Capt. McDowell Passes Away
Captain Mathew McDowell died in 1945. He was 98 years old. He had been an ever present personality, but not particularly active in community interaction. Various residents have called him a good businessman, tight, a man who enjoyed being a sourpuss, ornery, but generous to those he liked. O.D. Williams remembered him warmly as being quite generous. It seems that Captain McDowell received the daily newspaper which O.D. delivered. The price was 85 cents. When collection time came, O.D. could always expect a silver dollar and he could always keep the change. Janet Flynn, who owned Janet’s Table Supply, remembered an occasion when she was very young. She was coming to Dash Point on one of McDowell’s launches to visit he Grandfather Hillis. She had been ill with the measles and still had evidence of a rash. Captain McDowell invited her to the wheelwell so she would not mingle with the passengers. To make the event more memorable, he premitted her to steer the boat.
Browns Pt. Shopping Center
After the war there were two major occurrences. In 1946 the Browns Point Shopping Center was built by a man named Nygard. It housed the grocery store which was operated by Charles Jackson from the old grocery store. It was later taken over by Curt Otto. The “Yukon Fountain,” a drugstore which also served hamburgers and soda was first managed by Jack Robinson and Dick Rodenhurst. People who grew up on the points remember that the last two booths were always reserved for teenagers. A hardware store was managed by George Oathout and Ed Blye. There was also Lloyd Haworth’s barbershop and a dry cleaning store.
Gordon Dowling soon purchased the shopping center plus the telephone building and eventually the property between the Episcopal Church and the shopping center. As years passed the grocery business was sold to a man named Manley and then to Elmer Bergman whom everyone called Bergy. Otis and Edith Neal eventually purchased the drug store business from Jack Robinson. The dry cleaning shop, barber shop, and hardware store closed.
Salmon Bakes Begin
The other major event in 1946 was the debut of the Browns Point Salmon Bake. The community had a dire need for a new clubhouse. Arnold Smith was president of the Improvement Club at the time. In an effort to earn money for a new building, he promoted the Salmon Bake by persuading ten people on the point to donate $50.00 each to finance the venture. Jerry Meeker, then in his eighties, became the adviser to the chefs (rather than the chiefs this time) of the bake. The playfield was cleared specifically for the two-day event. For several years girls vied for the title of Princess of the Salmon Bake. The winner was determined by which one had sold the most tickets. Events at the first salmon bake included the coronation, innumerable kinds of native dancing, equestrian drill teams, boat racing, puppeteers, skin diving exhibitions, totem pole carving exhibitions, and a an evening dance. The first salmon bake was sold out of salmon in the first few hours. Jerry Meeker played himself, the weather profit and storyteller dressed in his native regalia.
After the war Dash Point resumed its Dash Point Dock Dinners during uneven years while Browns Point held their Salmon Bakes on even numbered years. This proved to be a very workable arrangement between the two clubs. Since the projects required an extreme amount of preparation and work, it was very appealing to do it every other year and secondly, it was a marvelous way to support the other club.