Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Emmett Hunt's Diary entry - Wednesday, June 25, 1890

Good average day tho a slight mist was visible during part of the day.  Broke our starboard propeller the first thing in morning then docked the Carson and then ordered a new propeller and got wood aboard and steamed to ? Pt.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Donald James McCarty

Donald James McCarty
(June 27, 1924-2018*)

Donald James McCarty was elected mayor of Gig Harbor, Washington, in November, 1985.  He served in that capacity until 1989.  His obituary was published in The Peninsula Gateway on June 21, 2018.  However the date of death was not included in the obituary.  In the event you did not see the obituary I am reproducing it below.

Donald J. McCarty
Born Donald James McCarty on June 27, 1924 in a sod house in Garden County, Nebraska, Don’s family moved to Yelm, Washington in 1928, where Don attended school and graduated from high school in Darington, WA in 1942.  In March of 1943, Don entered the U.S.Army and served for 6 years with most of the time in the Air Corps (now the Air Force) before being honorably discharged.  During his time in the military, Don met Betty Amp and the two were married in January of 1946.  Don and Betty would spend the next three years attached to the American Embassy in Dublin, Ireland.  While they lived in Ireland, they established many lifelong friendships, which in the following years several trips were enjoyed visiting the Downey, Cronin and Ongley families on their respective homelands of Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.  A son, Donald J. McCart, Jr. was born in Dublin, Ireland on September 2, 1946. 

After leaving the military in late 1948, Don completed advanced courses in aviation maintenance.  In 1949 the family moved to the Midland area of Pierce County, WA where they resided for the next 23 years.  A daughter, Diane, was born in Tacoma on December 8, 1954.  Don entered into employment in March 1950 at McChord Air Force Base where he was employed until September 1980.  Fifteen of those years were spent as Maintenance and Engineering Advisor on the F-106 Fighter.  After his retirement, Don and Betty moved to their new home in Gig Harbor, WA.  During that time, Don worked as a realtor, a mortgage banker, while continuing his service to the Southeast Tacoma Mutual Water Company where he was a member of the Board of Directors as well as Company President, and he also served as President of the Gig Harbor Historical Society.  Don helped found the Pierce County Regional Water Association and worked on several water studies and committees.  Don served on the Gig Harbor City Council for two years before becoming Mayor of Gig Harbor in 1986, where he served for four years, one of his proudest accomplishments.

Don spent his final years in the Phoenix, AZ area after moving in 2014 to remain nearby surviving family.  Don is survived by his children Diane and Don Jr. grandchildren Sean (Fidler), Kendra, Kyle and Kara (McCarty), and great grandchildren Aidan, Elizabeth and Ronan (Fidler).  Fond and lifelong memories go to our special friends and families in Ireland and New Zealand.  Special thanks to Rowena, Gatrene and the rest of the staff at Aegis at Redwood Assisted Living Home for such compassionate care during Don’s final years.  Private services will be held by the family at the Haven of Rest in Gig Harbor, WA.

There is a copy of an interview with Don in the Harbor History Museum Research Room dated January 13, 2010.  Don and his wife, Betty, first became volunteers with the museum when they moved to Gig Harbor, and eventually became President of the Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society (dab Harbor History Museum).   

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Conrad Michael Anderson (1/6/1865-4/7/1952)

Conrad Michael Anderson (1/6/1865-4/7/1952)

Conrad M. Anderson is known as one of this community’s earliest boat builders working first, as so many men did for Skansie Ship Building Company before opening his own firm in 1920.  This blog will just attempt to add to his story.
Fish boat "Oceania" under construction at Skansie Shipyard.  18 men on and in front of it:Gorge Dorotich, Conrad Anderson with pipe; John Jensich, etc (Harbor History Museum Bfsh-53.jpeg)

*(Encyclopaedia Britannica) 

The major industries are related to fisheries and boat building so one can easily assume that Conrad had experience in either one or both these industries by the time he arrived in the United States at age 20 in 1885.  Two years later, he had moved to Tacoma, Washington where he met Bernthine Sophie Pederson. They were married March 13, 1890 and moved to Purdy in Pierce County, Washington by 1900 according to the US Census for that year.  They had six children:  Annie, Chester Bertrum, Ingeborg Marie, Arthur Bennet, Ernest Christin, and Carl S.  Unfortunately Bernthine died on April 16, 1915 and Conrad was left with the younger children.  He had moved to Gig Harbor by 1920 when he left Skansie Ship Building Co. and opened his own boat building business.

Conrad had purchased some choice property at the foot of Stinson Avenue and Harborview Drive.  The property has deep water access which made construction of larger boats possible and he and his sons built both fishing boats and general purpose boats. 
(iPhone picture of circa 1920 Conrad Anderson Shipyard taken from internet)
And, on December 19, 1924, Conrad opens his own boat building business at this location according to the Peninsula Gateway.  All in all, it is believed he built 15 larger fishing boats including trollers and seiners.  Some of the boats were 1920 - Leif II (Karl Hansen); 1920 - Wisconsin (Peter Milos and Tony Lovrovich); 1923 -Equator (Frank Ivanovich), 1925 - Sharon …, 1926 - Venus (Paul Puratich, Andrew Gilich, Mike Katich), and 1927 - Gertrude S. (could this be the 70’ fishing boat they built for Sebastian and Stewart Fish the Peninsula Gateway 1/28/1927?). 
Art Glein rebuilt covered netshed after fire destroyed Conrad Anderson Shipyard buildings (Harbor History Museum BSL-085-GH.jpeg)

Lee Makovich wrote an article in The Peninsula Gateway December 3, 2003 issue titled “The Leif II was Conrad Anderson’s first”.  This was in ’The Past Alive” column Lee used to write.  

“The Leif II was the first of famed Conrad Anderson’s masterpiece creations.  The 52’ seine style vessel was launched from Anderson’s shipyard in the spring of 1920.  Powered by a 45 h.p. Enterprise gas engine, the trim vessel was built for Karl Hansen.  Records indicate that the Leif II was engaged in both halibut and salmon purse seine fisheries in the early years of her existence. It should be mentioned that Conrad Anderson was one of the early foremen at the Gig Harbor based Skansie Shipyard.  But when he left the Skansie facility to start his own shipyard, Anderson had a great many ideas of his own—which he intended to take advantage of in this challenging new business venture.  … But he also had a somewhat different concept for the design of the vessels he intended to build on his own.  … Anderson was not satisfied with some of the basic designs of the Skansie-built vessels he helped to construct. …He worked long and hard to try and put on paper, contemporary concepts that danced in about in his brilliant and innovative mind.  He soon transferred those modern ideas to designs on paper, and then to the construction of his masterpiece vessels. …The differences from the Skansie-built vessels were subtle to be sure, but Anderson believed that the hulls which he designed allowed the boats to slip through the water with much greater ease.  And there were many who absolutely agreed with that assessment.

In 1927, Conrad sold some of his property on the southwest side of Harborview Drive to Bert Uddenberg who then built a garage and service station.  Today you would find the Gig Harbor Yacht Club, Speedy Glass and Gig Harbor Marina’s Consignment shop. 

Bernthine died in 1915, and in 1924, Conrad married Sarah Grace Smith and they continued to live in Gig Harbor.  Unfortunately Sarah died June 3, 1943.  

Conrad’s first born son, Chester moved to the Pasadena area of Southern California in 1927.  He worked as a carpenter on odd jobs with his last job that I found was as a rigger on a dam project.  His wife, Maude Elizabeth Carroll died in 1957 while they were living in Alameda, CA, and it was there too that Chester died in 1965.

Ingeborg Marie married Odin Julian Jensen in February 1920 and they moved to Ketchiakn, AK where Odin worked as a building contractor.  Odin died in 1971, and Ingeborg died in 1974.

Arthur married Nellie McKenzie in 1923 and Arthur took employment in Wrangell, AK in 1930 as a ship builder.  Five years later they moved back to Seattle.

Ernest married Mary H. Mills in 1925. They too moved to Wrangell AK in 1930 (perhaps with Arthur and Nellie).  Ernest was also a ship builder where he worked until 1948.  He died in 1964; his wife Mary lived until 1999.

Carl, the youngest, moved to Ketchikan AK in 1928 and two years later, moved to Wrangell, AK.  Yes, his occupation was also as a ship builder.  1940 found him living in Petersburg, AK and then, in 1944, he moved back to the mainland and settled in Everett where he owned Fisherman’s Boat Shop.  In 1959 he sold the business to Dick Eitel who then added steel work operations to the boat work.

One document describing Conrad ’s boat building operations in Gig Harbor states that when he retired in 1937, his sons took over the boatyard here and ran it as a repair shop.  However, the sons were scattered:  Chester in California; Arthur in Seattle; Ernest in Wrangell; and Carl in Everett.  The document goes on to say they had assumed control and were running it when it caught fire and burned to the ground in 1940s.  The fire occurred when the community’s fire brigade was entirely volunteers.  The first fire protection district did not become a reality until January 6, 1945 when Pierce County Fire District #5 was established.  Neither the Northwest Room, Tacoma Public Library, nor I could find any articles regarding the fire, its causes or the actual date.      

Conrad died age 87 after a brief illness, although it was rumored he was found at home alone where he died of a heart attack.  (TNT 4/11/1952 p29)  Rev. Mary J. Turner officiated at his services and he was buried in the Burley Cemetery .  According to the Peninsula Gateway 4/18/1952 obituary, he had learned his trade as shipbuilder and designer in Norway before leaving there in 1885, and arriving in the Puget Sound area in 1890. 
Another document that caught my attention was a photocopy of page 57, Alaska Fisherman’s Journal, October 1985 titled “A Rose Full of Room”.  Although the article is not about Conrad himself, it is very interesting because it is about his son, Arthur’s grandson, Bill Gardner.  Bill Gardener is the son of Helen Thompson Anderson and John K. Gardner who were married September 22, 1950.  The Gardner Boat Repair business located in Ballard is a fifth generation operation.  It is interesting because of the relationship to Conrad Anderson and the ship building and repair business he started.

Gardner was first a seiner, halibut fisherman and a gill netter before he started working on boats, rather than in them.  His grandfather was an experienced boatbuilder as were his great uncles.  One of them, Carl owned Fisherman’s Boat Shop in Everett.  His entry into boat work was easy and in 1976 he opened his shop working as a shipwright.  At the time of this article he was subcontracting all his woodwork to his uncle Glenn, his mother’s brother, and to his uncle Carl, Carl Sr.’s son.  


  • Peninsula Gateway - various inc. obituary 4/18/1952; The Past Alive 12/3/2003
  • Tacoma News Tribune - 4/11/1952 obituary
  • Alaska Fisherman’s Journal, October 1985
  • Tacoma Public Library, Northwest Room
  • Eddon Boat Yard
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica - Folda, Norway

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Emmett Hunt's Diary entry - Wednesday June 18, 1890

Somewhat rainy again.  Got out early and towed a scow of coal to Puget Sound Brick, Pile & Terra Cotta Co.'s works.  Then returned and lay around till p.m.then took on fuel and juice and steamed head of Ketron Island and anchored for the night- in the meantime towed the Lottie Carson to anchorage and credited the Size with another  V

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Emmett Hunt's Diary entry Wednesday June 11, 1890

Somewhat rainy - fair in p.m.Towed the Snyder raft to Delano Beach and returning bro in a scow of sand.

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Chester M. Jones (July 7, 1901 - January 21, 1973)

Chester M. Jones (July 7, 1901 - January 21, 1973)

What do you remember about Chester Jones, or do you remember him at all?  You might have seen his picture in the Harbor History Museum blog entitled “Town of Gig Harbor Incorporated”, or in the blog entitled “Gig Harbor Law Enforcement History”.  If you read Little History of Gig Harbor, Washington by Jack R. Evans published by SCWPublications, you would have seen the entry on ‘Town Marshall’.  Or possibly at the Police Department in the Gig Harbor Civic Center.

Perhaps, though, we might be able to add some additional information about the man, Chester (Chet) Jones.  We’ll start with his birth in Itasca, Minnesota in July, 1901 to Harry Jay Jones, age 23, and Melrose Robideau, age 18.  He was their first child.  Harry was a grocery merchant, and lived in Cohasset, MN.  However on July 4, 1945 when he died, he was visiting Chet in Tacoma.

Sometime between 1920 when he was living in Cohasset, MN and 1925, Chet moved to Tacoma, Washington, where he met Leona M. Lile, and they were married on December 5, 1925.  Chet got at job at Asarco Smelter plant in Tacoma where he worked as an accountant.  In 1930 Chet and Leona moved to Wollochet, a small community across the Narrows and part of the greater Gig Harbor community.  Chet and Leona never had children themselves, but over the years of their marriage they had given themselves, and their home, to many foster boys and girls.  According to an article which appeared in The Peninsula Gateway (I believe June 5, 1974) “Their home was the scene of countless picnics, water skiing parties and other activities for Peninsula and surrounding area youth.”

In 1948, Mayor Harold Ryan appointed Chet as Town Marshall for the newly incorporated class four Town of Gig Harbor.  Previously all law enforcement activities for the community were handled by Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.  His duties were mainly to control the drunks, the traffic and the parking problems.  He was also responsible for security and the handling of other minor civil disorders, however he had no arrest powers according to Harold H. Ryan.  He received a monthly salary of $125 plus an additional $15 for monthly expenses.  According to Jack Evans in his history, Chet also was dog catcher, and because the town had no public works department, he also filled in pot holes.  However, Pierce County did help the Town of Gig Harbor with paving of streets and roads.
First Police Car parked in front of Gig Harbor Hardware - HHM BUS-199-GH.jpeg

GH First Patrol Car 1948-Left to Right: Mayor HR Ryan; Councilman Antoine Stanich; Judge H. R. Thurston; Marshall C. M. Jones; Councilmen Keith Uddenberg & Fred Perkins - HHM CG-001-GGH.jpeg
Marshall Jones in Police Car on Clay Hill after moving road from tide line below to Clay Hill above - 12/18/1949 Source-Shaw Family, Frank Owen Shaw, Photographer.  HHM BD&R-050-NGH.jpeg

In 1951, Chet was a Deputy County Sheriff according to the Pierce County-Tacoma Polk’s Directory.  Unfortunately the Northwest Room, Tacoma Public Library was unable to find any information in their files on Chet regarding his life or occupations in Tacoma or Gig Harbor.

Although Jack Evans mentioned Chet’s involvement in real estate investments as early as 1932, I was unable to find any information on that earlier other than what is stated in his obituary. Polk’s Directory for Pierce County-Tacoma, does list Chet as an agent at McDonald Realtors in 1959.  It is very easy to see Chet’s interest in real estate investments tied to Woodburn McDonald and his business as you can see when you check Woodburn’s blog history.  Woodburn also lived in Rosedale, near Wollochet Bay. However, his obituary says he joined partnership with Purdy Really in 1958 following his retirement from Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.  This is also easy to understand because Tom Morris, Sr. moved to Gig Harbor in 1944 following his graduation from Washington State College and worked in banking and real estate transactions with State Mutual Savings Bank, and then in 1950 starting Purdy Realty.  Chet joined Purdy Realty as a partner following his retirement as Pierce County Deputy Sheriff.

Gig Harbor Golf Course Course History does not mentioned Chet directly, but as a partner with Tom Morris, Sr. he too had participated in establishment of the Artondale Golf Course, presently GH Golf Club.  It was back in 1954 when a group of several members of the Wollochet Community Club of which Chet was a member, put together plans for a golf course.  Membership shares sold at $500 each, farm property of 114 acres belonging to Jack and Ann Lamar was purchased and development began.  It took six years but finally in October 1960 the club was dedicated.  Tom Morris, Sr., Club President, arranged TV Channel 11 to record and broadcast the event.

Chet’s activities during the 1960 and 1970s weren’t discovered but one can assume they were filled with his real estate activities as well as his various community involvement and of course, his participation with youth and as a foster parent.

The Peninsula Gateway June 5, 1974 article mentioned above is titled “First Scholarship Awards from Memorial Fund Awarded Peninsula Students.”  

It continues “The Wollochet Peninsula Club, Inc., formed around 1965, and active in succeeding years in community affairs, sponsorship of neighborhood youth recreation, voted to ceased operations in 1973.  Through the dues and various fund-raising campaigns, the club had purchased free and clear the old Wollochet schoolhouse and several areas of adjoining property.  The current board of directors and membership decided to sell all assets and the residual, approximately $20,000 was deposited in a trust at Peninsula State Bank, and administrators appointed to govern the dispursement of the funds to C. M. Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The fund honors the late Chester Jones, a long-time residents of the Wollochet Bay area, who, together with Mrs. Jones, devoted a large share of his time both before and after retirement from the  Pierce County Sheriff’s staff and real estate business, to the furtherance of youth activities in the Gig Harbor area.  Chet was Chapter Dad to the Rainbow Girls, along with numerous other related functions.  Mr. and Mrs. Jones, over a period of years, had given their home and themselves to many foster boys and girls who have benefited richly from the association. Their home was the scene of countless picnics, water skiing parties and other activities for Peninsula and surrounding area youth.

To perpetuate, for a specified number of years, the objectives of both the Wollochet Peninsula Club and Mr. Jones, to recognize and assist deserving and qualified young people of the the Peninsula area, who have a strong desire for higher education, courage to overcome adversities and a genuine concern for the welfare of others, the fund will provide a generous one year scholarship to the institution of higher learning of their choice, to one boy and one girl from each annual senior graduating class of Peninsula High School.  The school Scholarship Selection Committee will recommend three boys and three girls to the fund’s trustees and the later will make the final selection of the individuals to receive the award.”

Chet was a member of the Methodist Church in Cohasset, Minnesota, the Gig Harbor Lions Club, John Paul Jones Lodge 217, F & M, Waconda Chapter, OES, the Gig Harbor Aerie of the FOE, as well as the Order of Rainbow for Girls.

Leona passed away at age 95 in December 1997.  She worked for the Internal Revenue Service in 1942 and retired as Chief Supervisor in 1966.  She was a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Tacoma.  


  • The Peninsula Gateway, 1/25/1973; 6/5/1974; 12/10/1997; 8/25/1982; 7/14/1999
  • Tacoma News Tribune 1/23/1973
  • Little History of Gig Harbor by Jack R. Evans - copyright (C) 1988
  • Harbor History Museum Blogs (see links in blog)
  • Gig Harbor Golf Club - Course History

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

Emmett Hunt's Diary entry - Wednesday May 28, 1890

Cloudy and cool.  Shower in eve. It so happened that we did nothing buttoner on siphon surface, blow- bleeder etc. till p.m. then pullout of Henderson Bay to Callis

© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.