A Look Back in Time: Worker Nearly Freezes to Death at Mount Rainier in 1933


In a story entitled “Worker Nearly Frozen to Death” featured in the Saturday, March 18, 1933 edition of The Chronicle, it was reported that earlier in the week, a man nearly froze to death in the Ohanapecosh area of Mount Rainier National Park. 

Olaf Ericson, an employee of the Colonial Construction Company, collapsed in the snow from exhaustion while carrying a heavy load while returning to his camp at the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs where he served as a caretaker. After collapsing at around 8 p.m., Ericson’s partner, Ginner Mathewson, “hoofed it to camp” about two miles away and returned with two more men around 3 a.m. 

The men “rolled” Ericson in blankets and made a fire. The men then strapped Ericson to a board, which they then attached to skis “with two ropes tied to the business end of the skis.” 

“With main strength and luck they delivered the frozen man to ‘earth’ at the Clear Fork Bridge about 2 p.m., where he was placed in a car and taken to Packwood,” The Chronicle reported. 

In Packwood, Ericson was covered in “red hot blankets” before being taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma, where he was expected to “probably recover, minus some fingers and toes.”


Saturday, March 18, 1933

• The Northwest Council of the YMCA completed its two-day session with a luncheon at the Lewis-Clark Hotel in Centralia. H.W. Stone, a Portland resident and newly elected national councilman, addressed the council. 

• Wilford Ogden, 74, died at his home in Centralia on the night of Friday, March 17. Ogden, who had lived in Centralia for the previous 22 years, was survived by  his wife, a son, a brother and a sister. 

• Rev. J.C. Tourtellot of Chehalis’ Westminster Presbyterian Church was expected to deliver a sermon entitled “Life’s Earthquakes” on the evening of Sunday, March 19. The church was also expected to hold an 11 a.m. service “of a special nature.”

• Debate pins and basketball letter awards were handed out on the afternoon of Friday, March 17 during a meeting of the Associated Student Body of Chehalis Senior High School. The awards were handed out by ASB President Glenn Nelson, who presided over the meeting. Debate pins were given to “Miss Frederica Harms,” “Miss Sibyl Markstron,” Orville Boyer and Eddie Andrews. Those receiving basketball letter awards were Kenneth Artz, Earl Betts, Chester Reber, Louis Severin, Don Wofford, Julius Raabe, Harold Shay, Dick Wright, Kenneth Betts, Bill Bantz and Dow Hoyt. 

• The Chehalis Chamber of Commerce elected Dan Bush as its new president during a luncheon at the St. Helens Hotel on Friday, March 17. Bush, described by The Chronicle as a “pioneer local newspaper man,” succeeded D.T. Coffman, who declined reelection. The Chehalis Chamber was described as being in “good financial condition” despite the poor economic conditions during the Great Depression. 

• “Mrs. A. Fuszard” and W.E. Baker of Centralia reportedly received a letter from their mother, “Mrs. Jennie Bauerly,” describing an earthquake that occurred in Southern California. Bauerly, who was in Los Angeles visiting another daughter, told her children “I have been through floods, tornadoes, windstorms, blizzards and now an earthquake. … I’ll never be too old to learn, but I will tell you one thing, I would take them all rolled into one in preference to a cussed quake.” She added California was “all right in spite of all,” and the state only experiences a “tremblor” once every 10 years. “So next time I will spend the tenth year in Washington,” Bauerly said. 

• Walter Ullrich and Gene Ingraham, both 22, were cut and bruised after Ullrich’s car went into a ditch on the side of a highway in an area of Lewis County “north of Raish’s store,” on the morning of March 18.  The two were “cut and bruised” after Ullrich attempted to speed past another car and headed into the ditch. Ullrich received a “badly cut wrist” while Ingraham was cut and bruised on his face and head. The car was “damaged considerably.”


Thursday, March 18, 1943

• Gov. Arthur Langlie was expected to speak at the dedication of the 60-bed Lewis-Pacific County Tuberculosis Sanatorium at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 20. The hospital, located six miles south of Chehalis at the site of the former “Lewis County old folks’ home,” was constructed using funds raised jointly by both Lewis and Pacific counties and was the first joint sanatorium in the state. The dedication event was to include music by both Chehalis High School and Centralia High School and an invocation by Rev. Earl Van Doren. According to The Chronicle, the old folks’ home had fallen into disuse with the creation of the Social Security program created by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression. 

• Lewis County Prosecutor John Panesko announced on Wednesday, March 17 his office had determined the death of a man named Manning Barber on Feb. 26 at the state training school, today known as Green Hill, had been “absolutely accidental.” “The investigation revealed Mr. Barber was working in the laundry at the time of his death, removing a large tank, and in his work was using a 10-foot stepladder; that he had left his carpenter’s hammer on the top of the ladder, and, while working below the ladder, he himself moved it over a little, dislodging the hammer, which came down and struck him on the head,” The Chronicle reported. Barber complained of the hit to his head but his wife, also in the laundry at the time, “did not consider it serious enough to do anything about.” He resumed his work for about two hours when he suddenly “slumped and died.”

• The Centralia  Municipal Light and Water departments made record profits for 1942, The Chronicle reported. The Municipal Light Department made a profit of $76,492.98 during 1942 with total revenues of $191,184.35 and expenses of $114,691.37. The Water Department made $40,362.41 in profits after receiving $89,121.79 in revenue and spending $48,759.38 on expenses. 

• The Centralia Kiwanis Club held a luncheon on Wednesday, March 17 during which they heard from Major A.E. Lewis, one of Washington’s civilian defense directors, and Major G.E. Arnold of San Francisco. The two men warned the club members that “expectation of an enemy raid on the Pacific coast increases daily.” The officers told the group the potential for an attack was not an indication of the way the war was trending and instead was based on the likelihood the Japanese would probably be forced to “attempt to paralyze military, industrial and civilian activity in the Pacific Northwest.” The men also said the type of attack that would occur would not allow for “efficient use of heavy demolition bombs.” Instead, the Japanese would likely use lighter gas bombs to demoralize the population in war industry centers. 

• A musical program presented by students from the Edison School for the Centralia Kiwanis Club at a meeting on Wednesday, March 17. The students were directed by Leo Milanowski. The program included an accordion duet by Joe Cole and Pat Plumb as well as a piano solo by Robert Perry. There was also a performance by the school orchestra.

• George Marty, a retired Great Northern locomotive engineer, died in his Winlock home on March 18. Marty, 56, was born in Monticello, Minnesota on Jan. 24, 1889. He was survived by his sister and “several nieces and nephews.”

• “Mrs. F.M. Hancock,” a Winlock resident, received word her nephew Frederick Harris, 16, had been imprisoned by the Japanese. Harris was attending school in Che Foo, China and was imprisoned with about 70 other students at the school. Harris’ parents had been missionaries in China for many years and were living in western China, near the Tibetan border.’


Wednesday, March 18, 1953

• A lawsuit seeking $3,350 in damages for a car accident that occurred in July 1952 was filed in the Lewis County Clerk’s office on March 18. The accident occurred near Littell when a car failed to yield. 

• Annette Ross, a senior at Centralia High School, won the 1953 Lewis County Prep Spelling Tourney. According to Boistfort School Superintendent Celo Jarrell, students from the Twin Cities claimed a majority of the awards for 1953. The second place award went to Helen Pyles, a junior at Chehalis High School; third place was awarded to Elizabeth Thomsen, a Centralia freshman; fourth place was given to George Upton, also a Centralia freshman; and Wesley Miller, a Winlock freshman, was awarded fifth place. 

• Chehalis City Commissioners met earlier in the week of March 18 to open bids for the construction of a restroom and storage room at Recreation Park. The contract, which amounted to $4,302, was awarded to Fred Moore. Park Board Chairman Ray Melhart and Superintendent of Parks Stan Hedwall were on hand for the meeting.

• Members of a family driving in a car near Onalaska only received bruises after an accident on the night of Tuesday, March 17. The family’s car was struck by a truck while they were on their way to Bellingham from Idaho. The accident was estimated to have caused $450 in damages to the car and $25 in damages to the truck.

• A juror’s illness halted proceedings in a $25,000 in Lewis County Superior Court, The Chronicle reported. “The proverbial monkey wrench was thrown into a $25,000 damage suit,” The Chronicle reported. The juror, Reino Mannikko of Winlock, had become sick with the flu. The court confirmed Mannikko’s illness by calling his doctor who said Mannikko had a temperature of 104 degrees. 

• Matt Tuohinen, 85, died in a Centralia hospital on Sunday, March 15 after a short illness. Touhinen, a Winlock resident since 1905, was born in Finland on Aug. 28, 1867. He was survived by two sons. 

• Weaner pigs were listed for sale in The Chronicle on March 18. The listing offered buyers a pair of pigs of their choice for $15. 


Monday, March 18, 1963

• In an Associated Press story featured in The Chronicle, it was reported bills providing funds for public school construction had been introduced in the state House on March 18. One bill was sponsored by three Republicans, Damon Canfield of Granger, H.D. Hadley of Longview and Daniel Evans of Seattle. Evans would later go on to serve as Governor and a U.S. Senator. 

• Chehalis school leaders called a special district wide meeting on March 18. The meeting, meant to address the district’s “acute” classroom shortage problem, was scheduled for the night of Tuesday, March 19. According to Chehalis School Board Chairman Harry Gleason, the meeting would open at 8 p.m. in the W.F. West High School lunchroom. 

• Both of the Twin Cities’ two hospitals were listed as accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals on March 18. The two hospitals, St. Helen Hospital in Chehalis and Centralia General Hospital, were accredited through a process by which they voluntarily submitted to a survey of its facilities and its patient care.

• Continued snowfall caused White Pass’ snow depth to reach 28 inches on March 18 “as winter made a determined effort to remain on the scene,” The Chronicle reported. Compact snow and ice covered the roadway in places from three miles west of the pass summit to two miles to the east, though chains were not required. 

• Clyde Goudie, 79 of Winlock, died following a car crash near Napavine on Friday, March 15. Goudie received a broken leg during the crash and was taken to St. Helen Hospital for treatment and observation where he died on Sunday, March 17. He was born on Jan. 16, 1884 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and had lived in Winlock for 16 years. Goudie was survived by his wife, a son, two brothers, two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 

• Adna High School named its Valedictorians and Salutatorian for its 1963 graduating class. Waverly Bennett and Donna Jean Berthelson were both named valedictorians after they received GPAs of 3.97. Dorothy Geiszler was named salutatorian after receiving a 3.25 GPA. 

• A two bedroom house in Centralia was listed for $65 a month in rent in The Chronicle. The listing described the house as unfurnished with hardwood floors, a fireplace, an attached garage and a fenced-in “nice” front yard. The house also sat on one acre and had “room for (a) horse.”