SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Ketchikan In The 50's
By Pat Moore


February 22, 2006
Wednesday AM

I liked Dave Kiffer's article about Ketchikan and Pulp Mill development. On fishing, as kids we could see the herring boats seining in loads right next to the dock of the Cold Storage from our classrooms at Main School!

Des bought his first truck in 1951 while they were improving South Tongass highway. He had changed from working at Ellis Air to being a driller on the steep cliffs they were scaling back and thought driving truck might be better than hanging off the cliff with a 55# drill. Wilder & Dawson from Bellingham were the contractors on that job.

During the Pulp Mill and North Tongass Highway building Des worked as a night oiler for Manson Osberg Co.

He then worked for Herb Schaub's ready mix company, renting out the dump truck when needed for gravel deliveries and also driving cement mixer truck. We lived in a big house on the town side of Austin and our friend, Jerry Cloudy, let Des park his F-8 Ford Dump truck across the street on his property. While working on the truck one night a car careened aroung the corner, through the Austin St. intersection and hit a girl walking there then ended up in the deep yard of the house where they later built Austin Towers. Des called in to me to call fire and police and was first on the tragic scene.

He later hauled the concrete onto that site for the Towers and Herb let him dump excess concrete onto Cloudy's lot to make a platform for a truck shop. When we moved out to Pond Reef Road he loaded the open shop building onto the back of the truck (somehow!) and hauled it to Pond Reef.

Another night job while working for Schaub was hauling rock out of the tunnel, delivering it to folks who wanted cheap fill. He recalls driving through wood streets like Hopkins Alley that you could never get a truck through these days. Also, since it was late at night he got some "comments" from sleepy neighbors!

He also poured the concrete in the auditorium of our New High School that we had been hoping for before we graduated.

Pat Moore
Kayhi '51
E-mail: revillades[at]
La Quinta, CA - USA

About: "Came to Ktn in 1936 for grandmother's funeral and brought here permanently in 1937. Lived in last house on Edmonds ST. "51 Kayhi Grad. Married Des Moore, who came in 1947, had 4 kids, construction co. and lastly Waterfall Cannery. Active in various clubs, St. John's church. Worked at Model Cleaners, Lattin Cleaners, Ktn Theatre Ballet & KRBD."


Related Article:

Boom Town, Ketchikan in the 1950s By DAVE KIFFER - The years immediately after World War II were lean ones in Ketchikan.

While the Depression had had less of an effect here than elsewhere in the country, the economic boost of the war years had artificially supported the local economy. With the end of the war, it became obvious that the dominant industry - the canned salmon industry - was in sharp decline and as the fishing industry waned so did Ketchikan. - More...
Monday - February 20, 2006



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


Write a Letter -------Read Letters

E-mail the Editor

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska