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As It Was-Swaggerty Family Cooks Restaurant Leftovers for Hogs

Pigs require a varied diet to stay healthy and that is just what Bob and Molly Swaggerty and Bob’s father Charles “Hack” Swaggerty, provided in the 1950s.  In addition to feeding the hogs well, the family was processing the community’s leftovers.

It collected restaurant food scraps from Grants Pass to Ashland, feeding them to the hogs at its farm near the city dump south of Medford, Ore. 

Because Oregon required that all commercial pig food be cooked, the Swaggerty family installed a large steel tank and hired Perry Sneed to build and tend fires to cook all the collected food scraps.  Sneed observed that it was cold work on damp and foggy winter days, but the pay was great at $12 a day.

In 1960, Interstate 5 was built right through the Swaggerty place and it moved the hog farm to White City.  Over time, the community began wondering what that big steel tank between the freeway and Bear Creek was. 

Few guessed it was a hog food cooker!

 

Source: "Since You Asked: Caller Recounts Steel Tank's Hog History." Mail Tribune, Medford Mail Tribune, 4 May 2004, www.mailtribune.com/archive/2004/0504/local/stories/15local.htm.

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.