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Shelton Mason County Journal
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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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AN EARLY AMERICAN work of liturgical art is this hand-carved lectern in St. Hugh's Episcopal Church at Allyn. It was made in 1840 of native black walnut for St. Paul's Church, Brooklyn, N.Y. key. D. J. Maddux brought it from there in 1964, repaired and refinished it, and placed it in the church when he reopened St. Hugh's. The eagle, he said, is a medieval symbol for the Gospel, which flies to the ends of the earth, and of St. John. Similar lecterns have been used in Britain for centuries. EXPERT HANDLERS with spotless equipment pack plump, tender shelled oysters into glass jars for refrigeration and a fast trip to Pacific Coast markets. Page S-82 - Shelton-Mason County Journal - Thursday, June 17, 1971 J oth the and wste o_P Countw: ntz4bute to the livelihood of r sidente of AIIxn, one the county's ee.rly ~et~emente which continues .to.~ prosper ~X. Situated on North Bay at the head of Case Inlet and surrounded by miles of second gTowth timberland, Allyn shil oysters from the bay and from the woods floral Kreenery and Christmas trees. One of the largest distributors of these products is R. G. / irk and Company. Its shed is an important source of income for "brush pickers" and sorters. From Allyn, Kirk and other county shippers move large quantities of salal, evergreen huckleberry, and sword fern to a wide market. A recent Forest Service report listed a year's produc- tion as 600,000 bushels of green huckleberry, 17,500 of red- leaved "huck", 300,000 of salal, and 99,400 of sword fern. Kirk and other concerns are aiso large shippers of Christmas trees grown around Allyn. Three commercial oyster farms on Case Inlet are based there. One of Mason County's first saw mills, powered by a water wheel, was built in 1854 at the mouth of Sherwood Creek by Joe Sherwood, known as the Hercules of Allyn. He stood 6 feet 7 inches and weighed 300 pounds. Settled in 1853, the town was named for Judge Allyn of Tacoma, a celebrated jurist of that period. It is now the trade center of a community of 750 served by the AI- lyn post office. Allyn's tiny white clapboard village church has been reopened at St. Hugh's Episcopal Community Church. The church was built in 1909 and used until 1950 by the Congregationalists, after which it was closed most of the time. Imbedded in the altar is a stone from Lincoln Cathedral in England, built in the 13th century as the shrine of St. Hugh where the saint is buried. The church also has a beautiful carved wooden lectern in the shape of an eagle, made in New York in 1840. The original bronze bell is still used. A landmark is the Allyn House, a large frame struc- ture now used as a rest home which was formerly a board- ing house. There is a legend that this building was floated and towed up the inlet from Grapeview many years ago. A native of Mason County and a visiting relative whc has become a permanent resident together contribute an estimated $1,000,000 a year to the economy of the county's tidewater communities. The native is the Olympia oyster, a tiny bivalve cele- brated for its delicate flavor. It is also high priced be- cause among other cost factors about $15,000 an acre is invested to plant a bed of Olympias. The naturalized citi- zen is the Pacific oyster, a much larger variety, whose seed is imported from the Orient. Olympias are great in cocktails. But for real eating the Pacifics take the prize. They usually appear in a nest of parsley, deep fried or grilled. Or, on a cold night, in a steaming bowl of stew, dressed with butter and floating islands of crackers. Either of these will stop conversation for long periods of delightful ingestion. That is why, besides contributing a valuable export item to local trade, these oysters provide seafood lovers with one of their best reasons for coming to Mason County. Visitors may find them at their freshest, direct from many producers at roadside stands. The shellfish are propagated and harvested on "farms" which lie beneath the brackish waters of the Puget Sound inlets which lace northern and eastern Mason County. The harvest peak is between September and April, but harvesting is feasible, depending on demand, throughout the year. Olympias, in fact, are in greatest demand during the summer. The oysters are gathered by dredges, cleaned, then opened by nimble-fingered women, packed in glass jars, iced, and shipped. Some go by air freight as far as the East coast, midwest, and Texas. The big markets are San Francisco and Los Angeles. Commercial beds occupy hundreds of acres of tide- lands. Oyster Bay or Totten Inlet is the center of produc- tion with 15 commercial operators. Visitors are welcome from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at the larg. est of these, the Olympia Oyster Company. There are also two commercial oyster farms on Oak- land Bay, four off Harstine Island, four in the vicinity of Allyn, and four north of Hoodsport on Hood Canal. CARL JOHNSON DICK KNAUF 426-8110 MORLEY PREPPERNAU WILMA DOWNING VINCE HIMLIE, Broker DAVE THACHER DICK BOLLING Closing Broker 426-8162 1717 OLYMPIC HIGHWAY NORTH Call 426-2646 "SKIP" HESS Thursday, June 17, 1971 - Shelton-Mason County Journal - Page S-1