Chamois 4


On Chamois Day in 2008, I met Mr. Kronk, a former student of the school, who posed for me on the front steps.  He was very proud of his Tony Lama steel toed boots.

A painting of the old school house was sent to me by John Wright, whose niece Kathy is the artist.

After climbing up the steep school house hill, there are steps to climb up to the entrance which overlooks Main Street. In winter, the school children would slide down the hill on sleds and coast all the way to the intersection of Main Street and Pacific Street where a huge Christmas tree was set up.

The blue tower which holds the town’s water supply from an artesian well is located behind the school. The gold letters on the tower say “Chamois Home of the Pirates.” The Chamois Pirates is the name of the High School basketball team. 

In 2004, Tom and Elaine Babor moved to Chamois and purchased the old Lloyd Hensley place across from the old school on the hill. This was the first house in Chamois to have indoor plumbing. The Babors purchased the old post office building and turned it into a Bed & Breakfast called A Whistle Stop Inn.

The old Post Office building, built in 1913, was formerly the location of the People’s Bank.  The original walk-in bank vault is still there.  It is now used to hold liquor supplies.

Lloyd Lindhorst was the postmaster until 1958.  Stamps were 3 cents from 1917 until 1958.

The room where the post office used to be is now an antique store, owned and operated by Elaine Babor who has her office in the back of the store. The former bank vault is behind her desk.

I used to go to the Post Office every day to check my mail in Box 234.

One of the guest rooms in A Whistle Stop Inn has a nautical theme.  I stayed in the Harry Ames room, which was the former waiting room for Doc Souders, who became the town dentist in 1929. The Doc Souders guest room has windows facing Main street.

In 1891, the population of Chamois was 800.  Chamois began to decline when trains no longer stopped in the town and the depot was torn down. By 2000, the population of Chamois had been reduced to 456 people, as many residents began leaving Chamois for the big city. By 2008, half the buildings on Main street had already been demolished and the other half were mostly empty. Elaine Babor hopes to revive the town.  She opened a new restaurant and bar next to her B & B on Chamois Day, September 20, 2008.

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The “old school house on the hill,” built in 1876, is now a Bed & Breakfast with two guest rooms in the former classrooms. 

The hill where the school is located is alleged to be an Indian mound. When I was a child living in Chamois, people used to go up on the hill on Sundays to look for Indian arrows, which were still plentiful in the 30ies and 40ies.

Miss Edna” Wilson was a teacher there for 47 years. Nelia Shobe taught first grade from 1919 to 1921.

This red brick building was the public school for the “Pup Lickers.” The “Cat Lickers” had their own school on Main Street next to the Catholic Church.