Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kiyoshi Seishin Yamashita
Narrator: Kiyoshi Seishin Yamashita
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: October 30, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ykiyoshi-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

TI: And the other question, before we go to college, what else was nearby your house? I mean, just farms or were there other kind of like businesses or other...

KY: Oh, the significant thing about Auburn was that it's actually an agricultural town in those days. Now it's the, kind of a bedroom town for Seattle. But those days it was agricultural except for one industry, and that was the railroad industry. And it became a railroad town in the sense that this particular facility we used to call the Auburn Roundhouse became the biggest employer, had the biggest number of people working for it. So if you say, "What kind of big business?" that was it, 'cause it employed, I'm sure, many, many hundreds, yeah. The thing about Auburn and this roundhouse was that I remember going to this roundhouse. And, of course, a roundhouse is where they maintain and repair these locomotives. So roundhouse is I guess what they called it because there was this big circular type thing, and they had the turntable and a lot of tracks coming in and the move the locomotive in and out of there for refurbishing and removal of cinders, burnt coal. And they used to have a cinder pile, and I remember going -- of course, not me myself, but my brothers and me -- we'd go over there to cinder pile and get piles of cinders and load it into the truck bed and take it to our farm area. And we had, the farm area, of course, in those days, remember that there are no roads, really, inside the... your farm you've got these little, your own private little roadways, and dirt. And as you know, it rains a lot here, so that roads would get very bumpy and there's be ruts and holes. What we'd do is get the cinders from the roundhouse, which is, I would guess, within half a mile of our house, go get it, and fill those potholes in. And use it as a roadbed and smooth the road, and you don't have to fix it as often as not. So that I remember about getting the cinders from the cinder pile. And there was one huge smokestack for the, I guess for the, powerhouse for the whole thing.

TI: That's a good story.

KY: Yeah.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright (c) 2009 Densho. All Rights Reserved.