my perspective . . .
The 'Spotter' stories keep pouring
in. Just got this one in an email from Sharon Holmes Sanborn:
mother, Frances Alger Holmes, was a spotter during W.W.II. Living
on the ranch (note: the March family ranch
now), we didn't have a telephone. So, one afternoon each
week, she bundled my brother, Jim, and I in the car and we drove
over to the Carl Black residence so she could use their telephone.
Jim and I looked forward to the trip because, while she was there,
we got to play with Kay, Frank and Dave. I remember she had a
set of "flash" cards with pictures of the airplanes
and each time one flew over, after identifying it with binoculars,
she called it in to someone. A side benefit for her, I am sure,
was chatting with Sophie Black and catching up on the Valley news."
be fun to mark on a map where all of these diligent Spotters were
around the Valley.
It makes me smile everytime someone speaks of a place by the name
rather than an address. Just like we give our phone numbers with
just the last 4 digits! We used to do that back in Ohio where
I grew up. Before they changed it to 7 numbers, our phone number
was Trinity 6-7834. So anyone within 5 miles of where we lived,
we just said it was 7834!
Jenner and I talked about the old party lines and how interesting
those were! I got a copy of the Western Siskiyou County
Telephone Directory from August 1957 and it shows: 'Elbert
Whipple Greenview 21-F-12'. Now that's
an interesting number!
speaking of Eb, last night he presented me with the Saturday,
December 11, 1971 Redding Record-Searchlight paper with an article
entitled: 'Old buildings tell Etna's
am retyping it here, including the photos as it is just too precious
not to share!
buildings tell Etna's history
by Garth Sanders, Dec. 11, 1971
~ There's no big hurry in this town of 729 people.
the way Etna is handling its flag pole problem.
old 131 foot high flagpole, up in 1929, developed a rotten spot
and fell down one night in early 1970.
broken stub has pointed reproachfully skyward for almost two years
arousing the curiosity of visitors.
the townspeople aren't disturbed. Somewhere in town there's a
a week somebody goes down and turns the new pole one-quarter of
a revolution. The process is supposed to make the pole season
wouldn't do to have the new flagpole looking like a corkscrew
when it's erected.
hope to get the new flagpole up yet this year ~ maybe before Christmas,"
says Mayor Lee M. Durett, who moved here from Chico in 1941 because
he loved the quiet, cool life in this secluded Siskiyou County
town's approach to its flagpole crisis is typical of the relaxed
attitude in Etna.
wasn't always so. The town started in the 1850's as a gold mining
camp called 'Rough and Ready'. Civic leaders soon changed that
to 'Etna Mills' because somebody had built a flour mill.
became a main point on the old California-Oregon Stage Road. Butter,
flour and meat produced by the pioneer farmers around Etna fed
the miners in the surrounding mountains.
a good deal of that history to be read in Etna's buildings.
offices of the Siskiyou Telephone Co. occupy what was once an
old flour mill. The broken flag pole stands in front of a pioneer
structure that has served as city hall and firehall and is now
the town library.
you drive around town, you're amazed at the size of some of the
old A.H. Denny house looks big enough to have been a boarding
house for whole mining crews. Denny was a pioneer merchant prince
with general stores in a number of mining camps.
it was just a home. 'Denny had a big family,' one old-timer recalls.
old Golden House was built back before the turn of the century.
It looks like a New Orleans townhouse of the 1800's. It's been
a hotel, a rooming house and is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. L.H.
Adams. They are renovating it and plan to furnish all the rooms
with antiques as a hobby.
the street from the Golden House is the Odd Fellows Hall ~ built
in 1880 and still used for lodge meetings.
lodge hall, the Golden House and several other old buildings strung
along Main Street were built with bricks made right in Etna.
Chief Ariel Facey is also the town ambulance driver and operates
his own butcher shop.
on duty 24 hours a day," says Mayor Durett. "The chief
is paid $600 a month by the city. If the town is dead, he goes
home about midnight ~ otherwise he sticks around to 2 or 3 a.m.,"
the mayor says.
town has no real problems, Durett insists.
exists on the income generated by the rich farmlands around it
and is happy to serve as home to a few loggers who extract timber
from the rugged Salmon River country to the west.
are there so many substantial old homes in such a small town with
a rather dull economy?
was quite a bit of mining ~ there was a lot of money around here,"
is Mayor Durett's explanation.
was incorporated as a city in 1878.
has no newspaper now, but around the turn of the century the town
supported two weekly newspapers. A long and vicious feud between
the two editors reached its high point in 1900 when one of them
called the other 'a pin-headed cur'.
are still rugged individualists in Etna today, the mayor says.
of our people are real nice. But we have a few that . . . "
that a hoot!
What do you
suppose a merchant prince is???
would be proud of me as I headed uptown this morning with camera
in hand . . . I wanted to snap some 2011 photos of these same
40 years later, here they are!
Collier Hotel in 2011 ~
Check out their website here
It is such a shame that the bats have taken over upstairs.
It has a grand wooden dance floor.
Maybe a magical event will transform it . . .
where is the Fairy Godmother
when we need her????!!!!
& Moe's house.
Check out artist Catherine McElroy's website here
on plaque in honour
of our very own Buddy Buchner.
of the Golden West
a little jaunt into the Etna Museum this summer. They are open
from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday for the rest of
July and all of August. Other times may possibly be arranged by
appointment by emailing
when Eb and I went in they had a fabulous
display of old homes of the area. Be sure and look at all the
photos in the hallway also.
This is just
a tiny section of what is displayed.
July 28, 2011
to shop locally!
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