I will admit this first picture I am sharing is pretty dark, because I copied it out of one of my old 1936 Western World newspapers, but it tells a magnificent story of how fast Bandon people threw up "temporary" buildings after the town burned on Sept. 26, 1936.
In the immediate foreground, at bottom left, is a pile of rubbish where the public library stood.
At right you can see the First National Bank building (now the Masonic Building) which was one of a handful of buildings that survived the Fire. Across the street you can see the sign for the Minute Cafe, which Jess Cattron opened on Oct. 19 (less than three weeks after the Fire) in what was termed a "temporary" building. It is one of the oldest surviving businesses in Bandon today in that same location. On the corner of the next block (Baltimore and Second), George Erdman built his market (now the building occupied by the shuttered Lloyd's Cafe) in what had been the home of Dreamland Pavilion at the time of the Fire. George opened his new building the first week of October 1936. Elmer Gant, who was in the clothing business before and after the Fire, rebuilt on Second Street next to Furman and Shindler's medical building (now the home of Winter River Books). And he was open for business less than a month after the Fire.
Before the Fire, much of Bandon's business district was along First Street, with many of the buildings on the north side of the street being built on piling. After the Fire, Second Street became the heart of the business district and remains so today.
It is amazing to see how quickly merchants rebuilt, many being open less than a month after the Fire.
In the same issue of Western World (Oct. 8, 1936), there is an article about the tent city, which was built along the waterfront behind Bob-Otto Court (where the new Chevron station is now located), to take care of 1,200 people. The tent city went from the east side of Chicago Avenue (about where the Wheelhouse is now located) east to Elmira Avenue.
I shared a picture of the old Sunset Motel last year, but this is an even better shot of the original motel, probably taken in the late 1950s. Although it's hard to see, the office was in the second set of doors to the left.
To say that this motel has come a long way in the 60 years since this picture was taken is an understatement.
It is still owned today by the Brown family (Judy Longland Densmore) with much of the original motel built by Judy's father, Vern Brown, and her grandfather, Herbert Brown.
Herbert Brown was mayor between 1927 and 1929; years later, in the 1990s, his granddaughter, Judy Densmore, became the first female mayor of Bandon. Her father, Vern, served on the city council from 1965 to 1969. My grandfather, H. H. Dufort, served on the council during the last years of Herbert's Brown term as mayor. (And now I am the second female mayor).
The third picture I am sharing was taken in October of 1960 after a golf tourney at the Westmost Golf Course. In front, from left, are Ray Baird, Tom Gant and Ray Deets; in back, from left, Don Goddard, Pete Goodbrod and Don Houston.
Life-long residents of Bandon, Don Goddard and Tom Gant still live here today. Pete died last week (see below).
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It was sad news to learn that Pete Goodbrod died last week in Woodland, Wash., where he and his wife, Joan, had moved recently to be near their daughter, Michelle. Pete had suffered from Parkinson's Disease for many years, and after being hospitalized at Southern Coos Hospital, the family determined that it would be best for him to enter a facility in Woodland, Wash., near Michelle. Joan lives in the same complex. Pete would have been 90 in May. His other daughter, Cindy, flew in to say goodbye after being called to his bedside.
Pete and Joan had been close friends of mine for many years, and I still remember when he played for the semi-pro baseball team, the Bandon Millers, that I accompanied them to baseball games when I was probably still in junior high where I developed a life-long love of baseball.
The family will hold a Celebration of Life for Pete on Saturday, April 13, at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Bandon.
For those wishing to send Joan a card, her address is PO Box 69, Apartment 112, Woodland, Wash., 98674.
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One of Bandon's most active senior citizen volunteers, Patricia Seidler (mother of city councilor Madeline Seymour), who recently celebrated her 95th birthday, fell at her home last week and broke her hip. After undergoing what Madeline said was a very successful surgery, Patricia will be moved to a swing bed at Southern Coos Hospital, sometime this week, to recuperate.
It's hard to keep track of all that she does for the community, but volunteering at both the museum and the visitor center are just two of her many involvements.
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I was surprised to learn that the Bandon Chamber of Commerce's new executive director Ruthie Painter had given the board her 60-day notice. I've heard several reasons for her stepping down, but I have not talked directly to her, so I will just say I am sorry as I know she had been reaching out to the membership.
I understand that Larry Langenberg, co-owner of Edgewaters restaurant, will step in as interim executive director.
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I was happy to see that a group of locals are working to revive Bandon Playhouse, which has served the community for over 40 years with top entertainment and productions.
The last production, produced by Paul Hay, was the "The Wizard of Oz," which was on the Sprague Theater stage in August of 2017, and proved to be very successful.
The new executive board includes Neal Davis, Mike Dempsey, Richard Robinett, John Fink, Jeff Norris, Amy Moss Strong and Cathy Underdown. They are still looking for one more board member, as well as others who want to be part of community theater. This is a great group of people, with a lot of theater experience, and if anyone can succeed at reviving local theater, it's them.
Their next meeting is Thursday night, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ocean Crest Elementary School staff lounge (enter through the front door of the school). Join them if you are interested in theater.
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I've learned that Don Buckingham, who was the last surviving member of the three Buckingham brothers (Dennis, Doug and Don), died recently. He was a member of the Class of 1961. I remember their mom, Wanda, who worked many years as a checker at McKay's.
Jessica Lucas posted this week that John Windhurst of Bandon also died this week. I believe he was about 54 and was the son of Bill Windhurst and Nancy Delameter Windhurst.
Another former Bandonian who died recently was Martha Jane Boak, 91, the youngest of the 17 children born to Mr. and Mrs. Chris Richert, long-time Two Mile ranchers. She died Feb. 6 in Brookings. I know she was here several years ago for the Richert family reunion spearheaded by Diane Blake Lewis, daughter of one of Martha's sisters, the late Evelyn Richert Blake.