Saturday, April 28, 2012

Getting there Ninety Years Ago

Ninety years ago on April 27, 1922, Hubert Secor launched his bus service to "town." He is seen above with his Pierce Arrow bus in front of the Sweeney Block at the head of the bay. The bus carried 28 passengers plus the mail twice a day to Tacoma for ten years. The fare was 25 cents, plus the ferry toll.  However, no one was ever charged just to ride around Gig Harbor to do errands.

Secor left home about 6 a.m. in order to complete his first run by 8 a.m. so people could get to school and work on time.  He finished his day at 6 p.m. Gig Harbor had no high school before the fall of 1922, so Stadium High School in Tacoma was the nearest school.  The bus ran seven days a week, with Secor the only driver.  He once drove 28 months without a day off.

By 1928, a second bus was added, driven by Orville Hemphill.  He drove his bus from 8 to 8.  Both drivers earned $4.40 a day.  

Besides the free rides around town, Hubert was known to pick up items for housewives who couldn't get into town themselves.  He would take a bit of thread to match, or pick up packages upon request.

Hubert Blaine Secor was born in Longmont, Colorado, in 1904.  His family moved here in 1907.  Hubert went to Stadium High School by taking the steamer Crest each day.  After graduation, he worked at the telephone company in Tacoma, where he met his future wife Mary.

He sold his business to the Tacoma Bus Company in 1931, but continued to drive the route.  By 1934, he was ready for a change.  He and Mary opened the Minterbrook Oyster Company on the Key Peninsula.  In 1964, he was elected the fourth Mayor of Gig Harbor, serving until suffering a stroke in 1969.  He died in 1972 at the age of 80.

Linda McCowen, Historic Photos Editor
© 2012 Harbor History Museum. All rights reserved.

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