One of the joys of doing this blog is digging around for tidbits of information that other people are not writing about. I am an extensive user of our local libraries as well as the internet. And, while the internet is full of information, across millions of websites, the accuracy of that information always needs to be evaluated. I’ve also found that often many websites mostly just repeat each other. For me, after a while the same stories, even with some variations, start getting a little old.
One resource that I’ve enjoyed exploring is the Historic Oregon Newspapers website, which is the result of the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program at the University of Oregon. The goal of this program is to digitize historic Oregon newspapers and make them freely available to anyone. As the screen shot above shows, the project is digitizing newspapers from across the state, including Cottage Grove.
At the turn of the last century, the Bohemia Nugget was the local, weekly newspaper in Cottage Grove. The tag line under the title says it is “Devoted to the Mining, Lumber, and Farming interests of this community, to good government, and hustling for a living.” The first edition of the Bohemia Nugget was printed in January 20, 1899 and is available on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website.
As of now, the most recent edition is from December 25, 1907. Cottage Grove residents at that time were getting dressed up for a Masque Ball at the Armory where some very nice prizes were going to be given away for those in the best costumes.
It is fun to read through the old papers, as what they report on, and the reporting style they use, is very different than today. The website also comes with a search engine, allowing you to search all newspapers at once, or just a specific newspaper.
I’ve had a lot of fun poking through old Nuggets to learn about the history of Cottage Grove and the surrounding communities. The Oregon Historic Newspapers website is also a good resource for anyone doing family history research within Oregon, as the collection is getting quite extensive.