Pages of History: Promise to cellmates leads man back to jail

By Nita Phillips, The Triplicate June 02, 2012 12:00 am

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

He was just keeping a promise to his former cellmates at the county jail. William Harsha, 33, celebrated his first free evening Monday by bringing a couple of bottles of liquor, which were raised to the second story jail window by the men inside.

A flat of whiskey went up and slid through the bars. The fifth of wine proved too fat to go through, so the contents of the bottle were poured through the bars into a fruit jar.

About that time, Sheriff C. W. Glover got wind of the goings-on and arrived to confiscate the whiskey, but the wine went down the drain, or so it’s said.  

Harsha is back in jail, facing a felony charge for supplying liquor to a penal institution.

Sixteen sticks of dynamite

Crescent City’s calm air was rocked Wednesday and Thursday by a series of harbor blasts. The Harbor Commission was blasting rocks from the floor of the channel to provide safer passage for boats.

Commissioner Lyle Prickett supervised the operation. Some 16 sticks of dynamite were used.

North to Alaska

Three yachtsmen brought their trim 45-footer, May-B, into Crescent City Harbor on Sunday morning. The May-B is bound for Alaska and hails from Modesto.

Skipper Frank H. Blewett, ice cream magnate, and his crew, Ed Russell (alias “The Admiral”) and Leonard East, cook, ran into heavy weather on the way up the coast.

Although the May-B has too much draft to find her way up the Tuolumne River to home port, she sallies into heavy seas, having already made a trip to Southern California waters. They fought rough seas and 20-foot swells below Eureka, with no casualty except that the cook retired to his bunk.

The May-B left Stockton two weeks ago, and pulled out of San Francisco last Thursday, May 8. Most of their cruising is done at night when the seas are quieter. After a night’s cruise they find their way into strange harbors. So far, they have anchored in Bodega Bay, the mouth of the Anoya River, and Eureka with many more harbors to visit after Crescent City.

Fire at Coast Guard Station

Fire broke out at the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Point St. George Monday noon. Damage was estimated at $2,000 by Al Phillips, chief of the Crescent Fire Protection District Volunteers.

The fire was caused by a blowtorch being used to burn paint off the redwood structure. Flames went under the siding and broke out into the attic.

Equipment at the station was put into action, and the CFPD summoned. The fire was brought under control in an hour and ten minutes. Firemen had to chop holes in the roof to get at the fire.

A call was put into the Humboldt Coast Guard Station for a damage control party.

Home Grocery sold

John Barnum of Smith River has purchased the Home Grocery at 756 H St. from Dewey Pollard. Mrs. May Jones will help the Barnums operate the store.

Pollard’s plans are indefinite, except to go to a warmer climate for a while. He sold the store because of ill health.

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