December 22, 2014

Old Bordeaux Washington – Mumby, McIver, Costigan

1916 Bordeaux, WA - Mumby, McIver, Costigan

I love the Washington State Digital Archives! I was looking for something else in the archives tonight and, as always, I did a search for the name Bordeaux.  This time, I was searching in photos and found this one.

The caption reads: *”Photograph of three men holding guns and dressed in their Sunday attire, 1916. The men are resting on a grassy knoll next to railroad tracks located in Bordeaux, Washington. The men from left to right: Richard Costigan, George McIver, and Harry Mumby.”

As yet, I’m not sure who Harry Mumby is/was, but in a previous story about the death of Blanche Philby in Bordeaux (1904 Death on the Tracks in Bordeaux, Washington), I’m sure you will remember that the lumber company mentioned was Mumby Lumber, and that one of their sales man was my maternal grandfather, Elvin Moline.  My grandfather didn’t start working in Bordeaux until 1933 though, quite some time after this photo was taken.

*Source: Southwest Regional Branch, Washington State Archives. Thurston County, Southwest Washington Logging and Railroad Photographs.


Great Olympia Train Wreck 1959 Revisited

Olympia Train Wreck 1959

Olympia Depot Demolished By Runaway Train

It was 51 years ago today that 12 of 15 boxcars full of plywood began their crew-less  runaway journey from just south of Tumwater, Washington to the city of Olympia where they crashed into the Union Pacific Railroad depot, killing one man and injuring about twenty others.

I was eight years old at the time when the Great Olympia Train Wreck happened on March 13, 1959.  Even at that tender age, I remember the shock of learning that the Union Pacific Railroad depot I had visited many times was now just a shambles and we would never be going there again.

We Paid To Potty In Those Days

Mom and I (and probably my brother Dave too) would stop in the railroad depot when we were in downtown Olympia and I remember that the waiting room seemed very open and immense.  It may not have been so large, but rather that I was small.  Mostly likely, our purpose for being there was to use the ‘public facilities’.  Of course, this was the era when society still had to contend with “pay” toilet stalls.  You inserted your dime and hoped the investment paid off with a clean toilet.  The implication was not always the reality though.  Thank goodness those days are over!

Chance Turns Into A Miracle

It was just a miracle that more people weren’t killed or injured in this accident.  The one fatality, Kenneth Dilley, was tragic, but by some twist of fate no automobiles were hit at the numerous railroad crossings between Tumwater and Olympia.  And, a red light that stopped cars on 4th Avenue and Adams turned that moment of chance into a miracle for those inside their vehicles.

Sources:

Personal knowledge of Carol Yates Wilkerson 13 March 2010

The Great Olympia Train Wreck – The Daily Olympian, Saturday March 13, 1999 (saved newspaper article in Yates family archives).

A runaway train derails in downtown Olympia, killing one, on March 13, 1959.  HistoryLink.org Essay 7929   (photo included)

Just a footnote: As a genealogist, I take more notice of surnames than maybe most people.  The name of the telegraph operator that was killed was Kenneth Dilley.  My sister-in-law Kathy has Dilley’s in her Needham family tree;  another name that caught my eye was Gene DeSpain, City of Olympia Engineer in 1959.  My husband Jim’s is descended from the DeSpain family in Des Moines County, Iowa.

Olympia Motorcycle Club Enduro circa 1938

Olympia Motorcycle Club

Thurston County Motorcycle History

Years ago I put together a shadow box for my parents of Yates memorabilia that included WWI and WWII medals for my grandfather Will Yates and my dad, William Gale Yates respectively. In that shadow box was included a little bit of Olympia Motorcycle Club history.

Olympia Motorcycle Club

My dad isn’t in the above photo because I believe he took the picture, hence the Y shown predominantly in the lower corner of the shot. I am also sorry to say that I can’t precisely date the year it was taken. The accompanying newspaper article was clipped from a page and no date was written on it either.

My dad was born in 1920, so it’s possible this photo could have been taken in 1938, 1939, 1940, or even in 1941. If someone knows motorcycles and can see anything in this photo that would identify a year, please let me know. I’m not sure the photo above even goes with the article. It might just be some of the guys my dad rode with at another time.

Olympia Motorcycle Club Article

The Newspaper Article About the Enduro Contest

DAVE NOURSE  TAKES MOTORCYCLE CONTEST

Dave Nourse, Seattle, American Motorcycle Association, captured the Enduro run Sunday sponsored by the Olympia Motorcycle Club. The 250-mile run was over logging trails, abandoned roads and other difficult routes through Thurston, Lewis and Cowlitz counties, starting and finishing at Littlerock. Fred Travis, Seattle, was a passenger with Nourse. The winner had a score of 872 out of a possible perfect mark of 1000.

Red Farwell, Tacoma Motorcycle Club, took second with a score of 853; Gale Yates, Olympia Motorcycle Club, third with 802 and Gus Peterson, Lewis County Motorcycle Club was the only other motorcycle entry to finish. His score was 607. Kenneth Knutson was a passenger of Peterson’s. Eight started the contest.

Nourse is a former Ohio State Enduro champion in the expert class.  The race here Sunday marked his first since coming west and his 13th in all.  The contest was the first sanctioned endurance event staged in the northwest this year.

gale-yates-1934-with-harley

William Gale Yates 1934

william-gale-yates-1939-harley

William Gale Yates 1939

(He forged his dad’s signature to buy this Harley)

© 2007-2014 iPentimento|Genealogy and History All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright