Densho Digital Archive
Densho Digital Archive Collection
Title: Frank H. Hirata Interview
Narrator: Frank H. Hirata
Interviewers: Martha Nakagawa (primary); Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Culver City, California
Date: February 23, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-hfrank-01-0005

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MN: Now, near your farm, you said you had a "washing house." What is a washing house?

FH: Okay, that is on the same premise, but there was a little creek running through our farmland. And so whenever I, it was more or less a... what would you call that? Crop -- what would you call that? You know, the vegetables and carrots and spinach and cabbage and so forth, things like that. But when you ship that, bring it to the market, you harvest that and throw it into that place, it's like a little dam. Not a dam, but there's a cover on that, a little house, and the water is stocked there, so that you throw it in there and wash it before you put on the truck to ship them to the produce market the next morning.

TI: I've never heard this before. So it's called a washing house?

MN: Yeah, we used to call it the washing house.

TI: And you would just throw the vegetables in there and clean it?

FH: That's right, that's right.

TI: And then how would you sell the crops?

FH: Well, my dad, he had a truck, and so he put it on the truck and went to the produce market in Spokane, downtown, and sent it. That's how he made a living.

TI: So can you describe what the washing house looked like? Like how large it was and how it worked?

MN: That I don't recall, but it's a creek, not a big river. And so it's so limited, but still, it was large enough to throw in the vegetables and wash it and prepare it for shipping.

TI: Okay. But, so, did you have to kind of like... did you get wet when you washed it, or was it like something that you just, like, leaned over and washed it? I'm trying to get a sense...

FH: I think it was, just leaned over and washed it, I guess. Not a huge house, but maybe a little hut or something like that.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2010 Densho. All Rights Reserved.