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home : current news : current news January 15, 2019


1/8/2019 10:33:00 AM
What it was like... Growing up in Sisters
By Sue Stafford


Three Sisters Historical Society is offering it's popular Fireside Stories Evenings again this winter, beginning with Back in the Day - Growing Up in Sisters, on Tuesday, January 15, at FivePine Conference Center. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the program beginning at 7 p.m.

Five longtime Sisters residents will share their stories of family, friends, neighbors, school, hijinx, and the fun and work of growing up in Sisters in the 1950s and '60s. Be transported back to a simpler time when everyone knew everyone and lots of residents were related to one another.

Floyd Leithauser, now of Camp Sherman, is the fourth generation of his family in Sisters. He will be the emcee for the evening and engaging former Outlaws in storytelling. Leithauser attended all 12 grades in Sisters, then graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. After serving in the Coast Guard, he worked in the oil fields of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, California, and Alaska. When he left Sisters after graduation, he thought he was leaving forever, but in 2006 he and his wife, Sue, returned to care for Leithauser's mother, Edith, and they are still here.

Joel Aylor moved to Sisters with his father, Bill, Aylor and his wife, Trudie, and younger brother Daryl. He graduated from Sisters High School and attended community college. Aylor worked for Central Electric Co-op. He served on the Sisters School Board from 1976-79. He started Sisters Tree Service and later a small logging company. He was instrumental in the building of the Sisters Gun Club, serving for three years as its president.

Shirley Rowe Miller moved to Sisters in 1958 when she was 14, and graduated from Sisters High School in 1961. She had four sisters and one brother. She left Sisters after high school due to marriage but returned in 1965 and has lived in the same house since 1966. Miller started working as a waitress when The Gallery Restaurant was Ladd's Café and then Ruth's Café. She worked at The Gallery from 1972 to 2000. Her husband Keith Miller's maternal grandparents homesteaded the Graham Ranch, northwest of town.

Cliff Ellis Edgington, now of Prineville, was born in 1952 and grew up on the Edgington ranch south of Sisters. He attended Sisters High School for his freshman year before the high school was closed. He completed high school as a Bend Lava Bear. Edgington's grandfather, Ellis, had a homestead in Tumalo in 1910 and secured the ranch outside Sisters in 1913-14. Edgington left Sisters for school and work, which included state forestry, logging, construction, and the merchant marines. He has two brothers and one sister.

Sue Lowery and Gerry Tewalt both grew up in Sisters, two blocks from each other. Gerry is a fifth-generation resident of Sisters, and Sue a third-generation. Sue's ancestors were Shaws and Lowerys, and Gerry's were the Gammons. Gerry was a senior when Sue was a freshman at Sisters High School. After graduating, Gerry went into the U.S. Navy. When Sue graduated three years later, she left town to work as a ground hostess for American Airlines at Chicago's O'Hare airport.

When they both returned to Sisters, Sue's good friend lived next door to Gerry and they all got together. Sue and Gerry's first date was to a Bend High School football game and the rest is history. Gerry owns a heavy equipment excavating company. They have children and grandchildren, some of whom also live in Sisters.

As the storytellers share their memories of earlier Sisters, there will be photos shown on the screen to accompany the stories.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. to allow sufficient time for attendees to renew or purchase their new memberships in the society. To avoid standing in line that evening, memberships can be renewed ahead of time by mailing in the renewal form in the society newsletter or bringing it filled out to the event. There are three levels of membership: Faith, $25 for individuals; Hope, $40 for couples/families; and Charity, any amount over $40.

2019 members are given free admission to the Fireside Evenings (a $30 value) as well as free and reduced admission to other events throughout the year.

The other two Fireside Stories Evenings are scheduled for February 12 with Wilson Wewa of Warm Springs, and March 19 featuring the history of the Sisters Rodeo with cowboy and cowgirl poets. All three evenings will be video recorded for the society's research library.









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