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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
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June 17, 1971     Shelton Mason County Journal
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June 17, 1971

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mainland workers, 'and indications ot~ large scale recreational real estate development mark the initial phase of a new era for Harstine Island resulting from opening in 1969 of the $1,055,471 bridge which ended the island's isolation of nearly a century. Police, fire. ambulance, and school bus service have all been accelerated, according to Mason County Commissioner Martin Auseth in whose district the island is located. At least one life has been saved because the bridge made possible a faster ambulance response, Auseth said. Auseth also noted that several new families have moved to the island because it is now possible to get to jobs in Shelton or elsewhere on the mainland more conveniently. The county has inaugurated a road improvement program to accomodate increased traffic. The main North-South road has been widened and oiled. Tile Haskell Hill Road which leads to Jarrell's Cove has been widened and reduced in grade. Islanders must depend upon the State Department of" Natural Resources for fire protection. They are now, however, exploring the idea of forming their own fire district which would include portions of the mainland bordering Pickering Passage in the Agate area. Sheriff John D. Robinson reports the new bridge has certainly helped his department. Emergency calls are now greatly expedited and the frequency of patrols has been stepped up. School bus service has been greatly improved. Both elementary and high school students axe now picked up on the island instead of having a double wait, first for the ferry, then for the bus. Rapid progress is being made on development of "Harstene Pointe", a major recreational community on Dougal Point, the northern peninsula of the island. Quadrant Corporation, a subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Company, has constructed four sample duplex residential units and a community building with swimming pool. The community design provides for 372 building sites and 135 condominiums. Architectural control will be enforced. Half of the site, 128 acres, will be reserved as a green belt. Pickering and Peale Passages on the west side and Case Inlet on the east provide 32 miles of waterfront. A state marine park and private marina at Jarrell's Cove on the northwest end serve boaters for whom Harstine is a favorite port of call. BOATERS' HAVEN on Hartstine Island is Jarrell's Cove, a safe and beautiful harbor for small craft with public and private moorage. The island will get two new state parks when projects approved by the State Parks and Recreation Commission are funded. At Fudge Point on Case Inlet 141 acres with 3,000 feet of waterfront would be developed for picnicking, camping, and boating. . White settlers came to Harstine in the 1870's to log its abundant timber. They used oxen which had to swim to reach the island. Later horses were brought in by boat. Homesteaders followed the loggers. Some of the early lumbermen burned off their slash and planted forage crops for their oxen and horses. Eventually these fields became farms. Today much of the island is back in timber, with large holdings in tree farms. A good deal of RAPID PROGRESS is being made on construction of deluxe recreation home units at Harstene Pointe. a Weyerhaeuser subsidiary deveiopment. The other is 11 acres on McMicken Island with 3,000 feet of salt water frontage proposed for pleasure boat moorage, picnic facilities, and trails for explorers. The island is accessible at low tide by a sandbar connecting McMicken with Harstine. ,( floral greenery and a few Christmas trees are harvested. Among the first comers to Harstine was Robert Jarrell, for whom Jarrell's Cove is named. He established the first postoffice on the western side of the island. It was served by a mail boat from Shelton. A second postoffice was located at Ballow on the eastern side where mail was dropped off by steamships making regular trips from Tacoma to Allyn and Grapeview. The first school was opened in 1895 in cabin near Jarrell's Cove. As the island population grew and spread out there were several small schools. These were consolidated in 1925 when enough roads had been built to make possible bussing to a centrally located schoolhouse. Before 1922, when ferry service was established, the Typhoon and Tyee out of Tacoma, could be flagged down by islanders many of whom had landing floats moored near their farms. Those without floats would row out to board the steamers in mid-channel. Mason County inaugurated ferry service with the Harstine !, a sturdy log craft. In 1944 Harstine II took over and sewed until the bridge was opened. Telephone service did not come until 1946 when the telephone company succeeded in laying a permanent cable. In those pre-telephone days a brass bell suspended at the ferry landing was used in emergencies to call the ferry from the mainland. The island once had a newspaper, "The Ballow Breeze", printed by a talented and energetic old-timer, "Uncle Mose" Sutton. From 1910 until 1941 islanders were buried in a cemetery near Ballow. Cement tombstones were made on the island. Many of these are still visible through the moss and vines which now carpet the ancient burial ground. Page S-8- Shelton-Mason County Journal - Thursday, June 17, 1971 Family picnic on the shore at Lake Cushman State Park. Fishing on the Satsop River at Schaefer State Park. ? :;~i~ ~ . Thursday, June 17, 1971 - Shelton-Mason County Journal - Page S-85