Have you seen the
building behind Fire Station 14? It's had many uses over the years .
. . .originally as a kitchen and then as an Air Filling Station.
What you probably don't know is that it was originally built in 1812
and used by the Pony Express as a rest stop for their riders coming
across the country from the East Coast. Back then it was known as
the HUT. It was well known from coast to cost and also a favorite
stop for COWBOYS herding cattle from MONTANA to California. I'm
serious! The HUTS' reputation for the freshest hay and horses was
famous, and the water that was pumped from the well was out of this
world. A natural underground spring ran directly below the HUT, and
the thirsty Express Riders and COWBOYS could always count on a cold
refreshing drink. The HUT had a lot of things going for it including
a master chef that made the worlds' best bbq teriyaki chicken. There
was always a line of riders, COWBOYS, and local folks waiting for a
home-cooked meal. The HUT served its purpose well for many years and
was sorely missed when it finally had to be closed by Cal Osha. The
HUT didn't have handicapped parking for the horses and was fined and
forced out of business. It remained vacant for several years but,
like the COWBOYS and Express Riders before, the HUT was STRONGER than most
people thought! It survived natural disasters including floods,
earthquakes, and even a few stampedes! After the Fire Department
took over ownership, the Building Department deemed it an "Unsafe
Structure" and decided to tear it down. Finally, after deciding
not to bring in the bulldozers, the City decided to retrofit the
building. I don't have enough space available to give you all the
details, delays, changes, indecision, and jut plain confusing steps the
City went through but, after nearly 7 years since the project was started,
it's ALMOST finished. Unbelievable! Fortunately, the Pony Express
no longer exists........otherwise there would have been a lot of thirsty
COWBOYS, tired horses, and upset riders waiting for a place to rest!
This article appeared in the December 2000 issue of THE GRAPE VINE.
Copyright 2000 All Rights Reserved.