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They’ll cross that bridge when they come to it

The original combined Poulsbo Grade and High School.  When the Grade School moved into its new building up on Lincoln Road in the early 1920s, the Poulsbo High School took over the whole building. - Photo courtesy of the Poulsbo Historical Society
The original combined Poulsbo Grade and High School. When the Grade School moved into its new building up on Lincoln Road in the early 1920s, the Poulsbo High School took over the whole building.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Poulsbo Historical Society

t Strikes,

transportation issues effect last half of ‘30s.

Editor’s note: The information and photos in this story were compiled by the Poulsbo Historical Society.

Still ravaged by the Depression, North End residents were living day-to-day in the era that was the last half of the 1930s. While the economy stayed weak, transportation issues took the main stage. Through road project funding, the state both improved the infrastructure of the North End and supplied much-needed jobs.

It’s the economy, stupid

In a story line that continues to this day, transportation and the economy collided in the mid-1930s. And the result was bad. From 1933 to 1937, the national unemployment rate fell from 25 percent to 9 percent, allowing workers the luxury to focus on improving their working conditions and fair pay.

Fishermen were the first workers to take their rights to the extreme and strike in August 1935. Frustrated at the packers for cutting the price to fish, many fishermen packed up their waders and looked for other work.

Ferry workers created mass transportation chaos when they walked off their jobs in 1935. While the dates of the strike are unknown, the effects of the strike — and the public’s opinion of it —are well-documented.

Many North Enders relied on the daily ferry service to get to the “metropolitan centers,” thus avoiding a 200-mile, one-way trip through Olympia.

The public tide was torn, as many felt compassion for the workers but were frustrated by how the strike was affecting their everyday life. From the Nov. 22, 1935 Kitsap County Herald: “For some time the citizens of the Puget Sound district, and those in the west side of the Sound in particular, have been greatly incommoded by the steamship strike. Not only inconvenienced to a great extent, but actually put to considerable loss in not being able to reach the market center, as well as perishable produce going to waste.

While this writer has all the sympathy possible for the laborer, being one such himself, nevertheless the question naturally intrudes itself, What about the other fellow? And, what is gained by such a strike?

It would appear that arbitration should be able to solve all such questions without seriously inconveniencing thousands of other people and causing untold loss never to be regained by the laborer. If the union expects to have the continued sympathy of the public in general, some consideration must be given it.”

The strike led to the downfall of the long-troubled Kitsap County Transportation Co., leaving only the Black Ball Line to serve Kitsap County’s water transportation needs.

They’ve got the funds,

but not the time

In April 1937, the state recognized the need for — and funded — a bridge to connect Bainbridge to North Kitsap. The state offered funding of $200,000 for the bridge’s construction. The state was making good on a promise to the Kitsap County commissioners who had kicked in $1,000 for the project August 1936 and began efforts to entice state and federal governments to contribute financially.

Once the money was in place, the project was delayed by the outbreak of World War II, said Judy Driscoll of the Poulsbo Historical Society. The bridge wasn’t completed until 1950.

No more dust in the wind

Dusty days on the roadways came to an end sometime after June 1935. The state superintendent of the state highway force, Superintendent Hutchins, stopped by the North End to conduct a road-oiling seminar. He was recognized as an expert in the field. His seminar served as the platform to get the Poulsbo-Suquamish road oiled.

Speaking of cars

On Jan. 1, 1937, the Kitsap County Herald offered its readers a suggested New Year’s resolution: “Never to park their private cars on the main street of town, particularly not on Saturdays. Lack of parking facilities on busy days of the week is quite inconvenient for out-of-town shoppers. Let us relieve this condition somewhat by removing our own cars from the shopping district.”

Technology lays

a golden egg

Opdal poultry farm and hatcher purchased a new egg hatcher that increased its unit capacity 25 percent to 5,400 eggs. After 18 days of incubation, the eggs were transferred to the hatcher. The hatcher was ventilated and humidified, which ensured the chicks were stronger. This, at the time, was the cutting edge in hatchery technology.

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