A Look Back in Time: Expansion of the Pacific Highway Through Lewis County Planned for Over $1.5M


In 1952, the Pacific Highway was one of the state’s premier cross-regional thoroughfares, and it was set to expand further through Lewis County.

“Two new contracts for work in connection with the new Pacific Highway route through Lewis County Tuesday pushed the state highways department’s contract total in the area over the $(1.5) million mark,” reported The Chronicle.

According to District Highway Engineer Paul McKay, bids were opened for the construction of two reinforced concrete bridges over the Newaukum River 1.5 miles north of Napavine and for the grading and surfacing of a stretch of National Avenue in north Chehalis.

The contract from the bridges went to Seattle’s Rumsey and Company for $214,690. The bridge contract was the idea that put the total of Lewis County’s stretch of Pacific Highway into the $1.5 million territory.

Several other projects, including road reconstruction and grading where streets in the region intersect with the then-existing parts of the Pacific Highway, made up some of the rest of the $1.5 million that was all associated with Pacific Highway’s forward progression.

R.L. Moss and Company, of Zenith, won the grading and paving along National Avenue contract at a bid of $46,962.


May 7, 1932:

• Centralia Kiwanis Club members held a banquet on May 6, 1932, where the club’s district governor, Clinton B. Wood, was the speaker.

• Aldon Taylor, then 68, a pioneer resident of Winlock, died in May of 1932. Funeral services were held on May 6, 1932, at Cattermole Chapel.

• Special Mother’s Day services were set to be held on May 8, 1932, at several area churches. Rev. Marion McQuary was set to speak at 11 a.m. at the First Christian Church, for example.

• After numerous complaints about certain areas on the streets of Centralia’s business core having two-hour parking restrictions, Police Chief J.C. Kriebel issued a statement saying the newly made regulation would be enforced nonetheless.

• The Girls’ Athletic Association in Centralia School District held a play day for eighth-graders at Centralia High School. Contests, games and relays were featured.

• Rev. Ralph Heins, of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Winlock put in his notice, saying he was called to serve the Lutheran church in Lebanon, Oregon.

• Alice L. Ruth, “a former well-known and highly respected resident of Chehalis for several years,” died the previous Wednesday, reported The Chronicle.


May 7, 1942:

• “Approximately half of Centralia’s population had been registered for war-time sugar rationing Tuesday night, and George M. Williamson, district rationing administrator, said it appeared the Thursday evening deadline would see everyone with his rationing books,” reported The Chronicle.

• Gov. Arthur Langlie declared May 12-18 as the state of Washington's “good-will week,” a notion that would help Americans keep their morals in perspective during their then international struggles.

• Prosecuting Attorney Max Church filed a second-degree murder charge against Sam Taylor, 64, of Forks, following the fatal shooting of Floyd Whitney, 38.

• The area chamber of commerce held a banquet where graduating seniors of Chehalis High School held a place of honor.

• Eugene Blake Saunderson, then 75, died the previous Tuesday in Centralia. Saunderson had resided in Washington for 40 years after moving west from Pennsylvania.

• “Gathering 14 hits off four Bengal hurlers, the Aberdeen Bobcats continued undefeated in the northern division high school diamond conference here Tuesday afternoon, when they downed the Centralia Tigers, 16 to 2,” according to Chronicle sports reporters.

• Wanted: “Elderly lady for housekeeper and companion for elderly man in country.”


May 7, 1952:

• The Centralia community swimming pool was being “scrubbed and cleaned” for a June 1, 1952, opening. Work was progressing on a new wading pool for the smaller children.

• Centralia received petitions for work on the streets and alleys around Plummer Lake and a 10-foot alley running 160 feet north from Walnut Street, between South Pearl and South Silver streets.

• Al Aldrich, manager of the Chehalis Chamber of Commerce, announced his resignation the previous Wednesday. He planned to enter into a private business in Chehalis.

• “A world-famous woman engineer, author, scientist and educator, Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth, mother of Mrs. Dick Tallman, Chehalis, is slated as guest speaker at the Chehalis Chamber of Commerce next Tuesday,” reported The Chronicle.

• Five new Lewis County selected service registrants were set to report for induction into the armed forces on June 5, 1952. Though World War II was a decade gone, folks were still draft-registered and called into service.

• While the Office of Price Stabilization was set to give many regions in the state a discount on at-home milk delivery, Lewis County prices were set to remain constant.

• The Fox Theater showed two films on May 7. “Girl in Every Port,” was scheduled for 7:22 p.m. and 10:38 p.m., while “The Racket” would play at 8:48 p.m.


“A Look Back in Time” appears in every Saturday edition of The Chronicle. News clips were reviewed at the Lewis County Historical Museum.