Volume 8, Number 6, Winter 1984
I was raised about three miles south of Spokane where the Consolidated School District was formed. It was the first opportunity my brother Herbert, my sister Hazel, and I had to go to high school. School was held in the Baptist Church at Spokane, which was the former Rock Springs Church. This frame building had been moved from its former site which was in a grove of trees about a mile north of Spokane. Earl Bilyeus Canning Factory was later located there. The school district built an addition to the church and classes were held there until the large rock building was built. There were no buses then and we had to walk to school on a gravel road, now Highway 160. We wore boys basketball shoes and a pair lasted a month on the sharp gravel.
The month of March 1929 was a cold and snowy time. Our father, M. F. "Fish" Davis had died a year or two before and Herbert, Hazel and I along with our niece, Margie, Duke Davis daughter, now Mrs. Lyle Holder of Marionville, were living with our mother, Laura Welch Davis.
One snowy Saturday in March, mother had gone down to our brother Clydes place to help Neva with a new baby, Marie Gamble, now living near Crane. In those days we did not have sleds, skates, or skis nor good warm clothing for winter sports, as we have now. We created our own entertainment and amusements. On this particular day we decided to go to Spokane. We found an old metal bedspring, the kind with an iron frame on the bottom. Herbert hitched up a team to this contraction, (a mule and a pony) and made a sled. We piled some straw and old rugs and quilts on it and away we went. A neighbor, Dale Maples, had an old buggy from which he had removed the wheels and made a sled. He and his sister, Cleta, joined us. Along the way we picked up other friends, Fred Lewis, Hazel and Geneva Hilton, and perhaps their brother, Ernest. Some way we contacted the Wilson girls, Ruth (Stewart), Stella (Gray), Merle (Amos) and the Landers girls, Merle and Faye. We all gathered at old Mt. Carmel Church, an abandoned Methodist Church, that sat in the corner of the original Spokane Cemetery. The old building was about to fall down, the door was hanging and it was bitter cold. The full moon shining on the snow made it light enough to see inside the building. We kept warm by playing party games, such as "Skip to my Lou." Late at night we started home, nearly frozen but excited and happy. The next day we all had bad colds and Herbert and I developed pneumonia. Hazel and Margie had to go to school and Herbert and I were left alone to take care of ourselves. Fortunately, our brother, Lester (Cal) and his wife, Daisy, came by. They discovered our plight and went to get mother. She fed us good, warm food, kept the house warm, doctored us with home remedies, and nursed us back to health.
That happened 55 years ago. Herbert, Hazel and mother are gone, but I still have pleasant memories of that time of fun in the snow.
Credit also goes to Hazel Hilton Bright for some of the information. Both ladies are members of WRVHS.
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