Looking Back

Here's what was happening in the news this week 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago.

100 years ago (1916 — Oak Harbor News)

The year’s first market day featured a 100-yard dash, 50-yard dash, egg races, a banana contest and a molasses-and-flour contest. No details were supplied on the latter two.

Chas. C. Bowmer bought the Langley Islander newspaper plant.

Beans will be the principal crop for this year’s pack, the Oak Harbor Fruit Growers Association announced. That group’s board was guaranteeing payment of $20 per ton.

“Walter James made a shipment of veal to the Seattle market on Monday,” read a front-page story in its entirety.

The countywide spelling bee was “not very long, but very exciting,” a Page One story said. It omitted any mention of the words misspelled.

Sheriff Armstrong arrested John Hannon, who had stolen logs from Nils Anderson’s booms off Camano Island. Hannon “showed fight” but was subdued, tried and fined $250.

Zylstra Repair Shop, Richard R. Zylstra, proprietor, held a closing-out sale.

75 years ago (1941 — Farm Bureau News)

The Whidbey chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles was scheduled to entertain at a second in a series of pinochle parties.

Orvin M. Ryan, former president of the Island County Education Association, took the job of superintendent of Klickitat schools.

Frank Green bought Bill Holman’s property last week, a Page One story reported.

Four car accidents occurred on Whidbey Island, leading Sheriff Clark to say accidents were increasing too rapidly.

In observance of national Safety Week May 12-17, the biology class at Oak Harbor High School prepared to put on a safety drive.

50 years ago (1966 — Whidbey News Times)

Dr. R.G. Heap, Oak Harbor’s traveling octogenarian, recently returned from a three-month tour of South America, a story reported.

“Dutch,” a German Shepherd-Belgian Shepherd mix, foiled an attempted break-in at Tod’s Cranberry Service on Route 1.

Two Coupeville school teachers resigned. Leonard Booth, a science teacher, planned to teach in Lacey, and Susan Christian, a first-grade teacher, planned to teach in Oak Harbor.

Coupeville High School prepared to present “Finders Creepers” by Donald Payton, the story of two boys visiting an uncle who’s a mortician.

A program to replace Naval Air Station Whidbey Island personnel with civilians — a process the paper called “civilianization — was temporarily discontinued for lack of funds.

Hosiery were three pair for $1 at Mode O’Day in Oak Harbor’s Shoreline Shopping Center.

25 years ago (1991 — Whidbey News Times)

The Coupeville School Board began searching for a new principal for the junior-senior high school, to replace Bob Moore.

The county’s Board of Commissioners opined that even if the Navy had made a mistake in deciding to close Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, it would never admit having done so. Ideas for alternatives poured in, but building a federal prison was out of the question, the commissioners said. Several stories dealt with community reaction to the looming base closure. K Mart said it would persevere in its planned 78,000-square-foot addition. The Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce hastily raised $100,000 to pay for a task force to try saving the base. News of the possible closure was “totally unanticipated,” said Steve Hertling, the Chamber’s president. A half-page ad solicited readers’ contributions toward an attempt to “Save NAS Whidbey.”


More in News

Council looks to state rep for help with ferry woes

State Rep. Dave Paul was invited to a Langley city council meeting to speak about recent ferry cuts.

Service temporarily restored to Clinton-Mukilteo ferry route

Despite major slashes, the first weekend of an abridged ferry schedule saw some pleasant surprises.

Tides presentation set for Oct. 20

Phyllis Woolwine, president of Shearwater University, will deliver a presentation Oct. 20.

Vasquez speaks via Zoom during his clemency hearing.
Commutation reduces sentence in 1998 crime spree

Rogelio Vasquez’s extraordinary redemption story culminated when the governor signed a commutation.

Beluga last sighted near Whidbey

The beluga whale that first made an appearance in Puget Sound two weeks ago seems to have moved on.

Hospital candidates talk staff retention, compensation

Candidates for the WhidbeyHealth board of commissioners talked about improving employee retention.

Boy accused of stomping phone following fight

The boy was charged in Island County Superior Court with malicious mischief in the third degree.

Real estate prices continue to climb on island

Despite a slight lull in August and September, it continues to be a seller’s market on Whidbey.

Clockwise from top left: Nancy Conard, Paul Rempa, Ward Sparacio, Morgan White.
Election will bring significant change to Coupeville School board

Four newcomers are vying for two open seats on Coupeville School Board.

Most Read