Broadway, 7th to 10th Street, Baker City, Oregon

By Phyllis Badgley

     Nye Auto Electric occupied the north west corner at Seventh and Broadway streets. E. G. Nye was considered very knowledgeable as an auto electrician. He established family living quarters upstairs, and also added stucco to the frame building.

     Next door, west Harry Waggoner had a real estate office.  It was later operated by Don and Pauline Sheppard.

     Mid block was the Ostermoor Hotel and Curry Drug Co. some people referred to it as the "Live and Let Live" drug store. My aunt's family lived nearby and traded at Curry's. I recall as a child, the brightly colored "Quarantine" sign posted on her house. Scarlet fever was rampant at that time, and no one was permitted entry. However, my mother took food and medicine to the door and handed it through a small opening.

     In the mid 1940's, the Department of Motor Vehicles built a brick building on northeast corner of Eighth and Broadway. It was at the rear of the lot to provide extra parking space in front. I remember Jess Edwards as chief of operations there. Later the DMV moved to new quarters on South Bridge Street. Employees I recall were Pat Guymon, Larry Schmit, and Ruth Huffman. The Broadway location became a laundromat.

     Longtime automobile dealer P.M. Marx McAllister established the Oldsmobile agency at northwest Eighth and Broadway. Robert Love was an associate and Dean Snook, expert mechanic, was employed there for many years. McAllister was interested in horses as well as cars. He rode with Oregon Trail Riders as a member of its drill team.

     The corner of Ninth and Broadway housed a grocery store operated by D.F. Baker and son, Jim. This thriving business was enhanced by delivery of tree-ripened peaches grown on the Snake River below Huntington. W. E. Baker had an 18 acre peach orchard at Home, Oregon. The tiny settlement included a packing shed and boarding house. Peaches in baskets were systematically loaded into boxcars at that location and shopped as far away as New York.

     I know a number of Bakerites that worked at the peach orchard. Local housewives awaited delivery of these special peaches each season. The produce was reputed to have the finest flavor ever offered for home canning. The end of the era came with the construction of dams on Snake River. The rich, fertile land was covered with water and W. E. Baker's home, constructed of stone, met it's demise.

     The Broadway block between Ninth and 10th housed a small cafe, operated by Blanche Perry, an advocate of "good home cooking." Radabaugh's barber shop operated at 2820 Broadway.  I recall Roy and Owen's "Associated" gas station on the corner.  It evolved into their tire shop business.

     Across 10th street on southwest corner, longtime grocer Sid White operated the Depot Grocery. A car wash is there presently.  The Depot Cigar Store adjoined the Crabill Hotel, which took up a major portion of that block.  I recall crisp white table linens visible from the front window, at the Crabill dining room.  a barber shop was close by. Sadly a nighttime blaze claimed the Crabill Hotel in later years. The Columbia Hotel was directly south across the street, on a triangular piece of land.

     My memories of Baker's historic brick depot deserves a special write up, which I shall elaborate on fully in the next edition.

Printed here with the permission of Baker City Herald

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