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About Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current | View Entire Issue (July 12, 2019)
A4 • Friday, July 12, 2019 | Seaside Signal | SeasideSignal.com
A happy 100th to Morey Morehouse!
SEEN FROM SEASIDE
nsell “Morey” Morehouse turned
100 years old on July 10 and friends
Eric Beal and Bob Cook of Amer-
ican Legion Post 99 want to lead the
The great Seaside chronicler Claire
Lovell — Hedda Hopper and Louella Par-
sons rolled up into one — wrote this of
“Ansell Morehouse knows dozens of
stories. As some of you may know, Morey
once played ‘golf’ with Jack Kennedy in
Manchester, Massachusetts, when they
were about 17 and 19 years old, respec-
tively. They buried Campbell’s soup cans in
the grass for cups and used Jack’s clubs to
play around the ‘course.’”
Morehouse came to Oregon as part
of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the
nationwide public works program as part
of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, insti-
tuted in the 1930s. Corps projects included
Ecola State Park, which opened in 1936;
the Sunset Highway; even the ﬁ re lookout
on Saddle Mountain.
Morehouse entered World War II with
the U.S. Merchant Marine and later the
Navy, where he met his wife, Sandy, stand-
ing “4-foot-10 and about 90 pounds,”
according to Cook.
After the war, Morehouse moved to
Seaside permanently, where he raised a
son, Rick, and worked as a salesman for
Morehouse had been a bosun’s mate in
the Navy and had a Navy expression for
every problem on the job, family member
Jeff Roehm said.
“We hired Morey away from Cam Lars-
en’s grocery mostly because my mother,
who passed away in 1951, really liked him.
He was our ﬁ rst employee along with Har-
vey Brooks who didn’t have the name
Roehm remembers Morehouse as
“always happy and upbeat and really fun to
work with, my ﬁ rst ‘boss’ when I worked
for my dad back in the mid-50s.”
Morehouse started calling bingo for the
American Legion when the post was “out
on the Prom,” Cook said, on the top ﬂ oor of
the natatorium building at the Turnaround.
Bingo raised so much money that Legion
members devoted resources to the property
it stands on today, at 1315 Broadway.
Cook credits Morehouse, along with
John Raniero, Frank Roshay and Les Mor-
ris, among many, for the purchase of 18 lots
at the eastern end of Broadway, before a
bridge spanned the Neawanna River.
Volunteers came up with some cre-
at left is unid
t right; Gene
940s or early
s it is fro
Morey Morehouse celebrated his 100th birthday on July 10.
ative ideas during the Legion’s construc-
tion. “Every time the tide would come in or
out, the soil came out,” Cook said. “Refrig-
erators, stoves, washers, dryers and any-
thing possible was used as riprap to stop the
Morehouse took care of his wife, Sandy,
at home for 13 years, doing everything for
her, columnist Lovell wrote in 2008. “She
had several physical problems, any one of
which could have been fatal, but he was
such a good nurse to her that she lived hap-
pily and well for many extra years.”
When Sandy Morehouse entered assisted
living, Morey Morehouse became a “den
father” to other residents, Cook added. “He
took care of her, then talked to everybody
else in the home. He knew everybody in
the county because he called bingo for 50
A former ﬁ re department volunteer, Sea-
side Fire Div. Chief Chris Dugan describes
Morehouse “as a member of the department
when the volunteerism was true.”
Everybody, from the chief to the brand
new ﬁ reﬁ ghters, were volunteers, Dugan
said. “There was no money involved. Any
money that went to the ﬁ re department went
to the equipment and the building. The city
did their part, but it really relied on volun-
teers to get that ﬁ re department going. Like
Roscoe Larkins, Clarence Owens — and
even as late as Glenn Bard and George Lar-
ﬁ eld — he ﬁ ts into the names of the history
of the department.”
Morehouse entered Suzanne Elise in
2014, where he lives today.
Morehouse’s son Rick and his daugh-
er-in-law, military veterans, both died as a
result of exposure to Agent Orange, Cook
After the death of Pearl Harbor survivor
Bill Thomas, who died at age 95 in Decem-
ber 2016, Morehouse unofﬁ cially became
Seaside’s oldest living veteran.
At Suzanne Elise, Morehouse is sur-
rounded by friends and supporters. Judy
Pesonen helps with his care, with com-
panionship from community members like
Beal, Cook, Roehm and Dugan, among
Happy 100th to Ansell “Morey”
Morehouse, a salute to a remarkable
The caboose is loose, and gets new life at Wheel Fun Rentals
The caboose is loose (and
right behind Wheel Fun
f you’re inclined toward observation,
you may have noticed something out
of the ordinary on South Holladay
Drive, not far from Broadway. It’s a rail-
road car, a caboose in fact.
Its owner, Patrick Duhachek, owner of
Wheel Fun Rentals, says it’s 116 years old.
After being used as a piece of playground
equipment in Clatskanie, in the early
1990s it belonged to the Astoria Railroad
Preservation Association where it sat on
the property of a lawn and garden shop.
Now Duhachek, the caboose’s new
owner, has set his mind to restore it.
Once upon a time when the caboose
was a working railroad car afﬁ xed to a
train, it ran between Spokane and Port-
land, or between Portland and Eugene.
As far as Duhachek can determine,
Caboose No. 026 was built in the Northern
Paciﬁ c Railroad shop in Tacoma, for use
on the Willamette Valley Line.
The working history of the caboose
is, at least for now, a bit unclear; it may
have been used at times on freight trains
as a rolling ofﬁ ce or observation car, and
it also may have been used to protect the
rear end of the train when the train was in
The caboose was also a rolling home
for train crew, including the conductor and
the rear brakeman and the ﬂ agman.
Although the caboose is just a shell
now, at one time it was ﬁ tted with a desk
The caboose is transported to Wheel Fun in Seaside.
for railroad paperwork involving bills,
wheel reports, and timekeeping. It’s easy
to see where there was room for three
bunks, a fold-down table, an icebox and
food storage, as well as a stove, a water
tank, a sink and a toilet. Built in 1903, this
caboose was retired in 1948.
Here’s a few fun facts about the
caboose. Common nicknames for this
car included “Little Red Shack,” “Par-
lor Car,” “Shanty,” “King’s Castle,” and
“Old Men’s Home.” Cabooses were also
John D. Bruijn
called “crummy,” which was a nicer way
to imply they were repositories for body
lice. Each set of wheels weighs 7,000
pounds. The caboose itself weighs 24,000
pounds. I asked Duhachek how he got it
from Astoria to Seaside; he said the Ness
Campbell Crane Company out of Portland
Duhachek was kind enough to give
me a private tour. There’s no way to get
into the caboose except to climb a ladder.
While it does need work, it’s easy to imag-
ine where the train men sat, and were able
to cook and eat a meal, and where who-
ever was responsible for driving it would
have to be to get the best view of the
Duhachek said it’ll be awhile before
he can complete the restoration, but he’s
excited about the prospect. Meanwhile,
next time you’re in that part of town, aim
your eyes east and take a gander.
It’s not every day you see a genuine
caboose in someone’s yard.
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