For those of you who keep asking for more history here’s a great story from the December 19, 1998 issue of The Alpenhorn. I had sold it and it had a different owner but I have the story, thank goodness. It was written by a wonderful lady, Toby Taylor, who loved history, was quite a character and people, including me, absolutely loved her. Thanks Toby!
“Years ago, like in the swinging ’50s, while we were doing the Fox Trot, the Balboa, Mashed Potato, the Stroll with Dick Clark and his swingin’ bandstand there was this family we shall call the Soutars because that was their real name and this is a true story.
There was “Pop” Soutar, whose name was George. There was loveable, strong “Mom” Soutar and the truth is that I didn’t know her first name! They had two sons-Jim and Lloyd. They were all contractors of some sort with George as a real broker.
They decided to build this three-story building next to (what was then) the Wagon Wheel. “Mom” Soutar could wield a mean hammer herself. I remember seeing her in later years ripping up the rubber stair covering and putting on the new covering…all by herself. The lady (after Lloyd opened his restaurant) would make 65 strawberry pies for Saturdays and Sundays alone. She also did sewing back in the old days.
Toby said that “Mom Soutar” lambasted her when she dropped out of the Honorary Mayor’s race to go La Jolly with the love of her life (at the time). “It’ll never work out. You’ve got this town by the tail. You’ll be back and have to start all over again,” she declared. (Of course, she was right!). Toby said she loved “Mom Soutar” dearly and that she was a lady of strong convictions.
When the building was completed, Mom and Pop lived on the third floor with a view of who was coming into town and who was leaving at least that was Toby’s thought). George and Jill Dessaux had the second.” Behind all that was a huge warehouse with lots of electrical, plumbing, pipes, paint, etc.-anything to build with was back there. Cold too, Long johns were a must. Every older home or building up here has that “Soutar” touch….along with the Mueller masonry, of course.
Chuck Martin came along and then we had Running Springs Mill and Cabinet Shop for years. His cabinets were beautiful. It was a pleasure to go to his shop.
By this time, Lloyd was in the restaurant business. Jim had moved to Barstow to be in the automobile dealership business. I think almost everyone, including myself, bought a car from him. Good terms, easy pay. I bought my very first car there….a 1968 Olds Cutlass-what a dream. Poor Harold (Harold Halldorson), that was the car he had to drive as a teenager. (Hal was Toby’s son!
There was a candle shop at that site, also, as well as many other businesses over the years. Mom and Pop Soutar are gone now but they left a legacy that isn’t forgotten. Mom Soutar lived in the apartment until she was in her 90s. She was still wielding her wand, as matriarch. She was supreme!
We have Soutar Drive and we have Lloyd’s restaurant where I had the pleasure to work for eight or 10 years (in between adventures) and I can tell you that there couldn’t be anyone better, anywhere, to work for. In his history resume, they could never do Lloyd justice in his kindness to others. I could make a list too long for this page, so I had better move on.
Back to the three-story building. One day Hector Hernandez came to town. Realtor Kay Fugate turned him on to a Tamale Shop at the back corner of the Soutar building. (Now we have “Toto’s with their famous Mexican food and the rest is history because that is where the original Tamale Shop was located).
Lloyd has two sons, George and Gary, whom I knew at the restaurant. Truth is they were all a great part of my life as well as many others. So when you see that big, blue building where May Realty and Moquin Realty are now housed, try to imagine the wonderful memories it holds. I do wish you could walk up to a building, push a button and it would talk. Well, not about everything, and that’s the truth.
Joan: As this was written several years ago in the interim years the “Moquin” building or the Soutar building (whichever you want to call it) now houses Top Producers Realty and Neo’s. The building is directly across the street from Running Springs Hardware.