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History Revealed


Kathy Orr / Baker City Herald Katherine Bailey found many photographs while remodeling her office at 2017 First St. in Baker City. None of the photos have names, and she’s hoping to find relatives or others who can identify the people.

Katherine Bailey has a treasure trove of old family photographs, and she’d sure like to know the names of subjects.

Bailey is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Her office at 2017 First St., just south of Broadway Street, recently underwent an extensive remodel that took the walls down to the original lathe and plaster.

During that work, Bailey discovered boxes in the attic — several cases of legal files, canceled checks from the 1930s, deposit slips from the mid-1940s, and photographs that look like family portraits.

“We found all these pictures in mint condition. We have no idea who

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Katherine Bailey has a treasure trove of old family photographs, and she’d sure like to know the names of subjects.

Bailey is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Her office at 2017 First St., just south of Broadway Street, recently underwent an extensive remodel that took the walls down to the original lathe and plaster.

During that work, Bailey discovered boxes in the attic — several cases of legal files, canceled checks from the 1930s, deposit slips from the mid-1940s, and photographs that look like family portraits.

“We found all these pictures in mint condition. We have no idea who they are,” Bailey said. “I would love to find the families.”

The space was occupied in the 1930s by longtime Baker City and Portland attorney Irving Rand, a 1914 graduate of Baker High School. Many of the photos carry the Rand signature.

(See page 3A for a brief history of the Rand family and the buildings the Rands owned on the same block.)

In addition to the portraits, photos include a wrecked automobile, a toy store and a fire during a distant winter.

“We never expected to find all that in the attic,” Bailey said.

Among the diaries and address books is a small one embossed with Harvard Co-operative Society. It was issued to students at Harvard University for the 1920-1921 school year, and lists sources for lodging and laundry service.

Yet in the back, handwritten, is a recipe for homemade liquor: 10 pounds of ground figs, 8 pounds of sugar, 6 gallons of water and 3 cakes of Fleischmann’s yeast.

The mixture was to sit in a jar and be stirred twice a day.

The ending: “Strain through a sock like jelly.”

During the remodel, Bailey said the ceiling was raised a bit, windows restored above the door to bring in more light, and spaces rearranged to ensure confidentiality.

She said the local contractors worked to maintain the original architecture and woodwork as much as possible.

“It’s an old building, and nothing is square,” Bailey said.

For now, the photos and other mementoes she found in the attic are on display in the front office.

She invites people to stop by, or attend her open house on July 19 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m

(Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by calling 541-523-6369.)

“I’d love to find somebody who knows who they are,” Bailey said.

Rand Family had longtime connection to First Street block

The Rand family had a longtime connection with the block on the east side of First Street between Broadway Street and Washington Avenue in Baker City.

John L. Rand, who was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1861, started a law practice in Baker City in 1886. He was the general counsel for the Sumpter Valley Railroad and the Oregon Lumber Company. He married Edith G. Packwood in 1895. She was the daughter of William Packwood, a major figure in Baker County’s early history and the great-grandfather of Robert Packwood, a longtime U.S. senator from Oregon.

Irving Rand was one of John and Edith Rand’s sons.

In 1908 John Rand had a two-story building constructed at the northwest corner of First and Washington. The building, of Pleasant Valley tuff (the same stone, quarried near Durkee, that was used in Baker City Hall and the Baker County Courthouse, among other historic buildings), housed the Queen City Furniture Company.

The building later served as the local office for the California Pacific Utilities Company. The building was destroyed in a fire that started in an air-conditioning service control box on Oct. 29, 1985.

The destruction of the building created the infamous “hole” at that site that was filled in 2011 and later paved over as a parking lot for the Banner Bank building just to the west.

The building where Katherine Bailey has her office, and where she found the trove of photographs and other documents, was built, also by the Rand family, around 1920 just north of where the two-story 1908 building stood.

— Jayson Jacoby