Sunday, April 02, 2006

Company Town Tidbit

Last week’s Agurban, our weekly ezine on rural ED, featured Port Gamble, WA being recreated from a company town into an entrepreneurial town. Linda Fettig, with the state of NE in ED, sent me the following email:

“I just wanted to let you know that my parents were married in Port Gamble - my mother was raised there and I was raised in the same county (Poulsbo). Here is a little known twist to Port Gamble's history. Your house in town was assigned by the husband's job at the mill - get a promotion, get a bigger house. When my Mom and family (12 children) lived there the town boasted a hospital, company store and a beautiful hotel that was still standing when I was a girl. When my grandfather passed away from cancer, there were still seven children at home. My grandmother literally had to leave town because all the houses were owned by the mill and assigned to job holders. The town was in serious decline in the 60s and many of the beautiful homes and buildings including the school and hotel were torn down. Luckily, someone had the foresight to preserve some of it and it has become a magnet for entrepreneurs. The town also had a very odd custom - men in town were known by their first name but the wives were simply called by their married last name - no Mrs. in front. So you and your wife would be Jack and Schultz. My grandparents were Dale and Fullerton and my grandmother's best friends were Guy and Hayes. Never found that custom in any other community I worked in. Just thought you might enjoy this tidbit of history. See you on the conference trail. Linda”

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