Weathering the Great Depression

The Great Depression touched every city in America, and Kirkland was no exception. Early on, an editorial in the 7/17/30 edition of the Journal tried to convince people that things weren't so bad:

"We have heard more talk about a business depression in the past few months than we have heard in the last five years ... In nearly every case the individual skeptic is not personally suffering from a depression, (except of mind) but that they have heard that times are going to be awfully "tough"... As Calvin Coolidge has said, this country is suffering more from a mental depression than it is from a business depression."

Try as they might to paint a rosy picture, the depression WAS real, and it would have lasting effects for years to come.

The end of prohibition provided some celebration for most people in Kirkland, but not for Kirkland's Mayor, the Rev. Charles A. Newberry. Rev. Newberry, the pastor of the Congregational Church, had been elected mayor in 1928, and served the city well. A man of conviction, he felt he could not act as mayor for a town that served alcohol:

Without Mayor Newberry, but with a new administration in the White House, Kirkland continued slogging through the Depression with the rest of the country:

Not that Kirkland wasn't doing it's own part - local farms and businesses tried hard to stay afloat. The woolen mill had reopened just before the crash, under the ownership of Reese Brown. It operated for a few years but not very well. Brown, who died in 1934, appears to have problems of his own:

The Lake Washington Shipyards, on the other hand, was able to provide some jobs throughout the decade:

Farming had been a staple of Kirkland life since the beginning and the economic hardships of the 1930's caused many homeowners to become self-sustaining:

Although farms and industry were of some help to Kirkland residents, the Depression lingered on:

As Kirkland moved through the depression, her residents did their best to survive. Still, there were moments of levity, along with odd little stories within the East Side Journal:

It finally took a world war to shake off the depression. Unfortunately, there are few remaining East Side Journal records of the transitional period between the Great Depression and WWII. After Dec. 7, 1941, local folk soon got caught up in bond rallies and paper drives. In the ensuing fervor, practically all issues from 1939 and 1940 were donated and recycled to help save the world.

WWII - The Big One

 

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