Fish plantson drawingboard in 1967

August 10, 2007 12:00 am

Sharon McKinney

Forty years ago this month, two fish processing plants were on the drawing board to open by the end of the year.

Eureka Fisheries wanted a dock and a processing plant. Paladino Fish Company was negotiating with the harbor district for crab, shrimp, salmon, and drag boat fish.

Harbor district engineer Al Wheelon and Harbor Master Darold Richcreek made a trip to Oregon with Paladino's secretary-treasurer, Louis Cavalino, Jr., to view new processing plants and gather information regarding the space, equipment and cost required for expansion.

Eureka Fisheries expected to employ 80 workers during crab season, and would have room to tie up eight more boats. Paladino's plan was similar.

The two companies agreed that there was room for two facilities in the harbor. Carl Brower, commissioner for the harbor district, said the plans were an encouraging development for the local economy.

Timber industry

At the time, Simpson Timber Company had 1,700 men at work in Klamath and an additional 267 in the woods and its saw mill. Thirty more had salaried positions. Add to this number 24 outside trucks and two contractors employing 35 men. Work showed no sign of slowing down.

Medford Veneer and Plywood on Elk Valley Road employed 50 men on two shifts, plus trucks. Miller-Rellim had 138 men in the saw mill, 38 in its veneer plant and 62 in the woods. Another 28 men were working construction and 18 were hauling logs.

Hambro Forest Products employed three shifts of workers and used four trucks to transport material plus six more to haul finished products.

Coast Forest Products had 58 men on its mill payroll at the mill and another 30 working for logging contractors.

McNamara and Peepe had about 100 men in the saw mill and 25 working for truckers. Standard Veneer had 200 men working two shifts on the green end of the plant. Most of the rest of the plant operated 24 hours a day.

Diebold at Smith River employed 185 men with another 50 or more working with trucks. Simonson at Smith River had 150 at the mill, 100 loggers, and eight truckers working. Lund Plywood had 50 men working. There were solid intentions to continue working with the forest products industry.

Recreation event

"Miss and Master Recreation 1967" received their crowns from Jackie Gosser. Miss Recreation was Abbie Crist, who represented the county gymnasium. Master Recreation was Gerry Hilton, who represented the playground.

The all-day event featured a parade showcasing various playgrounds, bicycles, horses, walking groups and group entries like an award-winning Wizard of Oz group complete with costumes. Included was a VFW picnic attended by about 600 persons.

Ike Hamilton and Ken Munroe tended barbecue fires all night long.

The Bumps, a Seattle band, played for 300 teenagers to complete a summer day of sun and fun.

Sharon McKinney

The 1967 Del Norte County Fair was held August 18-20. It was the usual boisterous event with hard-working rodeo participants, both animal and human.

Vicki Lee was chosen Queen by judges Lynn Tracy, Charlie Motschman, Henry Crawford, M. G. Dixon, and Ken Worchester. The first Princess was Barbara Reuss, and the second Princess was Debra Benick. The title of Miss Congeniality was Sharon Schwier. The lovely young ladies were judged in swim suits and formal attire.

The 4-H parade of champions was held before the livestock sale occurred. Del Norte Feed received the first prize in the commercial division with its theme, "Color us a Golden Past and a Rosy Future." The first prize in the county features booths went to the Lake Earl Grange for its theme "Portraits of Progress," displaying the growth of industries, past, present and future. The Timber Twirlers and the Chetco Swingeroo dance groups entertained visitors in the outdoor theater with dancing continuing at Joe Hamilton School until late in the evening. Bob Ames, Jr. was seen making a right-hand star with Leola Anderson. Sixty local dancers made the year-old dance club a fun social event.

Search for gold

The big, bold headlines in August of 1967 shouted the news that a hunt for lost gold was in progress. The current group of salvage divers were claiming "historical research" as their quest with no mention of the more than a million dollars worth of gold said to be at the bottom of the sea since the 1865 loss of the Brother Jonathan. The ship was carrying $200,000 in government gold on its way to Fort Vancouver and $1 million worth of gold bullion headed for the Canadian government. The last known search was in the 1920s and that one ended with stormy conditions. It is a dangerous place for ships and divers. As far as we know, the gold is still somewhere in the ocean.

A controversial story

Triplicate reporter Marilyn Bull had a feature story about a high school girl who was taking birth control pills and the scandal that ensued. The young student had been forbidden by her parents to go steady or be engaged to her boyfriend but love overcame parental censure and she received some pills from a "friend." The girl had the unfortunate luck to have side effects from the pill and stopped taking them without revealing the fact to the young man. Yes, the inevitable happened from the "pseudo-marriage" and pregnancy was the outcome. The baby was adopted out, the boyfriend left town, the parents cried and blamed themselves, and the girl reported that others were staring at her and making her uncomfortable. So the family relocated to a place where no one knew of the family shame.

Sharon McKinney is a Del Norte Historical Society volunteer.