Totem Pole Tales- Where were you when the American Wood Rim Company burned?
Submitted by Nute Chapman
From Onaway Outlook June 20, 2014

Caption : Disastrous Fire of American Wood Rim Plant Onaway, Jan. 14, 1926 
width="800" width="800" In the past 40 ears of collecting Onaway history, Onaway school history, picture and interviewing old timers, one of the questions I would ask was, where were you when the American Wood Rim Company burned?
In the next two weeks we would like to share some of the answers to this question. Russ Hayner, "I saw the smoke and knew it was a big fire, but I went into the school and then they would not let us back out." Russ remembered that some of the kids went to the fire and never came to school that day.
Doug Wigglesworth, "I was only 5 years old then and we were out in the yard with Dad. He knew something was burning in Onaway but did not learn about it until the next day."
Gray Harman, "The day the factory burned I was in school; so many of the children had or knew of someone who worked there. We were told of the fire and were told no one could leave the school. Well, five or six of us boys decided we needed to get down to the fire. Taking advantage of the time when we were passing class we hid in the boy's cloakroom next to the bathroom. We jumped out of the window that was 8 feet to the ground. I don't remember if we got in trouble or not, but we did go to the fire."
Glen Lound, "We could see the smoke for two days before we found out what was burning." Glen lived on North Dittmar Road at this time.
John Peterson, "I was at the Earl McAtee farm and I came to town with a horse and cutter to see what was burning."
Iva Rogers, "I was in the assembly hall at the Onaway school. They locked all the doors at the school to keep the children from going to the fire."
To be continued next week.
From the Onaway Outlook, June 20, 2014, page 3.
Retyped by J. Anderson

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