Alva Day visited this railroad siding in Condon on October 9, 1927. He must have been impressed by this enormous mound of burlap sacks. What do you suppose they contained? Or, you can tell us how many sacks are waiting at this siding.
They contained wheat and possibly other grains. My great-grandfather had much the same operation, warehouse on the railroad tracks at Biggs, as he had the grain receivership from up around Kent, Moro, Wasco, etc.in Sherman County. Have a picture similar to this of my great-grandfather's business partner, warehouse at Wasco.
Farmers would haul their grains to this point and then the owner of the warehouse would be paid to store that and load it onto the trains heading for Portland and the mills.
Probably that warehouse is also full of grain.......
Charlott on 21st May 2012 @ 7:06am
A great picture! The labor required to sack, stack, and load those thousands of sacks of wheat both into and out of the railroad cars is amazing to think about. The railroad provided the only method for getting this product to market.
Arlen Sheldrake on 21st May 2012 @ 9:55am
I don't remember seeing any silos in that area; did the warehouse sack the grains or did the farmers do that before delivering it? Quite a labor-intensive job wherever it was done! Good thing that region is so dry, be awful to have a downpour on all that.
Dedilee on 21st May 2012 @ 11:37am
Prior to that they did barge it down the river, but had to portage it around The Cascades. Endless hours of labor went into harvesting those grain fields. Prior to 1900 my grandfather used to go to Sherman County to work in the wheat harvest. He told about his fingers, because his job was to sew those sacks after they were filled with wheat. Then his other job was to take them by horse and wagon down Spanish Hollow to Biggs to deposit with the man who would become his father-in-law, my great-grandfather on my grandma's side.
Interesting side note: my great-grandfather had the first little school at Biggs in one corner of his grain warehouse. Bound and determined that what few children around would be educated.
Charlott on 21st May 2012 @ 1:04pm
My grandmother's last husband, Ray Hughes of The Dalles, claimed that he started the barging of grain down the river. His family can probably provide more details.
Jeffrey Bryant on 21st May 2012 @ 5:54pm
This would have been the way it was done long before Hughe's ever got into the grain business.
Charlott on 21st May 2012 @ 6:47pm
My father tells me stories of my grand father hauling fire wood up to Gilliam Co. then sacking and sewing wheat bags like this and hauliing them back to The Dalles.
Dan K on 23rd May 2012 @ 8:46am