Thursday, November 29, 2018

Corvallis Train Depot History

I'm always amazed by the process of moving an entire building to a new site.  That act seems even more amazing when the building is not a wood frame home but a large stone building.
In 1909-10, a new railroad depot of cast stone (concrete blocks shaped to look like stone) was constructed along the Southern Pacific tracks at Ninth Street and Washington Avenue in Corvallis. The old wood-framed depot (now Depot Suites) was moved to Seventh Street to serve as a freight depot.
The move to the new location at Sixth Street
and Monroe Avenue took three weeks.
In June of 1917, the Southern Pacific Railroad extended its interurban electric rail line to Corvallis.  Powered by overhead electric lines, the red cars carried passengers north to Portland four times per day. To accommodate passengers on this line, the stone depot was moved.  The building was raised off its foundation then pulled by a team of mules.
The Corvallis train depot in its new location circa 1920.
The Southern Pacific discontinued the “Red Electric” service in 1929 and all passenger service to Corvallis in 1933.  In 1956, the city of Corvallis purchased the building for use by the police department.  The building deteriorated and was scheduled to be demolished but it was sold and moved to yet another location in May 1982.  This move involved tight maneuvering through downtown Corvallis, watched by many.
Moving Southern Pacific Train Depot in Corvallis
Photo by Joe Malango
But this time it took only one day to relocate the building to 603 N. Second Street (between Taylor and Polk).   From 1963 through 2008, it housed the Michael's Landing restaurant.

Two other restaurants followed before the Spaghetti Factory opened in the renovated building in 2014.
By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

Monday, November 19, 2018

Oregon "Civil War" Football History

On Friday, November 23, 2018, Oregon State University football team will play the University of Oregon for the 122nd time. 

Oregon Agricultural College (as OSU was called then) began playing collegiate football in 1893 when the school had only 204 students.  Rules of play and eligibility were different then so OAC could field a team which included several people who were not current college students, such as a faculty member the son of the school president and some students in the preparatory (high school) division. 

The University of Oregon fielded a team the next year and the rivalry began. It is the seventh oldest rivalry game and the oldest on the west coast.  Oregon State won the first game 16-0. Over the decades, Oregon has won 64 games; Oregon State has won 47.  Ten games ended in a tie, including a 3-3 tie in 1914.
Oregon vs. Oregon State,  1914
The next year, OAC played its first game outside the western United States, when the team traveled to the Midwest to play Michigan Agricultural College (Michigan State). The Beavers won that game but not that year's  one against the University of Oregon.

During the remainder of the circa 1920 era, Oregon State won the 1917 game played in Portland and the 1923 and 1925 games played in Eugene.  The 1920 and 1921 games ended in 0-0 ties; Oregon won the remaining 5 games.

A series of  mounted footballs commemorate the 1925 season in which Oregon State compiled a 7-2 record.

In those years, the Oregon-Oregon State games was called the Oregon Classic or the State Championship.  It wasn't dubbed the “civil war” until 1929.
During halftime of the “civil war” OAC students would form a line, hands on shoulders of the person in front, and march in a serpentine around the field while waving banners and cheering.

After a victory, fans would assemble and on a march down to the Mary's River to watch Methodist minister J. R. N. Bell toss his top hat into the Mary's River.

By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Oregon Apple Day

November 15, 1915 was “Oregon Apple Day” at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.  Some Oregon apples had been on display from the time the exposition opened.  The Weekly Gazette-Times reported (November 12, 1915) that “...throughout the season attendants have been continually besieged with the plea for an Oregon apple or just a sample of the fruit... countless numbers have offered to buy but the attendants could only give the addresses of Oregon growers who could supply the demand.” 

To address this demand, Oregon growers in the Willamette Valley shipped 50 boxes, each containing approximately 96 apples, to the fair.
 H. J. Moore apple orchard near Philomath area, circa 1910.

 Picking apples for the Oregon Apple Company,
Benton County west of Monroe, circa 1915.
Growers from other parts of the state also shipped apples so that between 25,000 and 30,000 apples were available to distribute free to fair goers on Apple Day. People obviously liked the apples as some growers had reported increased sales in the San Francisco market of 100 percent.  

By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Veteran's Day

Sunday, November 11 is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended World War I. The agreement between the Allies and Germany included a cessation of all fighting at 11 o'clock on November 11, a withdrawal of German forces from occupied areas, a surrender of equipment and a return of prisoners. Similar agreements had already been signed by Germany's allies – Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Austrian empire. The Armistice was renewed three times while the parties negotiated the peace treaty signed on June 28, 1919. 

In November of 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as “Armistice Day”  to be commemorated with parades, public meetings and a brief moment of reflection at 11 am. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution calling for an annual time of “thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designated to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.” They made it a national legal holiday in 1938.

Over time, the focus changed from celebrating peace to honoring those who served.  In 1954, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day to recognize all veterans, not just those from World War I.
Alice May Wyatt Henderson and Sarah Hammer made this banner in 1918 to honor those from Philomath who served in World War I:  Enos Loggan Keezel, Ward Haines, Alonzo Miller, Donald Clark, Ralph Green, Clarence Green, Ayne Baldwin, Weir Baldwin, Harrison Wallace, Charles Stovall, Roy Willoughby, Frank Becker, Harry Felher, L. Elmer Lemaster, Rufus Lemaster, Hugh Kellog, Charles Smith. The gold star by Ralph Green's name indicates that he died during the war.

A program from September 15, 1918, lists men from the Alpine area serving in the military. Some were part of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, some were in the navy and others were in camps in the United States. Names include Merle G. Howard, Frank Barker, Raymond Reeves, Clarence S. Webber, William J. Confer, Frank Williams, Fulton Wooldridge, Raleigh Taylor, Ben A. Roth, Leroy McCallum, William F. Tompkins, Carl A. Harlan, T. S. Stoddard,William Seymour. Herman Anderson, Bliss Byers, Harry Straub, Andrew George Ancey, Clarence Flowers, John S. McCloskey, James William Peek, Albert J. Ruiz, Fred Calahan, Roy Eachus, Guy Thorne, J. G. Paull, Alexander Skinner, Charles Farris, William F. Dunaven.