Bloom Time

Spring is here! Everywhere I go, I see mounds of brilliant yellow daffodils and smell the sweet fragrance of Daphne. After such a drab, gray winter, I am ready for some color. Luckily, we have a number of local parks and gardens where I can easily see flowers in bloom throughout the growing season. If you also enjoy flowers and gardens, here are nine near-by locations to explore. If you plan well, blooms from these gardens and parks should take you through spring and well into summer. All of … [Read more...]

Lost Towns: Lane County Historical Museum Exhibit

In the days before log trucks, automation, or heli-logging, sawmills were built closer to the woods. Here in south Lane County, they sprang up along the O&SE Rail line (now the Row River Trail) to take advantage of the railroad. In some instances, whole communities would surround the mill, like the sawmill at Prune Hill. When I think of early sawmills, I usually think of teams of guys working big saws or riding logs in the mill ponds. With those men, though, came families. Women worked in … [Read more...]

Luper Cemetery: Eugene

Just north of Eugene, surrounded by farmland, is one of the oldest pioneer cemeteries in the southern Willamette Valley, Luper Cemetery. I love wandering through old graveyards, looking at the headstones, and piecing together the family relationships. I wonder about these people's lives and history and I enjoy the markers their families had created for them. In this regard, Luper Cemetery makes for a great visit. Luper Cemetery was established in the mid-1850s with over half of the … [Read more...]

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...]

Johnson Farms: North Eugene

Nestled  just outside of north Eugene, where urban growth butts against farmland, sits Johnson Farms. Established in 1915, Johnson's is a century farm -- a farm that has been owned by the same family for over 100 years. Johnson's began when newlyweds Alfred Johnson and Oma Davis started growing vegetables and raising livestock to sale. The farm is now owned and farmed by their grandson, Walt Johnson who gets business help from his daughter, Amanda. I first became aware of the farm when Rick … [Read more...]