Connecting the Present to the Past: History Here, Eugene

As traffic streams by along West 11th in Eugene, four brick workers from the J. Marsh Martin brickyard silently observe the bustle from their poster adhered to a metal utility box. Three feet wide by four-and-a-half feet tall, the poster is basically a large photograph with a brief description of the people and places within it. Taken in 1908, the photograph shows the men going about their daily lives making bricks for building local homes, yet at the same time, establishing the history for this … [Read more...]

Stand By Me: 30th Anniversary

In June of 1985 a young film director trying to prove himself brought four unknown child actors and an entire film crew to Eugene. For seven weeks they stayed at the Hilton, first to give acting classes to the young actors, and then to film on location, an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, “The Body.” A coming-of-age story set in 1959. Today, people know the movie as Stand By Me. It was a movie that transformed the careers of director Rob Reiner and the four lead actors – Wil Wheaton, … [Read more...]

Yesterday’s Adventure: Book Review

I admit, I am addicted to books. While computers and the internet are definitely good friends, my true love is a good book. So, it is no surprise that the other day, when I realized I was going to have some free time on my hands, I stopped by the library for a book. In just a few minutes, I emerged cradling a short stack. One of those books was "Yesterday's Adventure: A Photographic History of Lane County, Oregon" published in 1998 by the Lane County Historical Society. When I grabbed … [Read more...]

Ahoy Matey! Tall Ships in Coos Bay

The sound of cannon fire ricocheted off the building behind us while the smell of gun powder drifted across the bay. The two ships, each at full mast, maneuvered through the water, one taking a tight turn and firing again. Once the boom subsided, I could hear the crew shouting orders and the mateys yelling taunts. This was my introduction to the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain. Each summer, the two tall ships sail up the Oregon coast as they travel from California to their home port in … [Read more...]

History Lost: The Alex Cooley House

You may have read in the newspapers last week that there was a fire in an abandoned house here in Cottage Grove. What the reports failed to mention is that the house was almost 150 years old and was built by an early settler to Cottage Grove, Alex Cooley, and his family. What burned was not just an abandoned house but a little part of Cottage Grove's early history. As luck would have it, I had a chance to meet Alex's grandson several years ago. Clair Cooley was probably in his 90's when we … [Read more...]