Along the Santa Fe Chapter 2 page 6
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Building a Home in Etiwanda

We arrived at Etiwanda in due time, and found that the depot was about three miles from the town of Etiwanda, and there were no houses near that we could rent. The depot was located in the middle of miles of grape vinyards. The depot wasn't large, just an office and waiting room, and across the road was a warehouse for freight. The waiting room was about the size of a bedroom, and the office wasn't much larger. There was a grocery store about a mile from the station. Things looked pretty discouraging.

Our household goods had arrived ahead of us and were in the warehouse, so we decided to make the best of a bad situation and give the new job a try. So we moved our bed into the office and made a dining room and kitchen out of the waiting room. We had to use a little two burner oil stove to cook on.

The next day, I wrote a letter to the Superintendent describing the situation, and told him we would have to move to some other job, unless he could do something to remedy the situation. I received a letter from him advising me that if we could stay there, he would send us an outfit car for living quarters.

We talked it over some more and decided to stay and wrote to the Superintendent to that effect, but asked him to hurry the outfit car, as we were in a bad situation with the two little tots.

A few days later a track gang came out and built a spur track a short ways from the depot, and then our new living quarters were set out on this spur. It was a 36 foot box car made into a living car, partitioned off into three rooms, windows put in and was finished off inside, and made a neat little place. The carpenters came out and built a porch with a railing around it, and some steps with a railing, this for protection of the little tots. As soon as they had it ready we lost no time in moving into it.

It was a new experience living in the car, and as we didn't have to pay any rent for it, we decided we would stay on the job, at least give it a good try.

The work was not hard and I liked the job, but it was pretty lonesome; there were no close neighbors. A man brought the mail out once a day from Etiwanda. And The State Highway had a plant located there near the station. The man in charge of the plant had a wife and a little boy about the age of our little girl; they lived in a tent, so we figured we were not so bad off after all. They were a young couple about our age, and as time went on we got to be very good friends.

P>One great worry was the trains, as we had to watch the children awfully close for fear they would get run over. We had a scare once by finding Little Don asleep on the track one day. We had got a little dog for the children shortly after we had get settled, but this little dog was with us only a few days. The train got him and we had to have a dog funeral. We never tried getting another dog.


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