Tyron Bridge dedicatedin late 1950s

July 12, 2007 11:00 pm

Sharon McKinney

In July 1957, hundreds of people turned out for the dedication of the George E. Tryon Bridge on Big Flat Road. Mrs. Tryon received the dedication to her late husband and flowers from Bailey Steward, former Board Chairman. Members of state, county, and local government, and members of Pioneer families were present for the occasion. Tryon was honored for his efforts at constructing roads and bridges in the county. Senator Randolph Collier spoke of the improvements and modernization of the road system and dedicated the plaque that was placed on the bridge. Assemblyman Frank Bellotti spoke as did Supervisor Austin Hunter, City Councilman Bernard McClendon, and Harold Del Ponte, Vic Meedom, Fred D. Haight, and Don Clausen.

A redwood attraction

The Chamber of Commerce heard Paul Enos, Chairman of the chamber's recreation and tourism committee, state that the Calif. Department of Fish and Game adopted two resolutions: opening fishing season earlier on the Smith River and stocking the river with catchable trout. The new opening date would be the Saturday before May 1. Other opening dates in the county would remain the same. There was some controversy about introducing any new species of fish into the river for fear that it might cause a deterioration of the native fish. The local residents preferred the Silverside eggs that were available from an Oregon hatchery. The other species, brown or eastern trout, were available to other rivers in the state.

Coast Guard Patrol Boat

Jesse Stowe, an employee of First Western Bank disputed a parking ticket that she found attached to her windshield when she finished her work day. The parking meter was not installed until after Jesse went to work that day. The ticket that would have cost her 50 cents was taken back by the police.

The Citizens Advisory Council strongly recommended a change to a charter form of government for the county and the establishment of a county manager position. The 204 page document was presented to the board of supervisors in July 1957. It recommended disincorporating Crescent City and counting on the county to provide services. The board turned down a motion that would have called for the election of 15 freeholders to draw up a charter for the county. Supervisors Harold Del Ponte, Austin Hunter, and Fred Haight stated that "the county is not ready for such a move at this time." Some Del Norte citizens were not content to wait for the right time and notified the board that the citizens could call for an election by petition. When the freeholders were elected, they could draft a charter that would be voted on by county residents. Charles Thunen, member of the advisory council reported that Jack Harper informed them of the immense savings that would result from the change. Supervisor Del Ponte responded by stating that he didn't see the point of letting two or three employees go and hiring a $1,000 a month man.

Unemployment was less than 2 percent at that time. Many jobs were available in the logging and lumber industries. The industry was picking up and new mills were opening and one mill had put on a night shift. The need for service industry jobs was very high.

Sharon McKinney is a Del Norte Historical Society volunteer.