Valley personalities: Early Hobart boasted hotel, dance hall, and lumber mill

Valley personalities: Early Hobart boasted hotel, dance hall, and lumber mill

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 7, 1979

(This is the second in a series of feature articles written by students in Tahoma’s Beginning Journalism class. Steve Eichelberger, a senior, lives in Hobart where he became acquainted with Dorothy Iverson. She remembers when her small community housed the largest lumber mill in the Northwest.)

By Steve Eichelberger

For many years, Dorothy Iverson was a homemaker.

“Women didn’t work in those days,” she said about her early life in Hobart. Mrs. Iverson was born in Seattle where she lived with her three older brothers and three younger sisters before moving to Hobart while in the seventh grade.

She remains there today where she still helps operate the Hobart store.

Mrs. Iverson attended school in what is now the Hobart Grange and graduated from Tahoma, where she had been editor of the high school newspaper and class valedictorian.

She attended Wilson Business College in Seattle and after graduation was a secretary in Seattle for four years.

She married the late Iver Iverson in 1933 and they set up housekeeping in Hobart. Iver was employed at his father’s grocery store, the “Wood and Iverson Grocery Store,” where he continued to work until it burned in 1939.

When Mrs. Iverson first moved to Hobart, the Wood-Iverson Mill was in operation. Iver’s dad and his partner started the mill, which was the largest in the Northwest at that time. A picture of the mill as it was in 1915 is on display in the Hobart store.

Back then, they had the “Hobart,” which was a bunk hotel-house for all the workers of the mill and also a dance hall for entertainment.

The mill issued its own money at one time expressly for workers who ran short. The money was called “chits” and was only good at the Wood-Iverson Grocery.

According to the Iversons, Hobart was named after Vice President Hobart, who served under President McKinley.

In 1947, Dorothy and Iver built the present Hobart store which was about half as big as it is now. After completion, Dorothy worked part-time at the store and Iver was in charge until his death in 1973.

The youngest of her three children, Warren, took over management at that time. Warren’s wife, Barbara, and his mother still work there. Dorothy was appointed Postmaster in 1972 and still holds that position.

The Iversons have another son who lives in California and a daughter living in Issaquah.

When Dorothy was young, the only thing they did for entertainment, she says, was “play baseball at the Hobart field.” She played catcher. “I can still catch anything Warren throws at me,” she said.

The Iversons got a television for the first time in 1953. Dorothy used to ski at Snoqualmie and golf at Lake Wilderness.

Now she likes to travel. She spent two weeks in Hawaii and in 1978 she and her daughter visited Washington D.C. From there they traveled to the Caribbean for two weeks.

Parting with some of her personal philosophy, Dorothy offered, “Look for the good in a person. Everyone has some good.”

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