I arrived in Richland in March 1944 (age 8) and was blessed to move into a new "G" house on Kimball Avenue. My family came from Salt Lake City with about 100 other families from that same area.
I loved the economic security that my father had working for Dupont and General Electric for 18 years at the 300 Area. Every day the Hanford bus system would pick up Dad at the nearest street corner in the morning and return him in the evening after work at exactly the same time each day for the 18 years until his death at the age of 62 years. He never missed a paycheck in all those years. He was a supervisor in a very dangerous chemical environment in a department manufacturing uranium slugs for fuel in the plutonium production reactors. I firmly believe he died from the exposure to the chemicals and uranium he experienced daily during all those years. He was proud that he was part of the Manhattan program that made the A bomb that ended the World War II.
My sister was born July 24, 1944, in the Hanford hospital because Richland did not have a hospital. Kadlac was under construction but not complete. The Uptown Shopping Center did not exist. The city of Richland was still under construction!
The Hanford Project provided a good family income for our family of six kids. This income funded our educations, health care, vacations, cars, food, clothes, and a safe environment to grow up in. When I graduated from college, I returned to work for General Electric and Westinghouse which provided for my own family of six children.
Never miss a local story.
The indirect results of the Manhattan project continue to provide income for thousands of families in the Tri-Cities.
-- JERRY MIKKELSEN, Kennewick