When I was asked to write a story about Oregon, my thoughts went back to the time when I first came to teach school in the town of Jefferson. Yes, to be exact it was but a wide spot in the road but it was an important wide spot. Why? Well it’s importance stemmed from the fact that it was situated on the two main arteries of travel–the railroad and the highway. At that time much of the passenger traveling was done by rail for buses were just beginning to come in to use. Most of the trains were made up of freight cars and passenger cars. The trains made regular stops at the station which was located at the east end of Church Street. The men working for the railroad company picked up freight that was being sent out as well as outgoing mail and deposited freight and mail being delivered to Jefferson residents. Travel was so different in those days for the pace of travel was far less speedy than it is today.
This is not a very interesting story by perhaps it will give an idea of what traveling conditions were like seventy years ago. The automobile industry has made such a deep impression on our mere existence in this world. We must stay alert just to keep up with the crowd.
It might be of interest to readers to compare our methods of travel to that which was used by the early settlers of this area. The method of travel used by the great grandfather of my husband, Gilbert was the covered wagon. Jesse Looney came to the Willamette Valley in 1843 to look this area over, then he returned with family and some friends to make a home in the area that is now known as the Looney Butte area. He staked a land claim and later staked claim for his children when they came of age.
It was shortly after my arrival here in 1930 that I met Gilbert Looney and in 1933 we were married and for the life I’ve had in Jefferson I am truly grateful.
–Geraldine “Gerry” Looney