Showing posts with label Myrtle Creek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Myrtle Creek. Show all posts

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Silly Parade

I do hope not to offend anyone in Myrtle Creek by calling their parade silly.  It's just that I am used to bands and floats (see here) and spacing and not everything clumped together.  I certainly did take a lot of pictures - but not as many as I had the first year we lived here.  We did not even attend last year.

The Friends of Myrtle Creek had marched in the Rodeo parade (see here) on the 17th and had planned on walking in today's parade, but with manning the booths and lack of availability, it felt like their were too few to accomplish our desire - so we opted out.  

I don't think the parade started on time.  Roland made certain we had ice cream as we had two years ago.

The parade stared out with six firetrucks.  I evidently took nine pictures:

most had passengers who threw candy.  Roland got a Frisbee from one thrower:

followed by a series of monster trucks.  I took a picture of the first one:

followed by five others.  I did take a picture of this rig pulling two monster cars only because Roland had made a comment about the expense of one pulling the expense of the other.

Six more monster trucks passed before I took this picture:

I stopped counting between this and the last two show off cars:

Next came Miss Douglas County:

Followed by a series of classic cars.  I may have gotten all of them.

And here's what followed the classic cars:

This last truck was pulling a trailer.  I guess these next two would be considered the floats?

Both had been issued trophies.  I wonder if the Friends of the Myrtle Creek Library would have received a trophy.  Probably.

We didn't get to see a log truck in the parade as we had the first year (see here).  But we did see more walkers than in prior years.

This last truck was  followed by five more of it's kind.

Hope you enjoyed our parade. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Michaela's story

            There is a small group of us who meet at the local coffee shop once a month as we wait anxiously await for the pool to open for the summer so that we can get in our water aerobic workout.  This morning someone had made a comparison of rounded mountains compared to jagged mountains (I personally refer to the rounded as hills and the jagged as mountains) and how different the landscape appears from inside of a helicopter.

            Michaela had come out to clear the dishes as we were taking and casually joined in our conversation.  17 years ago she had been living in the bay area and got to be pretty good at driving around Oakland and San Francisco.  She delivered documents and had earned quite a reputation for her ability to have her deliveries made on time.  But over the years she realized that she was bothered by the amount of time it took to get from point A to point B.

            Here, in Myrtle Creek (actually all of Douglas County) they talk in minutes.  Point A to point B is 5 minutes, not 5 miles.  But in San Francisco, Salt Lake, and Portland, I would imagine, they talk in miles.  Because even though common sense tells you it should only take a certain amount of time, the time is actually not consistent from day to day or even hour to hour.

            Jenna's school was two miles south of where we lived.  Some days it would take me 20 minutes to get there.  For the most part it took longer coming home.  Same distance.  Not same time.

            Michaela decided she had had enough.  Three hours for under 30 miles.  That's not right.  One day she said she had had enough.  She and a girlfriends decided to pack their bags and head north - though they didn't really have a destination.  She said she obviously wasn't taking the "time" into consideration as they had left at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday.  Perhaps just the reinforcement she needed to "escape".

            I can't remember what town she said they were at when she got off the exit and pulled over to the first vacant lot.  It was after 2:00 in the morning and she had to close her eyes - even if it was just a few minutes.  It was longer than that.  She had fallen asleep.  When she woke up, she looked around - not fully knowing where she was but believed she was somewhere in Oregon.  She wanted to continue a little further north.

            When they had passed Seven Feathers casino in Canyonville, she made a mental note of it.  She had worked at the casinos in Tahoe so she had the experience.  They kept on driving until she saw a bridge (I'm guessing the one that leads to the 108 ramp to/from I5.  She said that was the place, and they crossed the bridge and found a place.

            She ended up not working at Seven Feathers because they felt she was overqualified (From what I understand Seven Feathers is not a great place to work for;  almost everyone that I've talked to has labeled them as "too cheap to pay much more than minimum and lay off workers left and right so that they don't have to deal with pay raises" so I believe that's why they told her she was overqualified; they didn't want to pay her what she was worth)

            She landed a job as a bartender for six months, but when she refused to serve an underage drinker who threatened her job, she got let go and so was hired by another who had been watching her and knew that she had been let go unjustly.  She said she's been working at the coffee shop ever since.

            It is gorgeous here.  Clean.  No traffic.  Awesome!


Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Unmagical History Tour

Ever since we moved to Myrtle Creek, I had been looking online for any history of the town or library.  It hadn't occurred to me that the library would have its own scrapbook - one that I'd love to copy and share.  Let me just start with the introductions on the display case - excluding the pictures that I don't have.

Humble Beginnings

The first library in Myrtle Creek was established in 1912 in a two room, unheated cabin by a group of local citizens that staged a parade and fair to collect enough books.  The monthly rent for the location was $5.00.  Patrons war charged $1.00 a year to use the library.  It was run solely by volunteers, which were hard to get because the place was unheated, and operated by donations.  Sadly, it was eventually closed because all the members of the group responsible for the library moved out of town.

New Beginnings

In 1950, the Girl Scout library in the basement of a local church became open to the public.  It was a very populate venture and due to the need for more space, the library was moved that same year to the second floor of [what was then] City Hall.  However, this location was not up to code and the Fire Marshall had to shut it down for safety reasons.  The library was moved to a much smaller location that did not fit its needs.  Our community still wanted their library system and the City stepped in to provide it.

The Library and the City

In 1952, the City of Myrtle Creek contracted a new police station that included space for the library our community needed.  While the library eventually outgrew that space, that cooperation has since been continued and the City is still dedicated to providing a safe and accommodating space for the library.

When the old city hall was demolished in 1958, the new plans [were made.  The library was located where public city council meetings are now conducted] The library remained in that space for eighteen years.  

Joining the Douglas County Library System

In 1955, the Douglas County Library System was founded with the Roseburg Library as the headquarters.  Cities were contacted about a cooperative effort to create a county wide library system.  Myrtle Creek already had an established library with an active library board and they were concerned about new leadership hindering the wonderful thing the library was doing.  The state librarian at the time, Eleanor Stephens, wrote to the library board stressing the importance of cooperation to maintain a strong library system. [Though Myrtle Creek had done well on their own, it] was pointed out how much more efficiently things could be accomplished with the support of a county library.

Sixty years ago, in 1956, the Myrtle Creek Public Library became the Myrtle Creek Branch of Douglas County Library Systems

Your Library's Current Home

Forty years ago, in the summer of 1976, the city of Myrtle Creek completed the construction of our current building. [Our librarian at that time was Wilma Gore who] retired in 1977.  The City of Myrtle Creek has continued to assist, recently helping the library replace the carpeting and will soon install a new outdoor book drop.

I'd gone to the library last week to meet with one of the board members to go through my binder and hopefully get a bit more insight to my new position.  Because of my management class and recent post, I had asked about our vision statement, which she didn't know.  She didn't think we even had a mission statement; that I had found in the binder and thus she wanted to look at it.  Meanwhile I googled the subject and found this from two years ago:

Mission: Douglas County Libraries is a passionate advocate for literacy and lifelong learning.

Vision: Through engagement, education and entertainment, Douglas County Libraries transforms lives and builds community.

I edited my discussion post to include the vision and mission statements and added this:
Our goals right now are to save the library.

She reminisced a bit about growing up in Myrtle Creek, what it was like then and how so much has been lost over the years.  She remembered seeing more traffic.  Before Mill site park, there was actually a grist mill.  The park includes a brief history, though I don't recall a fire being mentioned.  I think she said whatever remained of the building burned down in the late '70s.    This is what I learned about Myrtle Creek during my research:

oldest known photo of Myrtle Creek

Settlers first came to the valley in 1837 and by the 1850s' farmlands and homesteads were esablished in the area. The Myrtle Creek area was originally settled in 1851 and the town was established in 1865. The town's name is derived from groves of Myrtle trees found in the vicinity along the banks of North Myrtle, South Myrtle and Myrtle creeks. Oregon Myrtlewood is a broadleaf evergreen native to Southwestern Oregon and Northwestern California and rarely found anywhere else.

Timber was as important to the area during the last century as it remains today.  By the 1870s there were two mills in the Myrtle Creek area.  The planning mill that was attached to the grist mill and a sawmill, up North Myrtle Creek, which could produce about 5,000 board feet per day. 

Milling has been a major part of the City of Myrtle Creek’s economy.  Lazarus Wright constructed a grist mill at the edge of town (adjacent to the creek) that had a capacity of 45 barrels of flour a day.  A planning mill was attached to the grist mill.  An electrical generator was incorporated into this facility prior to 1912.  It was renamed the Myrtle Creek Water, Lighting and Milling Company.  

The grist mill depicted in this mural was built along Myrtle Creek in the early 1850s. It was originally run by a man named Lazarus Wright and was a landmark as it was the only grist mill in the south county area. It was later converted to hydro-electric plant. The grist mill changed ownership a number of times, including John Hall, founder of Myrtle Creek. He bought from Wright (c.1863) and later had town surveyed & platted (ca.1868). Other owners of the mill included Hans Weaver, Henry Adams, F. M. Gabbert and Willis Kramer.

The grist mill was torn down prior to 1930 by the Oregon State Highway Commission to make way for a new bridge across Myrtle Creek as part of the Pacific Hwy improvement project.
The mural was painted in 1997 by local artist Susan Comerford, who still has an art studio in Roseburg, Oregon. The mural is located in Myrtle Creek’s Millsite Park, and is painted on the old sawmill bunker building (aka power house) for the Fir Manufacturing and March Logging Company. The sawmill was built in 1944 to help feed the demands of a nation at war, and supplied the lumber to build the decks of aircraft carriers. Another of the mill’s claims to fame is that it supplied the lumber for building the handrails for Madison Square Gardens in New York.

Eventually the sawmill closed and was abandoned. Then a fire destroyed the wooden mill buildings, almost taking the downtown area of Myrtle Creek with it. After the fire, the city acquired ownership of the land to build a city park under the condition that the land never be used for a profit making business. The bunker building was a very plain building and was almost torn down until the City was approached to have a mural painted on it. The building is now used by the Myrtle Creek Parks Department.

– Mural and historical information provided by Carolyn Shields, Myrtle Creek City Recorder and Maureen Butler, Myrtle Creek Historical Society
Photo by Gary Halvorson, Senior Archivist, Oregon State Archives

I've taken and posted several pictures of Mill Site park in Myrtle Creek. Ed Cadman had taken several pictures that were posted to this site:   

 This giant saw blade, from the old sawmill here, is preserved as part of the park.

Ed Cadman

This is the grindstone and plaque

Karen Rivera      November 2015

Ed Cadman

This plaque tells the story of how the Horse Creek covered bridge arrived in Myrtle Creek.

John Trax / Alamy Stock Photo

  Horse Creek Covered Bridge, spanning Myrtle Creek adjacent to Millsite Park, was built in 1930 and is currently used as a pedestrian bridge. This bridge originally spanned Horse Creek in Lane County but was removed in 1987. The bridge's wooden timbers were given to the City of Cottage Grove for salvage. Cottage Grove used some of the timbers and the remaining lumber was donated to the City of Myrtle Creek in the spring of 1990. 


Ed Cadman

Karen Rivera        November 2015


Myrtle Creek is well known for its old bridges.  The Neal Lane covered bridge across the South Myrtle Creek in one of the six in Douglas County.  In addition to Horse Creek Covered Bridge is the Neal Lane Bridge, which I have also photographed and posted.

From the 1950's: Myrtle Creek itself flooded every year. Ed Cadman had sent a picture depicting the flood  just south of the Dairy Queen where the main highway went into town. You can find more of his pictures here.  This is the only picture I could retrieve from the internet.


I pulled my sources from the following websites:


Historical Sites Downtown Myrtle Creek

Myrtle Creek - Tri City Area Chamber of Commerce

The City of Myrtle Creek

Myrtle Creek Historical Society