When the U.S. entered World War I a century ago this month, local news was dominated by — what else? — the spring salmon season.

One of the many fascinations of running a newspaper is the easy ability to travel in time by diving into archives and seeing what our journalistic ancestors were thinking about at any point. While most larger publications, including The Daily Astorian and the Oregonian, have long-since donated their old stacks to museums and libraries, at least for now the Chinook Observer’s historical volumes still reside within easy reach of my desk. They are, to me, an almost-living presence — a conscience and inspiration that prod me toward trying to comprehend how our lives mesh together across the decades.

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