The first picture I am sharing this week is of the old Coast Guard Station (now owned by the Port of Bandon) in 1977. The building had pretty much fallen into disrepair in those days, and although you can barely see it, at the end of the street (where Edgewaters sits now) was Robertson's Sand and Gravel. You can also see the front of the Breuer building, which is now the River House vacation rental dwelling. At the end of the street, you can see the roofline of the building which was part of the Robertson's complex.
The second picture was taken in June of 1972 of the large lot along First Street, between Alabama Avenue and Oregon Avenue hill. It is now leased by the City of Bandon from owners Fred Gernandt and Kirk Day and is primarily used as a parking lot for the Old Town Marketplace and other Old Town businesses. It is interesting to see what is not there in the picture, which was taken long before the Devon's building was constructed across the parking lot from the Masonic Building on what used to be Wall Street. This was also before the revitalization of Old Town as you can see the Alabama parking lot has not yet been constructed and cars are parking on both sides of Alabama. Not sure exactly what this piece of equipment is but the envelope indicated it had something to do with the city, so it was probably the hydro-electric department, but not sure. I would guess that I took the photo, but in those days we weren't concerned about what was in the background (which is generally the most interesting part of these old pictures), but whatever the "news" we were shooting.
The third picture will come complete with a history lesson. My guess is that this picture of the First National Bank building was taken either in the late teens or early '20s.
According to historian Dow Beckham, in late January of 1910 a group of Bandon businessmen met and organized the First National Bank, capitalized at $35,000. One of the founders, J.W. Roberts, bought $5,000 of the stock and the rest was picked up by 41 additional stockholders. In 1913 the bank built its building against the bluff on Alabama Street (now Avenue) and moved there the following year.
That is the building we now know as the Masonic Building, which houses Spirit of Oregon and The Cobbler's Bench. When this picture was taken the bank offices were on the left side of the building and the Western World (which was purchased by my grandfather in 1912) was on the right side of the building.
The bank did not last long in Bandon.
"The third decade ended with serious changes in the economy. On April 3, 1925, the First National Bank closed its doors in Bandon and the national bank examiner, Charles C. Otto, took charge. Following a public statement in which the bank officials assured the depositors that they would eventually receive one hundred percent of their deposits, Otto began the liquidation process. In 1924, auditors had found cashier Roy Corson $17,000 short in funds. Corson was sentenced to federal prison but was released within months. Apparently Corson was able to repay. Corson's problems were not the reason for the closure.
"The bank issued a formal statement: Owing to adverse financial conditions and the inability of some of our borrowers to meet their obligations, we have been forced to close the bank ... This may mean a heavy loss to our stockholders and a much greater loss to us who are directors. To our depositors we wish to state we hope and believe that each will be paid in full."
But that did not occur.
Depositors received their fourth and final dividend for a total of 75 percent from the bank in November of 1927 ... two years before the stock market crash of 1929.
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As I was sitting in my comfortable seat at the Bandon Showcase presentation of "6 Guitars" Thursday night, I thought about how fortunate we are in a small town like Bandon (population about 3,100 people) to have a top-notch library, a spacious community center and a first-class 200-plus theater that is the envy of towns much larger than ours ... all surrounded by a large city park and hopefully one day a swimming pool.
All that pales when you consider that only a block away is one of the most magnificent stretches of beach on the Oregon Coast.
We really are fortunate to live here ....
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The headline in Sunday's Register-Guard got my attention: "Inmate faces $25,000 garbage fine." And that was before I read the article and realized that the guy, Willy Joe Jenkins, owns property out on Seven Devils Road between Bandon and Coos Bay.
The guy is being fined by the Department of Environmental Quality for the 37.5 tons (250 cubic yards) of trash strewn around his property. According to the article, a typical dump truck holds about 10 cubic yards of material, so the junk would fill about 25 dump trucks.
"The waste covers an entire hillside and contains not only bags of household waste but furniture, waste tires and at least two boats," said Katherine Benenati, a DEQ spokeswoman in Eugene.'
The material apparently accumulated on the property before Jenkins was sent to prison for gun and methamphetamine crimes.
It's hard to imagine how a property got so bad that DEQ had to step in, but one only needs to drive around the unincorporated areas of Coos County to realize that enforcement is pretty lacking ... if at all.
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While attending the recent League of Oregon Cities Conference in Portland, I met a neat lady during the Mayor's Forum, and she turned out to be Betty Jean Roppe, mayor of Prineville, and the mother of Steve Dimock, who with wife Susan, owns the LaKris Motel in Bandon. The Dimocks are, of course, best known for their fantastic bird photography.
Betty, who like me just celebrated her 60th year class reunion, has been mayor for six years and previous to that, she served six years on the Prineville City Council. She worked for the Forest Service in the 1960s and was the Clinic Administrator for the Monmouth/Independence Clinic and later for the Prineville Medical Clinic.
It was neat getting to know this incredible woman, who has battled cancer twice in the last few years, but who has more energy and enthusiasm than people half her age.
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I was sorry to learn of the death of Roger Cox, who passed away Sept. 28 at the age of 76. I grew up with Roger and his sister, Andrea, who lived across Ferry Creek and up the hill from our house. I was a regular at their home and still remember Andrea and I sitting on her bed cutting out pictures of our favorite movie stars from our movie magazines.
In addition to his sister, Andrea Cox Langley of Napa, Calif., Roger leaves his loving wife Donna, a local and very talented artist.
Roger was involved in real estate in later years.
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I saw a real estate listing this week that indicates that Kali Fieger is selling the Loft Restaurant and Bar, which has a fantastic view of the harbor from its upstairs dining room in the building at the end of Chicago Avenue, owned by the Port of Bandon.
The sale, of course, is only the business and not the real estate, but it is a wonderful place for a restaurant, and they have earned a great reputation for their food and their service.
According to many reviews on Yelp, their butter fish is "to die for."
Beach Loop Realty has the listing.
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The public is invited to attend the Grand Opening celebration at First Interstate Bank, located at 1110 Oregon Avenue SE, on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 4:30 p.m.
The event celebrates a successful transition from Bank of the Cascades to First Interstate Bank, a merger that occurred mid-August, according to local bank manager Carolyn Reed.