BEND, OR -- After months of work, Bend’s first automobile is restored to working condition and will make appearances throughout Deschutes County, this summer. The 1907 Holsman was originally owned by the Deschutes Telephone Company.
In 1953, early pioneer, and former phone company employee, E.A. Smith told KBND’s Kessler Cannon that getting paid for work sometimes proved difficult. "When I came to Prineville, I had several checks that I had not cashed as yet. I took them into Mr. Baldwin’s bank, and Mr. Baldwin says, ‘Well now, Mr. Smith, about $20 is all we can let you have on these checks.’ So I took the $20 gold piece and I kept working for the telephone company, and I’d get a few dollars to live on."
Smith told Cannon that he got the car after the phone company went bankrupt. "In the final settlement of my wage account in 1910, I took the old Holsman automobile, which I now own, as part payment for my account." Cannon asked, "It’s still in good running shape today? [in 1953]." Smith responded, "Oh, yes. It runs, as far as I can tell, just about as good as new." The more than 100-year-old car may not be "good as new," anymore. But, Wade Bryant Automotive and the Deschutes Historical Society spent months getting the car running again.
The Holsman will be on display Saturday night at Vince Genna Stadium, as part of Centennial Night at the Bend Elks
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