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A headline in the April 10, 1958, Western World prompted me to share this picture of the information center at Bullards Beach State Park, taken in July of 1971.

The 1958 headline read: "Abandoned lighthouse may bring state park."

Here is what the story had to say. "The abandoned Coquille River Lighthouse, opposite Bandon, together with an adjacent area of land may be made into a state recreational park.

"Since the U.S. Coast Guard has announced that the lighthouse together with some 11 acres of land is to be assigned to the surplus property list and offered for public sale, it has been learned through Congressman Charles O. Porter that the federal government may withhold the property from sale if it will be accepted by the state or a local government for park purposes."

The article adds that the matter had been referred to the state park superintendent who had discussed it with the State Highway Commission. The highway commission approved a study of the area surrounding the lighthouse, together with the area north of the river and east as far as Bullards Bridge.

And that was the beginning of what has become one of the South Coast's premier state parks.

The caption beneath the picture talked about how busy the park was on the three-day Fourth of July weekend.

Park Manager Ira Haskett reported that it was necessary to turn campers away two nights as there weren't enough spaces.

An earlier article, from 1966, talked about the new modern facilities installed at the campground, which included 128 campsites with sewer, water and electric accommodations, plus wood.

"This is believed to be the first state park where all campsites are so equipped," said a Western World article.

I am not sure of the exact date of the second picture, taken in 1966, which shows a tug guiding an Oliver Olson barge under Bullards Bridge, headed to Rogge Lumber.

An item in October of 1966 talks about the Oliver J. Olson barge, Whitney, which struck Bullards Bridge as it was headed toward Rogge mill, causing the closure of the bridge for over a week. During that time, all traffic (including those living just on the other side in Randolph and Prosper), had to detour over Highway 42S through Coquille .... or as my uncle Lou Felsheim did, walk across the bridge to a car waiting for him on the other side.

The displacement of the pier was so great that the southwest corner of the span had nothing to sit on.

Since I could not find this particular photo in the paper, it is quite possible that this is the barge that struck the bridge. If not, it was another barge owned by the same steamship company.

In the meantime, the barge loaded with over 3 million board feet of lumber waited for the bridge to be repaired before it could once again go beneath it en route to the local harbor and out to sea.

The third picture is Alfred Owens, a well-known and much loved figure, who seldom missed an event in town. This photo was taken in 1975 as Alfred headed into Edgewater Department Store (now the Continuum Center) which was owned by Dave and Joan Gradt. In the background you can see the sign for The Minute Cafe.

* * *

Sorry to hear that Bandon lost two graduates in the past week, including Steve Eggert and Bobbie Owens Miller. Steve, who graduated from BHS in 1969, died Oct. 2 with his wife, the former Tracee Nagel, and family by his bedside. Among his survivors is his brother, Mike Eggert Oyster.

Bobbie Miller was a member of the Class of 1988. Among her survivors are her husband Clay, two children, her sister Peggy and her mother JoAnn. Her father was the late Bobby Owens and she was a niece of well-known Bandon photographer Airlee Owens.

* * *

As announced on the front page of the Bandon Western World last week, City Manager Robert Mawson has submitted his resignation.

We had called a meeting to evaluate progress on a number of issues, and it was during our conversation that Robert handed us an envelope containing his letter of resignation, effective Oct. 11. We did not ask for his resignation and it took the council completely by surprise. We are very sorry it did not work out.

After handing us the letter, Robert assured us that he would work with the department heads and other staff to ensure a smooth transition for current efforts and day-to-day activities. We thank him for the professional way this is being handled.

I can definitely say this has been a difficult few weeks for the city.

* * *

Just a reminder that I will be narrating a program on the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 this Saturday at the Bandon History Museum at 2 o'clock. As a cub reporter for the Western World, I took a great many photos of the storm damage, but even though we were never able to locate the negatives, Jim Proehl has copied the photos that appeared in the paper to share during a slide show of the Storm.

We would love to hear your stories of where you were during the largest natural disaster ever to hit the Pacific Northwest.

I was having lunch with Jim and Matt Winkel the other day and asked where they were when the storm hit. Jim remarked that he was in the fourth grade, and Matt said he was in junior high .... in Maryland. Talk about making me feel old .....

* * *

I received the September rainfall data from Gerry Terp this week and noted that there were 4.87 inches recorded this September compared to 0.45 last year. In the last 15 years, the most rainfall recorded in September was in the 12/13 rain year (6.67 inches), with this year's total being the second most recorded in the 15-year period.

Hope this isn't a harbinger of things to come this winter. I am just not ready for months of steady rain.

* * *

After learning last week that Dish had dropped FS1 (where some of the Pac12 football games, including Oregon, are aired), I had just about decided to call Spectrum Monday morning and change carriers. But Sunday morning, Dish sent out an email that said they had reached an agreement and FS1, FS2 and other sports channels were back on the air. That comes just in time for the Oregon game Friday night at 7, which will air on FS1.

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