By: Katherine Trowbridge
The City of Connell utilized Carlisle Enterprises, a local business that boasts three generations of the Carlisle family, to help complete the pool renovations. On Thursday, June 9, all three generations worked side by side to pour concrete at the city's pool. Ray Carlisle grew up in South Dakota taking his first job right out of high school with a concrete guy. This was in 1958. He said, “I’m still doing concrete and all my boys followed.” Carlisle is now in his 80’s and his “new hips” don’t hold him up for too long but he was out there alongside his boys laying concrete. “I’m about all out of it. Pretty much turned [the business] all over to the boys now,” he said. Carlisle stated he’s built a lot of potato and onion storages around the area, 12 to be exact in the Warden area.
The Cralisle’s stop for a moment to pose for a photo together before getting back to the concrete. Grandsons Colton Carlisle and Rycher Cunninham bookend Jeff, Ray (center), and Billie (Shane - not pictured).
From South Dakota he made his way to Portland, Oregon. However, he got tired of pouring concrete in the rain. “It just turns to mud.” So his plan was to move back to South Dakota. Along the way he made a stop in Connell and ate at the Golden Harvest. The restaurant, located in the middle of Connell, A conversation with his brother in law over the meal about buying the place (which happened to be for sale) and having their wives run it, was overheard by Jim Klindworth who said he could set them up. He owned Klindworth Realty and Insurance. By the end of the day, Carlisle had given Klindworth the down payment. Needless to say, he never made it back to S. Dakota. Carlisle went on to also own Connell Sand and Gravel along with the Golden Harvest (which his wife Kaye ran) before branching out into his own concrete business. He has many tales to tell of all the happenings in Connell during the 1980’s... from Mt. St Helen’s to the number of GreyHound buses that would stop off in Connell. He shared about the numerous loads of rock he hauled to customers covering over the ash after the mountain blew. There were enough customers at the restaurant that wanted to take a piece of the mountain home that he never did have to clear the roof. They would climb on up to get a jarful of ash. Carlisle also served as President of the Lions Club and spoke of a time capsule he buried at Pioneer Park.
The Carlisle’s were busy again on Friday, June 10, pouring concrete at the new barn on west Elm St. in Connell. The family takes pride in their work and ensures they leave customers with a quality product that will last. Carlisle stated, “The thing about concrete is ya gotta do it good and ya gotta do it right cause it’s gonna be there maybe 30-40 years and your names on it.”
City Public Works look on as the Carlisle’s pour concrete at the city pool on Thursday, June 9.
Ray Carlisle, patriarch of the family, still doing concrete work after over 64 years in the business.