Thrift - AWS Observation Post
AWS in Washington
This aircraft observation location was located near Graham, in Pierce County. Development in this area has greatly increased since the early 1940s. Even then, the preferred location for a observation post was on private land, owned by Ed Thrift. Thrift is also the name of the small community just East of Graham. Permission was granted for the AWS to build a building on private property, but after the war, things got a little sticky. A letter was sent to the owner asking for permission to sell it to the highest bidder and remove the building. (Read letter below).
When Ed Thrift got wind of this letter, he sent his own letter to F.V. Horton, the Assistant Regional Forester saying:
To reply to your question very frankly, I would like to own the building myself, and since it is on my property and I can very well make use of it, I would not willingly allow it to be removed. In view of the fact that the building was placed on my property without my consent, and without rental, I feel that I should have first consideration. To clarify this statement I must explain that I am the legal owner of this property where my mother and brothers have lived for some 40 years. Because of this my mother and brothers often assume responsibilities which are not legally theirs. This was the case in this instance. I was in Alaska at the time and my mother signed an agreement to have the building placed on this property, not as my proxy, but as owner. She was 82 years old at the time and I believe she had forgotten that the title passed from her to me many years ago.
Location: SE1/4, NW1/4 of Sec.14 T18N R4E
Structure: 14 x 32 house
Owner of Land at Time: Ed Thrift
1951 Metsker Map showing property owned by Mr. Thrift
Location of Thrift AWS
Aerial view today and roughly the area it was located
Parcel view 2016, still owned by one owner south of the railroad tracks.