DEER PARK PAST AND PRESENT
By Etta May Bennett and Nancy Fisher
Livestock and other goods can be sold at The Deer Park Livestock Auction sale on Fridays. Floyd Tew is auctioneer and owner.
This new modern postal facility, built in 1970, serves the Deer Park area. Patrons on rural routes get their mail daily, faster and more efficiently than in bygone days.
For 1913, this chicken ranch is quite up to date, but 7,000 chickens seem very little compared with today's operation.
No history of Deer Park would be complete without mention of the Arcadia Orchard Project begun in 1909. Arcadia Valley was covered with a heavy growth of pine, fir, and tamarack timber when the company was incorporated and the mills were busily engaged in converting this timber into lumber. In the summer and fall of 1909, 1000 acres of this land was cleared of timber, stumps were removed, and the land planted to commercial winter apples.
Deer Park's fame was spread far and wide. The Deer Park Commercial Club exhibited this fine display at the Chicago Land Show in 1913.
The orchards began to produce flavorful red apples which were sold under the Arcadia "Big A" brand. The return on the apples ran as high as $2,000 an acre. The acreage was purchased by many individuals for as much as $500 to $800 on acre.
Another packing plant was located in Deer Park in this building which is the Fair Building today.
George Warner built the first service station in Deer Park for the newly purchased automobiles. For a while the streets were a mixture of buggies and automobiles. There are many service stations to provide the horseless carriages of today the fuel and mechanical repairs. This station owned by Deer Park's Mayor Jim Swinyard is a fine example of the services available.
The concrete pipe was manufactured at Deer Park by the Deer Park Artificial Stone Company which specialized in the manufacturing od irrigation pipe. Louis Olson Jr. was part owner in the firm.
The first automobile agency was opened on 1909 by O. A. Peters on Crawford where the Junior High now stands. He sold Fords and William Critzer purchased the first car and L. E. Chapman the second. O. M. Kimmel joined him in business in the Deer Park Motor Company. Later Critzer operated a Dodge agency. Today Don Fish sells Chevrolets from this building.
This group of fine man waiting for the train may well be waiting for one of the favorite Loon Lake excursion trains that often went to Morgan Park.
Morgan Park was about the only thing on Loon Lake besides the Railroad tracks at the other end of the water. Little did people dream that the lake would soon be filled with Summer homes and Cabins in such a short time.
The City Park is the location of the Settler's Picnic each summer when the old timers can get together and reminisce about the past. Races and games are held for the young after a parade is held in the morning.
Today many social and Ssrvice clubs serve the area as well as fraternal organizations. Deer Park takes pride in its community spirit and it was this that united the efforts of all the community and included the support of the Inland Empire to -
This has been Deer Park Past and Present - a story of the people who cleared the virgin timber, plowed the soil and called it home.
As in the past the farmer can exhibit his animals and produce at the local fair. Fine hand work, flowers, baking and canned goods can be exhibited. The fair program has expanded to include horse shows in more recent years. Even a rodeo takes place yearly on the grounds.
A large poultry farm located east of Deer Park produces millions of eggs for the URM stores. Its capacity is for 100,000 chickens.
Evan Enecht surveys one of the new orchard tracts. As the trees were growing other crops were grown between the rows.
This shows the beginning of the water project. Notice the railroad which still occupies the same location on the lake. Three miles of flume connected Deer and Loon Lakes and 5 additional miles conected Deer Lake and Grouse Creek to insure usage from all three sources. Eight miles of ditch along Dragoon Crrek supplied water for between three and four thousand acres.
The large area included in the Arcadia Valley is shown on this map. It included 20,000 acres and was ten miles long and in many places of equal width. It stretched from Loon Lake to Chattaroy and plans were made to irrigate the entire area. By 1916 this was the largest commercial orchard under one management in the world and $1,700,000 had been spent.
The Fruit Growers Association ran their own warehouses and packing plants. This one located at Denison wrapped and boxed the apples to be sold in Europe and in the East. Packing crates were manufactured by the Standard Lumber co. in Deer Park. The Denison plant was destroyed by fire.
The water supply was cut off when lakes began to be lowered by too much use. About the same time the price of apples dropped. Landowners could not afford to drill wells to irrigate their orchards. Gradually the project began to fold. Today may of the trees can be seen in scenes like these where they have been unkept and the only drink they have had is from the snows and the rains, yet they remain - some 60 years later. The trees even procuce, and if you look closely you can see a few small apples on the branches. Without water they remain tiny and juiceless, often full of worms.
The wooden flumes had rotted and the pipes had fallen away but these concrete passage ways still remain. At the peak of the project the wooden flumes were changed to galvanized pipe. In 1916 50,000 feet of underground concrete pipe was installed with more added in later years.
Hundreds of people came to the area in these years and the ill-fated project provided jobs for many more. For a while the economy of Deer Park was tied to the orchards and it is said when a frost was predicted the fire alarm would blow and every available man would go to the orchards and light the smudge pots to keep the crops from freezing. By 1916 new road had been finished to Spokane.
Another mode of transportation available for years was the "iron horse" of the Spokane Falls and Northern Railroad. At first the line ran only to Springdale and later to Colville from Spokane. By 1911 there was service twice daily both directions through Deer Park and Clayton.
Morgan Park on Loon Lake was a favorite picnic spot especially on the Fourth of July. In those days one put on their Sunday best for such an occasion. This group of young people came by horse and wagon from Clayton. Gertrude King who is in the center of the back row tells us that the girls were especially gay on this day and put on the boys hats. Chaperones were required for such outings and they can be located in the picture.
Besides the lakes today the people have a modern swimming pool available to them. It is surrounded by a lovely park for relaxing and for picnicking.
Club life was not neglected in the early days. This group was the Williams Valley Women's Club. Grace Millner is the small girl on the far left. One of the first social groups was the Ladies Aid Society for the Wild Rose Church in 1893.
send Deer Park High School's Marching Stag Band to the 1970 Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California, on New Year's day. Without the united effort of the people of this community such an endeavor would not have been possible.
The land that once was the home of the Indian has become Panarama land and Deer Park is the southern Gateway to this recreation area.