The North Bend Eagle


 

Tearing down
The former Western Homes Corp. trailer plant on Highway 30 is coming down.

Shell of trailer plant on Hwy. 30 being removed

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 8/7/13

The southeast side of Highway 30 in North Bend is getting a new look.

Trailer plant Luke Dolezal, near, and Larry Dolezal operate the machinery tearing down the old trailer plant.

The former trailer plant, a shell of its former self for the past 40 years, is being torn down.

Opening in 1948, the trailer plant was first know as Safeway Trailer Home Manufacturing. It was started by Cherny and Watson Lumber Company, with home offices in what is now the office of North Bend Grain on the corner of highways 79 and 30.

The business employed from 45 to 66 people making 24 to 55-foot mobile homes, double-wides and portable classrooms. At one time the plant produced three to four units a day and 500 a year.

The business changed when Ray Watson moved it to Fremont, renamed it Watson Industries and focussed on manufacturing store fixtures. The business remaining in North Bend was bought out by Commodore Corporation of Falls City, which added a 45,000 square foot building to the site. In 1970 the plant shut down. Jimmie Posey of North Bend and Lonnie Spies of Schuyler bought the business, naming it Western Homes Corp. and continued to build trailer homes. Posey retired from the business in 1975 and Spies later closed the plant.

Trailer signThe sign for Western Homes Corp. waits to be hauled off with the rest of the debris.

Drew von Rein purchased the building from Spies last year and decided to get rid of the old quonset buildings and smaller buildings.

“I wanted to clean it up,” von Rein said. “Make it look nice for the city.”

Larry Dolezal of Morse Bluff is doing the demolition. They were unable to get a burn permit, so everything will be hauled away. Everything but the blue building immediately east of North Bend Grain, which NBG uses to store grain, will be torn down.

“I have no long term plans,” von Rein said about the future of the area. “When the destruction is complete it will be 100 percent flat.”

Von Rein said there is nothing of value left. “Just junk.” What is salvageable will be recycled.

The land is owned by the railroad and it is leased on a year to year basis.

“There is no benefit to me,” von Rein said. “I just want to clean it up.”

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