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105 YEARS AGO • MARCH 7, 1918


Supply of Ice for Local Users Was Stored Just in Time

The weatherman gave the ice users just the necessary time to store their supply for the summer before turning on the heat again. A force of men succeeded in cutting enough for local use before the thaw came, but they had no time to spare, as the ice went out the first of the week. The cutting was only about six inches thick, but all the ice houses are filled and the quality is good. (Ice was stored in double walled buildings with sawdust placed between the walls for insulation, next the floor was covered with a layer of sawdust and the ice squares were placed in a layer, then a layer of sawdust, ice, sawdust, etc. This kept the ice from melting during the summer heat.)

With the coming of milder weather the ice broke up and as it went out several million feet of logs have come down and are stored in the lake (reservoir). These logs are from the Eldridge and Ross camp on Swamp Creek (Plains), R.R. Hoyt's camps at Eddy and on Cherry Creek and other small camps between here and Plains, and are headed for the Dover and Hope Lumber Company's mills.

The loggers east of town seem to be getting their logs into the river in good shape, but those west of town are having a great deal of difficulty and it is probable that a great many logs will remain in the woods during the summer.


Ed Fitzgerald, Sr. had the misfortune to suffer severe injuries to one of his legs Saturday while working at the landing where the logs from R.R. Hoyt's Cherry Creek camp are being put in the river. In some manner a rolling log caught his leg in such a way as to break it just above the ankle and some of the bones of the foot were also crushed.

He was taken to St. Luke's hospital for medical attention, and is reported to be recovering in good shape, but will be laid up for some time as a result.

St. Luke Hospital was located in the two-story house above the Lions Manor on the west end of Maiden Lane.

30 YEARS AGO • MARCH 11, 1993


As a young boy only one family in our neighborhood could afford a telephone. The father had a steady job as a real mail delivery man during the depression years. Occasionally my mother would receive a long distance call from my oldest brother, Arlo, who was employed by AT&T in North Dakota. The family with the telephone would send one of their boys over to our house to inform mother that she had a long distance call. Mom would drop whatever she was doing and start in a matronly trot to our neighbor's house.

When we moved to Thompson Falls, although the dial systems had been in use in the east for several years, the "hello girls" were still holding forth hers. You no longer had to hand crank to get an operator - just pick up the receiver and an operator would pleasantly inquire "number please?"

If you gave the operator the number for Doc Frogner, she might volunteer the information that she had just seen him walk down the street to get a cup of coffee and that she would call you when he got back to his office. And since the operators always had the correct time available they answered gillions of queries for "the correct time please."

As an economic move, the phone company in the late 1950s installed the dial system in Thompson Falls and Plains resulting layoffs for the "hello girls." It was a step of progress that many people didn't relish.

Central's office was located in a building about where Dr. Lovell now has his office. The building was at first heated by wood. Each fall, Gus Garrison and a companion would haul in wood and fill the basement for the impending heating season.

Edna Flaten was the chief operator, other girls manning the switchboard were Vic Previs, Juanita Huffman, Pearl Glidden and Gertrude Eichert. They were always congenial and helpful.

When the shift to dial was made, the prefix for persons calling from out-of-town was TAylor 7 followed by the four digit number. Later the TAylor 7 prefix was replaced by our present 827 prefix.

The Plains exchange at first was TAylor 6, later to become 826.

In a few years a separate exchange was installed at Noxon to handle the expanding number of phones in that area.

The "hello girls" provided a real service in their time.


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