Title Historical Note Scope and Content Note
Administrative Information Notes on Arrangement Inventory
 

Waterfront Oral History Project records

Inventory


Series I. Interview Files, 2006

Series II. Audio Recordings, 2006

Series III. Audio-Visual Recordings, 2006

Series IV. Student Writings, 2006

Series V. Reference materials, circa 1926-2006
 

Note to researchers: Some of the interviews in this collection are restricted. Please contact the repository for further information.


Series I. Interview Files, 2006
 

1/1 Name: Andersen, John
Interviewer: Tracy Dihle
Date: 2006 May 4
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Andersen briefly describes his personal background which led him to a career at GP’s pulp mill in Bellingham, WA. He held various jobs at the mill like process engineer, production supervisor, environmental manager, tissue mill technical services manager, and manager of alcohol and lignin operations. Mr. Anderson briefly describes the busy face of Bellingham’s waterfront when he first arrived in the city in 1977. He suggests that GP became increasingly concerned with environmental issues in the 1970s, and then discusses how the company addressed those issues. He describes the research into other uses for the chemical byproducts of the pulping process that took place at the mill. Mr. Andersen suggests that GP led the forest products industry in the area of mill safety. He talks about an energy crisis in 2001, which he believes led to the eventual closure of the pulp mill. He discusses the community's changing attitude toward the Bellingham mill and also speculates about the future of Bellingham's waterfront.


1/2 Name: Blackmore, Ken
Interviewer: David Lewis
Date: 2006 March 1
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Blackmore talks about growing up in Coventry, England during World War II, and then moving to Bellingham, WA to work at the GP mill. He describes the pulping process, substances such as alpha cellulose, as well as chemical byproducts like thixotropic, Quebracho, and Multi KEMIN. Mr. Blackmore was involved in research and development, through which he and his colleagues discovered ways of using those byproducts in other industries like oil drilling, coal mining, cement production, and agriculture. While employed at GP, he was awarded a Shibley Award for outstanding contribution to science. He talks about safety issues associated with mill work, noting a personal experience involving a lab explosion. He talks briefly about strikes at the pulp mill, also describing the nature of relationships between mill employees and individuals throughout the community. Mr. Blackmore concludes by speculating about the future of Bellingham's waterfront.


1/3 Name: Brooks, Frank C.
Interviewer: Allison Ampe
Date: 2006 April 18
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Brooks served in the Navy before becoming employed as a safety engineer at GP’s Bellingham mill. He describes the Bellingham waterfront during the 1960s, and discusses a changing sense of community as the city grew and modernized. He talks about GP’s taking over the Puget Sound Pulp and Timber Co. mill site, suggesting that there was a loss in closeness between individuals within the company at that time. Mr. Brooks describes the responsibilities associated with his position, as well as the various processes of the plant and the attitudes of the community regarding the pollution caused by those processes. Mr. Brooks suggests that GP gave a great deal back to the community throughout the mill’s existence. He also talks briefly about how world events such as overseas trade freezes affected operations at the plant.


1/4 Name: Brown, Frank
Interviewer: Allison Ampe
Date: 2006 April 25
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Brown briefly describes his family background and education prior to employment as an octave setter/torch welder at GP's Bellingham pulp mill. He describes growing up in Bellingham and the nature of the waterfront during the first half of the twentieth century. He discusses attitudes towards mill work during the early days of the plant, noting that GP employees held a strict loyalty for the company and closeness with their fellow mill workers. He describes a typical day for workers in various operations throughout the plant, pointing out the many dangers inherent in that work. Mr. Brown notes that many GP employees entered the service during World War II, suggesting that the importance of paper products to the war effort meant that many women had opportunities to fill those positions. He talks briefly about how environmental legislation affected his job, and also discusses his involvement with the union and its rising influence on factory work. Mr. Brown talks about the community's changing perception towards the plant, expressing his hopes for future generations' attitudes towards the plant. He concludes by describing what he would like to see happen to the waterfront in the future.


1/5 Name: Darby, Orman
Interviewer: Allison Ampe
Date: 2006 February 27
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Darby briefly gives his background including religious upbringing, education, and work history prior to becoming the public relations manager at the GP mill. He describes the face of the Bellingham waterfront in the 1970s, noting the rapid expansion of the town in the following few decades, as well as the community's changing feelings towards the mill during that time. Mr. Darby talks about some of the most significant developments at the mill including the creation and dissolution of the various plants and the workers' strike of 1978-1979. He talks about the various uses for chemical byproducts of the pulping process, which revolutionized many industries around the world. Mr. Darby discusses the impact of World War II and the importance of the mill to the war effort. He also talks about how environmental legislation affected operations at the mill. He speculates about the cause and effect relationships that resulted in the creation and termination of industries throughout the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Darby concludes with his thoughts about the future of the waterfront.


1/6 Name: Harvey, Larry
Interviewer: Scott Ranney, David Albright
Date: 2006 May 9
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Harvey talks about his place of birth, education, and family background, and also describes the Bellingham waterfront during the 1950s. He talks about a typical day of work as a slipman and pipefitter in the GP pulp mill. He also describes some of the byproducts created during the pulping process that were useful in other industries. He talks extensively about his involvement with the union and its influence on jobs at the mill. He also discusses positive aspects of working at the plant including the camaraderie shared among employees. Mr. Harvey talks about the presence of mercury in chlorine plant operations, pointing out the influence of environmentalist groups and the community's changing perception of the mill. He describes some of the most important events in the mill's history including the workers’ strikes and the mill's being taken over by GP in the 1960s. He talks about what he would like future generations to remember about the Bellingham plant, and his thoughts regarding the future of the waterfront and the mill site.

1/7 Name: Irwin, Homer
Interviewer: Kenneth McAllister
Date: 2006 March 13
Transcript: Available in-house.


1/8 Name: Locker, Hugh
Interviewer: Sarah Schwartz
Date: 2006 May 3
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Locker talks about where and when he was born, his family life and religious upbringing, and his educational background through which he became a chemist. He describes the busy face of Bellingham's waterfront and the nature of the city during the 1960s. He talks about purchasing a house in Whatcom County in the 1960s, and describes what life was like for him and his wife as they tried to raise a family in the area. Throughout the interview, Mr. Locker provides a great amount of detail regarding his work in research and as a shift foreman. He also describes the pulping process itself, and the various byproducts of the pulping process and their uses in other industries. He notes that the standards for cleanliness and safety at the mill became more stringent, suggesting that GP remained at the forefront of environmental consciousness despite attitudes to the contrary from many within the community. He describes the changing nature of relationships among mill employees that resulted from the creation of the union, while also sharing his fondest memories from working at the pulp mill.


1/9 Name: Loney, Jarve and Bob Elsner
Interviewer: Kenneth McAllister
Date: 2006 May 17
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Loney begins the interview and Mr. Elsner joins him shortly thereafter. Mr. Loney briefly discusses growing up in Ferndale, his early education, and the various jobs he held before starting work at the GP pulp mill. At the plant, Mr. Loney initially worked in the paperboard mill and Mr. Elsner in the bleach plant. The two men describe the creation of the chlorine plant where they both ended up working. They talk about plant equipment including the hydropulper and mercury trap/sump pump, and also the various substances produced during the pulping process such as phosphoric and sulfuric acids. The two men talk about the union and worker strikes that occurred during the 1970s, also listing what was negotiated into the contracts as a result of those strikes. Mr. Loney and Mr. Elsner discuss the dynamics between individuals in different roles at the mill. They also discuss the hazards associated with mill work, noting that the working environment became safer over time as regulations tightened and certain activities were terminated.

1/10 Name: Magnusson, Norval
Interviewer: Samantha Cross
Date: 2006 February 20
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Magnusson describes his background including his birthplace, education, experiences during World War II, and the circumstances that brought him to Bellingham. He describes his first position as process engineer at GP, which culminated in his becoming mill manager. He describes the nature of pulp production and the development of the bleach plant. He talks about technological innovations and research such as pneumatic instrumentation that improved efficiency and/or product quality. He also describes plant equipment such as spray dryers and Centra cleaners. Mr. Magnusson describes the leadership of Erik Ekholm and Ossian Anderson, both of whom were important figures at the plant. He discusses worker attitudes and labor disputes such as the argument over the saw filer/knife grinder position. He also gives his personal perspective on environmental issues like mercury emissions. Mr. Magnusson describes the relationship of the pulp plant with Western Washington University and the media, including coverage by 60 Minutes. He talks about the plant's changing role in the community, concluding with his opinion about the future of the waterfront and the economic base of the county.


1/11 Name: McCandless, Jim
Interviewer: Kimberly Jacobsen
Date: 2006 May 8
Transcript: Available at repository.
Description:
Mr. McCandless describes growing up in Ireland, his military career with the Irish Army and British Navy, and the process of immigrating to Bellingham. He explains the paper-making process, and the differences between pulp mill workers and paper mill workers. He describes the health problems, safety issues and pollution associated with substances that were present at the plant such as sodium bichromate and DDT. Mr. McCandless discusses GP's acquisition of the Puget Sound Pulp and Timber Co. and the changing dynamics of the company resulting from that merger. At one point during his career, Mr. McCandless was president of the Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers. He talks about traveling up and down the west coast teaching employees, including groups of African-American and Latino individuals, about the benefits of the union. He also talks the pulp mill strikes of the 1970s, and the subsequent emergence of insurance policies and health benefits for employees, as well as equal rights for female workers in industrial jobs. Mr. McCandless discusses the different groups of immigrants that came to Bellingham at the time, also mentioning the discrimination he encountered as an Irish immigrant. He concludes with his thoughts about the future of the waterfront.

 

1/12 Name: Neal, John Alexander
Interviewer: Julie Jaballas
Date: 2006 May 10
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Neal discusses his experience working for American Viscose in Pennsylvania before becoming employed with the Georgia-Pacific Corporation. He talks about attending college at Eastern Washington State College, and his later experiences doing lab work for the army. Mr. Neal then worked as byproducts research chemist and then product development director at GP’s pulp mill. He describes many of the substances like lingo-sulfonates that were produced during the pulping process. Many of them were then converted into useful byproducts such as micronutrient fertilizers, Q-broxin, and dye dispersants. Mr. Neal discusses the ways that Bellingham has changed since the 1970s. He discusses how World War II triggered a boom in chemical research, noting that Puget Sound Pulp and Timber played a critical role in that effort. Mr. Neal discusses environmental and pollution issues, specifically mercury emissions and the mill’s treatment lagoon.

1/13 Name: Oehler, Don
Interviewer: Kelsey Dosen
Date: 2006 May 4
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description:
Mr. Oehler describes his background growing up in Portland, Oregon, and Grand Forks, North Dakota. At the Bellingham mill, he worked as a project engineer for the technical group, start-up engineer for the chlorine plant, and then paperboard operation manager. He talks in detail about the pulping process, explaining how byproducts like multi-tracin could be used in other industries. He also points out the company's great financial contribution to Bellingham, but suggests that the community's attitude toward the mill changed over time as a result of industrial pollution and new environmental legislation. Mr. Oehler describes union activity, labor negotiations, and strikes at the mill. He talks about the global market today, pointing out how technology changed all industry throughout the world. He expresses his feelings regarding the mill's closure, his thoughts about the potential for young people to find meaningful employment in this area, and his hopes for the future of Bellingham's waterfront.

1/14 Name: Parker, Archie
Interviewer: Unknown, summary by David Albright
Date: undated
Transcript: Available online and at repository. 
Description:
Mr. Parker talks about the various positions he held at GP’s Bellingham pulp mill, including that of floor boy, converter, supervisor, and then working in maintenance and the auto shop. He discusses the workers’ strike, describing what he did to occupy his time while not working. He talks about an explosion in the steam plant and a power crisis, both of which lead to increased safety and environmental regulations. He speculates about fluctuations in the worldwide pulp market that, combined with other economic factors, he believes led to the eventual closure of the mill. He talks about the changing attitudes of the community towards the mill, and concludes by praising GP for giving him a good life in Bellingham.


1/15 Name: Perry, Richard
Interviewer: Samantha Cross, Karlene Kolesnikov, David Lewis, Kenneth McAllister
Date: 2006 February 9
Transcript: Available online and at repository.
Description: This interview took place at the Georgia-Pacific mill site on Bellingham’s waterfront. Mr. Perry gave the interviewers a tour of the mill as it was being dismantled, pointing out and describing the buildings, equipment and machinery. He begins the interview by talking about his background, noting that he is a life-long Bellingham resident. He discusses the history of the mill and describes the milling and papermaking processes in great detail, from logging the trees to producing rolls of toilet paper. Mr. Perry talks about the lignin research that was done at the mill through which a number of byproducts were created and used in other industries throughout the world. He discusses economic issues associated with both the pulping and byproducts side of the mill’s operations, as well as the international pulping industry as a whole. He talks about the changing relationship between the mill, Western Washington University, and the community of Bellingham as a result of growing environmental concerns in the 1970s, describing in detail some of the specific issues that were addressed during those times.

2/1 Name: Runestrand, Art
Interviewer: Unknown, summary by David Albright
Date: undated
Transcript: Available online and at repository. 
Description:
Mr. Runestrand began working at the pulp mill as a training director and then moved to assistant industrial management director where his major concern was with the health and safety of mill employees. He points out that, early on, relationships among employees at the mill were very good. He then discusses the labor strike of the 1970s, explaining how the mill continued to operate by using salaried staff and supervisors to cover empty shifts. He talks about some the repercussions of being one of the employees who stayed on, including having tacks and nails strewn across his driveway, finding his house covered in graffiti, and even receiving a death threat. He also mentions that there were attempts to sabotage operations at the mill but they were always thwarted by security. Mr. Runestrand talks about creating an alcoholism recovery program at the mill that provided support to employees. He also describes an educational program that helped employees complete their high school diplomas. He speculates about causes for the mill's closure while also commenting on the community's changing attitudes towards the company. He concludes with optimistic remarks regarding the future of Bellingham's waterfront.

2/2 Name: Zangari, Don (also conservation between Zangari, Don and Jim Thompson)
Interviewer: Sharon Stultz
Date: 2006 May 6
Transcript: Restricted - please see repository for details.
Description:
 

Series II. Audio Recordings, 2006

Access format: mp3 on CD unless otherwise noted

2/3 Andersen, John, 2006 May 4
2/4 Blackmore, Ken, 2006 March 1
2/5 Brooks, Frank, 2006 April 18

2/6 Brown, Frank, 2006 April 25

2/7 Darby, Orman, 2006 March 1
2/8 Harvey, Larry, 2006 May 9

2/9 Irwin, Homer, 2006 September 28
2/10 Locker, Hugh 2006 May 3
2/11 Loney, Jarve and Bob Elsner, 2006 September 28

2/12 Magnusson, Norval, 2006 February 20
2/13 McCandless, Jim, 2006 May 8
2/14 Neal, John Alexander, 2006 May 10

2/15 Parker, Archie, 2006

 

Box 3

 

3/1 Perry, Richard, 2006 February 9

3/2 Runestrand, Art, 2006
3/3 Zangari, Don (including Zangari and Jim Thompson conversation), 2006 June 14 - Restricted - please see repository for details.

 

Series III: Audio-Visual Recordings, 2006

Format: MiniDV unless otherwise noted

3/4 Darby, Orman, 2006 February 27
3/5 Harvey, Larry, 2006 May 9
3/6 Magnusson, Norval, 2006 February 20
3/7 Parker, Archie, 2006 (access format: DVD)

 

Box 4

 

4/1 Perry, Richard, 2006 February 9

4/2 Runestrand, Art, 2006

 

Series IV. Student Writings, 2006

 

4/3 Petruzzi, Thomas, “Ossian Anderson and the Founding of Puget Sound Pulp and Timber in Bellingham, Washington,” 2006
4/4-4/5 Student journals, 2006

 

Series V. Reference Materials, circa 1926-2006

 

4/6 Articles and clippings, circa 1930-2000

4/7 Articles and clippings, circa 1926-1991

 

Oversize Folder


OV/1 Articles, clippings and documents, circa 1930s

 

Box 4


4/8 Albright, David - Documentary: "Smells Like Money: The Story of Bellingham’s Georgia Pacific Plant," 2006 (44 minutes)