Smith cookbook has local ties

Cooking with love might be another name for The Smith Family Heritage Cook Book.  History with an Eagle Point connection and  recipes that span 175 years make this a manageable and most interesting read whether you are a history or  a chef.

The local connection began in 1872 when Arthur Poole and his wife, Aletta Apger Poole moved to Eagle Point where he built and operated the Eagle Hotel. It was the first hotel and dining room in the area. He also built a leather goods and blacksmith shop, next door to the Butte Creek Mill. Indians from Ft. Klamath came to the mill and to Poole’s shop, trading huckleberries for grain and leather and blacksmith needs.

Poole’s  had 10 children. Arthur and Aletta Poole are buried at the Brownsboro Cemetery.

The original cookbook was put together by Tommie Smith and her mother in 1980. This revision was put together by Tommie Smith and her daughter, Dana Smith Tuley. Tommie didn’t live to see the book printed but did live to proof it with daughter, Dana. Tommie passed away in April 2009.

A number of those who attended Eagle Point High School in 1955-56 know the name Stan Smith. Not only was he Tommie’s husband, he was the EPHS football coach that had a district championship team. When his coaching days were over the couple purchased two drive-ins, Cubby’s, and the Ashland A&W. Cubby’s was a very popular spot in Medford.

In the 1960s they purchased Mon Desir and later Bel Di’s and management of thee drive-ns was put in the hands of the Smith daughters and their spouses.

Those who enjoyed the ambiance of Mon Desir and who had occasion to see the bar will want to read about it in the cookbook.

There are recipes from many family members along with the memories and proverbs, saying and poetry. As an example, Nonnie (Dana Smith’s grandmother) offers the history of Jacksonville from 1851 to 1971 in two 5×8 pages.  Tommie and Stan, who was the cook at Bel Di’s, share some recipes. And along side an old family recipe might be one using Kruteaz mix.

This cookbook is one that will make a delightful gift for those in the area as well as for those just visiting or curious about the valley and its history. The recipes are an added treat for those of us who enjoy local history.

The book is available for $12 at the Butte Creek Mill. It is a spiral-bound book, which makes it easy to read or to use as a cookbook.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent


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