Recently, I wrote about The West End Cafe, The Skelly Station and our unique hometown telephone service. Threading all these establishments together was The Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway deserves a post all by itself and will show up sometime in the future.
The clarification needed is about the telephone company. Sam Woodhouse was the general manager of a consolidated unit. This job decription and position ended up with his grandson many years later. The organization went through a few changes and finally was cut over to dial on May 15, 1969. Remember when I said I thought our little town was about the last in America to go to dial. Of course, once we caught up we had a cable T.V. system, a digital switch, and all the hallmarks of modern times.
A few years ago, a community committee formed to collect stories and information of our county's heritage and write a book about our county. It was published in 2011 after considerable time and dedication by many residents and former residents. One of the articles was about our local telephone company. Accompanying this article was a picture of "Mabel" at the switchboard. It is a picture worth a 1000 words. The article also outlines some of the unknown services that came with that time in our history. I mentioned a few in the earlier post but think there are a few more that readers might enjoy.
The operator knew when the funeral started.
She knew where the Dr. was.
She knew that so-and so was out of town today.
The operator took a fire call and called one or more fireman with instructions.
She also blew the noon whistle. Now there is a custom that has been gone long enough that it might need an explanation for younger generations.
I loved hearing the noon whistle when we went to town.
|Mabel at the Switchboard|