Dorena Historical Society

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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Civilian Conservation Corps at Disston

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This photo of the Civilian conservation Corps camp at Disston recently appeared on Facebook.

The camp was on Brice Creek, just past Disston.  It was set up in 1933 with LaSells Stewart at the first training officer and supervisor.

Most of the CCC volunteers there were from Kansas and Nebraska.  Among their projects were 3 fire lookout towers, 20 miles of forest trails, 25 miles of road improvements,  bridges and even some telephone line.  The Musick Guard house and the Rujada Campground Registration Shelter are two beautiful surviving examples of CCC projects.

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Above are a couple of CCC recruits cutting down a tree.

 

Musick_Guard_Station_01The Musick Guard House.  The Forest Service rents this out in the summer.

 

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The Registration Shelter at Rujada Park

 

Most of this information comes from Bohemia by Michael Thoele.  Thoele also notes that the CCC camp volunteers were often enthusiastic participants in the weekend brawls at the Wildwood Saloon, aka The Bucket of Blood.

The camp was closed down due to the advent of WWII.  There was talk of converting it into a camp for conscientious objectors but that never happened.  Today there appear to be no traces left of the camp.

 

 

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More Row River Valley Faces and Places

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This is a 1901 photo of the Van Schoiack house in old Dorena.  An old family story says that while moving into the house, the family put the toddler into a huge old hollowed out tree stump nearby, which served as a temporary play-pen.  This kept the little one out from underfoot, and out of harms way.

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Sadie and Cage Van Schoiack

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Another Van Schoiack family photo with Sadie and Cage.

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Steven Broadwater Mayben farming the old-fashioned way.

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The Kirk family farm with Cerro Gordo in the background.

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The Kirk family farmhouse in old Dorena.

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A Kirk family portrait with Clara, Fern, Bertha, Emit, John and Neva Merle.

 

Thanks go to Katie Kirk and Nancy Van Schoiack for sharing these photos.

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Emperor of the North

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The New York Times has an interesting review of the new DVD of Emperor of the North (AKA Emperor of the North Pole).  The film starred Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine and was filmed on the railroad tracks in the Row River Valley.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/22/movies/homevideo/emperor-of-the-north-and-wind-across-the-everglades-fighters-in-nature-and-showbiz.html?ref=movies

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An Early Resident

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Katie Kirk sent these wonderful photos of her Great Great Grandfather, James Alan Kirk, on his land in Dorena.

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This land is now part of Dorena Lake.  Katie remembers her grandfather, Ralph Kirk, holding her on his hip when she was a little girl, pointing out over the lake and saying “There was the land they took from us, Katie.”

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Robert Drenner, Wildlife Artist

Noted Wildlife Artist, Robert Drenner lived in Culp Creek from 1934 until his death at age 77 in 1971. He purchased land on Lower Brice Creek Rd in 1934 and completed a large lodge style house by 1940.  The land was originally settled by George and Sarah Kerr.

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Mr Drenner was passionate about wildlife and natural history.  He chaired the Oregon Centennial Commission in 1959 and was instrumental in bringing about the reenactment of the Oregon Trail that year. He produced historic pageants in the Cottage Grove  area, starting with a cast of 4 kids in Culp Creek.

Photo courtesy of the Cottage Grove Historical Society

Photo courtesy of the Cottage Grove Historical Society

Drenner dressed for one of his Historical Pageants.

 

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In 1940 he produced a large mural for the then brand new Cottage Grove High School.  The mural was salvaged and is being stored by the Stewart Foundation.

A number of paintings by Drenner hung in the old Cottage Grove Public Library in the building that now houses the Woodard Foundation.

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These beautiful geese are among them.

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This detail shows Drenner’s signature.

These excerpts from a 1947 article about Drenner in the Portland Oregonian show the detail and care that went into his work.

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This whimsical plate by Drenner showed up on Etsy recently.

Drenner Owl plate

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Back to School at Dorena 100 Years Ago

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This photo of Dorena High School and the text that accompanies it are from the files of the Cottage Grove Historical Society. The High School at Dorena closed in 1936 and local students have attended Cottage Grove High School ever since.

 

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Lee Marvin at Culp Creek School

Lee Marvin

Lee Marvin showed up at Culp Creek School one day in 1972 to visit with the kids and play a game of ball. Lee was in town filming Emperor of the North with Ernest Borgnine.  The story goes that one of the students was afraid that he would be in trouble for staying late after school, so Mr. Marvin walked him home and told the surprised mother that he was the reason her son was not home on time.

If you know the names of any of the kids in this photo, leave it in the comments below!

 

Photo courtesy of the Cottage Grove Historical Museum

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