Parks and Recreation Image

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Osborne, Dorothy A. (Ellis) (Renhard)

by Tom and Dorothy Osborne

I was born in Kirkland, Washington, to Stewart and Esther Ellis on November 9, 1922. My first year was spent in Kirkland, the second year in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with my fatherís parents. In 1925, we moved from Seattle to my motherís parentís farm in Sequim as times were hard and not much work. Three brothers and two sisters eventually made our family complete. I graduated from Sequim High School in 1941, went to work at the Duck Inn Restaurant in Port Angeles, Washington, and then a plywood plant opened in Port Angeles and I got on the swing shift feeding veneer into the dryer. I married Sam Renhard and sweated out the years he was in the South Pacific. We had three children, two girls and a boy. My husband was a plywood worker and when we heard of a plant opening in Juneau, we jumped at the chance to come to Juneau. We drove the Alaska Highway and were in the first group of people to drive the John Hart Highway from Prince George to Dawson Creek, the start of the highway. All three of my children graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School. My son still lives in Alaska, the girls in Washington and Oregon. I was divorced in 1966.

I went to work for Bill Cope at the Foodland Grocery Store in January 1956, retiring in 1970 to go fishing with my new husband Thomas E. Osborne (February 1968), on his fishing boat Takan and later the Seal. We had a wonderful time living on the boat, had lots of experiences, saw lots of country and met a lot of interesting People. I belong to Resurrection Lutheran Church, Sons of Norway, American Legion, Pioneers of Alaska and VFW auxiliaries.

When I first arrived in town, there were seven grocery stores, only one advertised as cash and carry. Charging your groceries, having them delivered and ordering by phone was the normal way of doing business. We did not lock our doors or our car. We would buy groceries and leave them in the back of our pickup, cover them good, go to the show and no one bothered them - the crows would if you didnít cover them. Those were the days when the stores closed on Sundays, holidays and the Salmon Derby and I knew all the customers by name. I was in sixth place in the Salmon Derby one year (1960?) with a 30 pound king salmon and got a washer and dryer as a prize.