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Mystery of Goodall and Drake is bigger than a breadbox


by: SUBMITTED - Drake's Grocery was once located on Front Street where the old Bungalow Theater now stands. The imprint on an old metal breadbox spurred a search for Goodall and Drake Grocery, which it turns out, was located in downtown Woodburn 100 years ago. I found a note in the museum addressed to me, asking if I knew where the Goodall and Drake Grocery had been located.

It was written by Dorothy Schriever, of Aurora. I called, and her husband explained that they had a breadbox in their kitchen that was labeled “Goodall and Drake Grocery, Woodburn, Oregon.”

I told them that I would do my best, but it was unlikely that I could find a specific location, as there were no addresses in early Woodburn. Everyone got their mail at the post office, either general delivery or in a box.

I then looked through a stack of ads that I had for Front Street, and lo and behold, there was an ad from 1912.

I called and told Dorothy, and she looked up the two parties in the 1910 census, and discovered that there were two Goodall brothers who were listed as living at the hotel, and that they owned a mercantile store.

The brothers were James Colville Goodall and Charles Chester Goodall. She thought that James might have an obituary in the Woodburn Independent for March 1927, and that it might give us the first name of his partner, Drake.

Next stop was the library and microfilm. I started with 1910, and discovered that on Feb. 24, 1910 the Goodall brothers bought an interest in The People’s Cash Store from C. M. Love and Sons. They ran it until November of 1911, and then there was an ad stating that they were having a sale, as one of the investors wanted to cash out.

There must have been a recession of sorts about the end of 1911, as many of the groceries were having large sales, and the Farmer's and Merchants Bank transferred assets to Security Bank of Woodburn.

The People’s Cash Store quit advertising for a few months, and then in April of 1912, started again, but listing Goodall and Drake as running it. Then, in May the name was changed to Goodall and Drake, The Busy Store.

In 1913, there was a fire and the store was damaged beyond the insurance coverage. The paper noted that the fire also damaged Moore’s Drug. So, the store was located where the Bungalow Theater, part of the museum, is now located. After the fire, Drake bought out Goodall, and it became Drake’s Grocery.

I found a picture of that, with pictures of Mr. Drake and May Irwin and Ivan Byers.

So, I did find the information for Dorothy, and the story was much bigger than a breadbox. I did get a picture of the breadbox, which is now over 100 years old, and I learned a great deal in the bargain.

Isn't history fun?