I love this first picture I am sharing, because it is one of the few buildings that survived the Bandon Fire of 1936. At the time of the Fire it was the Seaside Bakery owned by Paul Stephan; today it houses Cranberry Sweets. For a time after the fire, the post office relocated to the building, as you can see by the small sign hanging over the entry door on the north side. On the other side of Chicago is the building which now houses The Wheelhouse, but was put up right after the fire by J. E. Walstrom to rebuild his Central Warehouse business. It was later occupied by Bob Schultz' plumbing business.
It wasn't long before the post office moved to the Coast Lumber Yard, which also survived the Fire, and was a functioning business for many years before it was torn down years later.
In Dow Beckham's book about the Fire, he quotes a man, who remembered:
"We watched the fire go all around Paul Stephan's bakery building. We then walked down that way where we saw the Nelson machine shop in a jumble of twisted metal and the Walstrom warehouse a mass of smoking timbers. Stephan's bakery was hardly scorched although there must have been intense heat all around it. The roof was a water-holding type, which more than likely saved it." The fact that it was a concrete building also helped save it, much like the First National Bank building (now Masonic building) on the corner of Alabama and Second Street.
I love this second picture of two of Bandon's longest-serving public officials, Eddie Waldrop, left, and Don Goddard, right, who just celebrated his 96th birthday June 16. This picture was taken in 1971 as Eddie, the outgoing mayor, presents the gavel to Don, the incoming mayor. Don served 24 years as an elected official, while Eddie served 22 years.
It is also interesting that at the end of my present term as mayor, I will have served a total of 25 years, including nine years on the council and 16 years as mayor. (And that doesn't include years on the planning commission, which is an appointed, not elected, position).
Councilor Geri Procetto will have served 24 years on the council when her present term ends, and Councilor Brian Vick has also served many years on the council, and at least one term at mayor, but I am just not sure his total years. He also retires at the end of June after many years on the board of the Southern Coos Health District.
Other long-serving councilors through the years have included Tom Gant, 19 years, the late Howard Tucker 16 years and my late uncle, Clyde Stearns, 12 years. The late Ernie Wehner also served 12 years on the council. I know I am forgetting someone, and for that I'm sorry, but my list isn't as updated as it should be.
But when it comes to public service, Fire Chief Lanny Boston has the local record, having been fire chief for 45 years. The late D. S. "Big Mac" MacDonald was police chief for 32 years (1952-1984) and Myron Spady, who celebrated his 95th birthday in April, was city attorney for 39 years (1952-91). Fred Carleton has served as city attorney for 28 years.
The third picture shows then City Manager Bill Donahue posing for a picture in November of 1974 at the south end of town when Bandon's population had increased to 2,055 people. Today, 45 years later, our population is about 3,100.
It is interesting to note that in 1910, Bandon had a population of 1,803 and accounted for 10 percent of all the people in the county. "The town had two banks and three hotels, and Bandon Beach was already attracting tourists from as far away as Portland," according to information in the Oct. 1963 Plan for Development.
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I should have mentioned in my column last week that Bain Insurance had been burglarized, but I totally spaced it, and it wasn't until I learned that another business, 101 Marketplace, had also been broken into a couple of nights later did I realize how important it is to let other businesses and the community know that this is happening.
People need to be vigilant, particularly when it comes to closing and locking their windows at night. Also be on the lookout for any suspicious activity, as while the police have a photo of the guy who broke into the Market (located just east of Face Rock Creamery), I don't think they have any idea who broke into the insurance office. While they didn't take the computers or any of the clients' personal information, they opened up almost all the drawers and threw things all over the office, creating a huge mess.
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I received a message from Pauline Brown last week to say that her husband, John, had died June 5 at the age of 80. John and Pauline had sold their home in Weiss Estates and moved to McKinney, Tex., to be near family as John's health deteriorated. I hated to see them move, but I knew they needed to be closer to their two sons and their families.
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Olivia Andor, owner of Olivia's Cottage on the west end of the Pedway, wanted me to let recent graduates of both Bandon High School and Pacific High School know that they can come into her shop for a complimentary scoop of gelato.
Olivia Schmidt, the Pacific High valedictorian, worked for Olivia Andor during the summer vacation, and the two became close friends.
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I received a letter this week from a Coos Bay woman, who works for a medical transport business and drives through Bandon two to four times a day.
She, like the rest of us, is concerned about the vehicles that speed through town on a daily (make that hourly) basis, but she lost me when she said: "The only people who are objecting to the 'road diet' are the ones who do not want to observe the speed limit."
Personally, I was pretty offended by that remark, and I think the 31 businesses who indicated they did not favor the Road Diet would feel the same way. It has way more to do with the congestion that reducing the road down to two lanes would cause, and if you've had a hard time maneuvering through the detours uptown in the last couple of weeks, you have gotten a taste of the frustration that congestion can cause.
But I do agree with her: I wish we could stop the speeders, and having shared the letter with both the chief and the sergeant, they assured me they are placing a greater emphasis on speed control. And that is good. In fact, the chief had written three speeding tickets the day I got the letter. The trouble with being on a main highway is that most of the speeders have out-of-state plates and as soon as you ticket one, there are plenty more headed our way.
Maybe one day we will have the reputation of being a speed trap rather than a speedway, but not sure that will ever happen as our officers have a lot of other issues (burglaries, drugs, etc.) that also keep them busy.
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People are reminded that the next free household hazardous waste collection event at Beaver Hill Transfer Site is Saturday, June 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. People are asked to call 541-396-7624 to make an appointment.