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Memories of Dell Bisbee

From unknown newspaper, August 27, 1975

August 27, 1975 (newspaper unknown) 

News and History

by – Bill Gillett, Sr


POST - 6773

Al Caflisch's planing mill on Willow and Bridge streets in the early 1900's

Caflisch Planing Mill

Yes! Al Caflisch had a real planing mill in Union City on Willow and Bridge Streets.

Different than 'now-a-days', a person could get any kind of lumber unfinished or planned, also the finest kind of workmanship by cabinet maker, Clyde Smiley.

Clyde had his shop on the second floor of the main building with a good helper Adell (Dell) Bisbee. When it came to stairways in a new house, Clyde would measure and make the stairs, spindles, newel posts, etc, then when delivered would perfectly fit perfectly.

I remember when Uncle Chad and Aunt Martha Mullen built their home at 58 West High street, next to where I lived a 60 West High street – John Burton was the builder having Clyde come and measure for a stairway Clyde measured from the second floor two steps down to a platform, then down to another platform two steps up from the living room; when Dave Boarts brought it over to Chad's “K.D.” it fit so good John Burton hardly had to saw for joining the space. (Ha). There was no doubt that Al Caflisch had the very best with Clyde Smiley.

Dell Bisbee and Clyde had this shop at Al's for years.

I have to tell you about Dell Bisbee. He was the greatest actor I ever saw. Dell and Clyde were great IOOF (Odd Fellows) and Dell was the best venerable warder in the Initiatory Degree the Lodge ever had, and that went from praise from other visiting Lodges that would come to Union City Lodge to put on degrees. They couldn't get over Dell doing such an extraordinary job.

Well when I was in the sign business with first Frank (Jerry) Baker and then Henry (Hank) Main, we used to always get our planed lumber and chestnut 4x4 by 12 ft long posts. They had to be with point in middle of the 4x4. The man that could really point them was my old friend Dave Boarts. So! I would go and see john Bailey, foreman, to let Dave do the job. (Ha). John being a friend would let Dave stop his horse team and wagon to come into the mill and the saw.

Clair Cook and his father also worked in the mill and knew what they were doing.

When we paid our bill at the office on Bridge street I would see Charlie Davison, Ralph Fogle, Connie Ainsworth, Marsh Michael, John Caflisch, Gertrude Caflisch and later Susie Scullen, but we always paid our money to Harry Lane at this window. That was the wonderful Al Caflisch planing mill that Jerry, Hank and I knew so well.

Owner of original Linda Bisbee Woods, Erie, Pennsylvania
Linked to Adelbert Melvin Bisbee
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