Take a Trip Through Our Community’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

- A request for bids was issued in January of 1977 for the construction of Yelm High School. The deadline for applicants was Feb. 1, 1977. The expected cost of the high school was set at $4 million.

- The Yelm Humane Society postponed its annual meeting on Jan. 10, 1977. There were scheduling issues that caused the event to be postponed to Feb. 28, 1977.

- Rainier senior citizens joined the Tenino Senior Center for a potluck on Jan. 11, 1977. Rides to the event were available from the Sportsmans Club in Rainier.

- A free children’s show was presented in Yelm at the Timberland Library on Saturday, Jan. 8 1977. The show was called “The Practical Princess.”

- The Yelm Ministerial Association held its monthly meeting on Jan. 14, 1977 at the United Methodist Church in Yelm.

- Yelm residents Dr. John McNamara, and his wife Mrs. Terry McNamara, left for Haiti the week of Jan. 6, 1977. The two treated Haitians with injuries, sickness or disease.

A Look Back at This Week, 35 Years Ago

- A house fire on Dec. 26, 1986 caused the death of a man and his child. The fire took place at a house off of Yelm Avenue.

- Two new county officials were sworn in on Jan. 1, 1987. Gary Edwards was sworn in as sheriff and Judy Arnold as coroner.

- Yelm resident Ton Edwards’ car burned in a fire. His vehicle caught fire while Edwards was working on the carburetor.

- Students in the Yelm School District excelled academically during the year of 1986. Test scores showed the “floor” and the “ceiling” for test scores increased.

- Yelm Physical Therapy opened on Jan. 5, 1987. Kirsten Ludwig served as the  first manager of the business.

A Look Back at This Week, 25 Years Ago

- An ice storm left many Yelm residents without power on Dec. 26, 1996. Around 10,000 homes in Thurston County were left without power for days.

- Walt’s Place in McKenna reflected on the flood of February 1996 as they discussed their preparations for another forecasted flood. 

- McKenna residents living near the Nisqually River prepared for flooding in 1997. One resident said her family moved everything to the upstairs portion of their McKenna home in preparation for flooding.

- Off-duty Yelm police officers helped residents in Yelm, McKenna, and Roy evacuate on Dec. 29, 1996 because of flooding

- After dealing with a lot flooding during the year of 1996, employees at the city of Yelm were alarmed to learn the Alder Dam would release over 10,000 cubic feet of water on the evening of Dec. 29, 1996.

- The Yelm Tornados girls team picked up its first win of the season on Dec. 20, 1996 against North Mason. DeFord led the Lady Tornados in scoring with 16 points.

A Look Back at This Week, 15 Years Ago

- Two large dogs attacked a 7-year-old Yelm resident on New Year’s Day in 2007. The attack left the girl injured and the two large dogs killed the girl’s pet.

- Yelm High School announced that as early as 2008, they would switch from a four period schedule to one with six periods. The move came after a study recommended the switch would provide more effective learning methods.

- Yelm Creek flooded and overflowed its banks in 2007. Most Yelm residents were not affected by the flood, but many prepared beforehand just in case.

- A former Yelm business owner was sentenced to prison on drug charges.

- A Yelm resident was named the primary suspect in the investigation of his wife’s death.

- Yelm Gymnastics Center went into 2007 under new ownership as Paula Meyer became the new co-owner.


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