Rood's Bus Line
Irwin A. Rood came to the Lake from Sweet Valley in 1898. He taught at the one-room Rock School on Sorber Mountain for two years, but in 1901 he purchased the Al Goode store at the West Corner. Rood ran an early horse and wagon school-bus service, and in 1918 he became the Laketon postmaster, a post he served until 1937. Two generations of the Rood family managed the general store and served the West Corner until 1965.
In the early decades of this century, three principal grocery stores served the Lake. Rood was at the West Corner, Gosart was at Sunset and the Harvey’s Lake Supply Store was at Alderson. Rood’s home delivery schedule was typical for Lake stores. On Mondays and Fridays orders and deliveries were made “up-Lake” to Alderson, and on Tuesdays and Saturdays orders and deliveries to other areas of the township. During this time major stores in the Valley also had regular merchandise delivery services to the Lake.
In 1928 Ben and Vernon Rood, the two sons of I.A. Rood, began to rent tent sites on a large plot of land previously used as a truck farm.
"When the trolley line ended its service to the Oneonta station in July 1931, the trolley company substituted a bus between Idetown and the Lake. But in September the trolley line pulled its line back to Dallas. The Wyoming Auto Bus Company, a subsidiary of the trolley line, leased the bus line to I.A. Rood from Dallas to the Lake for the 1931-1932 winter season.
The company originally planned to operate its own bus line during the profitable summer months, but the Rood bus service was so well-managed the company leased the line on a year-round basis to the Rood family from 1932-1957. The bus line was managed by Ben Rood, and his initial bus was a twenty-passenger 1932 Ford. During the summer months the traction company provided larger forty-passenger buses. The number of buses furnished to Rood during a season varied with consumer demand. As many as seven buses were run on a particularly heavy holiday.
As early as 5:30 A.M. miners who lived at the Lake would be picked up by the Lake bus at the Picnic Grounds in order to meet the 6:00 A.M. trolley at Dallas to the Valley. Except during the summer, the Lake bus would run each hour and twenty minutes ending at 6:40 P.M. on weekdays and 10:40 P.M. on Saturdays.
In summer months the bus ran until midnight. The ride from Dallas to Idetown was ten cents, or twenty cents for a stop along the Lake. The best years for the bus line were 1941-1946, largely due to gas rationing that restricted private travel. Over time the twelve daily trips were reduced to six, and Rood’s bus service ended in 1957.
Copyright 2006-2008 F. Charles Petrillo