Growing up Baca County Episode 9- By John Havens

    At one time Vilas could boast of a fairly large Hardware and Lumber Yard operated by the Hoarse Retherfords.  It was located on the North side of Main Street to the far East.  Coming back West was Mr. Wheeler’s Store. I believe there were 2 little houses located to the East side of the store where a Mrs. Porter and daughter lived.  One house was where Mr. Wheeler had lived.

     I believe part of the Wheeler building was used for a school lunch room one year.  Then a lady by the name of Bernice Hirsh operated a business there for a while.

     Across the street West was where the porter Garage had stood, but had burned down in the early thirties.  To the West of that was the home of Mae Hopping.  It had one been a station and eating joint.  To the west of that was the home of Flossie Brown and her children, and West of that was a Pool Hall and Barber Shop.  The last building in that block was the McClintock Garage.

    In the next block stood the Butler Building where they lived and operated a telephone office.  After the Butler family moved to Louisiana, that building was occupied by my Uncle Jake and Aunt Sada Havens who operated a café.  Apartments were rented out up stairs.

     On the corner next to the highway was the HB Service Station, operated by my parents, Homer and Easter Havens.

    These are the businesses I remember in Vilas 70 or 80 years ago.  There were 2 elevators North of the Railroad tracks.  The Collingwood, operated by Sam Gordon, and the Gano, operated by different ones such as Sam Welliver, Fred McKeel and John Thompson.  Also I failed to mention that the Arts and Crafts building later became the Liquor Store operated by Mr. Rip Anthony who moved to Vilas from Oklahoma.

     A few leftover memories are of the Sunday afternoons when Dad would get someone to run the Station and we would go to the picture show in Springfield, then always stop at Colvin’s Drug Store for a malted milk with cookies.  Nothing can beat those old fashioned malts at Colvin’s.

    Then there was theannual Memorial Day trip to  oise City, to place hand made flowers on the graves of Haven’s loved ones.  The Havens family, along with Snodgrass and Stogner families had all come from Kentucky to Guymon in 1906.  The Stogners moved on to Baca County and set up a homestead, but moved on to another area.  The Snodgrass and Havens Families came by covered wagon from Guynom to the Herley Community 6 miles Northeast of Boise City.  Later many of the Havens wound up to Baca County.  Some of the Snodgrass family came later.  Today there are none of the Havens in Baca County, but I think there are some descendants of the Snodgrass family still living in Baca County.

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