Dorena Historical Society

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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Cute Row River Valley Kids of Yore


Not sure of the identity of this cute little farmer, but the photo is from the Van Schoaick Family



More Van Schoiack kids, Lattie, Belle and Ray, in a formal portrait from a Cottage Grove Studio



Four boys in a tree in Star circa 1900.  Might be a Wicks child or two in this photo.




Opal Whiteley and her sisters, early Row River residents.




A very somber Chloe and Faye Whiteley, sisters of Opal. The bottom three photos are from the Lane County Historical Society’s online photo archive. Check it out here and a nod to for posting about great online photo resources.


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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.

Bohemia Post Office

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

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 Wildwood Post Office opened in 1888 and closed in 1914.  It was located on a ranch adjacent to Wildwood Falls. There was a Post Office called Bluff from 1892 until 1899.  The exact location of this office is unknown.

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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Some Row River Valley Faces and Places

Jim Lowe and his sister Dora at an early lumber camp.

Cute valley kids and dogs.

Maggie, Nellie and Nona on a Rat Creek porch.

Bunch of good looking fellas in the hood.

Old homestead.

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Random Girly Fun Stuff

In the early days of Dorena some of the women in town organized the Happy Circle Sewing Club.    The club met twice a month to sew, mend and quilt. It gave the members a chance to get out of the house and visit and have fun.  The grocery store building in town became vacant so the club members put on plays to raise the funds to buy the building.  The Happy Circle ladies rented out their building to the Grange for 50 cents a month.  The community often held dances there, too.  Almost everyone in town came to kick up their heels and as one attendee stated “the rafters jumped!”


In the same spirit the Row River Sunshine Club has been meeting in the valley for over 50 years.  They craft, bake, help residents in distress and generally keep the sense of community alive on the river.

They can be reached at PO Box 124, Dorena, OR  97434.

Mother's tea-39

A photo of the Mother’s Tea at Culp Creek School

A couple of ladies from Star. One didn’t mess with the up river girls back then.

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