This month in Walla Walla Valley’s history:

10 Years Ago (2009)

On June 1, a concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church raises money for a new piano.

On June 3, Key Technology Inc. is named winner of the 2009 Progressive Manufacturing Award. Also, Cartridge World will soon open in Walla Walla.

On June 4, swine flu is reported in Walla Walla County.

On June 5, a storm crashes through the area but the crops seem to be OK. A cold front came in from the southeast — the prevailing wind is usually from the southwest, and this front clashed with the warm air in the Valley. Wind gusts were measured at 43 mph at the Walla Walla Regional Airport; rain was between .5-1.5 inches with some small hail.

On June 14, Walla Walla is to be honored as recipient of the 2009 Smart Communities Award. Also Walla Walla University graduated 50 nurses in a pinning ceremony Saturday night.

On June 21, Jacobi’s Cafe is reopened by original owner Vince Cannone.

On June 22, rain and cold weather didn’t hamper the 16th annual Diversity Day celebration.

On June 24, First Community Church raises a steeple on the building after 50-60 years without one.

25 Years Ago (1994)

On June 1, The Book Nook building will be remodeled to house about 11 retailers and six apartments in what will be known as the Die Brucke Building. The old store has been vacant since last August, when the Book Nook Drug closed after almost a century in that location.

On June 3, the Drumheller Sports Center is nearing completion on an expansion that added 8,000 square feet to the existing 22,000-square-foot store. The addition comes from expanding into the old Marsh Furniture Building next door at 9 W. Alder St.

On June 5, construction and remodeling is set to start at Green Park Elementary School, to be complete by fall 1995. Also Friday’s rain didn’t dampen strawberry picking at Klicker’s.

On June 12, yesterday’s Wings Over Walla Walla Air Show included demos, aerobatics, parachuting and more to a large and enthusiastic crowd.

On June 16, the year’s sweet onion crop is high quality and a smaller size. Weather has been kind to the crop this year. Officials at Walla Walla gardeners association say onions are healthier, clean and free of disease more than in past years.

On June 20, recent chilly temperatures have improved the yield of the ongoing pea harvest.

50 Years Ago (1969)

On June 3, a fire has destroyed the Milton-Freewater Odd Fellows Lodge in the North Business district. The city’s four fire trucks, the boom truck and a crane were used to battle the fire.

On June 5, the sawmill and planing mill at the edge of the city have been sold to the Georgia-Pacific Corp. The 30-acre site should come to employ 40 workers. Also a new, all-time heat record has been set for June 4. The Walla Walla Federal Savings and Loan time and temperature sign showed 103 degrees at 5:06 p.m.

On June 6, two barges carrying 185,000 pounds of wheat are lodged under the railroad bridge near Burbank. Also, the newly renovated Borleske Stadium awaits the Walla Walla Bears to begin workouts in the Northwest League Campaign.

On June 9, Michele Smith is the new Miss Walla Walla 1969. Cynthia Ann Crudup is first runner up. Saralyn Kaye Whitehead, Julia Marie Cassell and Patty Dorann Blacklaw were finalists. Donna Lavonn Brunson was named Miss Congeniality. The crown was given by 1968 Miss Walla Walla Patsy Ann Dodd at the fifth annual pageant held this year at Cordiner Hall.

On June 19, an unconventional refreshment booth, 606 Hope St., is in business. For 5 cents you can get cocoa or milk. The business venture is run by Tina Ketta and Kevin Grabner.

75 Years Ago (1944)

On June 1, the paper reports that 10 German prisoners of war are being transported to Dayton to work in the cannery. They will work only in crating and boxing and will not have anything to do with preparation of food or sealing cans. Also, in a recent local survey, no Malaria-carrying mosquitoes were found here.

On June 8, after an intense car chase, Detective Alex Dietz, a former Whitman quarter-mile star, successfully chases the car thief on foot, much to the young thief’s surprise.

On June 9, a large tan dog, about 70 pounds, has been seen almost daily near a spot on the Milton Highway, about 300 yards west of the Hell’s Forty junction. Rain or shine, in the evenings the dog is there, evidently waiting for its lost master or mistress. It’s thought the dog last saw his person at that place, so it returns every day to locate the loved one. Also, Libby, McNeill and Libby cannery needs workers for this year’s large crop of peas.

On June 14, Walla Walla Canning Co. started its annual run on peas. Because of the large crop they have started both day and night shifts.

On June 17, a B-24 a liberator bomber from the Walla Walla airfield makes an emergency landing on a golf course in Enterprise, Ore.

On June 20, concern is growing about a lack of housing for combat military crews, wives and families. There is now no assurance of finding housing for families of military men.

On June 26, three fire departments join forces to put out a large grass fire at the VA Hospital. There was no damage to any buildings. McCaw General Hospital, Walla Walla City fire departments and the engine stationed at the VA Hospital worked together.

100 Years Ago (1919)

On June 8, local Chevrolet dealer Tierney-Toner Co., at Second Avenue and Poplar Street, is selling a Chevrolet 490 for $875.

On June 11, the Whitman Alumni reunion brings in 300-400 guests. The quarter centennial celebration honored President and Mrs. Penrose.

On June 17, Mary Pickford is starring in “Daddy Long Legs” at the Liberty Theater.

On June 22, Mrs. Etta McEachren wins a case against the city of Walla Walla, a damage suit due to a fall on a deteriorating wooden sidewalk in Green’s Addition. The city recently passed an ordinance requiring all wooden sidewalks to be replaced with concrete by Sept. 1.

On June 26, a crowd of about 35,000 gathers at the depot to greet the 146th artillery men returning home. The Welcome Home celebration includes a parade and the pathway strewn with flowers.

Karlene Ponti can be reached at or 509-526-8324.

Karlene Ponti began as Special Publications Writer in 1999, work includes Lifestyles, The Weekly and Business Monthly. After Wa-Hi, Ponti attended Whitman and is a UW graduate. Later she was ordained a Christian minister at CDM Spiritual Teaching Center.

Recommended for you