Ruskenen's Elmo Garage - Allen Motor Company - Si Siltamaki - Fenimore Chevrolet Dealership and Garage
Exhibit by Bob Leathers
I would to take this opportunity to clarify the actual beginnings of the firm which eventually became known as Fenimore Chevrolet.
The business was started by my father, Andrew Ruskanen, in partnership with several friends and associates, in 1920. My father constructed the garage building on this is now designated as "No Name" street. The Carbon County Redi-Mix now occupies the site and probably utilizes the original concrete floor of the garage building.
My father held the franchise or dealership for the Overland "Redbird' automobile and was also the dealer for the "Hubmobile" automobile. The Overland "Redbird was manufactured by the Willis Knight Motor Company, which eventually evolved into what is known as American Motors Company today.
The firm founded by my father and his associates was known as the "Elmo Garage Company" and was located just north of the Workingmen's Commercial Company store and south of the two story house occupied by the Gus Siltamaki family.
My father also constructed a house in Elmo, which was located next door to the home now occupied by the Fenimores. He [Andrew Ruskanen] was employed by the Union Pacific Coal Company and continued in their employ while building the "Elmo Garage", with the view in mind that he would eventually give up his mining job and concentrate on making a livelihood operating the garage business.
However this was never realized as my father was fatally injured in a mine accident in the Union Pacific Coal Company No. 4 mine on April 4, 1925.
Subsequently, the "Elmo Garage Company was managed by individuals chosen by my mother and other partners in the venture. Among these were Pat Russell and Bill Christensen.
Eventually the business was taken over by Arthur Allen, when he disposed of his meat market building on Front Street, in Elmo, directly across the street from the bar now operated by the Jim Poulos family. Mr. Allen operated the garage until about 1934 when he sold out to build the motel and store complex, known as the "Silver Cabins" at a site located on Highway 30 when it was routed through Elmo and Hanna. (Andy Ruskanen, Elmo Garage Company, Hanna Herald, March 30, 1983)
Mr. Allen sold the garage business to Sander "Si" Siltamaki who had been employed by Mr. Allen who had been employed by Mr. Allen as his service mechanic. Mr. Siltamaki owned and operated the garage until he sold out to enter another business venture.(Andy Ruskanen, Elmo Garage Company, Hanna Herald, March 30, 1983)