(also known as Carbide Island)
have circulated since the beginning of this state about Blaine Island.
Almost everyone has heard about the great watermelons grown there
and how people strung Trot Lines from the island to the South Side
which would catch so many fish that they had to use bushel baskets to
carry them . Oddly enough, the island wasnt named for the man who
own it: Fleming Cobb. It was named for the man who
supposedly traded a Musket for the island from Cobb named Charles
Blaine. Both of these men's descendants still live in the valley.
I will attempt to place the history of the island in time line
|We jump ahead to 1926. The
island is void of trees, except around the perimeter. Most likely
it was cleared for farming and used that way until flooding ended
that idea. By 1926 the island was a very large space that owners
wanted to make money from, and one of the ways they came up with
was to hold an air show on the island....|
order to have an air show with free parking, a pontoon bridge was built
for the cars to drive over. The stunts performed in that day were
absolutely amazing, especially when Shorty Radack "
the only man in the world who jumps from a speeding airplane to
the ground the aid of a parachute or other apparatus". He would climb
down a rope ladder and slide in the grass to a stop
. Sure the planes were slow, but a pretty good stunt none the
less. "You must be on the island to see the stunts"? What,
did they place a 1000 foot curtain around the island?|
After that it was thought the island would make a good Tourist Camp
But that didnt pan out because Carbide was on it's way.
And in 1929, Carbide purchased the island with the idea of using only half of it,
with the other half being sold as a housing development. Can you imagine?
A real bridge had to be built:
It's interesting to note that the rock from the Hawks Nest Tunnel
was used to shore-up the island during this time period....
The idea of housing was dropped and Carbide took the entire island.
By 1936, the old Blaine family cemetery was moved....
rest as they say, is history. Carbide over the years would have
newsworthy events from time to time from the island. Things would
blow up and men were killed. But anytime you have industry, you
have accidents. The island still supports the chemical industry
to this day.|
If you have any old photos of the island. please contact me.