Privat Interview

From Lane Co Oregon

Laura Linn and Justin Craig, period 3, May 27, 1997, "History of Main Street"

Interview with a Mr. Privat:

I got a great opportunity to interviewe a Springfield resident who has lived here since 1929. Mr. Privat first lived in Eugene from 1923 to 1928. He would cross the river to deliver newspapers to the Post Office located at 4th and Main. He lived with both his parents and was brought up in the middle of Springfield's growth. His father owned a jewelry store on Fifth and Main. Mr. Privat's mother was active in the City Council. The jewelry store was the first in Springfield. His father ran the store from 1929 to 1945 by himself and from 1945 until 1969, the father and son ran the store together. The only competition was Hill Jewelry. Mr. Privat felt strongly about the construction of South A Street. He believed this is the thing that "licked" downtown. They built a bridge connecting Eugene to South A Street in the late '40s', which caused the Paramount District to build up around 21st Street. This diverted traffic away from the downtown area. Mr. Privat told me that most people went to Eugene for entertainment. There was Saturday night dances that attracted popular bands. His mother had to go to Eugene to do the shopping, because Springfield's shops couldn't compare. He remembered during the 1930s that the lot across from his house sold for $25 compared to thousands of dollars nowadays. Mr. Privat didn't open up as much as I expected. He didn't ramble on like I'd expected him to do. He kept his answers pretty short. Despite this problem, I did learn a considerable amount of information that I didn't know about Springfield.

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