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Young Street transformed over the years

by: SUBMITTED - This view of Downtown Woodburn in 1913 shows that the railroad extended into what is today Young Street.In the early days of Woodburn, Young Street did not match up with Garfield Street; they were off-set by about half a block. The space that was to become Young Street was mostly taken up by the railroad. The Southern Pacific had a passenger station, a freight depot, a warehouse and I think they also had a barn and a corral for livestock.

In the earliest picture, taken in 1913 (pictured above), one can see the tracks running all over the east side, and also see one of the water towers, which served to put water into the steam locomotives.

A friend of mine asked what the brick building is that looks boarded up and lies between the lumber yard and the store.

I went over and took a picture, and asked my friends at the Planning Department. They told me that it is owned by the Sowa family. I knew that the Sowas had owned a foundry that sat across Young Street, so I went over to Industrial Machine Corp.

A?man there explained that he bought the company from the Sowas, but did not buy the little building across the street, which had probably been used for storage. The Machine company does machine work on all sorts of jobs, and he invited me in to see the joists which hold up the girders for his crane. They were made from the old pylons which held up the second water tower that the railroad had torn down. The storage lot next door used to house the Chevrolet garage until it burned down, and he bought the lot.

Picture 3 shows the Y that used to handle the trains waiting to fill with water.

Another fire took place behind that area when the original Valley Manufacturing building burned in 1943, and they then moved into the Cox Building on First Street.

The other boarded up building which is back there and close to the water tower, is the old water department building. Picture 4 shows that building.

The city water tower started out to be a small, high tower, and later a second, bigger tower was built in 1965. The original tower was taken down about 2005.

It is a shame that so many of the businesses that once prospered on that part of Young Street have become abandoned, but perhaps as the economy improves, we will once again have a growing area down there.



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  • 1 Oct 2014

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