Remembrances of Haines, Baker County, Oregon

When I was adding the Baker County History book, I noticed on the history of Haines, there were a few item that were left out, or maybe not even known.

Haines Fire

     In the mid 50's the Haines Restaurant and Bar (don't remember the name) burned in the middle of the night. At around midnight each night two Union Pacific passenger trains met in Haines. One had to take the siding, so the other could pass. It was about this time that the fire broke out.  The train on the siding blew and blew their whistle. 

     What the train engineer didn't know was that the hose cart was on the west side of the tracks and the fire was on the east side.

     The Restaurant and Bar were located in the middle of the block, a drugstore on the south I believe, not sure what was on the north. Within a short time they had called in Fire Departments from La Grande and Baker. 

    The fire burned all through the night and into the next afternoon.  We watched the fire from our front window. In the glow of the fire we could see sheets of roofing paper blowing around in the air.

     The building was a total loss, no lives were lost, however many volunteer firemen did receive minor injuries.

Haines Stockyards

     As a child growing up I spent many hours playing in the stockyards, it was fascinating opening and closing all the gates to the different pens when there were no livestock waiting to be loaded.  The pens were well over our heads, and made of very thick wide boards. After visiting the stockyards in Omaha, Nebraska, the Haines yards were very small or maybe I got older and put them in perspective!

     Some of the people who brought in livestock even let us ride their horses. Livestock would be brought in late in the evening for early morning loading.

Haines Boy Scout Troop

     I have no idea who the scout leaders were in later years, but my brother's scout leader was Vernon Stewart. Most of the boys that lived in Haines in the 50's had Vernon as their scout master.  Many young men in Haines reached Eagle Scout and belonged to the Order of the Arrow. His work for the scouts was tireless and should be mentioned.

Radium Hot Springs

     You will find additional information in another article on this website, but my memories of Radium are when the O'Dell's owned the swimming pool. I spent many years at the pool, swimming, teaching, and as a lifeguard.

     Radium had its share of Star visitors, Jeff Chandler and Burt Lancaster's children while they watched from the bleachers. Johnny Weissmuller and Gordon Scott (two Trazan's) were also visitors.

     Ethel O'Dell provided 100's children swimming lessons.

Haines Telephone Company

My first employment was at the Haines Telephone Company, "Wiz" as he was known to everyone was the owner. I can't find the words to describe this man, I don't think there enough adjectives in the English language!
     The office of this building had 2 rooms, the main one where the switch board, counter, cot and phone booth, the back room and for the life of me I can't remember what was there. The cot was next to the switchboard and the operator who worked at night slept there.
     The switch board had 100 holes, and the customers would ring their phones twice (ring meaning crank) to get the operator and tell her the number they wanted to call.  Our phone number was 52R8 (2 longs and a short). The fire alarm for the town was also operated from the office.  When there was a fire you would sound the alarm and watch out!! All 100 lines were going to light up, then you had to tell everyone where the fire was.
     Because everyone was on a party line, you could listen to anyone's conversation that was on your line. I don't remember any pay phones but customers could come into the office and use the phone booth to make calls.
     I must remember to check out the old switchboard the next time we visit the museum and get a picture for the web page.  Thanks Belva, you found it!!

          More as I think of them!!

Haines Index 




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