Showing posts with label libraries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label libraries. Show all posts

Saturday, August 26, 2017

To Be Independent or Part of the System

            I went to my first  Library Futures Task Force meeting - only it isn't called that anymore.  The meeting was referred to as Douglas County Library Rescue Coalition.  About 100 people (I thought it had been more) attended the meeting in Winston last Thursday (August 17).  I think most were volunteers, some onlookers and concerned citizens, some who would like the libraries to continue to operate just as  they had before, some there for support, some there to share newfound growth and remain independent ; cooperative but not restricted . . .

            Mary Kay - who represents the state - was there to raise awareness and provide options for those who needed or wanted the support.  The libraries who seem to be most successful would like to share materials but not guidance that feels mandatory.  Most representatives expressed that they are doing fine without the stipulations of those who  think that they are trying to make things better/easier.

            The smaller communities have seem to established successful growth.  It is the larger cities that struggle.  The smaller cities have city support.  The larger ones don't seem to - at least that is how it is in our case.  We are not among the largest of cities in the county, though larger than most.  Reedsport is the largest city to have their library underway.  Kudos for all those from Reedsport who attend.  They are located on the coast far away from the rest of the county.  I always thought it looked odd geographically.  I don't know if they ever felt included or excluded because of their location.

            Next to Reedsport, Myrtle Creek may actually be the largest library after Sutherlin - though I don't think "library" is the correct term as they are not checking out books, but offering as a reading room.  Perhaps I should have paid greater attention. 

            The smaller cities sign up many volunteers.  The larger cities don't general get as many who are willing to make the time to volunteer.  In our community we have a large number who are interested.  We also have just as many who are definitely not willing to support the cost of a library.  At least three of those members serve on the council at city hall.  And there are three who are in favor of keeping the library.  We are located in the original library building on a trial basis.  After a year, we may have to move again.  Downtown parking doesn't seem as convenient.  But there is a building available (in fact several) if needs be.  Right now we are using it to store  overflow book sale items.  Perhaps it will be opened to the public soon. 

            There are/WERE 11 cities with libraries.  Each was represented at the meeting.  Glendale might be are least populated city, though I don't imagine that Oakland and Drain are too far behind.  When the measure for the county didn't pass, Drain had their own election as  city and there were four more votes for saving the library than not;  currently they are the only city in the county with a paid librarian.  Glendale checks out with cards and pockets and may not ever be able to do it the check out the modern way as I understand there is no internet available in Glendale anymore.  That bites.  But I am so happy that they have reopened and have the support.  I think Glendale needs their library more than we do.

            Riddle and Reedsport have already chosen to remain independent - even before attending the meeting.  I think Mary Kay and Douglas County Library Rescue Coalition were disappointed with some of the reaction from the libraries who chose to run independently, but really the correspondence between library reps has been even greater than when we were a county library.  There is a lot of newsfeed and sharing and definite structure and not always waiting for the big head cheese. 

            Those that came out of concern for Winston and Roseburg - Roseburg especially - didn't seem very satisfied.  We have added items to those that belong to the county, but only the county ones come up in the system. Currently we are open more hours than any other library in the county.  We were open three or four days each week during the summer.  We are talking about changing our hours for the school year so that it can be used after school.  We will probably be open less hours.  I don't know for certain.

              As a whole the libraries do seem to be working well together.  We share information and have given one another great support.  Overall I think the feedback from each representative was very positive.  It appears that we are the only library to carry insurance on our volunteers.

           At the time of the meeting, we were checking items in and out by hand - using cards and pockets - which we still have to do for non-county things.  But as of Monday (Solar Eclipse Day) we have been able to scan county items and check items out the modern way.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Solar Activity - Myrtle Creek

            We have activities each week for the Children's Summer Reading Program.  Today's "Build" activity featured a solar oven and building S'mores. Yum!

            JM took the children outside and placed marshmallows in the oven and explained how it would work.  

          We then came inside and had story time - only it was more of a question, answer and demonstration than straight reading.  We talked about the sun and moon.

            When we finished with the book, Rindy was up with her "Pin-a-Moon-to-the-Sun" craft.  Each of the children were given black paper to create a moon.  After all the moons were cut out, each stood in line to paste their moon on the sun while wearing their solar glasses.  It was really fun.   

            The best part of our activity was returning outside with graham crackers and chocolate to add to the marshmallows - which really hadn't toasted to the melting stage.  But those squares of chocolate certainly got soft in less than two minutes in the sun.  

            Everybody enjoyed their s'mores - particularly Jenna who got to keep the solar oven and all leftover fixings. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Riddle Rocks

More from The News Review – representing Douglas County

Riddle is moving forward with a plan to reopen its library and even check out books.

The smaller branches that were once part of the Douglas County Library System shut down April 1, victims of the financial crisis faced by county government. While the county’s Library Futures Task Force continues to search for a long-term solution, many cities have come to the conclusion their best bet, at least for now, is to take charge of their own libraries.

Previously, libraries had been told by the county they could reopen, but only as reading rooms. Under that model, county-owned books would remain with each branch, but would have to be read on site and couldn’t be checked out. The county would no longer provide a computer catalog.

But Riddle began looking into a way around that. It’s been investigating smaller computer catalog services it could contract with on its own, and it sought an intergovernmental agreement with the county that would allow it to provide its own catalog and resume checking out books.

Monday, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners approved Riddle’s proposal.

Rita Radford, director of library services for the Riddle City Library, said Monday she anticipates Riddle will become a model for other cities that want to reopen their libraries but aren’t satisfied with the reading room approach.

Radford said Riddle will be able to use the county’s computers, scrubbed of the county’s software, and acquire catalog software of its own. The city, which owns the library building, will provide internet and Wi-Fi service.

Radford said most of the other library branches have expressed interest in following suit. Riddle is forging ahead with the approval of its city council, which is eager to have the library reopen.

Riddle’s reopening is planned for 3 p.m. June 6, and a full slate of summer programs for kids is in the works. It includes a gardening program with Master Gardeners, story telling, music, a Peter and the Wolf musical presentation, a puppet show called “Dogs to the Rescue,” and a rock painting “extravaganza.” Family events will include a pre-solar-eclipse party and a professional magic show.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Radford said.

The library has a list of about 40 volunteers, who will keep the library open five hours each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Radford is a volunteer herself, though she was formerly a paid library assistant.

“It’s a passion for me. I just love the library and I want to see it continue and be a help to the community,” she said.

Radford said she’s very thankful Riddle received the go ahead to work toward checking out books.

“The reading room is a cute little idea, but it doesn’t serve the public very well,” she said. “Very, very few people have the time to sit down and read at the library. Most of them would rather go home and read in their pajamas.”

Three libraries — Reedsport, Oakland and Sutherlin — have reopened already, and several more plan to reopen this summer. The Reedsport branch, now called the Reedsport Public Library, has also requested an agreement with the county that would allow it to check out books. At this time, though, it can’t afford the cost of a cataloging system, according to City Manager Jonathan Wright. Both Oakland and Sutherlin have begun local book collections so that some books can be checked out.

The Roseburg branch remains open until the end of the month.

  • The News-Review Editorial Board
  • May 11, 2017

Unwilling to see their libraries die, community members and city leaders in those towns were ready to reopen virtually the day their libraries closed down. They had dozens of volunteers signed up to staff their libraries. In Sutherlin, for example, where the library shutdown lasted a single day, a team of 50 volunteers has signed up to keep the library open as many hours as before closure. While they aren’t checking out the county-owned books, they’ve collected several hundred of their own that they are checking out. Reedsport plans to put its own regional district up for a vote this November. Riddle, which plans a June reopening, and Reedsport are working on obtaining catalog systems so they can check out the county-owned books at their branches. These cities have become examples that others, including Roseburg, should seriously consider following.

Libraries in some communities remain closed, awaiting some action from the county. It’s their patrons who have suffered from that miscalculation, and if Roseburg doesn’t move very quickly, their library patrons will suffer as well. A community without a library is a poorer, and ultimately a dumber one. Roseburg owes it to its citizens to give them what they voted for — a library whose doors remain open. We hope to see a solid plan for how to do that emerge as soon as possible.

Sutherlin, Oakland and Reedsport have been more proactive. They’ve opened their libraries again as reading rooms, by using all-volunteer staffing, and Riddle this week gained permission from the county to pursue obtaining its own cataloging system so it could check out books once it reopens in June.

Sutherlin, Oakland and Reedsport libraries have already reopened, with intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) signed with the county. The IGAs are necessary because while all the cities outside Roseburg own their library buildings, the county owns the books. Sutherlin is open the same hours as before the branch closures, with volunteer staffing, while Oakland is open on Fridays. Reedsport has even gathered enough money to keep a paid librarian, at least for the next three months.

Yoncalla has signed an IGA to reopen as a “reading room plus,” as has Riddle. The “plus” allows these libraries to check out books if they acquire their own catalog systems. Riddle plans to reopen at 3 p.m. June 6. Glendale is close to getting an IGA signed. It plans to reopen in the summer, and have a bookworm mascot, and a summer reading program. It’s short on volunteers and money, but plans to publicize its grand opening with a poster campaign and a Fourth of July parade float. Myrtle Creek has an active group of 50 volunteers and has formed a nonprofit to raise funds. It hopes to have the library reopened by July 1.

Winston and Canyonville do not yet have plans to reopen their libraries. Winston leaders are concerned about a shortage of volunteers.

Drain has scheduled two community meetings at 7 p.m. May 25 and 2 p.m. June 3 at the Drain Civic Center, 205 West A Ave. to determine what residents want to do about the library. The city has had offers of financial donations, but is short on volunteers.

         Riddle had their grand-opening and library kick off the day that Jeanie passed away.  Jenna and I had gone to the library on the first as she had a dentist appointment and we were already in the area anyway. She signed up for the summer reading program though she is already doing one through school and will be doing one through Myrtle Creek.  I was told I could sign up for a library card but that it would cost eight dollars (as we don’t reside in Riddle) We’d like to incorporate Myrtle Creek, Canyonville and Riddle to operate together and thought I would weigh it out. 

Roland told me to go ahead and get a card so that I could check out some audio books to listen to on the road.  I wish he had gone to pick them out himself.  He always ends up making an audio book purchase as I don’t do well with selection – not that there was much to choose from.  Mostly Nora Roberts collection which I just didn’t think he’d be interested in. 

Myrtle Creek's summer kick off does not start until July 3.  At this point we don't even know where that will be as the city has not made a commitment for location.  But I will save that for another post.  Oh, we’re not done.  There is and will be more.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Libraries; News Review Rocks

"As a result of declining timber receipt and dwindling reserve funds the Board is tasked with making very difficult decisions to ensure that basic public safety needs and other essential services for the community are met." stated County Commissioner Chris Boice.

Those are the last words found on the Douglas County Library home page.  The web page may appear to offer more  options, but they are no longer linked to anything.  It's a dead page.

This was the caption on November 30, 2016 Charlotte Herbert wrote the following letter to the News Review Editor:

 Stop the talk, vote for the library

          " How can anyone think library supporters have not thoroughly explored ALL funding solutions? Library staff and supporters have been thinking about alternative funding for 20 years. Ever since 1996, when repeated budget cuts made our libraries fall below minimum standards.
            "Can we use volunteers? Josephine County now funds and operates its four branches by relying on many volunteers. This is so unworkable that both staff and volunteers are now planning a May 2017 ballot measure like ours. Can cities pay more? Not one city has stepped forward in the past five years to help Douglas County run the library. Can't donors step in? We have donors, but they do not fund operations, just "extras," like new books.
            "The Save Our Libraries Committee has boxes of research on libraries and how to fund them. They've done countless interviews. They've held countless public meetings . . ."

           To add to that concern, this was posted on November 19, 2016:     
                     "Once upon a time, we were so dedicated to improving our community that we as a county banded together to form a single library system. It was well funded and fully staffed by professional librarians. The branches were open often enough that people could visit them regularly. And a beautiful new library was built to house the Roseburg branch, in part thanks to generous donations from the Ford family.
            "It was emblematic of a time when we looked forward, planned for the future, invested in our kids, valued learning.

            "It’s a good story, yes? But it may turn out to have a very unhappy ending. The voters’ rejection of a library district this month, we may well be facing the demise of the Douglas County Library System.

            "Since you are reading this editorial right now, we assume you are generally in favor of literacy." 

On November 30, 2016 Carisa Cegavske, Senior Staff Writer for The News Review wrote:

            "There were tears from a Glide teacher who said she “just can’t believe people failed” a library district measure earlier this month, and cheers for the father of a home-schooled girl who raised money for the library through a bake sale."
            It's not that voters were opposed to keeping libraries opened so much as it was against paying even more in taxes.  Evidently the city of Sutherlin had already opted out before the bill was proposed.  Property taxes were/are too high before the bill.   

          There was talk about Reedsport possibly joining forces with Coos County, which seemed to make sense in my mind.  It always appeared to be disjointed whenever I looked at the map

          It actually takes less time for us to get to Coos Bay than to Reedsport - not that I've ever been to Reedsport.  I was told that it is over a two hour drive. 

by KCBY Tuesday, March 28th 2017
“The Reedsport library is one of the most important places in Reedsport.” [says Reedport's librarian Sue Cousineau]

Cousineau is also optimistic.

“The Reedsport library will be here one way or another because the people in this area care so much about their library.”

Cousineau will stay on through April to help volunteers set up their reading room. Then, after 13 years running the Reedsport Library, she’ll be out of a job.
 I provided a link for this next article in this post       

MYRTLE CREEK — The Myrtle Creek branch of the Douglas County Library System closed its doors Thursday.

In its final hours, library patrons read and talked, used the computers and collected books, as a documentary film crew from San Francisco’s Serendipity Films moved around them, gathering stories for a film on the history of the American public library and the challenges those libraries face today.
And the challenges in Myrtle Creek and Douglas County are very, very real. The county government, strapped for cash, announced it would be unable to fund the county libraries through the end of the year. A November ballot measure that would have created a library district tax to keep the libraries opened was rejected by voters. Subsequently, the closure dates were announced — April 1 for the 10 rural branches and May 31 for the main branch in Roseburg. A task force has been convened to seek a long-term funding solution.

Meanwhile, library boards, city councilors and a host of book-loving volunteers are scrambling to fill the breach in Myrtle Creek and other cities around the county.

There’s been a library in Myrtle Creek in some form for 105 years, and quite a few town residents say they have no intention of giving it up. Already, 35 volunteers have signed up to work shifts at the library and they plan to reopen it on July 1.

On Thursday, the prevailing mood at the library was sadness.

Karen Rivera, mother of 12-year-old Jaime Rivera, wiped away tears as she talked about what the loss meant to her and her daughter. It was hard enough adjusting to a small library open only part-time after they moved here from Salt Lake City a couple years ago. She and Jaime were reading the book “Zillah and Me” together Thursday. They’ve been reading together since Jaime was born.

“I’m really bummed,” Karen Rivera said. “The library offered a way for us to get together, to feed our minds. We’ve always been a poor family, and being able to go to the library programs has given our family something to do for free.”

“Being able to borrow books from the library to gain information, that was awesome,” Jaime said. “Now this is going to be ripped away from us, and it sucks.”

This wasn’t Marilyn Brouillard’s first rodeo, though. Brouillard, longtime volunteer and incidentally the mayor’s wife, lived in Redding, California, almost 30 years ago when the Shasta County Library System closed down.

Back then, her son checked out a collection of books beginning with the words “The Last.” On Thursday, Brouillard copied his example.

She checked out 10 books with titles like “The Last Star,” “The Last Sin Eater,” “The Last Battle,” and “The Last Apocalypse.”

She doesn’t know if she’ll get to read them all before the final book return date of April 25.

“I just never thought I’d go through this a second time,” she said.

 She said she’s impressed, though, by the number of people who have signed up to volunteer.

Myrtle Creek Librarian Hannah Merrill is out of a job, but said she tried her best to make the library’s last day a happy one for the people who love it. She said she plans to return to school to get an English degree, and would like to become a fiction editor.

“I’ve always had a love for books,” she said.

Connie Earp wondered where the children would go. The library is a source of knowledge for them, she said, and she loves watching their little faces light up during story time.

To have that disappear, she said, “it’s just the saddest thing.”

Five-year-old Jameson Bury clutched a book about dinosaurs as his mother wondered what they’d do until the library reopened with an all-volunteer staff in July. His mother said she visits the library every week with Jameson and his little brother.

“I can’t read library books for story time any more,” Jameson said. Asked if that made him feel sad, he nodded.

“I’m really depressed about it,” Melissa Bury said. “They’ve grown up with this library. It’s someplace we really love to come.”

          Carissa had already left when the Myrtle Creek Library board members held their final meeting (see here)

          On April 30, 2017 News Review gave us this story headline:

WINCHESTER — Umpqua Community College is inviting the public to visit its library. As Douglas County commissioners move forward with plans to close the county’s sole remaining library in Roseburg, UCC wants the community to know its library is still an option for people who love books.

“We just want the public to know they still have a place to go and check out books,” McGeehon said.

The library is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. The library is not open on weekends. For more information, call 541-440-4640.

HBO put out this news segment video: 

          Some cities have been working at creating a library or at least offering a reading room strictly staffed by volunteers.  The city of Riddle has continued to fund their building.  As Jenna had a dentist appointment in Riddle about a week before we went out of town, we stopped by and she signed up for their summer reading program - even though Myrtle Creek will also be sponsoring a reading program in addition to Coffenberry Middle School. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Jenna takes a stand

I realize my mind seems to be going in several directions . . . I still have my two classes to focus on, but did want to express how pleased I am with Jenna

          The Douglas County libraries have run out of funding (or soon will be) and had proposed a 44cent per day tax increase to all property owners.  The proposal made it to the ballot that was mailed just before the election.  Unfortunately, the bill did not pass and the libraries will be gone.

          Myrtle Creek had invested in a drop box that was put in just before the election.  I suppose it will be possible to salvage some libraries that may run independently as city libraries - but it sounds as if most libraries will close down.  Two had already opted out before the election.  We do not know what's to become of the rest.

          The building that houses the books at the Myrtle Creek library was built specifically to be a library, where many others have been offered space through the city . . . the library in Canyonville, for example, is sandwiched between the police station and city hall.                  

          Scott M. Stolz gave us 15 reasons why voting third party is not a wasted vote.  It is better to vote for something you want than to vote for something you don't want.  It is better to try to do something about this given situation even though it may not work. Jenna and I have been feeling quite helpless as we certainly don't have a way of funding the library either. On her own, she has decided to start a petition and has been gathering up signatures - mostly of classmates.

          The library's future was to be discussed at the city council meeting last night.  Jaime took her petition and faced the council as she read her plea that "most of those who signed the petition didn't get to vote.  They signed the petition so their voices might be heard" and "we are your future.  Don't take the libraries away from your future"

          She was nervous to face the council of adults, but I think they were impressed - not that it will change anything - but with the stand, she was willing to take.  She also let them know that she has written to various performers to see if they might contribute their talents to a benefit's concert. 

          I hope that Jenna may take this experience and recognize it as positive on her part regardless of what results are found.  As of now, it's just too early to say.

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