed to through travel. For over 24 hours, Crescent City was the lone gateway open to trucks, buses, and private cars. Ironically, the 1½ hour delay to the Greyhound bus Monday morning was due to a flat tire on the stretch between here and Klamath.

Snow blanketed outlying parts of Del Norte County, and Game Warden Otis Wright estimated 30 inches at Rowdy Creek. Gasquet had a foot of snow — plenty for snowmen!

News from Fort Dick

The two comedies, “Yumpin’ Yimminy” and “The Wrong Miss Wright,” were shown at the grange hall in Fort Dick on Monday night. There was a good crowd considering the storm. Pictures will be shown alternate Monday evenings, according to Bill Smith, who runs the projector. There will be no announcement cards mailed.

Mrs. Nona Thuney is the newly appointed Avon representative for Fort Dick, Mill Creek, and Douglas Park.

Schmitt boy plays Santa

Lawrence H. Schmitt, UNN, of Requa, helped play Santa to needy London children this past Christmas. The party, staged at the American Embassy canteen, provided Christmas cheer for a group of youngsters selected through the Salvation Army.

Ice cream and cake, candy and nuts were holiday “chow” for the young guests. Each child received a special gift, purchased through the Navy’s welfare fund.

Schmitt, attached to the U.S. Naval Forces of the Eastern Atlantic, is the son of Mrs. Theo Mouser of Woodland Villa in Requa. He is a hospital corpsman, 3rd class.

Crescent Comments

Report from Mrs. Brown at Smith River has it that early morning risers the other day found out why most everyone slept cold the night before. Every hill was blanketed in snow and two 9 o’clock nimrods on their way to the Walker Hole on the North Bank saw a chipmunk crossing the road. He was carrying wood to make a fire!

New ad cartoonist

A new member joined the Bob Ames Electric Firm this week. He is Willie Watt, a homey little character who will ring reports and messages via a cartoon each week, all about the Ames establishment.

Bob Ames, proprietor, said he thinks readers will like Willie’s friendly, humorous ways.

Reach Nita Phillips at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Del Norte Triplicate:

312 H Street
P.O. Box 277
Crescent City, CA 95531

(707) 464-2141

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