Small Town News


Simpson dispatch building frozen in time

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

- Advertisement -

The calendar on the wall shows June 2015, but aside from the layer of dust, it still looks like employees conduct business inside the dispatch office at the former Simpson Timber Co. mill on the Shelton waterfront.

Coffee cups and personal knickknacks adorn desks. Hats and coats hang from hooks. Electronic clocks blink red.

The deserted wooden building, constructed in about 1947, looks like the aftermath of a "zombie apocalypse," noted Shelton City Commissioner Tracy Moore.

Moore and a group of volunteers, including former mill employees, on Tuesday searched through the building for artifacts for a possible museum in the railroad roundhouse next door to the shack.

Moore, who served for 20 years on the city's historical preservation board, said she hopes to convince roundhouse owner Simpson Timber Co. to make the building available for a museum and an active station for short tourist trips.

In the meantime, current tenant Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) needs to move the wooden building to make way for utilities for the company's new mill. SPI offered the building to the city, and all three city commissioners at the board meeting on March 21 expressed interest in moving and preserving the building.

But at the commission's meeting last week, Moore announced that SPI reported the building has asbestos. It makes more sense to remove items from the building, which is about 300 or 400 square feet, and place them in a replica building in a museum, she said.

Cliff Carter, who worked in the roundhouse from 1990 until its closing last year, was among the volunteers sifting through the dispatch building. He spotted a dusty golf club leaning against the wall; next to it is one golf ball, inside a Christmas-themed coffee cup.

"Guys on the railroad knew how to relax and have fun," he said.

Carter also pointed out a small picture on the wall of the dispatch office that shows the cartoon donkey Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh fame and the words "Work is a pain in the

"That thing was here when I came in 1990," he said with a chuckle.

Carter also pointed to a plastic machine on the wall.

"A lot of people would like to smash that," he said.

"What's that?" Moore asked.

"The time clock," he replied.

"We have to save that!" she said.

The volunteers are looking for a place to store the items.

For more information, call Moore at 426-0163.

Copyright 2016 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: April 21, 2016

More from Shelton-Mason County Journal