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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

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In case you didn't know, a foundry is a factory that produces metal castings. In the “old” days they were in practically every city of any consequence, almost like blacksmith shops. The Star Foundry of Seattle was a major producer. For example, it cast the statue of Chief Seattle in Pioneer Square. See it here:




“So what?!” you say......well you are about to learn.


In 1935-36 the young men at Camp 1366 of the Civilian Conservation Corps, located in the Lewis and Clark State Park astride old US99, built an auto camp kitchen. As you know, many auto camps had kitchen facilities. They served a practical purpose when there wasn't a stove and sink in your camping vehicle, and the nearest restaurant might be a score of miles away.


The magnificent camp stoves at Lewis and Clark State Park are of stone, and the fittings are of cast iron. They no doubt served as places to prepare an evening meal and also supported family and civic picnics in the park. I have noted in local 1930's newspapers from nearby towns the mention of gatherings at the park, for example on the 4th of July, or for a local school outing. The stoves were wood burning and no doubt were fired up on such occasions.


I recognize that most road travelers won't give a rip about stone stoves....who does? But look at it this way. Standing in that CCC built kitchen, beside that old stove, all original, not restored or reconstructed, you are in a scene from over 70 years ago. For a moment you have truly stepped back in time, not to a place built to “look like” the past, or restored to what we “imagine” the past to look like, but authentically of the past.


OK, it is all in your mind's eye, but for those who can see it, congratulations. If you can't, I understand!




At the base of each stove is a ashdoor or clean – out door where you remove ashes, and a damper to regulate the flow of air into the stove. Stamped in raised and rusted letters on the hoary door are the letters STAR FDY SEATTLE.......the Star Foundry in Seattle, Washington , the maker of the stove fittings back in '36.




I nosed around a bit and here is a photo of the Star Foundry I found at: http://pauldorpat.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/9.-Star-Foundry-Duwamish-Head-WEB.jpg

And the company still exists, now as North Star Foundry.


I doubt the stoves get much use today. The cooking surfaces are scaling and a red hot metal surface today would be considered an insurance liability, especially with youngsters around. But it isn't hard to imagine when these beautiful rock and iron structures were regularly in use, along with the adjacent sink....a real hot spot on old US99!




Keep the Show on the Road!

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Even if the stove isn't used much/at all, the shelter apparently is and that's cool.

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Ah the "dangerous" stuff we used to do as a matter of course that nobody would dream of today.

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Ah the "dangerous" stuff we used to do as a matter of course that nobody would dream of today.


HA! This would be a book in and of itself, I think. My goodness mercy me!



Great pics & report, Dave ... thank you!





Cort | 39.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 2 MCs + '79 & '89 Caprice Classics
CHD.cars + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort
"I can't stop grinning" __ Shelly West __ 'Jose Cuervo'

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