Edsel Colvin Soaks Up Candy Store Education

Date: 

Monday, Dec. 5, 2016

Author: 

Valerie Ing

Episode: 

3 074

As a youth, Edsel Colvin said he gained an education by hanging out in the back room of his father’s candy store in Curry County, Ore.  In 1921, when Colvin was 8 years old, Frank Colvin bought the store, the Gold Beach Confectionary.  Besides candy, the store offered newspapers, cosmetics, tobacco, ice cream, guns and ammunition, and root beer. But no real beer; prohibition was in full swing.

The back room had tables for pool, billiards and cards. Colvin spent more of his time there, soaking up tall tales and colorful language from the old timers who gathered by a big wood stove to pass the winter hours. The men also held tobacco spitting contests, trying to hit a small hole in the top of the stove from five feet away, usually producing a loud hiss and a lot of steam.

When construction started on the Rogue River Bridge in 1930, the confectionary became a popular hangout for the workers, who also spent off-time hours sport fishing. Soon there was a high demand for fishing tackle. The store quickly adapted and became the F.D. Colvin Sporting Goods.

The building burned down when Highway 101 was widened in the 1940’s.

Source: Colvin, Edsel. Got To Go Now: An Oregon GI Writes Home During World War II. Portland, AuthorHouse, 2013, pp. xii-xv.

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