|Work hours||Add information|
|About||Monthly community newspaper covering the Upper Skagit Valley and Darrington. Concrete Herald publishes the first Wednesday of each month.|
The Concrete Herald was actually the second generation of another Skagit County newspaper. F. J. Wilcox launched the Hamilton Herald on Nov. 23, 1901, west of Concrete in the town of Hamilton. Hans J. Bratlie, a Norwegian immigrant, took over the paper in 1903 and it soon evolved into the Hamilton Herald-Recorder. Sometime in 1912, Bratlie moved the newspaper to Concrete, which was booming rapidly with the payrolls from two cement plants.
On March 13, 1915, Bratlie’s three-story Concrete Herald building on Main Street burned to the ground, and on July 2, seven more buildings burned. They were rapidly rebuilt of fireproof concrete, but Bratlie, frustrated with these events, moved his family to Ridgefield, Washington.
During the next 14 years, Bratlie sold the building, equipment, and newspaper to a series of transient buyers. The town experienced a boom from 1923–26 with the construction of the dam on the Baker River, but by 1929 the publishers moved on and that is when Charles M. “Chuck” Dwelley came into the picture.
Dwelley and his first wife, Helen, had settled in Concrete permanently by the time of the 1930 Federal Census. They lived on West Main Street with their son, Arthur. They published the Herald weekly in a small building that now houses the town’s dentist. During the Depression years, an old Ford dealership failed and Chuck took over the building and remodeled it into a modern printing plant.
Dwelley served as the publisher-editor of the Concrete Herald for more than 40 years, reaching a readership that stretched from Lyman to the west, all the way to the North Cascades and elsewhere in Washington, via subscriptions. He began publishing in 1929 and sold the paper in late 1970 to Robert and June Fader. The Faders kept the community institution in print till 1989, handing the editorship to Anne Bussiere in 1984.
Bussiere served as editor till 1989, when the town was shocked to discover that the paper had been sold to John and Mae Falavolito. Bussiere