Wednesday, April 05, 2006



Mike published some his memories of B. Barer & Sons. I would like to enlarge a bit.

My first memories go back to a time before the service station and the concrete warehouses.

Except for the store building, the lot was covered with a row of shacks fronted on Fourth street by a couple of store fronts.

My mother always maintained that one of the store fronts was a beauty shop operated by the family of Alice, the head waitress at the country club at the time we were members.

One of the rear shacks was used for stacking cowhides in a salt brine until enough were accumulated to market. Next to the hide pit was a Chinese laundry. I believe the family also lived there.

Scrap iron was accumulated against the concrete wall of the store building. When enough was accumulated to load a railcar, day laborers would be hired to load the material onto small pickup trucks, make the trip a few blocks to the loading dock, and heave the pieces into the railcar.

Inside the"shop" or store were exotic? smells. In the basement hanging from nails on the floor joists were skins of coyotes, mink, muscrats. beaver, skunks, etc. on stretch boards drying and awaiting the pelt buyer.

Before the Anchor Tavern shared the building the space was occupied by the Salvation Army.

The store side was jammed with six foot tall wool bags stuffed with over two hundred pounds of wool fleeces each. On occasion I would wander into the place after school. I would be asked to take care of the store while the men went out to coffee. This was a fun time to crawl up the side of one of the bags and run back and forth accross the top of them.
I have often pondered as to what my fate wold have been had the bags shifted on a silly ten or eleven year old boy.

Mike, the "hatchet that was buried in Touchet" was a record of a truce between K. Henderson, our long time foreman and Jack Githens who operated Jack's Auto REpair for a few years in that building.


Blogger Mike Barer said...

Mr Henderson's son worked for Walla Walla College and always told me that his Dad was responsible for the chalk writing as online blogs were not common in those days.

10:59 AM  

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