The first picture I am sharing this week was probably taken sometime in the 1920s, and although I have seen several different views, I did not realize that the Bandon Library was in the building at the end of Alabama on the right. Not only is that a great picture of the First National Bank building (now the Masonic building), but it also a great picture of the Catholic Church, which was built in 1893 on the same land where the church sits today, overlooking the Coquille River.
For a better perspective, I think that Olivia's Cottage is about where the Rex Theater is in the picture, next to the New York Clothing Store and down from the Agate Cafe.
I found a bit about the library in Dow Beckham's book about the Fire of 1936. It explains that in 1913 the bank constructed its building against the bluff on Alabama Street and moved there the following year. This, of course, is one of the few buildings to survive both the 1914 and the 1936 fires.
"In 1914 the citizens of Bandon voted a tax to support the public library and at the July 16 meeting the city council voted to follow through with financial support. The estimated yearly cost was $720. In July of 1919, the library board moved the library into a new building at Alabama and Second Streets (which you can see in this picture). Mrs. F. Amelia Henry served for nearly three decades as librarian."
After the fire destroyed both the library and the city hall, a new building was constructed at Fillmore and Highway 101 (now home of the Bandon museum) to serve as city hall, with the library occupying the southeast part of the building. The new city hall was built in 1970 and the library moved with it before relocating to its spacious new quarters in City Park.
The first Catholic church was built on that site in 1883 and was named Mary, Refuge of Sinners. At that time it was the only Catholic church on the coast between Astoria and the California border. It later became Holy Trinity. The original church survived the fire of 1914, although Bandon lost nearly two blocks of its business section, but it was destroyed in the 1936 fire and later rebuilt on the same property where it stands today.
I love this second picture, taken in 1958, because it is one of the best photos I've seen of the high school, which was destroyed in an arson fire in January of 1974. At far right you can see the baseball grandstand. This high school was built in 1951 ... the year I was in seventh grade, and it housed the junior high school as well as the high school until construction work on Harbor Lights Junior High and the gym began in 1956.
Not sure where the third picture was taken because it does not appear to be the local high school baseball field, but it's a great picture of Coach Dick Sutherland talking to his ace, Hiemer Kiefer, who graduated in 1974. It looks like Dennis Williams behind Kiefer, but I'm just not sure.
* * *
It appears that the Bi-Mart Country Music Festival is finding it increasingly difficult to find a spot to relocate because of concerns about the magnitude of the crowds, and the problems that causes.
Festival sponsors have been trying to move the venue from Brownsville to Marion County, outside of Salem, but it now appears that Marion County plans to deny the move to farmland bordering the Ankeny Wildlife Reserve, according to a recent story in the Salem Statesman-Journal. The new venue was to be for the 2019 concert.
One of the major concerns was the problems caused by some 30,000 people trying to get to the concert; sponsors predicted that number could swell to 60,000 people.
The Bi-Mart Cape Blanco Country Music Festival was held on farmland in northern Curry County for several years.
I haven't heard what problems, if any, may have been encountered since the Curry festival moved to Central Point two years ago. This year's concert was held last week, July 26-29.
Shortly after I wrote this, I saw in the paper that their request to move the festival to Marion County was denied so they will remain in Brownsville until they find another site ... that could potentially hold the 60,000 people that they are predicting.
* * *
I saw a death notice last week for A. W. "Bill" Sweet of North Bend, who was raised in Bandon and at the Sweet ranch on Elk River. He died July 22 at the age of 98. A.W. was one of five children born to W.J. Sweet and his wife, Theresa Hanly Sweet, which included Piercy Sweet and Anne Felsheim, both of Bandon, who preceded him in death. His older sister, Helen Mayes, died many years ago. Among his survivors are his brother, Don Sweet of California, who is in his mid-90s. He and his late wife, Evelyn, had several children, including sons, Bill and Bob Sweet. I have not seen any service announcement although arrangements are under the direction of the Coos Bay Chapel. Coos County Commissioner John Sweet is a nephew and Sue Sweet of Langlois is a niece.
A.W. was associated with the Bank of Bandon and Western Bank for many years, and spearheaded the building of the Boys and Girls Club in the Coos Bay area. He was also the former chairman of the Oregon AAA board of directors.
He made the news five years ago when he spent 29 hours over an embankment after he'd run off the road when returning from a cabin on the Illinois River in the Agness area. Unable to climb up the bank, he spent the night in his vehicle. He was found unhurt after a sheriff's deputy saw that grass had been disturbed alongside the road.
* * *
My Comspan saga lives on. Last Tuesday I called to cancel the service at the Continuum as one of our tenants was tired of the poor service and had Spectrum (Charter) installed. The guy in the call center told me someone from Comspan would call me later that day to officially cancel the service.
That was five days ago ... and I'm still waiting.
* * *
I've heard some negative feedback about the July council meeting where one of the issues was a hearing on proposed changes to the Vacation Rental Dwelling ordinance, recommended by the planning commission.
Even if I attempted to tell readers what happened, it would only be my version. The best thing is to stream the meeting by going to coosmediacenter.viebit.com. It's all there, unedited and in living "color."
* * *
I attended the Celebration of Life for Buck Rogers Saturday at the Bandon Community Center. It was a wonderful, fitting tribute to a man who touched so many lives in the nearly five decades that the family lived here.
* * *
Goodnight Lucas posted on Facebook Friday letting people know that he had talked to a man who lives off Rosa Road who said his house was burglarized twice in one day last week. "His neighbor said he saw two young men on a four-wheeler (green in color), they wore shorts and were barefoot. Also a young woman. Keep a look out for them," said Lucas.
* * *
The Bandon Police Department also posted a warning, saying they had received a call Friday about a telephone scam. "The caller claims to be 'JoDee Tittle' of Southern Coos Hospital and Health District and asks to verify the age of the answering party to see if they would be eligible for a service or program." The hospital confirmed that they are making no such calls.
"Police remind citizens to never provide money or personal information to someone over the phone if you didn't solicit the call."
* * *
I talked with John Olson, owner of Tesoaria Vineyard & Winery of Roseburg, who announced several months ago that he planned to open a tasting room in Bandon in the building just east of Face Rock Creamery that previously housed Speakeasy 33.
Olson said his plans have changed and that he will be making his wine at the Bandon location, but he isn't sure yet about the retail side of the business.