Author's latest book delves into Estacada's quirky history
Have you ever heard the story about the Estacada resident who drove his tractor instead of a car?
If you haven't — or even if you have — you'll want to read Kathryn Hurd's latest book, "Estacada Sagas," which will publish on Monday, July 10.
In some ways, Hurd sees "Estacada Sagas" as a continuation of her previous book, "Images Across America: Estacada." Published in 2012, the book was the first professionally published book on the town's history.
"The first book was a book of pictures and captions, and the captions had to be within a certain number of words," she said. "It was nice, but I wasn't able to go into the depth of the Estacada people — their courage, generosity and character."
Hurd, who interviewed many Estacada residents for the book, is eager to share the examples of the endurance and resilience she came across.
One of the stories Hurd came across outlined a man's frustration because the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles had taken his license away. In response, he decided to use his tractor to get around town, since he didn't need a license to drive it.
Another tale outlines an Estacada resident's thwarted attempts to deliver frog legs to restaurants around the region. The goal was to prepare the frog legs to be served at restaurants, but the entrepreneur realized he didn't have a feasible way to deliver them.
Because of this, he let all of the frogs loose, and some are said to still be in the area.
One section of the book discusses the history of McCrae's Motel and the difficulties the establishment's owners eventually faced.
"(The McCraes) were conscientious and made their living from the motel, but as time went on they developed problems," Hurd said, noting that a motorcycle accident eventually left Mr. McCrae crippled, and the person who eventually purchased the hotel "found fascinating things" on the property.
Hurd enjoys interviewing people for her books. She appreciates getting to know people better and learning about their stories.
"(The most rewarding part of the writing process is) meeting wonderful, interesting people," she said, noting that she's become friends with many people she's spoken with. "It's really a rich experience to talk to them."
Hurd is happy to share the stories that people have told her with her readers.
"(Stories are) a good look at the past," she said. "They're the key to understanding our history. As you read the story, it lets you know what life was like at the time, and when you get through it, you think 'Gosh, I didn't know that."
Hurd has written four other historically-based books: "Briarwood: A Neighborhood Remembered," "Bruno Paul John: An Oregon Legacy," "The Dwyers: Pioneers in the Timber Industry" and "Images of America: Estacada."
She said she's never experienced writer's block.
"There's never been a time I sit down and my fingers don't start moving on the typewriter, computer or paper," she said. "There's so much to say."