Dorena Historical Society

Robert Drenner, Wildlife Artist


Drenner house culp creek

 The Drenner House

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. 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

Drenner dressed for one of his Historical Pageants. Photo courtesy of the Cottage Grove Historical Society



drenner school 2

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.


Drenner painting (1)

A number of paintings by Drenner hung in the old Cottage Grove Public Library in the building that now houses the Woodard Foundation. These beautiful geese are among them.


Drenner Signature (4)

This detail shows Drenner’s signature.



Drenner Article2 (2)

An old newspaper article shows the amount of work that went into a Drenner project.


Drenner Owl plate

This whimsical plate by Drenner showed up on Etsy recently.

posted by Dorena Historical Society in Uncategorized and have Comments (9)

9 Responses to “Robert Drenner, Wildlife Artist”

  1. colette says:

    What a great bit of history and I love the swan painting. Any idea what will happen with the mural?

  2. dorenahistoricalsociety says:

    Not sure, I hope they find a good place for it someday.

  3. Carol Nettles says:

    Robert S. Drenner was my great uncle. I remember visiting the home he built. Do you know who owns it now?

  4. dorenahistoricalsociety says:

    Richard Wilcox owns the house now, I believe.

  5. Steve Read says:

    When my Grandparents died, Bob and his wife Stella, took in my mother who was 14 or 15 at the time. My mother was married in their house at Culp Creek. Bob repainted the entire downstairs in a wedding theme with doves and silver bells. I spent many summers staying with Bob, learning about nature, wildlife, and how to fly fish, which he loved. As you might imagine, this site brought back a flood of great memories!

  6. dorenahistoricalsociety says:

    What a great story, thank you!

  7. Tara Sue Hughart says:

    The Cottage Grove Museum will have an exhibit at the Cottage Grove Library featuring the paintings of local artist, Robert Drenner, Friday afternoon, April 27th, 2018.

  8. Roger Randall says:

    Bob Drenner was a good friend of my grandparents. He was not only a naturalist and artist but a virtual Renaissance man. He built his own radio and stereo, loved baseball and always had a sparkle in his eye.

    I learned to fly fish with him on a trip to Montana and several years later caught bass in Cottage Grove reservoir on a plug which he hand carved and painted.

    I have a painting of the McKinsey River White Water Parade which was held the weekend before the opening of trout fishing season. The parade was of boats rowed by the river’s fishing guides. The painting hangs on my office wall in France and keeps me connected with Oregon.

  9. "Disston" Dave says:

    There is a Creek and a Ridge named after Drenner. The last sharp turn on Row River Road before you get to Disston. The creek is beautiful and wooded, though now runs into the Row via a culvert pipe. The Ridge is BLM land but logged by Weyrhouser. The ridge goes back into another heavily wooded area where you can find deer sheds and wild berries. I haven’t explored much up there.

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