Irish, Charles C

From Lane Co Oregon


Sometime during the morning of Aug. 21, 1906, I left Springfield, on a bicycle, over dusty roads, and arrived at Marcola near noon, covered with dust from head to foot, and very thirsty.

Not seeing any soft drink Parlor, I went to the Columbus Cole Store, where the Victory Theatre is now. Mr. Cole was the only one in the Store, and I asked if he had drinking water. He says , Quote, "there is a pitcher of water on the shelf back there that I brought over from the house this morning." I picked up the grimy glass along side and drank a glass of that warm water. Then he said, pointing to a case of soda pop on the floor, along side the counter on east side, quote, "I have soda pop but seems like no body wants it."

I explained to him that I was looking for a job at the S. P. Mill. He said that the Office was in a tent down the street a ways. I went to the Boarding House of Jack and Rose Frost, for my dinner, which stood about where the vacant Lunch Counter is now, east of Odd Fellows Hall, and J. S. Churchill, book keeper for Fischer Lumber Co., was Post Master and Notary Public. A combined Barber Shop and Saloon, was operated by a Mr Smith, about where the present Assembly of god Church now stands. There was no Depot here then, just a granite strip, and a maintenance box car set up on a tie crib, north of where the depot was built later. Some body had chalked up on the side of the car, "Don't cry, little car, don't cry. You will be a depot by and by. Cole's wear house stood along the side track, south of the present Depot. A water tank stood up the track a ways on other side. In the middle of town there was high wide walks on both sides of, what you might call a wide place in the road. Columbus Cole had planted the town of Marcola, on his former farm, and was selling lots to home builders. I was told that the S.P. rail road was completed in 1899, and Henry Schwind Sr. was placed here as Section Foreman. He still lives in our midst. The first Station Agent was Leonard Humphreys, placed after the Depot was built. Previous to that, the Conductor sold the fare tickets. Before the building of the Rail Road, the Post Office was known as Isabell. The S. P. Co., after acquiring the right of way from the Coles, named the station Marcola, honoring Mary Cole, wife of Columbus Cole. I well remember Mary Cole, in those early days, with the dust from the road settled on her shoulders and straw hat. My brother Vick left Springfield at same time I did, only he came on the slow and easy combination passenger and freight train, and carried both our baggage. Fare one way was 60 cents, and a Bicycle was faster than a train so he didn't arrive till afternoon, then we went to the S. P. Office, where Mr. Young, the Supt. asked us to go to Mill No. 1, up in the timber above Hyland Siding. A Bonneville steel power line support stands where the mill pond was then. The Foreman said he wanted both us on the dam construction crew. The Bunk Houses could not be built until the Saw Mill was constructed.

An S. P. Tent had been set up over on the McCornack farm, on Mabel road, where we could sleep and board. We didn't like the looks of that lousy tent, so picked out a spot among second growth fir, choosing 4 saplings at right angles to each other, and cut saplings with our pocket knives, and tied up alan too, just like a Philippino, and unrolled our bed roll in it. Rained on us once before those bunk houses were built. Continued to get our meals at McCornacks carrying lunches. The Modern Woodmen organized here, and built a Hall where the Cora Arnel home is now. The Odd Fellows followed them and rented their Hall for Saturday night meetings.

(signed) Chas. C. Irish

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