A Look Back: Take a trip through our area’s rich history


Enjoy these snapshots of articles written in past issues of the Nisqually Valley News from 45, 35, 25 and 15 years ago, respectively. 

A Look Back at This Week,  45 Years Ago

• Three Yelm High School students met unexpectedly at Yelm Avenue and Fourth Street. One of their autos was stopped on Yelm Avenue preparing to turn on Fourth Street, when another struck the car and was in turn struck by the third vehicle. There were no injuries.

• Wayne A. Tupper, 22, of Tacoma, was charged with second-degree murder for the stabbing of a Rainier youth, Boyd E. Hedgers, 17. Tupper pleaded innocent to the charge, and the judge ordered Tupper held in lieu of bail of $25,000.

• Hap Wolf of Yelm proudly displayed his 26-pound salmon after landing the fish in the Nisqually River. Wolf, Nick Meyer and son Joshua were fishing near the railroad bridge when he snagged the monster. The weight was verified by scales in Walt’s Place in McKenna.

• There were undetermined minor injuries in a three-vehicle accident on Highway 510 just west of Yelm town limits. Jeanne Noble prepared to turn into her driveway with David Becker following behind and stopping for the turn. Peter Wells smashed into Becker’s auto, which hit Noble’s vehicle.

A Look Back at This Week, 35 Years Ago

• An eight-day Ramtha intensive at Messiah Arabian Stud farm in Yelm was interrupted by a bomb threat. An estimated 850 to 900 people were evacuated from the building for a two-hour period while the facilities were inspected. Thurston County Sheriff Gary Edwards said there were no suspects or leads in the case at the time.

• Mike Colbert, 16, Yelm, received extensive and serious head, shoulder, neck and other injuries when his auto left 148th Avenue, jumped a ditch and stopped in brush. Medics were not sure how Colbert arrived in nearby woods.

• Arlene Phillips, a math tutor at Southworth Elementary, won the Betty Scharff Memorial Award for best math instructional assistant of the year. The award was given to the best H.O.S.T.S. (Helping Other Students to Succeed) math tutor in the nation.

• Yelm High School’s dance team was rated superior in the annual state competition in Kennewick on March 18, 1989.

A Look Back at This Week, 25 Years Ago

• A Yelm man died after being airlifted to Harborview Medical Center for injuries suffered in a crash on Rainier Road. Dean Griswold, 36, was traveling northbound in the 11000 block of Rainier Road when he collided with an auto driven by Sarah Wiley of Olympia, who was traveling southbound. 

• More than 350 student delegates in grades 4 through 12 descended on the campus of  Evergreen State College in Olympia for the seventh annual GREEN Student Congress. Sponsored by the Nisqually and South Sound chapters of the Global Rivers Environmental Education Network, the congress brought students together to analyze water quality data collected from sample sites along the Nisqually River.

• A Nisqually Valley man was rescued after his inflatable raft capsized on the Nisqually River. Craig Getton, 28, was found by Fort Lewis military police shortly before midnight on the Pierce County side of the river bank after a Nisqually Pines resident notified authorities.

• Easthaven Villa, a new assisted living facility in Yelm, opened on March 26, 1999, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

A Look Back at This Week, 15 Years Ago

• More than 10 families were slated to be placed in foreclosed homes near Yelm with the aid of federal money. The City of Yelm received more than $640,000 in funding from the Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Eligible families could receive up to $40,000 for a down payment on a foreclosed home.

• The City of Yelm celebrated the completion of the Coates Road project with an official ribbon cutting on March 24, 2009. The project was part of the Y4 connector project, which connected 103rd Avenue, West and Stevens streets.

• The Yelm Police Department switched things up as detective Matt Rompa returned to patrol and officer Jared Geray took over as detective.

• City of Yelm officials gathered on March 25, 2009, to celebrate the completion of the Yelm Prairie Line Trail. The 1.1-mile stretch of trail extended from Yelm Avenue to Canal Road Southeast and allowed residents in the area an alternate route to get to town.