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Ruby Carrigan

Interviewed by: Linda H. Smith

00:00 / 28:36



August 16, 2011

Interviewee: Ruby Little Carrigan

36 S. 100 E. Morgan, Utah 84050

DOB: September 26, 1917

Parents: Lydia Rawle and Ernest Little

Interviewer: Linda H. Smith

Subject: Como Springs Resort Experiences/Morgan County Fair Queen

Transcriber: Cissy Toone

Edited by: Linda H. Smith

Linda H. Smith: We're going to talk today about Como Springs. Where would you like to start? You said you were baptized at Como.

Ruby Carrigan: I was baptized, that was my first experience at Como Springs. I was baptized there.

LS: Now, was that when it was a lake?

RC: No, I was baptized in the warm, second indoor pool.

LS: Who baptized you?

RC: I was going to look it up but I didn’t do that.

LS: That’s okay.

RC: I remember Dale Peterson and I were baptized together and he was so afraid. He made me go first.

LS: Oh, that’s a boy for you. Okay, tell me about that experience.

RC: It wasn’t like it is now, it wasn’t a big deal. We just went and were baptized that was about it.

LS: Okay, and there was just the two of you there being baptized?

RC: Uh huh, there were only two and I don’t remember who baptized me, it’s written down.

LS: Were the outside pools there then?

RC: Oh yes.

LS: Were there the three or was it just one big pool?

RC: No, there were two pools, the indoor pool was back. You don’t remember the indoor pool that was there?

LS: Yes, I remember the indoor pool.

RC: That is where I was baptized, in the indoor pool.

LS: Then the outdoor pools, how many were there? Were there three outdoor?

RC: There was a big pool, and then the baby pool.

LS: Oh okay, now can you remember your next experience at Como?

RC: Well, I guess that would be when I started working there. I worked for Harold and Juanita Guild. If you remember the big dance hall, there was that ice cream parlor on the front of it, then you went around to the side to get in; that’s where I worked. It wasn’t just ice cream; we made fudge sundaes, and parfaits. I worked until night. We’d go up at ten o’clock (a.m.) and work until nine. (p.m.) We worked for fifty-cents a day.

LS: A day, and that was big money though, wasn’t it?

RC: Oh yeah, and I walked from where I lived to there.  We’d get up and go there. There were old wooden floors so we had to scrub them every day because of the ice cream. Vivian Pratt worked with me.

LS: Really.

RC: We just had a good time.

LS: Now, you said you walked; where were you living at that time?

RC: Right where June (Little) lives now.

LS: Oh, right there on that same street.

RC: Uh huh.

LS: Oh okay, great!

RC: The dances they had were really good.

LS: What made them so good?

RC: Well, they had live bands to begin with. Then later on Bert, and Dick Peterson, and Harlan Clark, and there were two Smith boys, but I can’t remember who they were that played in the orchestra. They’d hang numbers from the ceiling. If you got the right number you got a box of chocolates.

LS: Oh, so you mean when the dance ended?

RC: Uh huh, oh they had good dances there. Then the (Morgan High School) band used to go every Sunday and play a concert.

LS: Was it in the indoor or outdoor concert?

RC: Outdoor. Do you remember Mrs. Sommers?

LS: Yes.

RC: That was her hotdog stand, it was right by there.

LS: That’s Nola Sommers?

RC: Nola’s mother.

LS: Oh, okay.

RC: She had the hotdog stand, and over by the dance hall they had the café. Do you remember the café that was sitting kind of over the water?

LS: Yes.

RC: That was Irene Heiner that ran that. Those were good days.

LS: So was there a large attendance at concerts on Sundays?

RC: Oh yes, everybody went and there were big crowds at the dances. The fireworks, they’d have them up on that hill up---the road is where all the fireworks were on the 4th of July. It was really a nice place.

LS: How much did it cost to go dancing? Do you remember any of the prices?

RC: I can’t remember how much it cost. Mr. Heiner always had the nicest swimming suits.

LS: Now, which Mr. Heiner?

RC: John L. (Heiner) he was the elder man. He always had the nicest swimming suits for you to rent. I don’t remember how much they cost. Bert ran the merry-go-round.

LS: Bert.

RC: Carrigan, we weren’t married then. He ran the merry-go-round and the little train, and then he was key-boy. They had key-boys up there and I can’t remember how they worked that. I guess you locked your room, then when you wanted to go in; you’d have the key-boy and he’d come open your door. You didn’t have a key, it just automatically locked, then you’d holler, “key-boy” and he’d come.

LS: So did you meet Bert there? Well, in a small community probably not.

RC: Well, I was going with him in high school so we just went together.

LS: Now was that the merry-go round that---

RC: It was down in Lorin Farr Park.

LS: Okay, that has since gone up to Idaho.

RC: Oh, has it?

LS: Uh huh, yes it’s beautiful.

RC: That was a nice merry-go-round, it really was.

LS: What are some of your other fond memories of Como?

RC: Well, I really remember the dances because they were so good. We had so much fun. My two boys Neil, and Steve, (Carrigan) they set up pins for the bowling alley. Because Neil was saying, yesterday we were talking about it, and he said for, “ten cents.” Now I don’t know if it was ten cents a pin, I don’t know, but he said, “We set them up for ten cents.”

LS: Probably per line.

RC: Probably so, then Diane (Carrigan Dickson) my daughter, she taught swimming lessons up there. Do you remember when the Red Cross used to come up to Como?

LS: Yes.

RC: She taught swimming lessons there. So they all had quite an experience with Como. It was too bad it went where it went.

LS: That’s everyone’s opinion.

RC: You know, on the 4th of July that place was packed. They’d go to the parade, then come to Como. Then of course, the Morgan Band always went on the 4th of July. Everybody came back to Como.

Those cabins they had were really nice and people from Salt Lake would come and spend the whole summer there.  Ruby Dickson, her family came; that’s where she met Blaine Dickson. They came and spent the summer, and then they would come every summer. People would come back every year to Como. Of course that’s where the kids lived in the summer time.

LS: You mentioned Harold Guild, what was…

RC: Harold and Juanita, she was a Heiner and Harold Guild was her husband. She was John Heiner's daughter. They were the ones who owned the ice cream parlor.

LS: So the Guilds were over the ice cream parlor?

RC: Yeah, that’s the part they had. The skating rink was really nice too.

LS: That was the same place as on the dance floor.

RC: On the outside you skated then danced on the inside.

LS: So was that before the building that’s there now; the one that was turned into Annie Heiner Spring Water?

RC: No, it was before that. The skating rink was around the dance hall.

LS: Oh, okay.

RC: Then it finally ended up just dances.

LS: So it was all the same building, then they converted it in later years?

RC: It was all the same building and it was hooked onto---well, there was not that much space between that building and Irene Heiner's café that she had. Do you remember that?

LS: I do vaguely.

RC: Yeah, it was kind of over the water a little bit. She cooked a lot of meals. What I remember about Mrs. Sommers was her specials. We’d always have to have a special, that’s a hotdog and a hamburger.

LS: Together, I heard she kind of invented that.

RC: Yeah, when we’d go we always had Mrs. Sommer's special. It was a nice place. I enjoyed working there.

LS: I bet. So for working did you get to go swimming anytime that you wanted when you weren’t working?

RC: Well, when I wasn’t working usually I was home. We did work our shift and then go home. We swam a lot after towards the evening. When we’d get through, then a lot of times we’d go swimming.

LS: So do you think Como employed most of the youth in the area, a lot of them?

RC: Oh a lot of them, oh yeah. There was a lot of kids that worked at Como. It was something for them to do. I don’t know whether you remember---oh, Harding---what was his name? He had those slot machines and bingo games. What was his name? I can see him but I can’t think.  I know he was a Harding.

LS: Where were the slot machines located?

RC: Over where they built the bowling alley, over in that area.

LS: It was a separate building?

RC: It was in the building.

LS: In the building that had the café and all that?

RC: Uh huh, I guess those were outlawed and he had to quit having them. Then they would play bingo.

LS: Now is that when they played bingo or beano?

RC: Beano, they played, yeah, not bingo, beano. Oh, I can see him, he was a short, little, and stubby guy and I know his name was Harding but I can’t remember his first name.  Oh, they were fun times. We all talk, you know, how we all had more fun than they do now.

LS: I agree.

RC: We had more fun and we didn’t have to have cars, four wheelers, and boats.

LS: You made your fun.

RC: We just made our fun. We just had more fun. It was just a more fun time.

LS: Great! (Do you have) other memories of Como that come to your mind? You said people came from out of town. Did they come in bus loads or anything at any time?

RC: I don’t remember if they came in bus loads, but it was filled with people from all over.

LS: Always full.

RC: Some of those came year after year. Ruby Dickson is the one I remember more because I learned to know her more. Their family came every year and stayed in those cabins. Those cabins were really kept nice. It was clean. The Carrigan’s had their reunion for two years up in the end where the road goes around. They had a big pavilion there and the Carrigan's had their reunions there a couple of years.

LS: So a lot of people had family reunions.

RC: Uh huh.

LS: I heard they also had conventions up there at times.

RC: I’m sure they did, yes.

LS: Do you remember any big improvements that they made through your life time, any big changes?

RC: I just remember it just like I---

LS: Okay, so the little train did it go around the pond?

RC: Uh huh, and the Red Cross used to come up there and that’s when Diane (Carrigan Dickson) taught swimming lessons.

LS: How does Diane spell her name?

RC: D-i-a-n-e

LS: And you say she taught lessons.

RC: She taught swimming lessons up there.

LS: I would like to put a list together of the life guards, swimming teachers, pin setters, etc.

RC: Like I said, Bert used to be a key-boy too. He had it all---of course he ended up working for Heiner's. He and Leo were really close friends. He was Mr. Heiner’s boy that died. Do you remember Leo?

LS: No, I don’t.

RC: He had a bad heart. He died when he was really young. He and Bert were really close and then Bert ended up working for Heiner’s for years.

LS: At the garage?

RC: Yes, but he worked at Como too.

LS: Now Floriene’s husband---

RC: Jack.

LS: It was Jack, okay. Was his name John? Was he the son of John L. (Heiner) that you’re talking about?

RC: Yeah, but they always called him Jack Heiner.

LS: Okay.

RC: Maybe he was John but I don’t know. I never called him anything but Jack. Then see, Mrs. Leone Sommer’s married “Heavy” Heiner. I don’t know what his real name is because no one called him anything but Heavy. What was his real name? You get those nick names then you don’t remember their names.

LS: It wasn’t Dick was it?

RC: No, he was a big guy, Vance---Vance Heiner. Then see, Leo (Heiner) was the younger one.

LS: I remember Vance now that you mention it.

RC: That was Leone’s husband.

LS: Okay.

RC: He was quite a heavy guy. Juanita was a sister to him.

LS: She was married to Mr. Guild.

RC: Uh huh, and then there was Nola. (Heiner)

LS: So it was just a big family operation?

RC: Yes.

LS: And everyone participated in it.

RC: Yeah, they did have other people, but it was mostly run by the Heiner’s.

LS: There’s been a lot of speculations. What happened, and how come?

RC: Well I think, when I remember; the taxes got so high for accidents and that.

LS: Oh the insurance, liability.

RC: Yeah, insurance got so high that they couldn’t make it and they wanted the county to help but they wouldn’t. That was a dumb thing that they didn’t pitch in and help because it was an asset to Morgan. They just couldn’t---and then when Mr. Heiner died some of the kids that took over, I think they didn’t really try to build it up. They---

LS: They didn’t understand how to keep it going.

RC: ---didn’t understand; then the first thing you know, it---

Ls: ---had just gone down.

RC: ---gone to nothing.

LS: Yeah, that’s very sad.

RC: It’s sad because I think---and I guess maybe the county couldn’t afford it either but they asked for help, I remember. They just kind of felt like they couldn’t do it so it got to that point where---

LS: I think times have maybe changed. Back then (the county) didn’t get involved in business entity’s and now we see that counties are enticing businesses to come. Maybe if it would have been today it might have been different.

RC: Well, I’ve often laughed and said, “We didn’t progress, we retrogressed because look what we lost.” We lost Como, we lost all those stores, and we lost our movie theater. We had two movie theaters. We ended up with nothing.

LS: Yeah, we did. Well, this is all wonderful. Can you think of anything about Como that you would [like to tell us?] Anything you know is important to get because only you know that information.

RC: I will be thinking about it but when I read it, I thought, “Well, maybe I should go down and tell them what I know.”

LS: Oh yes, you should. Now, just in case other people don’t come in can you tell me the names of some of the other employees you remember so I can get their names down?

RC: I know Vivian Pratt worked there.

LS: Was that her maiden name?

RC: That was her maiden name. It was Vivian Johnson; John Johnson’s sister, and she worked up there.

LS: You said she did.

RC: She worked with me in the ice cream place.

LS: You said Bert and your children worked there. Do any others stick out, any names?

RC: No, I can’t remember anyone else working there.

LS: The thing I think is quite interesting is how you brought up that they rented swim suits. It’s just unthought-of for someone not to have a swim suit today, and to wear one that someone else has worn.

RC: Well, they were very careful. They were all really washed nice. They were nice clean suits after someone wore them. Roberta, now that was one; she worked up there some, and helped.

LS: Roberta?

RC: Roberta Guild, she married Ernie, my brother. (Ernie Little)

LS: Oh.

RC: She helped Mr. Heiner.

LS: So, it would be Roberta Little?

RC: Uh huh. Everything was washed. They were such nice, you had to pay a little bit more or you could have one of those old grey ones and they were ugly. A lot of people couldn’t afford a better one so they would just rent these other kind. I can just see them, they were just like a one piece undershirt.

LS: Really.

RC: Oh yeah, just one piece.

LS: Did they say Como on them?

RC: I don’t remember, they probably did. Mr. Heiner really tried to build it and make it better all the time. When the kids took over they just didn’t understand the business side of it. You couldn’t keep taking out. You got to keep putting back in and building up.

LS: How about any tragedies, do you remember any accidents or tragedies happening up there?

RC: Kay (Carrigan) broke her arm up there coming down the slide. Who did get hurt up there? I can’t remember. Do you remember those big buoy’s they had that they built fires in on the sides?

LS: Yes.

RC: Bert (Carrigan) built all those.

LS: Oh did he? So that was in the later years when they had those.

RC: Yeah, he just got those buoys then he cut the hole in them and made a chimney on them.

LS: And made them into fireplaces.

RC: Yeah, he made all those.

LS: That kind of added a little bit of a different flavor to it.

RC: Uh huh, they could go over at night and swim and build those fires.

LS: Do you remember anything about them cleaning the pools?

RC: Oh yeah, they cleaned them. Bert and Leo would help clean the pools. I don’t know how often but it was quite often they were cleaned.

LS: Well, I can’t think of any other questions to ask you.

RC: I can’t think of anything. I don’t remember, but I think someone once did get hurt up there but I don’t remember who it was but I know Kay (Carrigan) broke her arm up there. They were good days.

LS: They were, it's quite sad. Okay, I appreciate you coming in.

RC: I thought, “Well I worked up there.” Well, I think I worked the first year I got out of High School.

LS: That would have been about?

RC: I graduated when I was sixteen. (Circa 1933)

LS: Wow, that’s good.

RC: Well, that’s another thing; Margaret Williams’ mother, do you remember Ansta?

LS: Yes.

RC: She wanted Margaret to be up with Florence, who was her cousin and in a grade ahead of Margaret. So Annie S. Dickson was our teacher, so Margaret’s mother went to her and said, “Would you give Margaret a double promotion and put her ahead? She said, “Yes, I will give them all a chance.” When you think about it, it is so stupid. She gave us all a chance to take this test and if we past we went from the 4th to the 6th grade, there were twelve girls.

LS: Really, that’s interesting.

RC: Twelve girls went from the 4th to the 6th grade and Margaret naturally was one of them, and I was one of them.

LS: Oh my.

RC: So that’s why we had---and they never could figure out why we had such a big class because other classes were so little. We had seventy-two in our class.

LS: That’s interesting. So what year were you born?

RC: 1917, I’ll be ninety-four next month.

LS: Wonderful, you’re a young ninety-four, that’s great! That means you graduated in about 1933; that was during the depression.

RC: Oh yeah.

LS: So times were hard then.

RC: Yeah, they were, that’s when things were really bad.

LS: Do you remember anything about the CCC Camp that was located on the way to Como?

RC: Uh huh, one kid used to come down to our place. He met June at the bank or something and asked about eating so he used to come down. What I remember about him was he always said, “Now be sure when you cook your spaghetti you wash it good after it’s cooked, wash it good with cold water.”

LS: Oh really?

RC: He was up there in that CCC Camp. I can’t remember what his name was. I remember the CCC Camp.

LS: And that was located just kind of at the end of the fairgrounds?

RC: Yeah, right in there.

LS: Okay, did they come over to Como much, do you remember?

RC: I don’t remember that.

LS: They probably kept them busy.

RC: That was probably after I was married, I bet.

LS: Okay.

RC: It might have been, I don’t know.

LS: What year was you married?

RC: 1940.

LS: I’m asking hard questions now, aren’t I? So the depression, I know it was a very difficult time and Como kind of made it easier then.

RC: Yeah, but like I said we worked for fifty-cents and we worked from ten o’clock until they started dancing or skating.

LS: How about the war era’s, do you remember Como during the war time?

RC: I really don’t remember much.

LS: You can’t remember that?

RC: No.

LS: Okay.

RC: I know I had two brothers in it.

LS: Yes.

RC: But I don’t remember, of course that was when I was married.

LS: Right or it would be different.

RC: Yeah, but anyway.

LS: Okay, well I’m going to again thank you. This is great information.

RC: Oh, you're welcome. I just thought maybe you would like to hear something.

(side B)

Morgan County Fair Queen-how the first queen was selected

LS: Ruby would you tell us how it was done?

RC: Well, each business place put up somebody. I don’t know why Mr. Parching put up me. He had two daughters. I worked for him and so he put up me. Clarks Feed and Seed put up Mildred, and Con Wagon Machine put up Louise, their daughter.

LS: Okay, so Mildred Clark.

RC: That was Mr. ---oh, our bishop; it was his mother.

LS: Okay.

RC: Then Louise of course, was Con Wagon Machine and then you just voted, and I just got the most votes.

LS: Now Louise, what was her last name?

RC: Taggart.

LS: Oh okay, oh because Howard Taggart worked at the Con Wagon.

RC: Yeah.

LS: Okay.

RC: So you just voted.

LS: When you came in the store?

RC: When you wanted to vote, you know, and I just got the most votes. You didn’t have to be pretty. You didn’t have to have a horse, and you didn’t have talents.

LS: Well, I’m probably sure that each one; you had all of those qualities.

RC: Then I received a gold watch.

LS: Wonderful.

RC: That’s what they gave me. I don’t even remember even going to do anything up to the fair. Then they changed and went to a talent and you had to do something. Then they went to horses.

LS: Okay.

RC: So I won the first one, then I don’t know who after that but Diane, (Dickson) my other daughter, she won it and this year my granddaughter won it.

LS: Now your granddaughter is?

RC: Kristin Call (possibly meaning Camie Call)

LS: Kristin Call, well how nice.

RC: So we had three generations of queens.

LS: Fair queens, do you remember what year it was you were the fair queen? I’ve probably got it in the file but just to be sure.

RC: I was a---I think it was in the 40’s.

LS: In the 40’s, okay.

RC: '42 I think it was. I think I was nineteen years old.

LS: Oh, when you were nineteen.

RC: I think that’s how old I was, I’m not sure.

LS: Okay.

RC: So this year there were three; Camie made it too, so there were three generations of queens.

LS: Well wonderful, that’s great!

RC: That won’t happen very often.

LS: It won’t.

RC: Nope.

LS: I’m glad we got that down here and I’ll make the notations of it in our fair. We have a file on the Morgan County Fair and I’ll make that notation in there.

RC: Yeah, because I laughed. I said, “Well you didn’t really---we didn’t have to do anything people just voted for us”

LS: Well, that was good. You were in the public eye.

RC: It’s a lot different now.

LS: Uh huh, yeah it is. Okay is that all for this part?

RC: Yeah.

LS: Okay.

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