A stuck train whistle sounded throughout Philomath for more than an hour in March 1923. (Photo by Marco Bonfanti/Getty Images via Canva)

The noise just wouldn’t stop blowing.

On the evening of March 13, 1923, residents in Philomath and the surrounding area heard a train whistle in the distance — not particularly eventful under normal circumstances with the popularity of trains at the time. However, this whistle was different. And you had to wonder if a few folks ended up with headaches.

Here’s a news item published March 15, 1923 in the Corvallis Gazette-Times under the headline, “Whistle Sticks And World Thinks Philomath Afire”:

“A good deal of excitement was caused here Tuesday evening when the whistle on a freight train stuck. For more than an hour the blowing continued; people for five and six miles away could hear it, and thought surely everything in Philomath was burning.”

150 years ago

Philomath student: Dear Sir: Permit me through your valuable columns, not to vindicate him who signs himself “Philomath Student,” (see 1873 entry in the From the Past column published March 1) but to remove from that title some of the odium which might otherwise be attached to it by your just criticism. I apprehend your unknown correspondent has appropriated to himself the “honored title” without the right to beat it, consequently he desires to remain in the shade. Our students are above mediocrity in intelligence, and have ever possessed superior advantages for education. Our school is progressing finely. (Published March 15, 1873, in the Corvallis Gazette).

125 years ago

Teaching assignment: Mrs. L.S. Bouy, of Philomath, who taught the Chitwood school last fall, has been hired to teach the spring term. (Published March 18, 1898, in the Lincoln County Leader).

100 years ago

High school: The Senior Class of P.H.S., realizing that Commencement will soon be here, have selected a play and have the cast of characters selected. They plan to have their play ready to present not later than May 1st. The proceeds will be used for announcements, and other things necessary for a senior class to have. (Published March 15, 1923, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).

75 years ago

Daylight savings: The Philomath councilmen, queried by Mayor Gee, felt that no good purpose could be served by adopting daylight savings time in Oregon, and so voted. It was claimed the summer twilight is long in this section anyway, and there is no need of conserving electric energy. (Published May 19, 1948, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).

50 years ago

Track victory: Mike Pyle, Jon Lanpheare, Tony Niskanen and Chris Philpott posted a five-yard victory in the mile relay Friday to give the defending state champion Philomath Warriors a 71-65 track victory over Gervais. Sophomore distance star Gordy Byers won the mile and two-mile as the Warriors opened their season with a victory. (Published March 17, 1973, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).

Brad Fuqua

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.

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