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As It Was: Redding, Calif., Pastor Shares Stories of Personal Hard Times

The pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Redding, Calif., in the 1960s, Noble M. Streeter, enjoyed sharing stories about his hard times as a child in the Northern California town.
In 1926, Noble’s father had a muskrat fur farm near Klamath Falls, but lost everything when the fur market collapsed during the Great Depression.  The family left to pick fruit for a few years in California and then spent a year stranded and homeless in Redding, joining others who were camping in their cars.

Noble, who was 10 at the time, remembers stringing up a lean-to between their Model T Ford and a trailer. His father converted a truck gas tank into a stove that Noble’s mother used to heat rocks she placed in her son’s bedding to keep his toes warm at night.  The camp was located next to a pasture along the Sacramento River where a small herd of neglected cattle occasionally provided meat when one would fortuitously die.

After a year, the Streeters ran restaurants in Siskiyou County before moving to wartime Camp White in Oregon.  Decades later, Noble returned as a pastor to Redding, where the family settled for the next 50 years.

Streeter, Noble M. "Living the Depression in Redding." The Covered Wagon, vol. 2019, Dec. 2018, pp. 119-24.

Valerie Ing was a teenager when she hosted her first music program on the airwaves. As a student at SOU, she was JPR’s Chief Student Announcer and the first volunteer in our newsroom. She's now JPR’s Northern California Program Coordinator, hosting Siskiyou Music Hall from JPR's Redding studio in the Cascade Theatre.