When I lived there in the 1950s, Greenville appeared to be prosperous and hopping.
When I went downtown, either walking with Cindy or driving with my mom, there were always lots of people walking around and shopping, and all the storefronts were occupied. There was the Greenville Furniture Co., which had interesting things in the basement like doll beds. Cindy and I each got a doll bed there. They were about ten inches long and had plastic gingham covers, one red and white and the other blue and white. These beds had the infamous and frightening tag on the end that said: DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG UNDER PENALTY OF LAW. Of course we didn’t want to get arrested, but on the other hand the tags were ugly and in the way. We discussed this at length, but we didn’t know what to do. So we compromised by cutting off the tags at the point where the scary message started.
The front yard of the cottage had many tall pine trees, and someone had made a wonderful wooden swing that was suspended from the high branches of two trees. There were also several hammocks in the yard that one or two people could fit into.
Our family always spent a week or two every summer living at the Turk Lake cottage.
It was about 10 degrees cooler there than in Greenville, and on hot, humid days there was a nice breeze from the lake. Often other family members were staying there as well, since my dad had a brother and five sisters who all had kids. Everyone had the same idea when it got hot in town, so sometimes it got quite crowded at the cottage. But my grandparents had set up sleeping places for many people. They had a bedroom with a real door in the back of the cottage for themselves, but all the other sleeping “rooms” were open at the top so you could look up and see the big pine log rafters spanning the roof of the cottage. The two or three other sleeping rooms had “doors” made from a wire stretched across the doorway with fabric hanging from it. Across from the sleeping rooms, along the other wall, were bunkbeds for kids, which went all the way up to the rafters. I think there were two or three sets of bunkbeds for the many kids, since most of my dad’s sisters had several kids each. As well as the bunkbeds, there was a screened porch surrounded with windows that looked out onto the lake. There was some kind of bed in there too.
Ray Winnie Auto Sales has been a fixture at the corner of Washington and Franklin streets for the past 35 years, selling a wide variety of used vehicles and running a successful vehicle rental service, the first in Greenville.
With the purchase of a new wrecker truck in 1964, Ray Winnie originally started “North End Shell Service” at 1114 N Lafayette St., now the site of El Jalapeño Mexican Restaurant.
My best friend was Cindy Wilkie, and she lived across the street and one house down from mine. She was there when we moved into our house on Bower Street when we were both 4 years old. Cindy was two weeks younger than me, and she was also a lefty like me.
We became inseparable until the day my parents moved our family to Portland, Oregon, right after Christmas of 1959, arriving in Portland on January 1, 1960 — the first day of the new decade.
Established at the historic site where John Green first settled in 1844, the first floor of the Flat River Museum was dedicated on Oct. 10, 1972. Soon, the second floor was transformed into a 1900’s streetscape, with period rooms depicting early Greenville businesses and homes.