When my great grandmother moved out west to join her husband in 1910, I’m sure she never saw herself in a small cabin with a child on her own much of the time. That was how it was when she first arrived on Grouse Flats. Her husband was off working for the railroad to bring much needed money into the home and was home on the weekends to take care of whatever was needed around the home place. By the time the early 1920’s came around, Mom Friddle (my great grandmother) was ready to move to town…and so they moved to Pomeroy, WA.
The Friddle family still didn’t have a lot of money and finances were tight in the 1920’s. They had two children and another one on the way, and a place in town was desired. They found a house in Pomeroy that wasn’t in too good of shape. The walls weren’t exactly air tight and you might say the place was drafty. Mom Friddle and Grandma Cappy were never ones to not make the best of any situation. I suppose Mom Friddle was around 30 years old and Grandma Cappy was about 13. They put their minds together and came up with a plan. A bunch of wallpaper samples were being thrown away and so those two got a hold of the samples and decided that they would spruce the place up. They took each piece and applied it to the walls in their small main room and I’m sure it must have looked like a patchwork quilt. In the end, the place looked much better…in fact when the landlord came by and saw what they had done – he decided he wasn’t charging them enough rent and raised the rent.
|Cappy & Sophie (Mom Friddle) probably taken around 1925.|
After their oldest son, Jack, graduated from Pomeroy High School, Mom and Pop Friddle took their family and went to live near Lewiston, ID. They first lived out in the east end of the Orchards and were recorded in the census there in 1930. Not too long after that, they bought some acreage near the corner of Thain Road and Stewart Ave. Pop Friddle was working for the Irrigation department and worked for $1 a day. Half of his pay went to support his family and half went to pay for that land. Mom Friddle and Grandma Cappy did their part and raised berries to sell and raised a large garden. While most of the country was entrenched in deep depression and looking for things to eat – Mom and Pop Friddle somehow bettered their circumstances and made sure that their children had plenty to eat and clothes to wear.
|The last visit up to the old home place on Grouse Flats. |
Left to Right: Claude, Mom Friddle, Jack & Cappy
Grandma Cappy, Uncle Jack and Uncle Claude took Mom Friddle back up to the old home place in the early 1970’s. The siblings shared a fondness for the old home place and talked reminiscently about their times there. They found the old wringer washer that Mom Friddle had used to wash the clothes. Jack and Claude both talked about taking the old washer back home for sentimentality. Mom Friddle wouldn’t have any of that – she was glad to have left that old washer behind and didn’t really ever want to see it again. Now all of them are gone and all that is left is a few pictures and some stories told to my mother that were related to me. When you look at the life that my great grandmother lived and the places that she lived – it doesn’t engender a lot of envy in my mind – she had to work hard, live on the only the essentials, struggle to feed her family, and make the best of any situation. Perhaps we all need to have a little taste of the way they lived to appreciate what we have now.