The first picture I am sharing was taken almost exactly 50 years ago (July of 1969) as Perry Bros. new sawmill began operating on a five-day week, single-shift basis. The new mill was built on East 11th Street (Rosa Road), the site of the former mill which was completely destroyed by fire in August of 1966. Work on the new plant began in early spring, and owners, Sid Perry and his brother, Bub, expected to cut an estimated 20-to 30,000 board feet a day. The Perry brothers were sawing for Moore Mill and were receiving an average of 20 to 25 loads of logs a day from Moore Mill's contract haulers. Under the picture, the caption in Western World read: "Unloading of logs is done by the use of this Caterpillar unloader which can lift half of a long load of logs in one lift. Logs are stacked in the yard and are transferred from there to the barker and on into the mill by use of a roll-way.”
Perry Bros. also owned and operated Perry's Veneer Plant a short distance from the mill, and were in business in Bandon since buying out the veneer interests of their father, Frank Perry, in 1946. They built their first sawmill in 1952.
The second picture I am sharing was taken a little over 60 years ago, in February of 1959, and shows the building of the overpass, which eventually carried Fahy Avenue traffic, from Riverside Drive over the new highway (101), under construction north of Bandon.
An article in the paper said that by the fall of 1960 "the cut-off between Davis Slough (six miles south of Coos Bay) and Bandon a distance of 17.4 miles is to be completed. It will shorten the distance between Bandon and Coos Bay by 12 miles."
Us old-timers remember having to go through Coquille to get to Coos Bay before the new highway was opened.
We are looking at the center of the right of way, which was to become part of the new U.S. Highway 101 between Bullards Bridge and the existing highway in East Bandon. The camera was looking north, and the photographer (probably my Uncle Lou) said the white posts were recently poured concrete supports for the overpass.
The overpass has long since been removed, but prior to that, people could go out Riverside Drive, head east on Fahy Avenue, and cross over the highway to get to North Ohio Avenue.
I know I have shared this third picture before, but I have a special reason for running it again. Officer Harry Franson, left, and Police Chief D. S. "Big Mac" MacDonald are removing the parking meters from downtown Bandon in February of 1962 near the old bank building (now Masonic building).
Across Second Street you can see M&L Grocery, which was on the corner of Alabama and Second, now the parking lot for The Minute Cafe, which is just east of the grocery store in this picture.
While preparing for my program at the museum last Saturday about the arson fire that destroyed Bandon High School in 1974, I ran across a letter to the editor written by Harry Franson, which seemed to be so out of character for the stoic, serious man that I knew.
He talks about seeing firemen, school faculty members, school board members, former students, parents and current students all digging through the rubble of the high school trying to see if they could find something of value or a scrap of something they could at least identify.
He closed by saying: "This high school was no ordinary building of nail and pipe and board and metal and mortar and cement. For each of these people this school was a part of life itself in the past, the present or future, and it will rise again from the ashes, or in a new location, both Bigger and Better."
Which it did ....
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For the life of me I cannot understand the decision of the state legislature to allow development of public assets (hospitals, etc.) in Oregon's tsunami inundation zone, which one Oregonian letter writer more appropriately labeled 'the death zone.' He points out that the risk of death in the inundation zone is virtually 100 percent.
He adds: "Four years ago, I worked on a blueprint for reducing development and financing evacuation infrastructure in tsunami risk areas, preparing for a Cascadia Subduction Zone tsunami. But few if any coastal cities have adopted the recommendations, largely because the lure of attracting new high value development to one of the most beautiful natural wonders on the earth ... the Oregon coast ... trumps common sense.
"The debate we should be having is what steps can we take to shift people out of the 'death zone'? Clearly we should not make matters worse by building critical infrastructure there.
"The arguments the Legislature used to pass HB 3309 and put schools, hospitals, fire stations, prisons and other essential public assets in 'the death zone' are shameful," said the writer.
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A group of guys were overheard talking rather loudly in The Station restaurant the other day .... about a couple of old rumors and a new one.
One guy said the City had shut down the new owners of Lloyd's because bones were found when they were digging out a tree. Actually, even if that were true, the City would have had nothing to do with a stop-work order involving Indian artifacts. I immediately called the new owner of Lloyd's and he confirmed that while they were digging they found some clamshells and what turned out to be parts of an animal skeleton. They did stop working for a short time while someone from the Coquille Indian Tribe came to the scene, looked at the stuff, and said it was fine to continue digging. He added that he's been treated fine by the City.
The second rumor, which is getting tiresome, involves the lie that the City won't allow anyone to develop a fast-food restaurant in Bandon because of some imagined tie with the owner of Dairy Queen. Fast food service can be built anywhere along Highway 101, but I believe our ordinance says you can't have a drive-up window in Old Town. But that leaves a lot of land available for Taco Bell, Wendy's, or anyone else who wants to buy land and open here.
The third rumor is that the City kept BiMart from developing here. That is patently untrue. Matt and I met with BiMart and encouraged them to develop here ... after they had toyed with Coquille for a couple of years. But, with nary a word, they began meeting with Brookings officials, and that is where they ended up building their new store, which makes sense since there is already a BiMart in Coos Bay and another one in North Bend.
It's always easier to blame the City than to seek out the truth.
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While I am sitting here writing my column Sunday evening, a rather large black rabbit just wandered into my yard from the wooded area behind me. He's been here 10 or 15 minutes and now he appears to be lying down alongside my car. I am wondering if he is someone's pet because I even went out onto the lawn to take pictures of him, and he didn't run away. I just pray that a dog doesn't come by . . . because lately I've had two piles of dog waste in my yard, which would indicate someone's dog is off leash, and I doubt that this little guy could outrun a dog.
Update: I just looked out and he's gone, so I guess I can get back to writing my column.