Dorena Historical Society

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Punjabi Railroad Workers on the Row River

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This photo shows a group of Sikh workers building the railroad in the Row River Valley in 1909.

In the early 1900’s there were about 2,000 Sikhs from Punjab, India living and working in the Pacific Northwest, many on the railroads.

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Currin Bridge Train Wreck 1909

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Back in 1909 there was a train wreck on the Currin Railroad Bridge next to the present day Dorena Grange.  As you can see from the picture, the engine made it across the bridge before the collapse, but the passenger cars did not.  17 people were injured but fortunately there were no fatalities.

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Back to School on Cerro Gordo

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The Doolittle School was located on the Doolittle Family homestead on Cerro Gordo.  The School was built in 1904 and closed in 1917.It was attended by the Doolittle kids and their neighbors, a rowdy bunch by the looks of it.

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Timber Family Portrait

row river lumber family photo

While searching for photos from the Row River Valley I often find old timber scenes and old family portraits, but this is a rare combination of the two.  This is the Row River Lumber Company in 1909. They were located where Vaughn Creek meets the Row River.  The company was owned by Albert Stocks and Carrol Harlow and perhaps it is the family of one or the other shown in this photo.

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The Hotels of the Bohemia Mining District

There were some hotels in the Bohemia Mining District to serve the many people who traveled to and from the mines for work, business or just to gawk.

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The lovely Painted Post Ranch on Sharps Creek Road was often the first stop on the long trip to the mines.  They offered food, lodging and fresh horses for the wagons going up to the mines.

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The hotel at Lundpark was a popular jumping off point for the trip to the mines.

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The hotel at the Vesuvius Mine also housed the Bohemia Post Office.

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This 3 story hotel served the Champion Mine. None of these hotels were fancy.  They were put up quickly with local lumber.  There were no formal dining rooms or linen tablecloths, just rough-hewn common tables and simple but filling food. Sadly, none of these buildings have survived.

 

 

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Culp Creek School in the 1930’s

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Katie Kirk shared this great old photo taken at Culp Creek School. On the back is written “Betty Earnshaw, Reta, Rita, Charles, ?, and Mr Roth”. Reta was Katie’s mom and Rita her mom’s twin ( Shields) She guesses the date at 1935 to 1938.

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May Day 1948

dorena school may day 1948

The May Queen and her Court at Dorena School on the first day of May in 1948. The new Dorena School was just two years old when this photograph was taken.

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Valley on Fire

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This photo from 1948 shows the Row River Valley being burned out to make way for Dorena Dam. The new railroad tracks are in the foreground.

Before the dam, the railroad ran straight up the valley alongside the river.

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Chimney Rock

Chimney rock 1909

The Cottage Grove Historical Society has this wonderful photo of Chimney Rock from 1910.  Look at the figures on the bottom left of the rock to get a sense of its size. The rock is on Row River Rd, about a half mile or so up past Teeters Creek, but is best seen from Shoreview Drive across the lake.

 

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Winter Fun at the Bohemia Mines

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William Reeves was the Chief Engineer at the Helena Mine. He and his wife and two children lived at the mine year-round from 1936 until 1939. All of the winter provisions for the family were brought in during November and the family was not able to leave the mine until March. As the photo shows, the Reeves made the best of it and kept themselves entertained.  Here they are skiing down the mill roof.

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