Barney’s Matchbook Cover
September 22, 2016 – 12:07 am | 3 Comments

Locals know Barney’s Corner as a gas station, but early on it was much, much more.
I believe this matchbook cover comes from around the 1940s. Back then there was food and dance.
Barney was Keith Malcom’s brother …

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Farmers put in their own lines (ca. 1912)

Submitted by on October 16, 2011 – 7:08 pm9 Comments
Oct 21, 1920, Threshing machines of Henry Nelson at Clear Lake Farm

Oct 21, 1920, Threshing machines of George Henry Nelson at Clear Lake Farm

It’s hard to imagine Rainier Connect telling you today, “We don’t have lines out where you live. But,  if you put them in yourself and rent our technology, we’ll make sure to take some off your phone bill.”

But back in the early days of telephone, that’s more or less what happened. Per the History of Southeastern Pierce County, the Silver Lake Telephone Company installed two lines in 1912. They were 10 miles apart and serviced 23 people. The first home to get hooked up was owner N. P. Christensen’s. And early officers in the fledgling company were John Kipper and Frank Krones.

Farmers Want to get Connected
It was too expensive for the private company to build additional lines for farmers and other living miles from the two main lines. So what did the farmers do? They banded together and put in their own lines and rented a switchboard in exchange for a reasonable rate. (I hope they got some discount!)

Photo courtesy of Nelson family.

Click on image to enlarge.

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