Antique photo brings back family memories

Florence Pryor, 91, holds the photo of the 1920s logging crew that included her father and brother. - KIRK BOXLEITNER The Arlington Times
Florence Pryor, 91, holds the photo of the 1920s logging crew that included her father and brother.
— image credit: KIRK BOXLEITNER The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON For Florence Pryor, a single photo was enough to reunite her with her father and brother, at least in spirit.

The 91-year-old Pryor was browsing through Evonne's Antiques when she spotted a photo of a local logging crew from the 1920s. Much to her surprise, she recognized her brother, Ben Olsen, and their father, Ben Sr., among the dozen or so workers on the rail car in the photo.

Pryor grew up in a very different Arlington from the one of today. She was born in "Camp 1" in Darrington, where the loggers lived and worked. In addition to camp offices and a cookhouse, the site boasted a blacksmith shop and a train shed.

"We also had a little red schoolhouse, about half a mile south of our house," Pryor said. "Camp 2 was south on the Arlington Heights road, until you hit Jim Creek. The school had first- through fourth-grades, then we went to Roosevelt, where it still stands today."

The Roosevelt building is currently home to the Arlington School District administration.

While Pryor attended school, her brother was soaking up eclectic life experiences. Ben Jr. started logging as soon as he got out of college, back when he was still a teen, but he didn't stay long in the job. Instead, he opted to become a professional guitarist, playing with the "Rhythm Rangers."

In the mid-1920s, a fire at the Ebey camp burned down the houses of many loggers' families, including Pryor's. However, she still recalls those years fondly, for the closeness that her family shared during that time.

"I just loved being there, outdoors with my family," Pryor said. "Mom was tired and dad came home on weekends, but she always had time for us kids."

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