1970 - 1990

The Story of Hubbard

1970 - 1990

   Throughout its history, the community of Hubbard has reflected values of the wider society. Following the years of United States involvement in Vietnam, 1965-1975, the citizens of Hubbard like their counterparts in other American towns, wanted to put that war behind them as quickly as possible. No memorial was built in Hubbard for fallen soldiers, no "roll call" of patriotic participants.

Growing population could not be ignored during the early 1970's. Records indicate 526 people lived within the city boundaries in 1960. By 1970, population had increased to 975. Some vacant lots became residential building sites. Previous pasture land was annexed by the city and converted into housing developments. Many people who found the cities of Portland and Salem too densely populated, discovered Hubbard.

New emigrants arrived and settled. Juan and Barbarita Ruiz were among the first Hispanic families to make their home in Hubbard. The 1970 American Dream included home ownership, car ownership, and the ability to send the next generation to college. Juan and Barbarita made the dream come true.

JUAN RUIZ: I was the pioneer of my family. We used to come here, back and forth, doing seasonal work.

BARBARITA RUIZ: We were migrants.

JUAN RUIZ: Well, we were in St. Paul, Oregon, at the time and we were looking for a house. It happened that Hubbard was the place they were building new houses. We applied for a loan and bought here. That was 1970.

BARBARITA RUIZ: We came from a small town and we wanted a small town to raise our seven kids. I heard that North Marion Schools were very good That's what really made us buy a house in Hubbard From there on, our seven kids finished high school and four of them attended the University of Oregon, of which we are really proud.

Because the population of Hubbard was growing, increased city services were needed. More space was also needed to conduct city business. City Hall was remodeled. Beverly Jory Koutny remembers:

It was a very emotional issue when they decided to cut part of the hall, the sacred hall where everybody had dances once a year. They wanted to cut a little piece of that off, partition it and make some council rooms. Well, they got this motion passed, but nobody made a move to do it. The mayor didn't push it. He didn't push it, although he wanted to see it happen. The people who would have gone out and gotten the carpenters didn't go out and get them. It never got off the ground because it was such an emotional issue. Those three rooms that were cut off are now part of the Police department. That was the original room that was partitioned off.

When Edward was mayor, he was over there most every night. They finally ended up partitioning the entire thing off and making the council room and so on. After it was finally cut up and appropriately used, it has been a serviceable building. It has become a very nice place. Now they have computers and all sorts of modern things in there.

Beverly, like her husband Edward, became a mayor of Hubbard. She was the first woman to do so. She experienced some stressful events during her tenure and explains:

I was the first woman mayor of Hubbard. As far as I know, I was also the first mayor to go through a recall process. It was close, but not successful and centered around a zoning issue. A lot of people believed many rumors. We ended up having to work with a planner and develop an entirely new zone along the highway. It was a very sticky issue to resolve. But got resolved behind the scenes, with the cooperation of all neighbors, the city planner and all the other people who got involved

We had other routine problems that any city government has-wages and police and running of the sewer and water plant.

Joe Dryden served as one of the volunteer city council members as well as serving two terms as mayor during the late 70's. His recollections:

Railroad crossings were probably one of the bigger problems to hit this town. Our school district was concerned with our railroad crossings, so a letter ended up going out to the PUC saying we needed railroad crossings. Letters went to the Governor and the Governor went to the PUC. So the railroad, in turn, was making life hard in Hubbard.

BEVERLY JORY KOUTNY: The railroad said we could have two crossings. Every time we decided on a crossing to close, there was a group of people sitting out here saying, "We want that crossing open!" I'm glad we new have three crossings-A, D, and G Streets.

JOE DRYDEN: Another issue was building a new sewer plant. . We got that through. The citizens, I was surprised, voted unanimously to build a new sewer plant during a time when there was not a whole lot of money. And a new industrial park was built.

Another thing that happened when I was on City Council, we had the LeCars. The police cars. Le Cop Cars! I am still asked by people, when they find out I am from Hubbard, if we really had Le Cars for police cars! One of those comical things. We felt we were doing the right thing at the time. Economical. The way we looked at it, the bad guy could not outrun a radio. But everyone sure tried!

During these same years, the Hubbard Fire Department began an annual activity called the Hop Festival, held the third Saturday each July. It is a community celebration. Fire Chief Bob Benck explains, remembering the festival's origins:

During its inception, right around the winter of 73 or 74, a discussion was held. It was during the first energy crisis and gasoline was expensive and in short supply. We thought maybe it would be the right time to reintroduce some sort of community activity to the town. In the past, there had been a community band, and baseball teams. Raising money wasn't the primary purpose, but if we could raise a little money that would be nice.

Ken Jaeger and Dick Barrie were two of the instrumental people with ideas for Hop Festival, along with others on the department. We came up with the idea of a one-day festival Hops were prevalent in this area, so hops became the theme.

Beginning with the next year, we let other organizations participate, nonprofit organizations only, whose ties were in the community.

The parade has always been a hit. Whoever comes marvels at the length and size for a little town parade.

JOE DRYDEN: We wanted it to be a small town celebration. We don't advertise. It's a home town gathering. The churches are involved, the schools, the boy scouts, the rally, the Boosters club.

We have kid's games. We have sack races, balloon tosses, egg tosses. The churches always have their pie sales, cake sales. The fire department sells sausage and sauerkraut and runs a beer garden. Bingo games in the past. Chicken barbecues. Many years ago we had a keg toss, almost hurt people.

The Fire Department, a constant since 1924, continued to evolve. Firemen prior to 1970 were not equipped with "turn-outs", the protective clothing worn while fighting fires. Proceeds from the first Hop Festival were spent on turn-outs. Chemeketa Community College began a fire science program offering training instructors on an out-reach basis. Along with that, Bob Benck says,

Equipment began to change. Twenty years ago we had radios, but not even in all the apparatus that we had We had no hand-held portables. Today, everything is radio equipped. That has made a big difference and has added to the safety aspect of fire fighters doing their job. We have se@contained breathing apparatus. We went from three sets of turn-outs to where everyone has a set.

In terms of training now, our department is trained as well as any of the departments in the area. We do meet all the basic guidelines that have been set up.

Along with improvements in equipment, training and confidence, came a new structure to house fire apparatus and to hold meetings. A unanimous decision was made regarding the name of the new facility.

BOB BENCK: Ed Erickson was a very elderly gentleman when I first got on the Fire Department twenty years ago. At that time he lived at the old fire hall on 3rd Street and kind of took care of the building. Lived upstairs in a small apartment. He was kind of a fixture in town. Every day he would sit out in front of the fire department and wave to people as they would go by. He'd start the equipment and check it out. He'd run the siren. I think he was with the department for over fifty years. He was probably on the department longer than anyone else in its history.

It was decided when we built the new hall on 2nd between H and J that we would dedicate it to him. The hall was finished in 1976 and to this day it is Erickson Hall.

The late 1970's brought a new focus for the volunteer fire department: First Aid and Rescue.

JOE DRYDEN: The ambulance service we had at that time was run out of a gas station in Woodburn. If you had a medical call while the gas customers were gone, they would lock the gas station and bring the ambulance.

One of our fireman's wives broke her leg on a baseball diamond here in town playing softball She laid there for forty-five minutes until we finally loaded her into a station wagon and took her to the hospital. At that point, we firemen decided we needed to do something. The rescue was started in 1978.

Our first medical rig was donated to us by Marion County Civil Defense. The starter was no good on it, so every call we had, we really only needed two or three medics on the call, but we stipulated that we needed five or six so that we could push it out of the firehall to make the rig run! We were financing the medical portion of the fire department out of our own pockets. Supplies were so expensive that we put gallon cans around town so that people could donate to us.

Realizing the value of a rescue unit in their midst, the Hubbard community passed a levy to purchase a rig with all functioning parts in 1980. Calls for first aid assistance have been increasingly frequent, diverse, and fully appreciated.

JOE DRYDEN: Ten years ago total calls were about 20 per year. In 1990, I think we hit over 220 calls. Of the calls we have each year, I would say that over 90% are medical.

BOB BENCK: It always amazes me that people can hurt themselves in so many different ways!"

JOE DRYDEN: We receive every kind of accident call you can think of. We have heart attacks, we have car accidents. We have cut fingers. We have delivered babies. So we have seen everything from life to death.

Oh, Life Flight! If anyone was critically injured, Life Flight could be in Hubbard in eight minutes.