HERITAGE JOURNALS: STORIES COLLECTED BY 6TH GRADE STUDENTS OF JAQUI EICHER, 2002

“As you know, I was raised on the Goin’s Farm, north of Jefferson. I never wanted to live anywhere else but Jefferson. Oh! how I liked to go to town!

Trips to Albany usually meant a visit to the doctor or dentist–something to be dreaded–or a trip to the bank. But a trip to Jefferson (other than church on Sunday) meant a stop at the grocery store, hardware store, lumber yard, feed store or library. And if we were lucky, a stop at Gibson’s (we called it Gippy’s). Now this store was dark and the floors creaked–but there were all kinds of neat things to look at and in the back there was an ice chest with Dixie cups and a cooler with Nesbit’s Orange pop. If we were good we got a treat, which we ate or drank while Dad would check pennies for old ones or buy rolls of pennies to check at home. Dad had a coin collection. He would bring home several rolls of pennies and we would check for old or special ones. Then we would put the pennies Dad didn’t want to keep in paper rolls to take back to the store or a bank.

The store was dark and dingy and– I suspect–none too clean, but I remember it as warm in winter and cool in summer and full of interesting things.

 

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HERITAGE JOURNALS: STORIES COLLECTED BY 6TH GRADE STUDENTS OF JAQUI EICHER, 2002

Oregon Pulp and Paper Company

My father worked for the O.P. and P. (Oregon Pulp and Paper Company) for 30 years. He started out as a boiler man, feeding the furnace. Then he worked up to the Bleaching Department. They wanted him to be the supervisor but he never accepted the job.

One day he gave me and my sister a tour of the plant. We saw how the wood came into the mill and was mashed into a pulp, which was wood and water. Then the water was squeezed out. It was sent to the bleaching vats where bleach was added. It was mixed with huge paddles and then sent to another machine. It was sent through this machine, a huge press that pressed out all the liquid and then to giant rollers that rolled it flat, finally in paper that came out in huge rolls. Some of the paper was dyed different colors.

The building+ is still located on Trade and Commercial Streets in Salem, but it’s called Boise Cascade. While talking to a lady in the office the other day, she told me that soon the name would change to just Boise. It still is in the paper business but I am sure it is very modernized by now.

–Mrs. Wenger

+ This building has been turned into downtown condominiums and shops, 2016

HERITAGE JOURNALS: STORIES COLLECTED BY 6TH GRADE STUDENTS OF JAQUI EICHER, 2002

The Old Sawmill

There used to be an old sawmill on our property on Rodgers Mountain. The mill was complete with a flume that ran down the mountain and into Scio, a mill pond, sawdust pile and wood cutter’s cabins nearby. We have an old picture of the mill, taken when it was still operational. Our family and the Scio Youth Art Class painted a mural of the sawmill, with original equipment, to show the difference between now and then. To this day, we still find old gears and cable on our land. Our dad, when he was a child, and Grandpa even found an old tractor and got it to work.

–Joel A. Lonbeck

Rodgers Mountain Loop, Scio

HERITAGE JOURNALS: STORIES COLLECTED BY 6TH GRADE STUDENTS OF JAQUI EICHER, 2002

Tobogganing When I Was a Boy

East of Salem there is a small community called Pratum. This is where I grew up. About 1/2 mile East of Pratum there is a river called the Pudding River.

One Winter day it snowed a lot–12 inches–and it was cold, as the snow did not melt.

A group of boys, including my older brother (6 years older than I), had a toboggan which would hold about 5 fellows. We got it out and started going down a nice hill toward the Pudding River. There was an old rail fence made out of wood at the bottom of the hill, next to the river.

When we went down the hill we would stop approximately 100 or 150 feet short of the rail fence. “Oh, what fun!” We were having a great time when the older boys came and took the toboggan. When they got tired of it, we were back at it again.

That evening they got buckets of water and put it on the hill. The temperature was cold, so the water turned to ice.

Well, the next morning was Saturday, so no school. Us little guts got up early and beat the older boys to the toboggan. We were having lots of fun and would stop before the rail fence. The older boys came and took the toboggan away from us. We thought that was so mean. They got on the toboggan and went down the hill just zooming. When they got to the bottom of the hill, they couldn’t stop. They went right through the rail fence and onto the ice on the river. The ice was not thick enough to hold all the weight and they broke through the ice. All the boys went in the river. The water was only about three feet there, but they all got sopping wet.

Well, do you know what? Us little guys were able to toboggan the rest of the day. The older guys had had it. This happened about 1940. “Oh, what fun!”

–John Wenger

HERITAGE JOURNALS: STORIES COLLECTED BY 6TH GRADE STUDENTS OF JAQUI EICHER, 2002

Jefferson Then

My family moved to Jefferson in the Spring of 1946 from Southern California following World War II. My father worked in the shipyards and my mother ran a boarding house there.

We came to Oregon so the family could work in the fields which we did, starting with strawberry picking, mint hauling, bean picking, corn picking, etc as all were done by and before mechanization of those crops. There was no minimum age limits, so we all could work, and did all summer. We were all responsible for making enough for all school clothes and expenses. When we came to Jefferson, there seemed to be a lot more business than today.

Downtown had a Confectionary where we could go for ice cream, milk shakes, etc. There was a drug store, Doctor, Theater, two active lodges (Masons, Eastern Star Oddfellows and Rebeccas), a blacksmith, variety store, several grocery stores, several service stations and cafes, just to name the first part of the business area.

The “Terminal” was on the highway (Second Street) and was the bus terminal as Greyhound busses came through regularly. This was prior to the construction of Interstate 5 and highway 99 was the main north/south highway going through Jefferson.

Having been born on the Texas Plains and raised in Southern California among the Palm Trees, the thing that amazed me most was how high the fir trees grew! And I never knew that mint was a farm crop.

I have lived in Jefferson now for 57 years, married a Jefferson born native, raised a family, worked and retired in Jefferson and have see many, many changes take place in town. Major businesses destroyed by fire include the Evangelical Church, the Mari-Linn Co-Op and Freres Lumber Company, each of which have been replaced except the Co-Op.

A bank came to Jefferson in 1963, a new post office in 1960 and again in the early 1990s.

In 1946 there was one school that included all 12 grades. Now there are three schools as the population has grown to require a grade school, middle school and high school. Jefferson will continue to change.

–Margaret Hire Knight

HERITAGE JOURNALS: STORIES COLLECTED BY 6TH GRADE STUDENTS OF JAQUI EICHER, 2002

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

HERITAGE JOURNALS: STORIES COLLECTED BY 6TH GRADE STUDENTS OF JAQUI EICHER, 2002

I first came to Jefferson in 1943 by a rather circuitous route. My older brother was in the army (World War II), and I came to Hermiston with his wife. From there I went to California to live with my sister whose husband was also in the army. When he was sent overseas, my sister, their baby and I came to Jefferson to live. I’m not sure what the population was then, but it was a very small town: one grocery store, a dime store, a gas station, a post office, and that’s about all. Oh yes, there was a tavern where the fellows could buy a beer. It was in the building now known as Bugsy’s. It was then called simply, The Terminal, and there was also a row of cabins there. We had Greyhound bus service then with buses coming and going several times a day. Only a scattered few teenagers had access to cars. There was also a mail train that came through once a day. A post of some kind, with a hook on it was beside the track and as the engineer slowed down, he would hook the bag of mail on to the post. From there, the mail carrier took it to the post office and distributed it.