The first picture I am sharing this week was from my collection of pictures taken during the aftermath of the Columbus Day Storm, which was the subject of a special program at the Bandon History Museum Saturday.
It was great to have a standing-room-only crowd, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy my presentation, which was accompanied by photos that had appeared in Western World. Like this photo, which is not of very good quality, the negatives were never found, but Jim Proehl was able to copy the photos out of the pages of Western World so we could share them. It would be great to learn what happened to the negatives, as I know I took many more than just the ones that made it into the paper. But hey, that was 57 years ago ... so they could be anywhere.
This is a picture of the science room at Pacific High School, which suffered extensive damage in the Oct. 12, 1962, storm, said to be the worst natural disaster ever to hit Oregon.
The science room was one of several on the south side of the north wing of Pacific High which lost its ceiling, all windows and portions of the walls. Small pieces of jagged glass at the base of the windows are all that remained of the large windows which faced to the south.
Another of the pictures, which appeared on a photo page, shows the vertical siding and diagonal sheathing on the Vocational Agriculture room (just to the east of the gym) which were severed like paper when a large ventilator, weighing between 750 and 1,000 pounds, was hurled by the wind through the air from the balcony and dropped through the ceiling. Beneath the debris, piled ceiling high, was most of the equipment used by the shop and Vo-Ag students.
What I remember most was being in the gymnasium and looking up and being able to see daylight between the roof and the walls.
Even though it was estimated that 50 percent of the school was destroyed, Fire Chief Lanny Boston, who attended the program at the museum, recalls that he was a student at Pacific High School at that time, and said that students were able to return to school the next week (the storm hit on Friday) because the other wing of the building was not damaged.
The Pacific High students had been sent home less than an hour before the storm hit. Students were also released early at Bandon, but damage to the school was minimal and was pretty much confined to the loss of the electronic scoreboard. Many commercial buildings in Bandon lost their plate glass windows and signs. There was 2.3 million in insured damages in the area from Bandon to Gold Beach, with Port Orford being particularly hard hit.
I remember that day very clearly as I was a young cub reporter for the Western World, and was driving around in the strong winds taking pictures, until I realized that this might not be your average windstorm, and headed home. I lived with my family in the two-story house across from the cheese factory on Highway 101, and I remember pressing my face up against the plate glass window and watching the roof of the hydro-electric building (across from what is now the museum) sail across Fillmore. Pieces of it went through the south windows of what was then Yockey Electric (and is now Reese Electric) and out the front windows that faced onto Fillmore. Virtually everything in the shop was destroyed.
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In spite of winds that reached 145 miles an hour at Cape Blanco, 116 mph in Portland, 130 mph in North Bend and 100 mph at the wind gauge in the Bandon High School science department, only 15 people were killed in the entire state and a total of 46 in the 1000-mile area (Oregon, Washington, northern California and British Columbia). That in itself was a miracle considering the damage, which amounted to billions of dollars.
The second photo was taken in 1970 as Public Works Director Bob Hiley, right, and an unidentified helper patch First Street near the Coast Guard Station. Another employee, Mr. Yost, can be seen behind the truck which is dumping the patching material. I think his first name was Elmer, but just not positive. My memory usually serves me well .... but sometimes not.
The third picture, taken in the mid-50s, is of Father Peter Dally, priest at St. John's Episcopal Church, left; W.J Sweet, acolyte Louie Bohles and Bishop Benjamin Dagwell, following a confirmation service at the church. The Sweet family donated most of the money to build the additions to the church in memory of Mr. Sweet's wife, Theresa; his daughter, Helen Mayes; and his grandson, Richard Sweet.
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Golf magazine recently listed the four No. 1-ranked resorts from their Top 100 Resorts lists, and Bandon Dunes Golf Resort was listed No. 1 in the Buddies (resorts best suited for your annual golf vacation with friends) category. Big Cedar Lodge in the Missouri Ozarks was the best for Families, Pebble Beach Resorts in Pebble Beach, Calif., was tops for luxury, and The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., was No. 1 for general excellence.
Here is what Golf had to say about Bandon Dunes: "Of all the resorts on our Top 100 lists, none are more purely about golf than the No. 1 in the Buddies category: Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. In just 20 years, Bandon has become the premier golf destination in all of the United States. The Oregon resort's four 18-hole courses are routinely ranked among the Top 100 courses in the world. In addition, they have a short course and a massive putting course, with a brand-new 18-holer on the way."
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There are still tickets left for "A Night at the Museum," hosted by the Bandon History Museum Thursday night (Oct. 17) from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the front desk of the museum. Refreshments will be served thanks to sponsors Robin and Geneva Miller and the Beverage Barn.