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.