Vina Woods Oral History

Dublin Core


Vina Woods Oral History


Vina Woods Oral History


Churchill County Museum Association


Churchill County Museum Association


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Churchill County Oral History Project

an interview with Vina Woods

Fallon, Nevada

conducted by Eleanor Ahern on

This interview was transcribed by Marilyn A. Goble.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Churchill County Museum or any of its employees.


This is Tape 1 Side 1

This is Eleanor Ahern with the Churchill County Museum Oral History Project interviewing Vina Woods at her home at 169 South Ada Street, Fallon NV. We are sitting in her kitchen and the time is 10 o’clock.


AHERN: Good morning Mrs. Woods. Could you please give me your full name?

WOODS: Vina M Harrigan Woods.

EA: And where were you born?

VW: Here in Fallon. Uh…no I was born in  St. Clair district out on the old Allen place now.

EA: Were you born at home?

VW: At home, yes. Dr. Gardner was the first good doctor that came into Fallon in 1940.

EA: Uh…do you remember anybody talking about your birth at home? Was it common back then to give birth…?

VW: Everybody had it cause there wasn’t ever a….There wasn’t any hospitals or nursing homes or anything. Anyways Dr. Gardner was the first doctor that came into Fallon

EA: Was he the only one who assisted in the birth. Was there a midwife?

VW: Oh yes there always uh trying to think of her name Cora Ferguson assisted momma. My momma’s sister-in-law took care of most of her… when the children were born. So I imagine Cora…Aunt Cora…she’s my aunt, my dad’s sister. I have an idea she was…No! I’ll take it back. It was Mrs. Charlie Ban served as midwife. She’s ______ as a nurse.

EA: Can you tell how many brothers and sisters you have?

VW: 5 brothers and 5 sisters. There are 10 of us. Well 4 sisters and me.

EA: Can you remember…Do you remember any of them being born at home?

VW: They were all born at home. Most of them the later ones, myself and my sister (passed away) and my brother were born up on the Allen Ranch and the rest of them was born on the Arian Ranch in the Union District. It’s called Wightman then but it’s Union now.

EA: It was called Wight….

VW: Wightman after a man by the name of Wightman but just say in Union that’s all. Yeah the Smart District and the Wightman School combined and we called it Union.

EA: You are the second of the ten children. Um…did you…do you remember um…witnessing the birth or helping in anyway.

VW: No, when everyone I think we all had ___ ride on a sleigh for those born in the wintertime and in the summertime way we went down to the neighbors some place. So we went and when we came back we had either baby brother or baby sister.

EA: A surprise huh?

VW: Yeah, we didn’t know it was going to be but then we…we went to visit our neighbors especially when the older ones come. This is younger we had to call her Grandma Ferguson. So we’d always go up to see Grandma Ferguson. And dad had a uh…in the winter….the ones born in winter while snowing he had a homemade sleigh with a uh… one by 12 board…about 10-12 feet long. And uh…told me…we’d sit on this board and that was our sleigh. He had a hor…borrow a horse and we’d drive that sleigh ride and go to see Grandma Ferguson and when we came back we had a baby brother or baby sister.

EA: Do you remember much about your parents? Um. Where were they born? Where your father was born?

VW: My dad was born in Virginia City, Nevada. Mother was born in Penzance, England.

EA: Do you remember how they met?

VW: Well mamma’s brother, John Oats, had a ranch. He was kin…he was a Viner. He came out and he went to Tonopah then he was in Austin and then Fallon started up and he took up a big ranch here. And so mamma came up and he had a partner called Lontoll [EDIT: Best guess at spelling] and Lontoll had a daughter that wasn’t well. She had TB, so she… he didn’t want to leave her alone while he worked on the ranch so they talked mom in coming up and staying with Luellen [EDIT: Best guess at spelling]…I think her name was.

EA: So your mother came up from England to take care of your…?

VW: No, mamma’s had uh…they came from Sacramento

EA: Oh she was already living in Sacramento.

VW: Yes, and she came up here to take of Lontolls sister who had TB. She was sick and they didn’t want to leave her alone. So ma came up from Sacramento, she was only 21 and she came up to live with Uncle John and be a companion really. She didn’t take care of her, she was just a companion for uh…

EA: The daughter?

VW: the daughter.

EA: Do you remember how old your mother was at that time?

VW: She was 20 I think.

EA: 20. And so um…Now how did your mother and father meet?

VW: Well uh…mamma was working up there and he was a farmhand. And so they met…just as for farmers. Uh…my dad’s uh uncle was Vet Smart. And he had a Smart Ranch and so he was takin…helping Uncle Vet on the ranch.

EA: Which ranch are they…is this that you’re talking about?

VW: It’s the Smart Ranch.

EA: Where was the Smart Ranch.

VW: It’s about 6 miles south of Fallon. It’s right on the…I think they’ve sold it now. There used to be a curb there and when they straightened the highway they ran right through it and I don’t know who’s on the place now. But it was a Smart Ranch for years and years and years.

EA: And so that’s where your mother was.

VW: Yeah, that’s where it did. Mom was up at Uncle John’s and dad was working on the Smart Ranch. And they these had Saturday night dances and so I guess that is where they met.

EA: Where was the dance held?

VW: I imagine in the school. In the schoolhouse.

EA: Which schoolhouse would this be?

VW: Darn it. I…

EA: It was in a schoolhouse.

VW: In a schoolhouse. I don’t…I imagine in the St. Clair. St. Clair schoolhouse. I imagine cause that was right up close to Smart place.

EA: Do you ever remember your mother having an English accent?

VW: Very much so. She left…she added “h’s” into…(laughing) Geez, very much so. Daddy always making fun of her so she was pretty careful…you know teasing her about her “h’s”…he always said she take the “hashes” out of the stove. (chuckle) Dropped “h’s” and put on “h’s” and we just had a bro…

EA: Describe your mother to me.

VW: She was a little short, about 5foot. When she was young she was real slender. They said she was very pretty woman, I know she was a good-looking woman at the time. Course she got older and she got heavier but she was only 5 foot tall. She’s a little short

EA: Very petite.

VW: Very petite and very pretty. My brother has the only picture we had to show her she was a very pretty woman.

EA: Well, what about your father? Describe him to me.

VW: He was a six footer. 6 foot 1 or 2. Right near our age when…they all accuse him even though…oh their name is O’Harrigan cause he sure is red faced…freckled face and red hair and slender. They say I look like him when I’m different complected. But he was a big man…he was well above 6foot. Mamma came up  to about his shoulder. (laugh)

EA: Do you have lots of fond memories of when you were growing up as a child? Any fun years?

VW: Yeah, we uh…we had a lot of work to do when we were kids out on the ranch. Dad took care of bees…he had BEES…he had 200-400 stands of bees. And that’s what he made a living at when we were kids.

EA: When did… He sold the wax and the honey?

VW: Honey.

EA: Just the honey.

VW: Oh. Extracted honey and uh combed honey. Cause I remember when I was a little big enough to hold a section we’d have to scrap wax off the section. But um…then they got foul brood in them and bees all died off. So he had to go into uh…went to work in the ranch.

EA: What did the bees die of?

VW: What they call foul brood. It’s a…that’s where the young bees died, you know. They never survive once they get foul brood in them. I don’t know how in the world they ever picked it up. Mr. Norton, dad’s friend Ben, had a lot of bees too and they all lost their bees just a few.

EA: Who um…who was your dads customers for the honey?

VW: Well he sold it to the stores and Kent, old man Kent, Ira’s father [EDIT: Best I can make out] had a store and he bought a lot of its. And then a Mr. Norton had a lot more bees than dad did, he had uh… wholesale… where he would take it…send it to Reno and they would throw it together and ship it out. And they had uh…first they had combed honey and then they…they had these great big uh… 1,000 gallon tank, it was a huge bit tank. Then they had uh…extracted honey and they sold it in a 5 gallon can. It was easier to do and more profitable than combed honey.

EA: When you were helping your dad with the care for the bees, was there anything you had to do…be careful of in order to not get stung?

VW: You betcha. You had your veils and gloves. We all had a hat with a veil on, the veil is fastened down around our shoulders so the bees couldn’t and we had glove going halfway up our arms up to above our sleeve so the bees couldn’t bite.

EA: But uh…did you um…have to do…other than dressing to protect yourself. Anything that are special in approaching bees?

VW: Just had to be careful. Just take it slow. You could walk up to a hive of bees and if you walk up very carefully and slow and didn’t bother them why they didn’t bother you.

EA: Oh.

VW: But if you made any noise or anything extra and quick things. Why then that’d kind of excited them and that’s when they would bite/sting. Cause you could uh…fear out of them bout then they wouldn’t bother you. Usually helped dad out…did a lot of help.

EA: Were you ever stung by the bees?

VW: I’d have a dollar for every time I’ve been stung.

EA: So they were accidents huh?

VW: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It’s fun. Well make them angry bee, but you can tell as soon the bee got angry he had a funny tone. He sounded different from the others. When you got an angry bee you try to find him and kill him.

EA: Oh you would kill him.

VW: Yeah, well after they sting they die anyway.

EA: Oh, I didn’t know that.

VW: Yeah, honey bee. After a honey bee stings he dies. He loses his stinger and his innards come out with his stinger. Yeah it’s the funniest thing, you know, when they sting they usually die. Well I know they die.

EA: Well yeah. A little anxious.

VW: It is. You never think it but they do. But the drone bee why they…queen bee they don’t have but 1 or 2 queens and only 1 queen per can they ___ the other queen would be killed…the strong queen. And the drones why they’d soon as they mated…I guess they mate for life. Why they got rid of the drones, so turn around is and can see where they would kill them and let them all die. And if there is more than one when they get _____ time when that when they raise your bees realize and they make this funny little cell on the section wax and things and I don’t know how that…what lays egg there…a queen but it get a certain period that’s for queen bee and then they…she gathers all the bees she can then they swarm and form a new colony but they have to till the queens hatched. But they all have one queen in each batch. The other bees would kill the other queen off but they have to wait till the queens hatched. Kind of funny you’d explain it all, you know how they pick queen they are going to keep and that’s when they’d swarm. Make another hive, they’d get a queen bee and then they’d swarm.

EA: After your dad got out of the bee business. What kind of business did he go into next?

VW: He had a little ranch.

EA: He had ranch?

VW: No dairy…no cows. What else did farm? Cause we had milk every morning. When we got big enough, us kids milked cow. He had 12-14 cows. And then he had hay.

EA: Was your family virtually self-sufficient on the ranch?

VW: Most of the time yeah. But if dad found right when they built the highway why he worked for the highway. But farmers loved to help the other you know. I think usually dairy... milk, cream was our living. Spending money anyway, and we’d freight milk and cream sort of cream and cream…had a creamery up here on the Maine St… by the railroad track. They’d have a dairy truck that come out pick up the cream. They didn’t why they had to deliver it in town and that was our spending money was the cream. The rest of it can be spired up money and were paid. Once a year crop…

EA: When you weren’t working…when the children weren’t working what did they do for entertainment?

VW: Well we hadn’t gardened a whole…when we got a little bigger. And we had turkeys to herd, and that was my, my main chore her turkey. Mamma raised turkeys. And we’d have to rented out the ranch when it was across the old Carson River. And there’s a lot of cyotes and we had to herd the turkeys to the dog lawn so the cyotes wouldn’t get them.

EA: And after you were done with your chores what did you do for fun?

VW: Oh we played cards and we played Danny Over the House. And uh…we didn’t stay up late, we were always tired. Always.

EA: Did you go for picnics or to the river swimming?

VW: Oh yeah. We went quite often.

EA: What was your means of transportation then?

VW: Horse and buggy. I remember I was scared of the horse. When I went to school I…went to high school we had to ride horseback. But when I went to primary…Union School…consolidated the Smart way we had all uh…horse and street wagon they called it. Hook the horse up to the buggy and the poor thing had to stay there all day while we were in school. Lived about a mile, mile and a half from the school.

EA: When you attended grade school um…this is Wightman’s School. Um was it a large class? Were there a lot of kids in class then?

VW: There was very, very, very few.

EA: How many kids?

VW: They had to haul eighth didn’t have need of the teach. It’d get dark after awhile and they had to teach the whole eighth grade. Those of us, only 15-20 in the whole school. And lots of the time the eighth graders would teach the…help the little first graders out.

EA: What was the teachers name again? Was it Matt Mead?

VW: Mead, Mead. Old Man Mead.

EA: Old Man Mead.

VW: We’d call him Mr. Mead, yeah. And then his daughter grew up, went to school and she taught. Marjorie Mead. But his name was…I don’t why we always called him Old Man Mead. He a long white beard and that was our first teacher. And we sat in that room the only reason….and we never learned a darned thing.

EA: And why is that?

VW: Cause there’s just too many kids. And he didn’t uh…he didn’t…he’d just write on the blackboard and he didn’t try to teach us anything. There wasn’t another teacher. So we had…I said we went to school for two years to see “I see cat run.”

EA: Okay, so that whole week time you were in school. What did you learn?

VW: Nothing. I just you know, the other…older kids tried to…taught younger ones. And just see “I see a cat” or “a cat runs”.

EA: I see a cat?

VW: Yeah that was uh…

EA: Is that a line that you read?

VW: Yeah, it was a little first grader book you know. But I can always see I see a cat. See tom…See cat run. And just those silly. Went to school a whole year.

EA: When did you think you started learning something?

VW: Well when the school consolidated with the Union District school.

EA: And how old were you then?

VW: Oh I was about 8, 9 years old then.

EA: And that’s when…

VW: And we really had to learn. Well we had a teacher that taught something. Other time I, Old Man Mead had all classes and he was an elderly man with long white beard. He wasn’t…He couldn’t bother with us kids.

EA: Do you remember uh…what type of discipline that they used in school? Was it a very harsh district?

VW: Yes it was.

EA: What was used?

VW: It was a ruler.

EA: When was the ruler applied?

VW: (laughing) Usually wherever he could hit you…he didn’t hit you on head but everywhere he could. He was just…you know…he didn’t have to use but once or twice on one or two and the rest of them were pretty terrified. And everyone’s sit down. Yes. Sat in our desks and find a _____ and did learn anything for 2 years.

EA: Did you enjoy school even though it was like that?

VW: Well that’s all we knew until we got up into where we had to settle down and learn something. It was pretty hard for about a year. We’d go to school for something aside a play. I guess I really didn’t learn anything till it was learned here in the school…Wightman School consolidated with the Smart School. They called it the Union School and we had 3 teachers…the lower grade, middle grade and the upper grade. So then began learn…went to school to learn and didn’t go to school to play. But one teacher had to teach all grades so they didn’t have to

EA: When you uh…got into uh high school did you…did they train you for vocation?

VW: No. It’s…You took your…You know you took your classes and that’s…I took uh sewing and that we weren’t…they didn’t train us anything special. We just um…took home art…home economics learned to cook and sew. But then we took…had other classes to Spanish and English.

EA: When you were in high school in your senior year did you already decide what you were going to do after you got out of school?

VW: I didn’t. I wanted to go on to University but we couldn’t afford to send me. So, I just um…my neighbor Mrs. Goble and her…that they uh…lives just a mile below us. And uh, uh could drive a car and they had chickens so he said if you could help us…we’ll go into chicken business together. So, we did, we had over a 1,000 dagurn hens. I’d go down every morning at about half a mile to walk.

EA: Getting hungry again.

VW: I’d go down and I’d have to feed them in the morning leave nuts in the hen house and then come back in the evening gather the eggs and feed them again and give water. And I already did that for a number of years and we did pretty good on it.

EA: When you say we was it just you…?

VW: No, it was Mr. Goble. Mrs. Goble and Mr. Bassett the people that owned the ranch. Both are quite elderly so they need someone young enough to

EA: It was Mr. Goble and Mrs. Bass.

VW: Mrs. Goble and Mr. Bassett. B-A-double S-e-double T. They were from Pennsylvania. They came out here when they built the Lahontan Dam and the took over this ranch. They didn’t take over the ranch they bought it from the park. The party that took…Hardy’s…they bought the Hardy place. And they…they raised chicken…eggs…egg layers. Chickens, eggs besides ranch.

EA: Was it a successful business?

VW: Oh yeah. Each…we uh sell them 10 cents a dozen but we made…hay, wheat and everything else is just as cheap so we made a little spending money anyway.

EA: What did you do with your money?

VW: Spent it fast as I made it I think. I lived at home so I guess I…you know used it then. Sure didn’t save it.

EA: And how long…

VW: And it was 10…8 of us in the family way. Every dollar helped.

EA: So your spending money basically went to help support the family.

VW: Yeah. Mm-hm.

EA: So how long were you in that business then?

VW: Oh 4-5 years I guess.

EA: And after that?

VW: Right after I got after high school. And I already worked with my aunt in a newsstand. After she passed away I took over.

EA: A Newsstand?

VW: Center Street Newsstand.

EA: What?

VW: Sold newspapers and magazines.

EA: And how long were you in that business?

VW: Oh, 10, 20 years I guess. Until they…everybody took…had magazines and newspapers and personally…make it worthwhile. But when I first started why none of the stores or anything didn’t carry magazines and newspapers and we made pretty good living but after all the stores got it and you know that got thrown people down like the Gazette and I mean so I wasn’t into…couldn’t tell you. You working all day for nothing. You know too many…your making a dime why they wanted half of it so (laughing).

EA: Did you belong to any uh social groups? Any uh organizations?

VW: Yeah. Am a charter member of the Eagles when they first came in here and that was 30s I think. And then we had a little club up in trying to think of where I lived in Union. Neighborhood club. Consolidated and called it Union Club. And I…with the 4-H was the 4-H leader for a long time. In fact I made…took a group to Chicago for 4-H conference.

EA: That uh…Union Club.

VW: Just a little social club with wives and canned uh…met fellow wife and I was thinking oh… and we met. Just to meet your neighbors.

EA: What did you do there?

VW: Just talk and sew. Nothing really. Just uh…just social that’s all

EA: But when you took your sewing what kind of sewing uh…did you take to do at the meetings?

VW: Nothing special. Just whatever you had on hand that wanted to do. Sometimes dish towels or hems. Just whatever is on…sometimes nothing. It was just went there and visited and had lunch and went home. It was more of a social to meet your neighbors than it was anything else.

EA: Where did you meet?

VW: At different houses. Each…each month we did at a different and they served refreshments. I don’t know who was…you went on kind of…I don’t if they went alphabetically or just somebody said oh I’ll take the next one. And they got in that routine so just automatically one lady had it well then you come after she did. Like our neighbor, Florence Matheson, she’d and the next week we’d have it. And then our neighbor had it. There was 10 I guess.

EA: Uh…tell about your married life. How did you meet your husband?

VW: I…During the war came down to us from uh…I think he came into Winnemucca. Was from Seattle and went to Winnemucca and he had an uncle who was a mining prospector. And he came into Winnemucca and he decided to join that he would join the service. He was only 18.

EA: Which war was this?

VW: First World War. And when he got there they wouldn’t take him. He was too thin and scrawny anyway. (laughing) So men were scarce so he was up there in Reno, went up to Reno. And then this guy down on San Frank Place what they call was hunting for haymen. San Frank Place.

EA: Where was San Frank Place?

VW: Just down here in uh…down Grimes District.

EA: Uh-huh.

VW: It’s a ranch out there. I don’t know who…it was Frank Cushmans…and I don’t know has it now. And he worked there.

EA: When you say Hayman, it was someone who cut the hay…

VW: Cut it, shocked it, and rake it. They didn’t do it like they do now. They had to have somebody cut it, somebody rake it, somebody shock it and somebody lift it on the wagons and haul it in. It’s a lot more work than it is now. And so they’re hunting any kind of person was big enough to lift a shock of hay. Work on the ranches.

EA: What was a shock of hay?

VW: Uh…you see little hay stacks. Well that’s just a haystacks but just big enough so they could take and put a pitchfork in it and pitch it onto the wagon. So it’s a little shock of hay. And they… I know I had three pitchers and two wagons.

EA: So how did you and your husband meet?

VW: Well he uh…worked in the…he came down from Reno. They took all able bodied men to war. Was 18 and so was crying once he couldn’t get in the war. (laughing) And he was… He was just 18 so they didn’t take him. So he was um…you know hunting for men. So this Mr. Franks brought him down to work on a ranch. And know sickem but he said he was willing to learn. He was 18, I was 17 or 18. So that’s where I met him. He came up. My aunt had quite a large ranch haying, she had 3 sons. And so Philips twice, they did his hay, then they came up did their hay, and then they came up did dads hay. So that’s when I met him. He liked working hay.

EA: When you first saw him what was the first you liked about him?

VW: Well, nothing much. (laughing) Ah he was fine and working everybody. But you know, already admitting that he liked him.

EA: When did you get married?

VW: 20…Graduated in 24. 26 I think that was. 22…no it was 30…32 34. Yeah 30 and then 32. I was just seeing when my kids were born. 34 and 36, married in 32. I was an kid, I was 28 years old when I got married.

EA: And how old was your husband?

VW: He was about 30. 2 years older. But we’d been together for…ever since we were 18 years. So it’s was 7 or 8 years.

EA: Why did you wait so long to get married?

VW: Well...I didn’t want to be tied down. And I guess he did not have a boss. (laugh) So when we decided we were going to have any kids well we better get married. So you we get up to the age where we either we’re going to have…you know I goodness to God can’t wait any longer. Well…we decided to get married. So I had two girls…I lost one of those. 8 or 10 years ago…skin cancer…leukemia.

EA: What was your daughters name?

VW: Chambers. Judy Chambers. Or Mary Elizabeth Chambers. We called her Judy. She left four little boys. But um…their dad sure stuck by them.

EA: Is your husband always in the uh haying business?

VW: No he was a road contractor, when he uh…after he got up and grew up. Why he was almost a natural he said for leveling and seeing roads. Some of the guys worked with him said you don’t have to have an engineer when he’s on cause he’d look down the road tell where them how many inches that needed leveling off. He had just a natural eye but he was a…he was a… born half I did so [EDIT: Can make out the last part of this sentence]

EA: You said your husband had a natural eye for…

VW: Eye for level…contracting…road leveling…things like that. He’d just look down the road and tell you just what grade it need. He said he could do better than an engineer. And so where why did you say and he’d just tell where it has to be leveled. A natural eye for it. So when he was superintendent but sad to say it went to his head and he got mixed in with the surveyors and engineers instead of coming home right after work, well let’s go get a drink. And that building up and building up person can normally drinks come before the work. And he was in an automobile accident. He was laid up for a long, lost his sight in one eye and that ended his working career.

EA: How old was he then?

VW: Oh he was…close to 60. He was…you know…Tell well over he lucky he didn’t get killed. But he had a concussion and lost the sight of his eye. (Clear throat) And that just…oh he lost the sight his eye, that just ruined him. (chuckle) But it didn’t, you’d never know it but he just thought he was…just felt like he was through.

EA: So is that when you retired from the business league?

VW: Well the state retired me. Discipline and we’ll go. So then we…was living with my aunt. We worked out on the highway once a…time like up in Elko or down Tonopah and Las Vegas and they didn’t uh…now they have campshoe but they it out in tents. And so actually…well I had little kids so I never went with him. After I had the kids and after they got to school we couldn’t move them from school to school. So…

EA: It seems like your husband was away from home quite a bit.

VW: An awful lot after uh…he was away more than he was at home until he got hurt.

EA: Did you find that a hardship with him being away from home?

VW: No. Cause I uh…I uh was working from my end. I had the newsstand and I had the kids and I re-really didn’t. I didn’t…

EA: You didn’t mind raising your children alone?

VW: I don’t want this on the record but they are a whole lot better off?

EA: You’ve lived in this house ever since you were married?

VW: Yeah after uh…after he settled down, after he got off the highways and hurtin his uh…Well I worked for my aunt. And he…when he was off for work cause he’d go down to Tonopah or Las Vegas or Ely in that. Be gone weeks at a time worked his way in road camps then when he come back why… But I was…Aunt Callie was getting pretty old and she needed help, so I lived with her, the kids and I did. And I helped her in the store. And the kids went to school, and then uh…she died. Why… why instead of taking pay from her I just took enough to go out with the kids and buy this house from her. She says “Ok. Pay me so much a month until I die then it’s yours.”

EA: So this is originally your aunts house?

VW: Yes, she had the house built in 1902, I think. About one of the first house built in Fallon. These three houses here. Carpenter that used to live up from my dad lived on…he built it. Carpenter Tipdepp.

EA: What was the carpenters name?

VW: Tipdepp.

EA: Depd..?

VW: T-I-P-D-E-double P. Depp. And he built these three houses here.

EA: When you uh…because you raised your children by yourself. Were you considered fairly independent during that time? Or did a lot of, uh, other wives raise their children while their husbands were out working.

VW: No, we didn’t. We…was kind of very independent, very independent.

EA: Did you uh…have you ever traveled with your husband on some of his job locations?

VW: Before the kids got big enough to realize…but after they got older and especially when they got in school I never left.

EA: Then did you enjoy, uh, traveling around this, uh, country?

VW: Well, I did it until they got bigger. And I couldn’t come home at nights til they got grant by them. I said to him well this is the last job for me. And I never went again.

EA: So you really never enjoyed traveling?

VW: I didn’t enjoy traveling. I knitted…Well not unless you lived in a road camp. You don’t realize what it’s like.

EA: Was it hard?

VW: It’s hard. Especially when why Ben come off work. Instead of come home why either go to one of the other house or…And they knew I how I hated liquor so they very seldom come to his house and that didn’t make him very happy.

EA: Um…When your children were growing up, um, were there any organizations for them to join?

VW: Oh yeah, they were on a….well both of them made trips to Chicago in 4-H. They took home ec  in school and they uh…4-H is the…when Judy was young was in a choir…a school choir. But they were both very active, they both made trips to Chicago, 4-H kids, in cooking and canning…but they took cooking, canning and sewing. They took everything that, uh, so that kept them busy.

EA: As a homemaker, uh, all your life, um, is there anything that you might have done different when you graduated from high school?

VW: I intend…I graduated with the intent of becoming a school teacher but uh… I lost all that after I had the kids.

EA: If you had to do it over again, what would you do?

VW: I think I’d do what I intended to do in the first place. I think I’d went on to university and taught school but I didn’t…

EA: Is uh…Is there anything, uh, when you look back on your childhood now is there anything that you…you enjoyed most when you were younger?

VW: No, I’m one of these characters that despite the best of every situation, I really…I can’t s…I know I enjoyed my trips to Chicago with the 4-H kids. I enjoyed working with them. And uh…girl scouts, I enjoyed working with them too, my kids were not…But look back, I don’t know what I…I don’t think I’d ever like to change. I really wanted to be a school teacher but uh, it didn’t materialize, now I uh…And uh…No I can’t think of anything that I would’ve…It’s funny to you think that I would remember but it was to do this but I lived a life and I…uh…made one trip to Chicago with the kids, we coulda made two but I thought “Well, no I don’t want to be selfish.” Let some other leader take, so I just got…I just got the one trip but I have…I got canning and cooking and sewing. So we got kids…about 8 or 10 kids. We had a lot of fun we went…(unintelligible)

EA: What’s the most um…memorable thing you remember in your life?

VW: Ever since…

EA: From your childhood to now. Is there anything that stands out in your mind as being memorable?

VW: My trip to New York and back. We drove, was gone a month. We drove uh down south and went to New York. Went up the Emp…I didn’t go up the Empire State Building because my daughter was scared to death of heights.

EA: When you say “we” was this a family vacation?

VW: Yeah. My daughter, her husband and uh myself.

EA: Do you remember when was this?

VW: Let’s see. I don’t remember when it was. It’s been ten fifteen years ago. Cause the kids were little and they are grown up now. So it’s been about 15 years ago. They, they lived in Riverside.

EA: And this is uh your trip to New York?

VW: Memory. We, uh, we had a trailer and we had a 6 foot…real big trailer. You know slept six and so we had uh…and a pick up or a station wagon. And we went down south and up cross the Mississippi and then through Pennsylvania. Saw well…we saw the Liberty Bell it was crated, they were moving the bell. So we didn’t the bell but we saw the new area, you know the bell and so they were removing the crate. And they were just preparing for the fair back there.

EA: What was it the…that liked about this trip?

VW: I just enjoyed every minute of it. Companionship and seeing things. My son-in-law was a wonderful. He never was in a hurry, if you wanted to stop and look anything fine. He was very congenial and it was…it was a very, very pleasant trip. I don’t believe there was cross word said in the whole trip and we were gone about six weeks.

EA: That’s really nice.

VW: Ain’t that really something. And we went up into Maine, and up to Niagara Falls, over into Canada and came back. Came around by Lake Michigan and uh came to the… Where, where is the five Presidents at National Park.

EA: Mount Rushmore.

VW: Mount Rushmore, yeah. Then we came down through Yellowstone. That’s how we came home, we kept going Mount Rushmore, and down Idaho and down to through Yellowstone. Back to…back to home. It was really a wonderful trip. My daughter started a diary of it…I don’t whether she ever finished it or not. If she had I don’t know. She passed away, so I don’t know.

EA: Well, Mrs. Woods. On behalf of the Churchill County Museum, I’d like to thank you for granting me this interview.

VW: Well.

EA: This is end tape…um tape 1 side 2.



Elanor Ahern


Vina Woods


169 S. Ada St. Fallon, NV



Woods, Vina.docx
Woods, Vina.mp3


Churchill County Museum Association, “Vina Woods Oral History,” Churchill County Museum Digital Archive: Fallon, Nevada, accessed May 23, 2024,