The Hood River County Sun, Hood River, OR., August 24, 1940, page 4
The McIsaac store has a wonderful record -- one that
the community and the upper valley can well be proud of. The store started
in 1910. Violet Kelley Cooper became a bookkeeper in 1918 and has continued
for 22 years. John Cooper and Walt Gregory were the first clerks working
ten years. Mr. Warren Gibbs has been employed 19 years. Mrs. Lennie Post
resigned a year and a half ago after 17 years service. "Curley" Runcorn has
been a meat cutter for 12 years. Raymond Dowightary has clerked six years.
Roy Pugh, who operates the service station, started as an extra clerk four
years ago and Reta Kelley Ketchel took Lennie Post's place.
Harold McIsaac, the eldest son, became a partner and manager upon his graduation from college. He also became postmaster. The post office was in the store 29 years. It is interesting to note that there has always been competition, except a short while when the Grange building burned and between the Gross store and Hurley's entrance in business.
McIsaac's is a general store. He sells machinery as well as orchard supplies, groceries, paints, meats and dry goods, but nothing now like it was before 1930.
They have discontinued a large stock of shoes and overshoes. Although they have a small stock of men's work shoes yet. That store followed the example of Rodenbrauser when he started delivery to customers in busy times. Those were the days when clearing crews were like threshing crew. The logging and sawmill crews bought most of their supplies, including "tin" pants and spiked boats and dynamite. "Them" where the days when Parkdale had the appearance of a carnival during strawberry harvest. The farmers had bills amounting to several thousand dollars a year.
The freight was brought up on the Oregon Lumber Company's train until 1929. Upon the completion of the Loop highway, R.J. was the first to purchase a truck. Some days the truck made several trips; although feed and sugar and flour continued to be shipped in by carload. At present wholesale houses are delivering much of the goods, revising the whole system again. Thirty years isn't so long to look back on it, yet it seems a long ways ahead. One of the stories of "R.J." is his weakness for babies -- always, he gave a nice gift to every new baby.
One woman tells how he fitted the first pair of shoes on her son (now grown). She always bought a big cabbage. R.J. charged her for the cabbage and gave her the baby's shoes.
In the boom days of 1908-1915 there were thousands of dollars changed hands in the Upper Valley. It would be safe to say most of it passed through the McIsaac store. He has received a bronze plaque after 25 years service from the Standard Oil Company. The clerks records are unusual. There has always been faith and harmony.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer