August 24, 2016

1983 Article By Mike Contris – Olympian Newspaper Columnist

Mike Appreciated My Dad’s Remembrances Of Old Bordeaux, WA

This may be a repeat post, but I couldn’t find a previous one in my blogs, so I’m sharing the article by former Olympia, WA columnist Mike Contris again. As you can see it was first published in 1983. The reason I’m sharing it is because the Bill Yates mentioned in the article is my dad. My dad passed away in 1996; Mike Contris passed away in 1985. © Carol Yates Wilkerson 2012

Clicking on the image should make it visible full sized.



Railroad Service From Bordeaux To Seattle Connected With Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific Line

Washington State Railroads and Lumber Mills

Today, I received an interesting vintage postcard from a new friend who had found it on Ebay.  Postmarked 10 May 1915, it was a confirmation from the Mumby Lumber and Shingle Company of Bordeaux, Washington sent to George F. Nilder (or Hilder), a representative of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad, informing him that his order CFL6540 was being loaded on P & R car No. 530.  This postcard was sent for a penny and was received 11 May 1915. Pretty good overnight service for 1915, huh?

You know, railroad cars from many lines sometimes ended up in places that you wouldn’t think were ‘normal’, but railroad cars are probably like rental cars or trucks we see today where they can be from any state in the union depending on their type or usage.  Lumber would likely be shipped all over the nation because of its ubiquitous usage.

My husband said that when he worked at Clinton Corn Company in Iowa that they would get grain and coal cars from other regions, but usually from the Midwest. But their cars that went out with corn in them were shipped country-wide.

  So, a lumber or shingle order was filled at Bordeaux, Washington into a Pennsylvania and Reading Railroad car and sent out to a larger connector railroad line there in Thurston County.  At this point I can only guess on which one, but it could have been the Northern Pacific Prairie Line.

There’s also no way to know if it stayed on that line all the way to Seattle, but most likely for expediency it wouldn’t have languished anywhere too long but delivered as soon as feasible to the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad yard so they could send it on its way and fulfill their order.

In 1915 my grandfather, Elvin B. Moline was age 22 and just beginning his career in the lumber business.  It wouldn’t be until 1933 that he would take up residence in the town of Bordeaux with his second wife “Eppie” and his three daughters Jeane, Joan and Joyce.  His occupation from 1933 until 1941 when he left Bordeaux was as a lumber salesman for Mumby Lumber and Shingle Company.

Sources used:

History of the Northern Pacific Prairie Line

Wikipedia – Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad


Old Bordeaux Washington – Mumby, McIver, Costigan


Bordeaux Washington Mill Saws The Last Log In 1941



Two Sweet Deals From Alibris If You Act Soon

I love giving books for special occasions, don’ t you? Alibris has two sweet deals available for the next few days. Will you be giving books this year?

Offer # 1 is:

Cherished books make great gifts from the heart! Get $5 off $50 when you buy books, music, movies or video games at and use the code SPLURGE at checkout. This offer expires November 30 at midnight PST.

And if you intend to spend a bit more on books there’s also #2:

Cherished books make great gifts from the heart! Get $15 off $100 when you buy books, music, movies or video games at and use the code TREAT at checkout. This offer expires November 30 at midnight PST.

I don’t think there’s ever a time in my life that there isn’t some book I want to get.

America – From Blunderbusses to Blunders

When Grandpa Had A Blunderbuss

One of the great misconceptions I embraced for many years was that the generations before mine were less educated and therefore should be considered ignorant of our ‘modern society’.  How utterly pompous and idiotic was that line of thinking?

Along Came The Sixties

Of course I was wrong. Yes, granted our country has made plenty of mistakes in the past 235 years, but up until the 1960’s we kept to our ideals, exhibited some sort of civility towards each other and had pride in our country. Now, I believe, we’re in a state of decay and will continue to be that way as our country, and the world, adjust to shifting populations, more demand and supply, and leaders of dubious intent and intelligence.

Prior generations worked for the greater good with pride in their skills and a hope for a better tomorrow.  They believed that hard work and dedication would bring them prosperity and happiness because of course they could depend on the Constitution.

Everyone knows the 60’s brought a radical change in society with the sorrow and disillusionment of the Vietnam war (we prided ourselves on ‘never having lost a war’), and we heard our schoolmates, cousins and friend’s names whispered in sadness as death after death was reported.  The idealism of the early part of the decade turned into anger and then revolt. We lost ourselves in drugs and self-indulgence that continues to this day.

The Present Is No Present

In many ways, it seems we are in that mode again.  In the 60’s we were against “the man” and what it stood for (oppression of the masses while hypocrites wore dresses in secret, and politicians or the military kept us busy being afraid of the red menace).  Here we are again, but this time our social reach is worldwide more than ever before.  We can see first-hand what is going on in other countries at a moment’s desire.

The middle east is undergoing profound change in leadership.  It’s unstable and could topple like a stack of stones hit by an Angry Bird.  Europe’s economy is fragile.  So fragile that many countries are looking for a bailout.  And, do you know where they’re looking? China! Borrowing money from China will happen and again the balance of power will shift.

Which brings me to the current state of blunders affairs.  Next year our country will again elect a President.  I have never seen a more unlikely bunch of contenders in all the 40 years I’ve been voting.  I’ve seen more astute wisdom from high school students than from these buffoons.  What are they trying to say? What are they for?  They scare me, they really do.

Will Obama Get Re-Elected?

That is not to say I’m not disillusioned with our current man in office.

I had high hopes for Mr. Obama. I thought that he would bring an educated mind along with his sophisticated demeanor, take charge and whip our sorry government into shape. Again, I was wrong.  In my opinion, he’s too nice. We needed that man who made promises and had us believing again that our country could go back to being civilized.  We’d spend more time making better, cleaner cars; we’d be able to fix our infrastructure that so badly needs it, and we could extricate ourselves from the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones and quit sacrificing our soldiers to a trumped up war.

Where will we go from here? The people of this country are emotionally, physically and spiritually tired. Tired of the lies and being treated like blank checks by the blood sucking tyrants in corporate America.  Occupy Wall Street and other occupiers is a symptom.  As long as the people are unhappy it will continue.  Maybe protests will die down when we get into the depths of the cold dark winter.  But you can be sure it’ll be back in spring. In force. “You say you want a revolution?”… I think America’s citizens are gonna give you one!

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