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Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society

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HUGO SUPPLY COMPANY

History Hugo Supply Company/Hugo Hitching Post

Established 1910 By Owners William & Agness Mackenzie

Speech by Blake and Jacque Hardwick, Owners 1967 - 1968

For the Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society

May 25, 2002

This is a collective summary of the information we know and have researched on the "Hugo Supply Company" and later the "Hugo Hitching Post." As previous owners, we remember some of its history and have pictures to corroborate most facts.

Hugo Supply Company

Hugo Supply Company was a general store with a post office. Jacque Hardwick lived in Hugo from 1948 - 1957. I remember the Mackenzies and can picture them in my mind, but so far have not found any pictures of William and only one of Agness. Our address at the time was P.O. Box 125, Hugo, Oregon.

The computerized image of the Hugo Supply Company was created by Mike Walker on his computer taking many hours to accomplish. Three black and white pictures of the Hugo Supply Company ca 1930s were found by Blake and Jacque in the Hugo Hitching Post during the time they owned the store in 1967 - 1968. They were in an envelope under the candy boxes and found when Jacque was cleaning the candy counter. What a find ... A fourth picture shows the front of the store and evidently was given to the Mackenzies. On the back of this one was written:

"A Panoramic view of Mom, the late 1920s Hudson and Roger — in front of Hugo’s Biggest and Best Store. 7-6-46"

In talking to Wayne McKy recently we have identified "Roger." He was Roger Fenton who lived in the little house directly behind the store. Roger worked on the Southern Pacific Railroad’s "Section Gang Crew" during the late 1940s. When the Hardwicks owned the store May 1967 - May 1968, Roger Fenton still worked for the railroad. He had a little machine with railroad track fitting wheels we called a "putt-putt" because as he traveled up and down the tracks it made putt-putt sounds. Whenever Roger was in the Hugo area he would park his putt-putt on the Hugo siding and walk up to our store for lunch. At that time he was contemplating retirement.

 

Hugo Hitching Post: 1967 - 1968

The next colored pictures were taken by the Hardwicks.. If you look closely they show on the left a red Chevron gas pump. In talking to our Chevron gas truck driver we were told it was the first one gallon gas pump in Josephine County. To use this pump, you wound it one way for one-gallon of gas — then wound it back. You did this for every gallon.

When the Hardwicks owned the store Frank Buffington was still alive. Some of you may remember Frank. If you look closely Frank is standing by a pillar just to the right of the red pump. Blake and Frank spent many an afternoon — in by the wood stove in winter, or on the bench on the front porch in summer — reminiscing about Hugo’s past. Whenever Frank would come by and need gas for his truck, he would put a gallon of stove oil in with the gas. He claimed it helped his engine run cleaner. At the time the Hardwicks owned the store — stove oil was in the tank to the little red pump. As you can see in these pictures there had been a regular and a supreme gas pump — note the gas prices at 32.9 and 33.9 for regular.

In the Hugo-Merlin News in the Grants Pass Courier Mildred McKy acknowledges the purchasing of the Hugo Hitching Post by the Hardwicks. Mildred, now passed-away, was Wayne and Blaine McKy’s mother.

We included William Mackenzie’s obituary from the Grants Pass Courier because he died in a Canyonville hospital while we owned the store: December 27, 1967. William was born August 4, 1875 and died at the age of 92.

Something of interest on our second display board is the "Deed Card" from the Josephine County Assessor’s Office verifying owners William and Agness Mackenzie during September 1942 through Timothy and Kathleen Krushe, the current owners since May 27, 1992.

Information researched by Michael Walker included a copy of Donation Land Claims dated September 1850 - December 1855. The General Surveyor Office’s map identified Hiram Niday, Weselely R. Walker, and August L. Walker as the citizens to receive donation land claims in the un-named Hugo area.

Hiram Niday died and his wife Carolyn later married David Sexton, the family of which Mt. Sexton is named after. In the 1850s the mountains and streams in the Hugo area were without names except for Jumpoff Joe Creek and Louse Creek. For example, Mt. Sexton and Walker Mountain were later named for the three donation land claimants in the Hugo region.

Hugo did not exist in the 1850s; it came into being in the late 1880s after the railroad was completed from Roseburg to Grants Pass, Oregon December 1883. The official town of Hugo started out as"Gravel Pit Station." It became Hugo when a post office was established in 1896. This is the same year the Lucky Queen Elementary School had its name change to Hugo.

The Hardwick’s pictures of the winter of February 1968 show the 18 inches of snow that fell over one weekend. One picture of our good neighbor, Wayne McKy, shows him plowing out the snow on the road in front of the store. Jacque, feeling like a big kid, of course had to build a snowman. Another picture showing how much snow Wayne piled up — also shows the McKibbon house, to the right of the store. A lot of the snow remained there in June and Blake had to use his old 1951 Chevy truck to break down the pile so it would melt.

 

Hugo Hitching Post — Original Building Burning November 10, 1971

The pictures of the original store burning were taken by Jacque’s sister, Ann Comer. She was standing in front of the former Davis General Store at Bummer Creek Lane and Tunnel Loop Road when she took the pictures. She sent us the pictures and we were heart-broken to see that beautiful piece of Hugo history gone.

In talking to Wayne McKy recently we found out he and Mike Batinach, and owner Bob Brown were in the building. They heard a loud "bang" and when Bob opened the office door he saw flames in the office and side garage. Wayne was only able to save the cash register and scales out of the feed room.

This concludes our research for now, may be more later.

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2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society