July 30, 2007; interviewed by Cheri (Stadler) Ryan
[Note: All speech fillers, such as “um” and “uh,” have been omitted.]
Cheri Ryan, Alderwood Manor Heritage Association: It’s July 30, 2007, at the Alderwood Manor Heritage cottage in Lynnwood, Washington. This is Cheri Ryan, and I’m doing an interview with—
Mildred Nelson: Mildred Louise Hudson Nelson.
CR: Hudson’s your maiden name.
CR: And I can call you Millie?
MN: That’s right.
CR: Everybod—Does everybody call you Millie?
MN: Everybody now.
CR: Everybody now. Millie, when were you born?
MN: In [sic] August 25, 1919.
CR: And where were you born?
MN: In Seattle, Washington, in the Swedish Hospital.
CR: And when did your family come to Alderwood Manor?
CR: And what brought them here?
MN: My father sold his restaurant business in Seattle, at Boeing Plant Number 1, and we moved to Alderwood Manor to be chicken farmers.
CR: And your parents’ names?
MN: My father was Onie Ernest Hudson, and my mother was Hattie Estelle Carpenter Hudson.
CR: And had they lived in Seattle for a long time before— ?
MN: Yes, since 1906.
CR: Okay. And where had they come from?
MN: Both from Missouri by way of Montana.
CR: By way of Montana. So in 1925, they came to Alderwood, and did they buy an existing farm, ranch; what did they buy?
MN: We bought a five-acre place that was known as the Ranchette of that time, owned by Puget Mill Company, and it was occupied by Bill Geltz as a caretaker/renter, and we moved in to it in February 1925.
CR: And was there animals and gardens and a home all there, or what did your dad have to do?
MN: There was a home already there, and an orchard of various kinds of fruits. We had just about every kind of berry and there were filbert nuts. It was a showplace at the time. It had a fancy gate and fence at the front, and it is shown in a picture in the Alderwood Heritage book [Little, Marie, Kevin K. Stadler, and the Alderwood Manor Heritage Association. Alderwood Manor (Images of America). Charleston: Arcadia, 2006].
CR: And that—Is this the picture here on page 38?
CR: Okay. So who’s the man in the picture?
MN: That was a man named Musiel; as far as I know, he was the gardener and he arranged the whole show of the house for display.
CR: For display.
CR: But your father purchased it; and then did he keep it as part of the display for them, or did—
MN: No, we kept it as it was. The fence was quite elaborate and it stood for many years. The water tower shown in the picture was actually a fir tree, and I counted the rings of the stump when it was taken down. It had a huge water tank on top, and we had a well with [an] electric pump, and we sold water to numerous neighbors away from us. Gravity flow, mainly, but the tower was, had the tank on top for gravity flow in order to send this water in several directions.
CR: So sounds like it was quite sophisticated for the time?
MN: I thought so, because some of the neighbors still had pumps that they had to pump by hand.
CR: But there was electricity to—
CR: —the water tower.
CR: So you had electricity in the home—
CR: Did you have indoor plumbing?
CR: So, how big was the house? Do you remember?
MN: Well, judging by square footage now, I would say it was about twelve hundred square feet.
CR: So a very—
MN: Two bedrooms—
CR: —large house for the time.
MN: Large living room and separate dining room. And then when the tower was taken down, my father had a room built out over the stump that was all finished in glass, and that was our sort of sun porch and cooler place.
CR: What year was the tower taken down?
MN: I don’t remember that. It was while I was in school, probably about 1927 or ’28.
CR: And why did he take it down? Do you know?
MN: He was fearful that it was rotted from the water tank at the top. And there was slight rot, but it was in no danger of blowing away.
CR: And so did he replace it then with another tower?
MN: We had a different pump and the water tank was in our basement.
CR: So he, after that he didn’t supply water, then, to the neighbors.
MN: No, no.
CR: And you talked about it was a two-bedroom [house]. You were an only child?
MN: Yes, I was.
CR: So you had your own room?
MN: I had my own room, facing Mount Baker, I could see [the mountain] from my windows. And from my parents’ room you could see Mount Rainier.
CR: Oh! So you could tell things had been logged around here, there weren’t a lot of trees in your way—
MN: No, we had stumps on the back portion of our place that we used to go out and fire up, turn, and have a fire in them to get them reduced in size. But we had what was called pastureland. And then the rest of the property was all stumped, taken away before, and my father put in an acre of pear trees—he was told that that would be a sure moneymaker—and under them, an acre of strawberries.
CR: Oh, underneath the pear trees.
CR: And where was the house located? Like, on what street would it have been on?
MN: Well, it was at the corner of Filbert and Poplar, so it would be facing Poplar Way at that time. And the back was cut off by the [Seattle-Everett] Interurban tracks. They—That was the border of our place in back.
CR: Okay. So it wasn’t actually part of the Demonstration Farm—
MN: No, it was across—
CR: —but it was adjacent—
MN: Yes, adjacent.
CR: —to part.
CR: And they used it to show, like you said, a showplace.
MN: Yes, to encourage people to come and build.
CR: So, your dad, he had the pears, and it probably took several years for them to produce—
MN: And he built a big chicken house so we had baby chicks delivered through the post office.
CR: And the post office was where?
MN: On—Across from the Masonic Temple.
CR: Okay. And so chickens would be delivered and he, these were chickens—
CR: —chicks for laying eggs?
MN: Well, yes, but you took your chances. You got a few roosters with them. They were supposed to be sexed [separated into females and males] before you got them, but there were always enough roosters that we would have them for eating later on.
CR: So how many chickens do you think your dad would raise at a time?
MN: Well, several hundred because we had [a] large chicken house that had what they called “units” with the feed place in between and the water [inaudible] to that place.
CR: And, so, eggs: what did he do with the eggs then?
MN: We joined the Cooperative Society, the Washington Cooperative Society, which was a co-op for the people with chickens, and they, I think they sent a truck around to pick up the eggs each week. And we sent them [eggs] to them.
CR: Okay. And then your dad would get paid—
MN: Yes, it would come in the mail.
CR: Oh, a check would?
CR: Or—An actual check?
MN: And I got fifty cents out of every check.
CR: Every check.
CR: How long did he have chickens for, do you remember?
MN: Probably for the first ten years [that they were in Alderwood Manor], and then things were not going well for—let’s see, ’25 to ’32, I think then he gave up chickens and went back to work downtown Seattle.
CR: But kept living out here?
CR: Did he take the Interurban in—
CR: —or did he drive?
MN: Yes, he did, he took the Interurban until it stopped.
CR: Oh, until the Interurban was closed.
MN: Uh-huh. And I went to work in Everett and took the Interurban to that for a long time.
CR: Where were you working in Everett?
MN: I worked for Congressman Mon [Monrad] Wallgren. That was my first job. And then I qualified for social— for civil service work, and I worked for the Farm Security Administration. And then later, when World War Two came along, I got a job as a bookkeeper/stenographer for the Federal Works Agency new housing project that housed people from Paine Field and later from the shipyard in Everett.
CR: So all these jobs were in Everett?
CR: And so you rode the Inter— How long do you think it took you to get to Everett on the Interurban?
MN: Not a half-hour, I don’t think.
CR: And your dad, he would take it in to Seattle—
CR: Then when the Interurban closed, what did you do for transportation?
MN: Well, I found a ride with a man from Cedar Valley who would swing by and pick me up over by the post office. I had to walk over there, no matter what the weather. And then I went on and worked in Everett proper.
CR: And then your dad, did he get a car then, or—?
MN: I think he got a car then, or— When they started working in the shipyard, he rode with Mr. [Albert] Humble.
CR: Down to Seattle.
CR: And what was your dad doing in Seattle? Did he go back to restaurants, or—?
MN: He did work in grocery stores for friends, a pair of Irish men who had [a] couple [of] grocery stores. And my dad loved feeding the public. And they also went into business again in the market [Pike Place Market?] in Seattle where they had businesses in the early 1900s.
CR: Your father?
MN: Yes, and my mother. And they worked together, and had Hudson’s Butter and Egg Store, a deli-type—
CR: In the market?
CR: How long did they have that for?
MN: Quite a few years, long before I was born.
CR: So he went, kind of went back to his, what he knew in Seattle then?
MN: Yes, mm-hmm.
CR: So, you moved out to Alderwood. Did you start school right away?
MN: I started in—We moved there in February and I started in September.
CR: In what grade?
MN: First grade.
CR: The first grade.
MN: I had all my eight grades there.
CR: At the Alderwood Grade School.
CR: Can you tell me—Do you remember some of your teachers?
MN: Yes, I know every single one. I can look it up, but I think I can tell you.
MN: I had Miss Cushman [sp?], first grade. Mrs. Mitchell [sp?], second grade. Miss [Eddins?], third grade. [quietly to self: I’m kind of lost.] But anyway, I went through to seventh and eighth grade. I had Mrs.—I had Mrs. Fulkerson. I can’t pair them off. Miss Turner. I had all eight of them on my mind when I came here. [laughs]
CR: If you think about them, you just butt in and tell me. What can you tell me about Alderwood Grade School memories?
MN: It was great, and I remember the play porches. It was covered open porches with cement floors, and on rainy days we would play games and go out there. And for our recesses, if it was bad weather, we would play one thing or another out there: games, jump rope, all that.
CR: Do you remember what kind of games you played?
MN: Well, we played Tag a lot. And when there weren’t too many kids at once we would do Dodgeball, that kind of thing.
CR: How many students do you think were in the school, in the early, in your early grades? Was there one grade, one teacher for each grade?
CR: And how many students would be in a classroom?
MN: Probably about twenty-five.
CR: Twenty-five. And who were some of your friends?
MN: Well, my neighbors, some of the originals were moved in. We were—There weren’t many children around my exact neighborhood here. But there were the Terhunes, the Taylors, the Kirks, and Bertelsons (sp?). All came later than we did.
CR: And those were your neighbors?
CR: So you could walk to school with those kids?
MN: Mm-hmm. The Terhunes—“Marca” Terhune was Margaret Terhune—was one of four children in that household, and we were buddies all through ’til they moved away to Seattle, just about high school time.
CR: And where did you go to high school?
MN: Edmonds [High School].
CR: And did you graduate from Edmonds?
MN: Yes, I did.
CR: In what year?
CR: And what do you remember about Edmonds High School?
MN: Well, we were the country kids, and we had to walk over to where the bus would pick us up to take us down Maplewood Hill, to—
CR: Where did the bus pick you up at?
MN: In front of Dolphin’s Garage.
CR: Okay. So then you rode the bus down to Edmonds, the country kids.
MN: Yes, and what I like to tell about that part is when we graduated from high school, four of us from Alderwood were the top four [in the graduating class].
CR: And who were those? Do you remember?
MN: That was Bob Lichtenstein, Mary Elizabeth Davis, myself—Millie Hudson—and Donald Echelbarger.
CR: The country kids.
CR: The country kids. But did you make other friends eventually down there?
MN: Yes, we made friends among the groups down there, but our group pretty much kept in touch all through the years. In fact, I saw one person at our picnic [the annual Alderwood Manor Heritage Association summer picnic] yesterday who went to grade school with me.
CR: And who was that?
MN: Billy Porter. And I hadn’t thought about him for years.
MN: I have pictures from a number of years from that school, and it would be hard to recognize them now.
CR: Unless they know themselves, they can—
MN: Uh huh. But some of the friends who rode the bus with me were Florence Bertelson, Margaret Flodin, and the Ely boys. So we’re the old-timers, I guess, of the bunch now.
CR: Yeah. What—In Alderwood Manor, the community of Alderwood Manor, where did your mother shop for things, for groceries?
MN: Well, first it was Wickers’ Store. And then probably once a week we rode with friends to Everett and there was a big market up there where we would shop and—And we grew everything that would grow. We had coffee, sugar, all that kind of thing. We had a cow so we had our own butter. It was—Those were the days.
CR: And did you do a lot of canning, and—?
MN: Yes, we canned everything. We bought peaches from Yakima to can, the clings, and some Elbertas; and we canned beans, peas, just about every—and all the berries. We had gooseberries, currants, raspberries, blackberries, loganberries, cherries, quince, and all kinds of apples— wonderful apples—that no one has heard of since. Transparent apples that made the best pies and the earliest apples, they were.
CR: And most of these were found right on your property?
MN: Yes, most of them were planted before we came, and then we added the pears. But they were mainly for export.
CR: The pears were?
CR: You sold them? Your dad, would he take them in to Seattle, or— ?
MN: I don’t remember how we got them to Seattle, but I know that Mr. Terhune worked in the port and the boats from Japan would be there, taking on apples and pears and flour. There was Fisher’s Flour Mill right down there, and I think that’s a relation to the Fishers that own communications projects here. I think that’s from the original family. But we had radio; we never had TV in those days.
CR: Never had TV. So, radio—Did you listen to the radio a lot?
MN: Yes. In fact, while my father was still at Boeing with the restaurant, I met a number of the people who worked at Boeing’s Plant Number 1. One was a Russian scientist and he built a little radio for us with a coil system and earphones. And so we would listen in that way. This was in—before 1925.
CR: So did you each have your own earphones or could only one—?
MN: No, we passed them around.
CR: You passed them around. Ah. What other things do you remember about your house?
MN: Well, we had a huge, stone fireplace when we moved in, and my dad felt it was too heavy for the house, so he had that removed and a furnace put in the basement with pipes going to each room.
CR: And what did your kitchen look like? What was in your kitchen?
MN: Well, it had an outdoor window at first and then we built on that porch that was all glass. And I—As I remember, linoleum floor and white painted walls, and cupboards, and it had bins for flour and, I guess, sugar, or anything else you could put in the big bins that pulled open. And plenty of cupboard space because, well, we had the whole basement that was cold so we kept the fruit down there and the canned goods down there. I mean, the glass jars.
CR: Was your mom a good cook?
CR: What do you remember that was your favorites that she would cook?
MN: Well, we had fried chicken all summer and strawberry shortcake, and berry pies and apple pies. Those were the mainstays. And then wintertime, I guess it was the big squashes we would bake. She used her oven a lot. And our water for heating for the bath and everything was from a coil in the stove in the kitchen, so I could remember waking up to the sound of crashing iron things where they put the wood in to get the fire started to have water so that my father would have shaving water—
CR: In the morning.
MN: —first of all. Yeah.
CR: Who were your parents’ friends? Were they the neighbors, or did they have other friends?
MN: Well, we had the friends across the street, the Bonines: it was a couple, an older couple from Pennsylvania, so we heard all about Pennsylvania. They had a son, then, who had a house farther down Poplar Way, and he had been a dentist, I guess, but he fell on bad times. And I remember the neighbors next door were Abbeys [sp?] and then they moved and Bairs moved in. And Mr. Bair had ordered a horse from Montana, so it came and they penned it on our place. We had more fences.
CR: Did you have a horse?
CR: You never had horses.
MN: We had a cow, and we had geese for a little while, but we had mostly chickens.
CR: Mostly chickens. Did you ever have goats or pigs, or…?
MN: We had pigs for a little while but we were too soft-hearted to butcher them; we had to sell them. We couldn’t handle that. We could kill chickens.
My mother canned fried chicken. We— My father would kill twenty, and I would help de-feather them. They had to be dipped in boiling hot water, and we would pick all the feathers off, and then she [Mildred’s mother] would cut them up and fry them, spend a day frying chicken, and putting them in quart jars, pieces. And she would do one jar of just gizzards for our friends the Bertelsons. They liked gizzards. [laughs]
CR: They liked gizzards. [laughs]
CR: So they got that.
MN: They had one daughter, Florence, who was one of my best friends. And the Kirks, who were from the actual Kirk family of Kirkland, had a lovely place; it was like a gover—like a hunting lodge. And I can’t remember if it was Manor Way, which I think, there was a family called Swifts, with boys and girls [Katharine, Arthur, Leo, Louis, Lorene, and Louise]; the Wees, with two girls [Marcella and Irene]; the Stensons, with two boys [according to 1930 census, three boys: Torlif, Melvin, and Leslie]; and then the Kirks with a boy and girl [Peter Jr. and Alice]. And then there were Crosbys, and I don’t remember their children.
CR: Where—If you needed to go to the doctor, where, what did you do?
MN: You had to call Edmonds and the doctor would come.
CR: And what was [sic] the doctors’ names? Do you remember any of them?
MN: I can’t think of it now.
CR: Did your family have a phone?
MN: Yes, we did for part of the time.
CR: Part of the time. When you first—
MN: Otherwise you had to go to neighbors.
CR: Oh, okay.
CR: So when you first came here, you didn’t have a phone, or—?
MN: I can remember our number was five-two-five.
MN: And it went through the little phone company building where—Was it Jo [Josephine] Brimmer? —was the phone lady, as I remember.
CR: And where was the phone company building at?
MN: Right, right next to the Masonic Temple.
MN: It was a little square brick building.
CR: So a call would be sent down to Edmonds and a doctor would come.
MN: Mm-hmm. Yes.
CR: Okay. And where did your family do their banking? Do you remember that?
MN: I think we continued to do it by mail. Probably if Washington Mutual was there that would be it. But I don’t remember the finances.
CR: Okay. And what other kind [sic] of businesses were in Alderwood Manor that you remember?
MN: The barbershop with Mr. Kirk. And then eventually a beauty shop with Mrs. Franciscus [Lulu Franciscus]. And then eventually after Parker’s [Store] left it was the Wickers’ Store. And then Dahlins came in and had a store there in town. And there was Norm’s Barber Shop, I think, too. That was later. But I remember the Dahlins and then the Dolphin Garage. Billy [William Francis] Dolphin was older than I was so I don’t think I ever caught up with him in school. And Rasmussens lived there—
CR: What was the name?
MN: Rasmussens. And there were a boy and girl [Harold and Geneva] that I remember there.
CR: And where did they live?
MN: It was next to the Dolphin’s Garage, in that area. There was an Italian man, the shoemaking shop, I think. Something. [John] Romano.
CR: Romano. And did you belong to the Community Church or anything after you moved here?
MN: We went. I guess we didn’t really belong.
CR: To the Alderwood Community Church.
MN: Mm-hmm. The Alderwood Community Church. And eventually I was a Rainbow Girl.
CR: Oh, what kind [sic] of things did you do in Rainbow Girls?
MN: Well, we had our monthly meetings and I guess we did charity things and had book sales, maybe rummage sales. And my mother belonged to the PTA and the Library Club. There was a library up North Trunk [Road], a small library near Mrs. Davis’ house, and the ladies would get together from that group.
CR: And what would they do?
MN: Just visit.
CR: Just visit?
MN: Do fancy work and not too much.
CR: They were the Library—
MN: Yes, mm-hmm.
CR: The Library Club, is that what it was?
MN: Sort of.
CR: And what kind [sic] of things do you remember when you were in high school that you would do for entertainment and fun?
MN: Well, we country kids would come home on the bus, but they arranged it so there would be a two-tier bus system, a late bus if you wanted to stay and do activities and do extra studying or whatever. We were all studious, and there wasn’t much to do but study. And then I played tennis and basketball in the school. But we went to the movies maybe once a week.
CR: Where did you go see movies at?
MN: Princess Theatre in Edmonds.
CR: In Edmonds.
MN: Mm-hmm. And whoever had a car would try and take a bunch of us.
CR: Do you remember how much it cost to go to the movies?
MN: I don’t think it was much more than 10 or 15 cents, then a quarter.
I remember in high school, we had a program where most people could not afford tickets for anything [school events], so we paid 10 cents a week to have a stamp put in a book and that entitled us to the games, and the bus was furnished to go away to other high schools. So we went as far away as Burlington, I think. Up at Monroe, we went to games. I had a boyfriend who was on the football team and in track, so I usually went to all the sporting things.
CR: And what was his name? [coyly]
MN: Annis Hovde.
CR: Okay. [coyly] Was he a country boy or an Edmonds boy?
MN: He was a country boy.
CR: He was a country boy. Okay. [laughs]
MN: He lived up on North Trunk, and he was related to the [Hoffs? Houghs?].
CR: The [Hoffs].
CR: And you said you would go to the movies; was [sic] there dances?
MN: Only the school dances.
CR: The school dances, down in Edmonds.
MN: Yes, at the high school.
CR: At the high school. At—Up in Alderwood, were there activities for kids? You said you were in the Rainbow Girls—
MN: Well, before that, at the Masonic Temple, there would be a movie every, like, Saturday night. And the—10 cents, and mostly Westerns. But I can remember we looked forward to that, because there was no TV. And other than— Christian Endeavor was a club from the church, the Community Church, and that was Sunday nights. But I can remember we played a lot of cards, card games.
CR: Oh. With your parents, or with other kids?
MN: With the other kids. We would meet at someone’s house, and that mother would provide cookies and cocoa or whatever. And then we would be at someone else’s house the next weekend.
CR: And what kind of card games, do you remember?
MN: I remember Hearts.
MN: And probably there was some kind of Rummy. But then my parents played Poker, and so did all their friends.
CR: And they’d do that weekly, or just occasionally?
MN: Well, we had this group that got together for holidays. My parents had Thanksgiving dinner and then we played Poker at night. And then Bertelsons had Christmas, and Kirks had New Year’s. And we’d stay up almost all night, and then everybody would walk home, in the dark, even cold weather. Thanksgiving and Christmas, you wouldn’t be too sure what the weather was. But it was fun and we were close friends, and I am the only survivor of the kids from those three families.
CR: Do you remember who your [school] bus driver was?
MN: Ballou was the one I remember most. Mr. Ballou.
CR: And was that an adventure, riding the bus to school—
MN: Yes, it was. [laughingly]
CR: —after walking to Alderwood for all those years?
MN: Yes. I don’t remember that the kids were obstreperous. I think they looked at him [Mr. Ballou] and knew that he was not going to settle for any funny business. But it was—You know, we didn’t think that was a hardship at all, we were happy about riding the bus. But you had to be, you had to walk to where the bus was, over by the garage, right across from the Dahlins.
CR: And was that just the one stop, or were there other stops that kids would get on at on the way to Edmonds?
MN: Mostly the Alderwood kids would get on there.
CR: They all walked to that stop.
MN: There may have been a Meadowdale bus, I’m not sure, that brought them down.
CR: What were some of your favorite subjects in school?
MN: Well, I learned to read very fast. We had very good teachers; you learned to read in first grade. And if you didn’t, there was really something wrong. But I loved reading, always liked reading. And in high school, I took all commercial subjects and all college-prep subjects, so I had a heavy load all the time. I took French from Mrs. Murphy, and then I took shorthand. And at that time, in 1937, there weren’t many jobs when I graduated, so the school district permitted anybody who wanted to come back and take another year at high school and take any subjects you wanted, you could do it. And so I did it, and I took all commercial [classes] and journalism.
CR: So the following year after graduation—
MN: Yes, another year in school.
CR: Did they do that very, for very long?
MN: I don’t know—
CR: I hadn’t heard of that before.
MN: —because I got a job in the Congressman’s office because my father enjoyed dabbling in politics, and so the reward was I got a job.
CR: You got the job.
CR: At Alderwood Grade School, was there a library in the school?
MN: I think so. I think it was opposite Mrs. Beebe—the principal’s—office.
CR: What can you tell me about Mrs. Beebe?
MN: Well, she was an imposing figure. And everyone behaved, or else they were sent to the office.
CR: Was she, was she always the principal when you were at grade—
MN: As far as I know.
CR: All during your grade school time.
CR: Okay. And you talked about the covered play porch, but was there another play area, for, like, sunny days?
MN: Yes, it was a, just a field, and we had stumps around on the slope toward the co-op building, and we played like they were caves, and so forth. But we had one of those ring things you run around, a merry— I don’t know what we called it—a ring-around, or something—that you ran and lifted your feet up and spun around in the air. And baseball diamonds, and we played baseball in front, too. There were no lawns.
CR: And the girls played baseball?
CR: Did they play—Was it girls playing girls, or girls with the boys?
MN: No, girls played softball—
CR: They played softball—
MN: —and the boys had hardball.
CR: They had the hardball. Did the boys and girls play together very much?
MN: Not a lot. On the play porch, yes, Tag and that kind of thing.
CR: Because you were a little closer and you couldn’t venture out as much.
MN: Yes. Mm-hmm.
CR: Were there, at Alderwood Grade School, were there things like programs or plays or anything like that that you remember?
MN: When you got into later years, I think each class would do a musical number. I can remember our teacher used to play piano for our group.
[end side A]
[beginning side B]
MN: In the summertime, one of the mothers who would drive would take a load of us up to what we called Mud Lake, and it was very barren of houses, and you had to walk in through stumps, and a huge tree had been felled so it reached the lake, and then it, there was a float. And we would walk on this tree all the way out to the water and then get on the float. That’s where I learned to swim. And Jo Brimmer—and this was the woman who I think later became postmaster—and she did swimming classes. So we all swam there without lifeguards or anything.
CR: And you said they called it “Mud Lake.” This was Lake Serene—
MN: Mm-hmm, Lake Serene. The only house that I knew about close to it was the Klein [sp?] family, and I’ve never heard any more about them.
CR: What part of Lake Serene, do you remember, was it on the north side or the south side of the lake?
MN: It was the east, northeast corner.
CR: Northeast corner.
CR: And so she [Jo Brimmer] gave swimming lessons. Did the kids pay for them, or— ?
MN: Yes, our parents paid for lessons.
CR: Paid for lessons. So was this a big outing to go there?
MN: We went often, in the hot weather, almost every evening.
CR: I had heard at one time there was [sic] picnics at Martha Lake.
CR: Did you ever go to any of those?
MN: —we went to Martha Lake. We did that. I think maybe some of the Sunday School picnics might have been there. But school picnics for Alderwood were held down west of the school, and we hiked, and it was in a clearing that was left over from logging. It was all grassy, and we brought everything—chairs, tables, everything—with us. Couldn’t get very close, and had to walk in and had picnics there.
CR: Okay. Alderwood Manor, the Demonstration Farm, was there when your family came out?
CR: Do you remember much about it?
MN: I remember a lot about it.
CR: What can you tell me?
MN: I walked across it to go to school day one of my first grade. My father went with me. And then we felt safe; we didn’t feel it was a hazard to walk through there. That was going at full-steam as a hatchery at that time, and the, this building [what is now the Alderwood Manor Heritage Association cottage] was the Superintendent’s house, sat on a little knoll, and my friends and I would walk through, through the chicken houses—not through them, but the pathways—and by the little Interurban station, and then walk on to the school. We weren’t on a road, we just walked across the farm.
CR: So you used it for a shortcut?
CR: And do you remember any of the people that worked on the farm, or—?
MN: I remember Mr. Chase.
CR: What do you remember about him? Did he have a family that lived with him?
MN: He had a son who played piano, and went to work in Everett for the radio station, and sang and played piano, and he dedicated a song to me once, sang “Louise” [song from the 1929 film Innocents of Paris] because my middle name was Louise. So that was, I thought that was wonderful.
CR: How old were you when he did that, do you remember?
MN: Probably about eleven or twelve.
CR: Oh! I want to ask you, when you talked about Edmonds High School, you took that ’nother year of courses, and then after that year you got your job working for the Congressman—
MN: Yes, mm-hmm.
CR: —And how long did you live in Alderwood Manor? What took you away?
MN: When I was 21, I guess, I wanted to move away from home because I was working in Everett and I’d gotten another job, and to ride up with this other person, he was going to retire soon. So my mother had a friend take her to Everett, and she scouted out apartments, and I got my first little apartment on Wetmore, and so I—I think it was twenty dollars a month for rent, and then I had a phone, and I worked in the government offices and eventually worked my way up and had quite a good job. I became manager of the housing project that was for Paine Field and the shipyard workers. At 21, I was manager of that, the youngest manager in the country.
MN: But I was, I was able to account for the money that came in and went out, and I then moved on to that property, in one of the units. And then I was married in 1942, so we lived on the project ’til we moved to California.
CR: After 1942?
CR: Is that, that’s when you left—
MN: We moved in 1945.
MN: So I lived there.
CR: And how long did your parents stay at their place in Alderwood?
MN: I think they must have sold out about 1943, something like that, and moved back to Seattle. And they lived in the Wallingford/Green Lake district.
CR: And do you remember who they sold the property to?
CR: You don’t. And what—Does—Do you remember the house being there for very much longer?
MN: It was there quite a while.
CR: When you would come back, obviously, to Alderwood, to visit.
CR: And you probably came back for class reunions. Did you go look at the house?
MN: Yes, I did. And eventually it was moved off, when they made the changes in the highway, when they ran Highway [Interstate] 5 up the right-of-way of the Interurban. And my house was moved over onto the Demonstration Farm, and I visited it. A friend took me by to see it. But I don’t know where it finally went.
CR: Where it went. Is there anything else you can think of? If we look through these pictures in the Alderwood Manor book, maybe you can thumb through there and something pops out at you.
MN: Well, I remember having my hair done by Elizabeth Beam, who had a little beauty shop there, by, near Norm’s Barber Shop in that little sequence of shops. And not too much about the changes. Dahlin’s Red & White Store was there quite a while. And we depended on that Interurban. It was a great loss when that was taken away. It was really a hardship on many, many people. But I liked Edmonds. Edmonds had the beautiful view and it was, going to school there was a pleasure. I liked that.
CR: So you liked, that was a nice transition.
MN: Oh, it was beautiful. This is what I miss the most about being away from here is the views of the water and the mountains.
CR: And have you stayed in contact through the years, did you stay in contact with friends?
MN: Yes, I came as often as I could to their reunions, and the Humble girls [Mary and Janice] were my friends from, in high school, and then they moved back to Seattle. I guess that was a shock when they moved away because Janice and I were very close. The Terhune girls, I was close to them and they moved to Seattle, so I ended up about the only one from Alderwood that I knew who went to Everett to work.
CR: To work.
MN: Some of the girls got civil service jobs; several went to Washington, D.C. Florence Bertelson went to Washington, Margaret Flodin went to Washington, D.C. But my parents didn’t want me to go so far from home. [laughs]
CR: [laughs] Everett was far enough.
CR: Well that’s nice, though.
MN: And then I met someone in Everett, at the ski club, and was married in 1942.
CR: And you live where now?
MN: I live in Palo Alto, California. We built our home in 1950, and I’m still there, by myself. And that was a great place to live, and it has marvelous things for seniors. So, I’ve looked around for someplace to go and I just go back to my house.
CR: Well, is there anything else you can think of you want to share, or a memory that we haven’t covered?
MN: Well, it’s just that the friends from those years, I’m devoted to them. I get teary thinking— [voice breaks]
CR: That’s nice, that’s nice. Well, I appreciate your time—
MN: Thank you, Cheri.
CR: This has been nice.
MN: I think you people have done a marvelous job in bringing back the old days here so we can come and visit.
[tape starts again]
CR: [tape begins mid-sentence] showed me the picture in the book [Alderwood Manor (Images of America)] of the Demonstration Farm, and you walked this in front, which would—This would be facing which way? Poplar then? Or Filbert?
MN: I—It would be facing town.
CR: Town, okay.
CR: And you’d walk there—
MN: Walk by there.
MN: Pass by and go to the school.
CR: And then you said you walked the Interurban right-of-way to Cedar—
MN: Yes, we used to walk that even when the trains were still running.
CR: To Cedar Valley.
MN: We would walk to Cedar Valley to the Grange meetings, and they had dances quite, maybe once a month. And I remember that I danced a lot with Bob Patterson and he left his car with us, stored at our house, when he went off to war in Forty—’41 or ’2. He was in the National Guard, so he left real soon.
CR: Did you belong to the Grange or you—
CR: — just went there for the activities?
MN: We just went, mm-hmm.
CR: But some of your friends were members—?
MN: Yes, that’s right.
CR: And they had dances.
CR: Would the dances, would they have live music, or—?
MN: They would have live music. And while I was in, like, eighth grade, we had a teacher in the kinder—not kindergarten but first grade or so forth, Mrs. DeLamater, who was musical, and she opened her home to us kids who were from eighth grade and helped teach us to dance. Her son played an instrument, she played piano, and I think her husband played something. And we, we would go on the Interurban to that sometimes. And then scatter around to get home, not before dark, but she would have us, like, twilight time.
CR: And she would help teach you how to dance then?
MN: Yes, yes, and that was such fun.
CR: When you talked about musical, did you ever play any musical instruments at school?
MN: No, I didn’t. I wasn’t talented.
CR: [laughs] You weren’t talented. You were reading.
MN: I read all the time. That was my main thing.
MN: One of the things we missed most about the Interurban was to get to Everett or Seattle for events. And my father used to take me on the Interurban to go to baseball games in Seattle. We would get off the Interurban and then transfer to a trolley that took us to Dugdale Park [Field] where the original, well the Seattle— I don’t know what their team was called—
CR: The Rainiers?
MN: Indians, I think.
CR: Oh, the Indians.
MN: Yeah, the Seattle Indians. Go to ball games. And so we’d get home after dark and have to walk home then from the Interurban.
CR: Just you and your dad?
CR: Your mom wouldn’t go with you?
MN: No, no, he took me. I was the only child, so I did go to hockey games and baseball games.
CR: So your family really did use that Interurban—
MN: Yes, we did.
CR: —a lot—
MN: And it was missed.
CR: —to go both to Seattle and to Everett.
MN: And to Everett, mm-hmm.
CR: Did you go—I know you said the doctor, like, you’d call down to Edmonds, but for things—Would you go to the dentist in Seattle or Everett? Or—
MN: I went to the dentist in Everett.
CR: In Everett? So there again, you rode the Interurban?
MN: Yes. Mm-hmm. It was, it was a great addition to the— Well, that was one of the things that the Puget Mill Company talked up: the transportation. Well, it served its purpose for a long time.
CR: Do you—Your dad, when he decided to move out here, how do you think he made that decision?
MN: Earl Martin, who was in kind of transport business with trucking, had some connection with Boeing to haul things, and he would eat in our restaurant. We had a huge cafeteria there next to the Boeing plant—
CR: What was the name of it?
MN: It was Hudson’s.
CR: Hudson’s. Okay, yeah.
MN: And Boeing Plant Number 1, a lot of the workers ate there. It had a candy and tobacco counter, and every day I was allowed to take one small candy bar home. And we lived, rented a little house there from a sea captain who had two or three little houses that he rented out, and he was gone all the time, so we lived there. But my parents decided that wasn’t any place for me to grow up and they sold out and came to Alderwood.
CR: And are you happy they did?
MN: Oh, yes! It was a great place to grow up.
CR: So it was—He had talked, been talking to Earl Martin and he had told him—
MN: And he told my dad—
CR: —about it.
MN: —that it was a good place to go out and raise children, and have [a] chicken farm. So he sank all his money from the restaurant out there.
CR: Did he sell the restaurant then?
MN: Yes, yes.
CR: Just left it totally—
MN: Started over.
CR: Started over.
Transcribed by tv, July 2012