Dorena Historical Society

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.

Drenner house culp creek

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.

 

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.

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

Drenner painting (1)

These beautiful geese are among them.

Drenner Signature (4)

 

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.

Drenner article part 1

Drenner Article2 (2)

This whimsical plate by Drenner showed up on Etsy recently.

Drenner Owl plate

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Buster Keaton Day

This year the Cottage Grove Historical Society’s Buster Keaton Day event will be on October 18th 7:30 pm at the CG Community Center, 700 E. Gibbs in Cottage Grove. In honor of Buster’s Film, The General, here are some photos of  before,during and after the famous bridge scene on the Row River at Culp Creek. At the time this was the most expensive movie scene ever filmed. building bridge Building the bridge.Buster_Keaton_The_General train

 

The crash scene.

train splash

And the splash at the end!

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Culp Creek 1959

Photo courtesy of the Salem Public Library

The Culp Creek Post Office in 1959.  The building still stands as a private home.

Photo courtesy of the Salem Public Library

Culp Creek School in 1959.  This building still stands as well, now as Childs Way Academy.

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Old Row River Valley Post Offices

At one time there were numerous small Post Offices in the Row River Valley, but now only the Dorena Post Office remains.

The first Post Office in the valley was Star.  It opened in 1891 and closed in 1923.  It was located near Sallee Road about a mile up river from Dorena School.

There was a Post Office called Bluff from 1892 until 1899.  The exact location of this office is unknown.

From 1896 until about 1922 there were numerous small Post Offices in the Bohemia Mining District.  Among these were Bohemia, Champion, Mineral and Orseco.

The Wildwood Post Office opened in 1888 and closed in 1914.  It was located on a ranch adjacent to Wildwood Falls.

This Disston Post Office was established in 1906 and was open until the 1970s.

The Row River Post Office was established in 1911 and closed in 1914.

The Rujada Post Office was opened in 1916 and closed in 1918.  Rujada County Park is located in the vicinity of this long forgotten little office.

The Culp Creek Post office was established in 1925 and was closed in 2007. It was located in a private home until the early 1980s. It was certainly one of the last offices in the state to be located in someones living room.

The history of the Dorena Post Office was detailed on the first post on this blog back in December of 2009.

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