WPA

Mary Chandler1984

Mary Chandler1984

 

This is my wife, Mary, in 1984, on dad’s farm bridge across the canal.  This is same type and size bridge we had pre WPA.  Usually the beams under were like this but often in many areas the timber used was really just a log with the upper part cut down to flatten for planks. I do not remember any side rails on some, but most had them.

Charlene Chandler

Charlene Chandler

This is a WPA bridge at the corner of our farm on Butte road, done ~38-39.  My sister, Charlene is standing on the center rail support, I am on right, and a neighbor, Cozette Myers, on the left.

This is a photo of Mary and our lab Cindy. The bridge in the previous photo lasted until ~1982 (40+ years) when the last bridge, behind Mary, replaced it. These last bridges were mass produced, pre-stressed concrete.  To my knowledge there was no deterioration of any kind in the old bridge.  I’m guessing that they arbitrarily replaced all bridges regardless — probably had some gov’t grant.

Mary Chandler & Cindy

Mary Chandler & Cindy

BTW: This is  Butte Road and the northwest corner of dad’s farm.

 

In the early 1900s we really did not have the road infra structure to market locally or within state — that could not really come until after WWII.  But, as the years went by and trucks were invented, and went thru their development cycle, eventually they and the road could meet marketing to local/regional needs.

Until the end of WWII, there was precious little local commerce involving more than just local communities.  Example: when we were well enough off to afford even a dollar or two, we could go to other farmers and buy a sack of potatoes or apples or onions — that sort of thing.  But, most often we were reduced to bartering this for that — bartering is hardly conducive to interstate anything.

Although in the case of Treasure Valley, Oregon side was considered local once WPA had placed bridges in late 30s.  WPA made the region mobile by putting in culverts on county roads, bridges over canals and streams, and bringing electricity along county roads in 1938.  I remember the WPA coming to our place and placing two culverts in our driveways. They kept, in our yard, a big green box 6 x 4′ x 5 ft high, with a sloping lockable lid to keep their shovels/picks, etc. in and locked up after hours.  Big letters on the green painted box saying “WPA.” It was the first padlock, or lock of any type, that I had ever seen!

We locals were never to know or understand the extent to which WPA was to change our environment.  They redid or changed, or added something to everything.  Drain ditches were cleaned out or cleared. Bridges were replaced or built. sewers were installed in almost every town. Roads were built. To get any kind of idea of the scope of what WPA did in Payette County I urge you to look at the WPA site on PayetteGenweb.  It will blow you away!

WPA would cause the most profound change in NP during my lifetime–see my story on NP Outhouses.  Perhaps exceeded only by paving the roads and electricity.

 

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