As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

December 12, 2018


The first picture I am sharing is a wonderfully clear aerial of Old Town and the waterfront taken in 1966. I know my uncle, Lou Felsheim, was a pilot and he may well have taken this photo.

Old Town, 1966
Old Town, 1966

At any rate, you can see the First National Bank (now the Masonic building) in the lower right hand side of the picture. Across Second Street is the M&L Grocery, which is now the parking lot for The Minute Cafe. Behind M&L is the former W.H. Johnston office building, which is now owned by Ed Landucci and leased to Olivia Andor for Olivia's Cottage. Next door is the vacant lot, which is now the home of the second Arcade Tavern. Midway through the picture you can see the former Bandon Fisheries office building, which is now The Wheelhouse Restaurant. Behind that is the old hospital building, which has long since been torn down and is now an empty lot behind Alloro and Bandon Coffee Cafe. Across from what is now the Wheelhouse was Bandon Seafood, later Bandon Fisheries' other location. It was later torn down. Adjacent to it the Port of Bandon built its office building across the Chicago Avenue right of way leading out to the dock, which is now the home of The Loft.

This is a particularly good view of the old Moore Mill Truck Shop and you can get a better idea of where the old Nestle's building was located just south of that building. Moore Mill is in the background.

Back on Second Street, you can even see a "new" Ford in the showroom of Capps Motor Co., in the part of the building now occupied by Broken Anchor. I hope people can blow this up enough on line to really see where all the buildings were located.

I chose the second picture because it is a better shot of the old hospital, which had been a rental for many years after the hospital was moved to its "new" location on the bluff overlooking the river in 1960. This picture of the old hospital was taken in 1978 after the roof caught fire. I believe it was torn down a couple of years later.

Old hospital, 1978
Old hospital, 1978

Bandon had a small, but well-equipped hospital that was destroyed when the town burned Sept. 26, 1936.

Just two months after the Fire, Western World carried an article indicating that two men, Dr. E. F. Lucas and O.C. Shindler, local pharmacist (and later grandfather of the Shindler clan), had formed a non-profit organization, with the hope of getting one of the Red Cross office buildings to house hospital equipment as soon as the relief organization ended its work in Bandon on Dec. 10.

And that is exactly what happened. So the building that you see in the second picture was thrown up by the Red Cross shortly after the Fire, and less than three months later was given to the R.V. Leep Memorial Hospital Association of Bandon. The Red Cross also provided materials to complete and remodel the interior to make it suitable for hospital purposes.

The building was remodeled by the WPA (the federal Works Progress Administration) who came to Bandon immediately after the Fire and helped with many projects, including building what was Bandon's City Hall for over 30 years (and is now the home of the museum), as well as housing near the old high school in East Bandon, which survived the Fire.

Dr. Lucas and Otto Shindler made sure that the hospital association would be a public body, with representation on the board of directors from all the various civic organizations. Today, it remains a public entity, with an elected board thanks to the vision of these two community leaders.

The third picture is very blurry, having come from the pages of the 1942 Bandon High School yearbook, but I think you can see the two buildings on the pier just south of what later became the Moore Mill Truck Shop building. The one on the right was the Nestle's Condensery building.

Photo from 1942 Bandon High School yearbook
Photo from 1942 Bandon High School yearbook

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One of my dearest friends, Anita Straus, died Nov. 25, at the age of 78. Anita and her husband, Roger, have lived in Bandon since 2003 and had made many friends in the community.

Anita was born in New York but moved at a young age to what became her hometown of San Diego. She had a long career in the legal field as a paralegal in Los Angeles and Orange County working for law firms and retiring from Pacific Life Insurance in 2007.

Anita and Roger were married Oct. 17, 1999, and visited Bandon on their honeymoon. Anita was involved in many local activities, including serving on the city parks and recreation commission, and being active with the Coos County Master Gardeners and Master Food Preservers.

Anita and I shared a special bond ...and I will miss her.

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I learned this weekend of the death of Frank Conn, who was a member of the BHS Class of 1965 and a Vietnam veteran. Frank lived in the Portland Metro area and last year had retired from the Portland VA.

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I am at a loss for words to describe what John Hubbard, the retired pastor of First Presbyterian Church, who died last week, meant to this community. Even though he was gravely ill, John never missed an opportunity to help someone and had devoted many years to one of his favorite causes, the Good Neighbors Food Bank.

He was a big part of Bandon Playhouse and played many roles on stage over the years.

My heart goes out to his wife, Kathy, who was his soulmate and caregiver. John will be hard to replace.

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In case you haven't heard, the cost of first-class stamps will go up five cents on Jan. 27 ... to 55 cents. Now is a good time to buy those Forever stamps at the current price of 50 cents.

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Wow. I attended the lighted vehicle parade Sunday night, and it was absolutely wonderful. It makes me appreciate what we have here in Bandon even more after reading a number of snarky Facebook posts about the Christmas lights on the community tree in Coos Bay. I posted how great Bandon looks, thanks to cooperation among the merchants, the chamber and Greater Bandon Association, and how proud I was to be mayor of Bandon. Anything to generate a little positive energy . . .




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

December 05, 2018


The first picture I am sharing this week shows Santa (who looks a lot like long-time city employee Bob Hiley) crossing Second Street headed to the Bandon Theater for the annual Christmas for kids celebration.

Santa crossing Second Street
Santa crossing Second Street

The small building on the corner of Second and Highway 101 was the home of Van Auken Real Estate and possibly an art shop at that time, and earlier had been Paul Detert's jewelry store. Today it is the Bread & Wine shop across from Bandon Coffee Cafe.

The second photo was also shot at Christmastime, and pictures the city hydro-electric truck erecting the community Christmas tree on the property where City Hall is now located.

Erecting the community Christmas tree
Erecting the community Christmas tree, 1960s

I don't have a date for this picture, but it was obviously taken sometime in the '60s. In back you can see Capp Motor Co. (now the building which houses Washed Ashore and Broken Anchor) and across the river, Moore Mill & Lumber Co's wigwam burner.

The third picture was taken in May of 1975 as little Ingrid Clausen (now Mrs. Shane Wakeley) walks in a high school fashion show.

Ingrid Clausen
Ingrid Clausen, 1975

Ingrid works at Alloro Wine Bar and Restaurant and is the daughter of the late Phil and Jackie Clausen. Her husband is a checker at Ray's.

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The election for city officials in Brookings got a little heated, but no more so than most elections across the country. But when incumbent mayor Jake Pieper was re-elected over his opponent, Teresa Lawson, he basically fired two volunteers (including Lawson) from their city positions the day after the election.

At any rate, Mayor Pieper asked city budget committee member Lawson and tourism advisory board member Candice Michel to resign from their posts.

Lawson's "crime" was apparently saying, during the campaign, that the "city budget needs more detailed review from the committee."

In his letter to Candice Michel, the mayor wrote: "Over the past several months, on more than one occasion, you have made public comments at city council meetings that were inappropriate for a city committee appointee."

Ironically, it was Pieper who initiated the appointment of both women.

I've heard of a "sore loser," but a "sore winner?"

Unbelievable!

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I love the historic tidbits that I pick up as I read through the old Western Worlds. The headline on the front page of the paper of March 9, 1939, reads: "Investigating anonymous letter."

My grandfather writes: "Someone in Bandon ... who styled himself 'Citizens League of Bandon' is apt to be tapped on the shoulder by a G-Man at some time in the near future, when he will be held to answer charges of libelous statements made in a letter addressed to G.E. Anderson, contractor, who is building the grade school here."

Authorities believe the letter was prompted by jealously on the part of some who failed to get employment on the local job.

This was two and a half years after the Fire destroyed Ocean Crest grade school, along with most of the town and residential district. Elementary students had been going to school in the old east Bandon gym, next to the high school (which did not burn).

Even after the grade school was completed (in its present location) and the new high school opened around 1950, the old gym still served high school students (like my class) who were bussed across town for PE. I believe it was finally burned in a "burn to learn" by the fire department sometime in the '80s.

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Bandon High School graduate (1973) Colleen Donahue Russell has written a book, "Feminine Path to Wholeness: Becoming a Conscious Queen," which I bought last week on Amazon.

It is a great book, made even more interesting by the story of Colleen's growing up in Bandon with six sisters and two brothers (her father was city manager in the '70s) and the struggles she faced as a single mother en route to becoming a "conscious queen."

She was in my photography class at Bandon High School, which made her book, interspersed with her wonderful art, even more special to me.

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I learned that the storage building at The Crossings Golf Course was struck by lightning during the Thanksgiving week storm, causing extensive damage to 15 of the 51 golf carts which were plugged in that night.

An ardent golfer said the damaged "carts lost their brains. I called it brains but it is the control module much like the computer on a car."

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I was so proud of myself for being able to identify everyone in the Lions March of Dimes picture last week. But my pal Dayton Turner had to burst my bubble. It was Larry, not Jerry, Quillen in the photo ... and Jim, not Carl, Claiborne. Oh well, I was close.

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I've seen some discussion about the "road diet" and the role it might have played in some residents of Paradise, Calif., not being able to get out of the burning area.

A man wrote into the Register-Guard with an opposite viewpoint.

"While it might seem that with more lanes traffic would flow more quickly, drivers fleeing a fire are likely to switch lanes any time there's a gap rather than wait patiently if the other lane begins to move faster. This chaos of weaving cars itself would slow traffic. And as panicked drivers jump from lane to lane they are very likely to cause an accident which could shut down one or both lanes.

"Studies show that 'road diets' can maintain traffic flow while reducing crashes, injuries, and deaths," said the writer.

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Had it not been for the last two weeks of November, the rainfall would have been minimal, but we ended up with 7.01 inches compared to 3.15 inches for October. Last year's two-month total (October and November) was 18.89 inches, compared to a whopping 30.06 inches for the same two-month period in the 16-17 rain year (the year we had 102.04 inches). Last year's rain-year (October through September) total was 67.13 inches.

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I have been putting together some fabulous books of people and places in Bandon ... mostly during the '50s, '60s and '70s. If you're interested in learning more about them, email me at marys@coosnet.com or call me at 541-404-7291.

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Don't forget the annual Christmas light parade at 5:15 Saturday, following a nog/cider walk from 3 to 5 in Old Town Bandon.


Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn


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