Eastern CA and Oregon Fall 2014 travel blog

A cord of wood per month

The old Hospital

This was such a totally amazing little town. Founded by the world's 8th richest man in the late 1800's, this company town existed to support and house the workers of the first electric sawmill. To keep his workers happy and to keep the unions out, he ran steam pipes from the mill to all the houses to heat them. He built the world's first indoor mall and kept the prices low for the workers to use their script.

He built a hospital and all had free medical care (!)

More recently,some investors in the '90's decided to build a world class ski resort. The plan quickly shifted to building houses around the resort. As the land prices skyrocketed, the shysters made their money buying cheap land and selling it high as the rumors escalated. Unfortunately, some of the locals believed in the new pricing and refinanced, pulling money (equity) out. Now, old and poor, many fear losing their homes (which are old and ramshackle).

Since the steam no longer heats the home, they all heat with wood...a cord a month...7-8 cords a year. Hence the walls and fences made of cut firewood.

But they all look out for each other, plowing and shoveling in the winter, sharing garden produce and venison in the summer. Good people...slightly odd...

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