The Laurel Lumber Company
November 2002

My father worked in the Laurel Lumber Company all of his life. The next two pictures were taken in 1936.

Laurel Lumber Co. Lumber to be shipped

In November 2002, I went all around the lumber company and took pictures.

From the lumber company, you could see house in which I was born - just down the street on the other side. Directly across the street was the white house that I grew up in. And beside the lumber company was my parents' red house.

Grandmother Ritter's house The white house The red house

I grew up roaming around the yard, in and out of the buildings, getting into more than I should have. It was home to me.

The hardware store was built in 1954. It was 100 x 60 feet with three floors. When new, the cemented basement floor made an ideal skating rink for me and my sisters. That is, until Dad starting filling it up with all that hardware stuff. The sign by the road, already broken in 2002, was always special to me, though I really don't know why.

The hardware store The hardware store from the side The hardware store from the back The sign by the road

Behind the red house was the old butcher house. Ruth and I were once chased out of there because Dad and Uncle Lloyd didn't want us to see the steer being killed and butchered. We wanted to stay but they wouldn't let us.

The butcher house The side of the butcher house

Behind the hardware store was the building where they ran the sawmill. It was built in 1932. I remember that there would be a huge pile of sawdust when the mill was operating and we kids would play in it. There was also a cart on a railroad-like track that made for wonderful play. We kids would usually get chased out of there.

The sawmill building Where the sawmill used to be

On the second floor there were dozens of bins for hardware of all types. Some years later, an extension was added to the sawmill building on the right side. Over top of the extension there was a catwalk to get to the various kinds of lumber. We used to get chased out of there, too.

Upstairs over the sawmill Upstairs next to the saw mill

The shop, where doors, windows, stair posts, moldings and such were made, was down in the yard, along with sheds for lumber, moldings, and every other type of building supply. We kids were intimate with every building.

The millwork shop The lumber shed One of the sheds Another shed

Below the metal building were several large piles of sand and gravel. This was the very best for playing. We would go up into the building and jump out into the sand pile. Or dig tunnels and roads and castles in the sand. Every now and then, we would return to Aunt Dorotha's house and run upstairs to the bathroom, leaving a trail of sand along the way. Then we'd slide down the banister, get a drink, and return to our sandpile. By the time we would return home, we would be totally covered in the sticky sand and Mom would have to bathe us before dinner.

The metal shed Another shed

As I look back, I realize that those were truly hard times for the adults. The work was long and hard, money was tight, and leisure time was a rarity. But I remember my childhood as being carefree and happy and full of love from everyone around me. No one could ask for more. How blessed I am.

My mother and father, Eleanor and John Homer Weidemeyer My parents and me

The music on this page is Memories from the show Cats.

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