Dorena Historical Society

Van Valin’s Dairy

The Cottage Grove Historical Society has this wonderful hand tinted panoramic photo of the Sunny Slope Dairy in Dorena. The photo was taken on June 10th, 1935. You can see Cerro Gordo in the background. Most of this land is now under Dorena Lake.

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The Wicks Farm

 This is a very early photo of the Wicks Farm.  The early buildings of the Star Ranch can faintly be seen in the upper right hand corner.

A descendant of the Wicks Family sent us some great old photos. The Barns are no longer there, but the house, and a newer barn now on the other side of the house, still exist about a half mile upriver from Dorena School.


Here is the Wicks Family with one of their prize cows in front of one of the old barns.


The Wicks Family from left to right..Fairy, Alvis, Roland, Ida, Iva, Lesley, Miles (young boy) Joseph Wicks, and Raymond.



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More Row River Valley Faces and Places

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Van Schoiack house

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Sadie and Cage Van Schoiack

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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Another Van Schoiack family photo with Sadie and Cage.


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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Early settlers in the Row River Valley were primarily farmers.  Most of the farms were subsistence only but there was some commercial farming in the area.

The England Farm at the base of Cerro Gordo.

The Doolittle and Bales families on Rat Creek both had commercial orchards. They shipped their fruit by railroad to Portland and from there to points east including New York.  High shipping costs put these two ventures out of business.

Members of the Bales and England families, old Row River Valley farmers.

The Stewart Farm further up the valley was mainly a cattle operation but was also known for its gooseberries.

The Stewart Farmhouse in the 1930s.

The Stewarts on the road in front of their farm.

Grain Display by the Currin Farm. Photo is courtesy of George Currin.

The Grain Display by the Currin Farm won 1st place at the Lane County Fair in 1911.  The Currin Farm was where the Dorena Grange is now located.  This entry was probably part of the Dorena Grange’s exhibit.

Barn at the old Wicks farm.

There is actually more commercial farming going on in the Row River Valley today than at any other time.  Check out to catch up with our local farmers.

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