As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

Jun 19, 2019


I love this first picture I am sharing, because it is one of the few buildings that survived the Bandon Fire of 1936. At the time of the Fire it was the Seaside Bakery owned by Paul Stephan; today it houses Cranberry Sweets.

Bandon post office after the fire of 1936
Bandon post office after the fire of 1936

For a time after the fire, the post office relocated to the building, as you can see by the small sign hanging over the entry door on the north side. On the other side of Chicago is the building which now houses The Wheelhouse, but was put up right after the fire by J. E. Walstrom to rebuild his Central Warehouse business. It was later occupied by Bob Schultz' plumbing business.

It wasn't long before the post office moved to the Coast Lumber Yard, which also survived the Fire, and was a functioning business for many years before it was torn down years later.

In Dow Beckham's book about the Fire, he quotes a man, who remembered:

"We watched the fire go all around Paul Stephan's bakery building. We then walked down that way where we saw the Nelson machine shop in a jumble of twisted metal and the Walstrom warehouse a mass of smoking timbers. Stephan's bakery was hardly scorched although there must have been intense heat all around it. The roof was a water-holding type, which more than likely saved it." The fact that it was a concrete building also helped save it, much like the First National Bank building (now Masonic building) on the corner of Alabama and Second Street.

I love this second picture of two of Bandon's longest-serving public officials, Eddie Waldrop, left, and Don Goddard, right, who just celebrated his 96th birthday June 16.

Eddie Waldrop and Don Goddard, 1971
Eddie Waldrop and Don Goddard, 1971

This picture was taken in 1971 as Eddie, the outgoing mayor, presents the gavel to Don, the incoming mayor. Don served 24 years as an elected official, while Eddie served 22 years.

It is also interesting that at the end of my present term as mayor, I will have served a total of 25 years, including nine years on the council and 16 years as mayor. (And that doesn't include years on the planning commission, which is an appointed, not elected, position).

Councilor Geri Procetto will have served 24 years on the council when her present term ends, and Councilor Brian Vick has also served many years on the council, and at least one term at mayor, but I am just not sure his total years. He also retires at the end of June after many years on the board of the Southern Coos Health District.

Other long-serving councilors through the years have included Tom Gant, 19 years, the late Howard Tucker 16 years and my late uncle, Clyde Stearns, 12 years. The late Ernie Wehner also served 12 years on the council. I know I am forgetting someone, and for that I'm sorry, but my list isn't as updated as it should be.

But when it comes to public service, Fire Chief Lanny Boston has the local record, having been fire chief for 45 years. The late D. S. "Big Mac" MacDonald was police chief for 32 years (1952-1984) and Myron Spady, who celebrated his 95th birthday in April, was city attorney for 39 years (1952-91). Fred Carleton has served as city attorney for 28 years.

The third picture shows then City Manager Bill Donahue posing for a picture in November of 1974 at the south end of town when Bandon's population had increased to 2,055 people. Today, 45 years later, our population is about 3,100.

City Manager Bill Donahue, 1974
City Manager Bill Donahue, 1974

It is interesting to note that in 1910, Bandon had a population of 1,803 and accounted for 10 percent of all the people in the county. "The town had two banks and three hotels, and Bandon Beach was already attracting tourists from as far away as Portland," according to information in the Oct. 1963 Plan for Development.

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I should have mentioned in my column last week that Bain Insurance had been burglarized, but I totally spaced it, and it wasn't until I learned that another business, 101 Marketplace, had also been broken into a couple of nights later did I realize how important it is to let other businesses and the community know that this is happening.

People need to be vigilant, particularly when it comes to closing and locking their windows at night. Also be on the lookout for any suspicious activity, as while the police have a photo of the guy who broke into the Market (located just east of Face Rock Creamery), I don't think they have any idea who broke into the insurance office. While they didn't take the computers or any of the clients' personal information, they opened up almost all the drawers and threw things all over the office, creating a huge mess.

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I received a message from Pauline Brown last week to say that her husband, John, had died June 5 at the age of 80. John and Pauline had sold their home in Weiss Estates and moved to McKinney, Tex., to be near family as John's health deteriorated. I hated to see them move, but I knew they needed to be closer to their two sons and their families.

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Olivia Andor, owner of Olivia's Cottage on the west end of the Pedway, wanted me to let recent graduates of both Bandon High School and Pacific High School know that they can come into her shop for a complimentary scoop of gelato.

Olivia Schmidt, the Pacific High valedictorian, worked for Olivia Andor during the summer vacation, and the two became close friends.

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I received a letter this week from a Coos Bay woman, who works for a medical transport business and drives through Bandon two to four times a day.

She, like the rest of us, is concerned about the vehicles that speed through town on a daily (make that hourly) basis, but she lost me when she said: "The only people who are objecting to the 'road diet' are the ones who do not want to observe the speed limit."

Personally, I was pretty offended by that remark, and I think the 31 businesses who indicated they did not favor the Road Diet would feel the same way. It has way more to do with the congestion that reducing the road down to two lanes would cause, and if you've had a hard time maneuvering through the detours uptown in the last couple of weeks, you have gotten a taste of the frustration that congestion can cause.

But I do agree with her: I wish we could stop the speeders, and having shared the letter with both the chief and the sergeant, they assured me they are placing a greater emphasis on speed control. And that is good. In fact, the chief had written three speeding tickets the day I got the letter. The trouble with being on a main highway is that most of the speeders have out-of-state plates and as soon as you ticket one, there are plenty more headed our way.

Maybe one day we will have the reputation of being a speed trap rather than a speedway, but not sure that will ever happen as our officers have a lot of other issues (burglaries, drugs, etc.) that also keep them busy.

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People are reminded that the next free household hazardous waste collection event at Beaver Hill Transfer Site is Saturday, June 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. People are asked to call 541-396-7624 to make an appointment.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

Jun 12, 2019


The first picture I am sharing is a picture of what remained of the FSP Mill in Langlois after it burned in September of 1957.

FSP Mill in Langlois, 1957
FSP Mill in Langlois, 1957

The mill was built by Chas. Storm and Friday Phillips in the early '50s. In the wreckage of the electrically-operated sawmill can be seen a motor, circular saws and other equipment, among which is scattered sections of corrugated metal from the roof. Although the mill was completely destroyed, the planer and planer building (in the background) were saved.

The fire was discovered about 2:40 a.m. by night watchman Sam Cuatt, who received painful burns to his hands while battling the blaze. About 25 men came to help and fought successfully to limit the destruction of stacked lumber to a small area of the yard. The Langlois fire truck brought to the scene by the Aldropp Garage was assisted later by equipment from the Coos-Curry Fire Patrol.

About 95 men were employed in the mill and in their woods operation. It was reported that the loss was partially covered by insurance.

The second photo was taken during American Education Week in 1976, and shows Wayne Butler sharing the duties in the home economics room. If it's not Wayne, it's brother Greg, but I am pretty sure I'm right. If I'm not I'm sure someone will let me know.

Wayne Butler, 1976
Wayne Butler, 1976

The third picture I am sharing will only mean something to us old-timers, but Dr. Ellsworth F. Lucas (fondly known as Luke) brought a lot of us into the world and tended to our families for many decades. He is pictured here with his wife Mary in the Sunset Room of Lloyd's Cafe, where he was honored for 25 years of service in Bandon as a physician and surgeon.

Mary and Dr. Ellsworth F. Lucas
Mary and Dr. Ellsworth F. Lucas

Among those at the dinner was G.R. "Ray" McNair of McNair Hardware, who along with the late Otto Shindler, had gone to Portland in 1929 to talk to Dr. Lucas' father to invite the son to come to Bandon and practice. It was not until 1932 that he quit his practice in Portland and came to Bandon.

In a tribute written by my grandfather, L.D. Felsheim, he says: "Seems like the 'men in white' are becoming more and more specialized, and sometimes it takes a long time to find the right one. But, long live the home-town general practitioner, who everybody knows and trusts. All we can say is that everybody likes Luke."

Dr. Lucas died June 14, 1970, at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke.

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It was sad to learn that Kimmie (Kimberly) Harding, a member of the Bandon High School Class of 1998, died last week of CHD, a congenital heart disease. She was well loved and had a large community of friends.

She was the daughter of John and Joan Harding, and the sister of Sandra Fox. The Hardings taught music in the Bandon School District for many years and have continued to make their home here.

Kim had many friends who have followed her heroic struggles with CHD through Facebook as she kept people advised about what was going on with her health, always praying that a cure would be found for the disease that had plagued her since birth.

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I really have no more news to report on the proposed pedestrian light that will be installed at 9th Street and Highway 101 by the Oregon Department of Transportation ...hopefully before school starts. Since this is something requested by the City as opposed to the Road Diet (cutting back to two lanes from four lanes of traffic), which was proposed by ODOT, the state has said they will pay half the cost. We are not yet sure how much that will be, but the budget committee was able to put $30,000 in the budget from the local option street tax fund, which will definitely help with the cost, expected to be around $40,000 for our share.

Several people have expressed concern about the fact that the crosswalk will be moved to the north side of 9th Street, which means that pedestrians will be crossing the vacated portion of 9th on the east side of the highway as they head to McKay's Market and points south. But since a refuge island was required, the most logical place for it was on the north side of Ninth, which would have the least impact on traffic. It also means that since both the high school and the middle school are on the north side of 9th, it will be a "straight shot" down the sidewalk to the crosswalk.

Regardless on which side of Ninth the crosswalk is placed, it will be so much safer than the present situation, and I can't wait until it is implemented.

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The headlines make it seem like Daylight Savings Time will no longer be a factor in Oregon. But if you read the story, rather than just the headline, you would realize that before it can become a reality, California must join Washington and Oregon legislatures in adopting the bill. And then, the change will only take effect if Congress also approves.

From what I've read, "Federal law permits states to restore year-round standard, or winter time, but does not allow them to permanently 'spring forward.' "

So, with that thought in mind, not sure that I would be in favor of it. (Not that any of us have a vote.)

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The latest rainfall data from Gerry Terp shows that we received 3.03 inches of rain for May, compared to 0.20 for the same period last year. The wettest May in the last 15 years was in 2005, when he recorded 8.45 inches.

Gerry did note that he has three thermometers at his house, which is in East Bandon, and that on May 9, the temperature reached 94 degrees.

The fiscal year rainfall for the last 15 years has ranged from a high of 102.04 inches in 2016-17 to a low of 41.71 for 2013-14. So far, this year for the period October through May, we have received 55.64 inches of rain.

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One of my faithful readers pointed out that in my item about Ray Kelley last week I said (actually copied it out of the Western World files) that the Air Force Academy is in Denver. It is not. It's in Colorado Springs. I probably wrote the original story, too, so it's definitely on me. And I am sure Ray let me know about it at the time.

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We attended the Halie Loren concert, sponsored by Bandon Showcase, at the Sprague Theater Friday night, and it was sensational. She praised our small community for having such a wonderful theater, and she is right.

And it's the people upstairs (Anthony Zunino on sound, Candace Kreitlow on lights and Jeff Norris as manager) that make it even more special.

Halie was originally scheduled to perform in February, but because of the smoke damage to the theater, which put it out of commission for several months, it was postponed until June. It was definitely worth the wait ....

The Bandon Showcase board and those who help sponsor these shows deserve a huge vote of thanks for bringing top-quality entertainment to Bandon.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

Jun 05, 2019


The first picture I am sharing was taken in the spring of 1970 not long after Ray Kelley, his wife Margie and their son Kingsley arrived in Bandon. I always knew him as Ray, the consummate volunteer, mayor, cubmaster, etc., but the caption below this picture in Western World identified him as Lt. Col. R. H. Kelley, ret. I do know that he taught for 25 years at the Air Force Academy in Denver before they moved to Bandon. But it's what he did after he arrived in Bandon, and before he died at 93, that so much impressed me. I served alongside him as a councilor when he was mayor back in the early '80s, and remember fondly the many dinners that he and Margie hosted for the council. Ray was one of the Bandon Lions who played a significant role in the design, funding, development and construction of the Sprague Theater, along with Dan Almich.

Ray Kelley & Dorothy Ross, 1970
Ray Kelley & Dorothy Ross, 1970

But what is going on in this picture? It was a patriotic pageant for the retiring of unserviceable flags, written by retired Ocean Crest teacher Mrs. Dorothy Ross (pictured) that was the occasion. Flag bearers for the program were three members of Boy Scout Troop 313, Randy Hall, Kevin Kent and Russell Anderson. Doug Kranick, a BHS student, played Taps in the background. Jeff Digby was in charge of pulling the stage curtain, and seventh grader Kay Waldrop performed an impressive pantomime of the Star Spangled Banner. Kelley presented a patriotic talk, and a prayer for peace was presented by Pastor Earl Bissett of the First Church of God.

The second photo was taken in February of 1970 during an inspection of the local Coast Guard station. During the inspection a Unit Commendation ribbon was awarded to BM2 Daniel McLain by Lt. D.L. Porter, group commander from Coos Bay. The article says that McLain is married to the former Connie Gray of Bandon, and he was stationed in Honolulu where he became eligible for the ribbon.

Inspection of Coast Guard Station, 1970
Inspection of Coast Guard Station, 1970

I chose this picture, which was taken at the east end of the Coast Guard Station, because it so clearly shows the stairway that led up to the top of the hill, where the original crew quarters for the U.S. Life-Saving Service were located. In 1915 the Life-Saving Service merged into the U.S. Coast Guard. A fire in 1921 destroyed the Bandon crew quarters.

The third picture was taken in July of 1966 after a Millard School student had been freed from a sand cave-in in the Bradley Lake area, where the school was located on the former Tanglewood property. Bandon Fire Chief Bob Schultz, barely visible at left, brought the City's Civil Defense Rescue Truck to the school in response to a call for help from Mrs. Esther Millard, owner of the school, at left. The student, Steve Schiele, had been trapped for more than 30 minutes, sometimes with only his face uncovered while school associates dug furiously to rescue him. He told the chief that the only injury he suffered was a bump on the head from a rescuer's shovel.

Millard School student freed from sand cave-in, 1966
Millard School student freed from sand cave-in, 1966

Mrs. Millard will best be remembered by many of us as one of the best English teachers ever to teach at Bandon High School.

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It is now official. Lloyd's Cafe has been sold. We had been hearing for some months that the couple who own the Blue Moon Saloon and Cafe in Coos Bay had purchased Lloyd's. And now we know it's true as this week there was a liquor license application posted on the front of the building, which has been vacant in Old Town for several years.

The new owner, Mike Collins, has applied for a full on-premises sales license through the OLCC.

I left word with one of the Blue Moon employees last week, asking that they call me so I could get more information to share about their plans. But they apparently did not get the word ... so I don't have specifics.

When I find out more I will let everyone know.

It's been a shame to have such a large building in the heart of Old Town shuttered ... but that's about to change. I certainly wish them the best of luck in their new venture.

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I saw an article recently indicating that Herbal Choices, a marijuana business with several locations in the area, including south of Bandon, has sued the city of Reedsport for $315,000 for an alleged violation of the First Amendment regarding a depiction of a marijuana plant on its sign.

According to the article, "In March, Reedsport revoked Herbal Choices' license for 90 days after it violated a city ordinance that states proposed development cannot display signage or advertisements that show photos or illustrations of a marijuana plant. The business put up a sign depicting its logo -- a cannabis leaf -- outside its would-be storefront on Winchester Avenue."

The suit is for lost profits and attorney's fees.

Jim Deatherage of Bandon is listed on the Oregon Secretary of State's business license for Herbal Choices.

Since marijuana is now legal in Oregon, it's hard to see why a marijuana leaf would be objectionable on a sign, but I don't know how the ordinance reads.

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It was interesting to see that Winter Lakes High School, a charter school headquartered in Coquille, had 81 students graduate this year, which is nearly twice as many as graduated from Bandon High School last year. I read the article about the decline in enrollment at the local school district, particularly in the high school, which caused me to wonder how many of those 81 graduates were from Bandon.

I remember when Winter Lakes first opened with a handful of students, mainly from Coquille and Myrtle Point, but its enrollment continues to soar, which is not necessarily good news for the school districts who are losing students to Winter Lakes.

I do know that when it comes to state report cards, Bandon is one of the top schools in the area, along with North Bend and Pacific High, so it would be interesting to know why the enrollment continues to decline.

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I subscribe to the LA Times digital (full paper) version, and there have been quite a few articles lately about "Road Diet" proposals, which make it very clear who these lane-reduction proposals benefit; and it's not vehicles. It is bicyclists.

California does not try to hide the fact that while lane reduction may make it safer for bicyclists, they definitely cause added congestion for vehicular traffic.

Locals are getting a good look at the kind of headaches the Road Diet would have caused as we try to navigate the detours in uptown Bandon... just trying to get to the post office or out onto the highway.

Thank heavens we dodged the "Road Diet" bullet ....

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I subscribe to the South Coast Gospel Mission's monthly newsletter, and the April mailing contained some interesting information from the executive director Jennifer Palmer.

"We can't change hearts, or force anyone to take medication, nor can we force them to stay and change their lifestyle. This explains these staggering statistics form the U.S. Department of Housing HUD: Oregon again ranks high in the total number of homeless people who are NOT sheltered. California is first, Oregon is second and Nevada is third.

"Coos County has about 1,300 homeless, nearly a 38 percent increase from last year. Why do you think Oregon ranks so high? Our facility isn't full, even though there's more homeless. It boils down to 62% of Oregon's homeless either choose to live by no man's rules, or have severe enough issues that they can't get into regular shelters. Most of our residents who decide not to check in, or leave within a couple of days, voice their reason for leaving. It's always the same -- they refuse to work for their bed (chores) or anyone else (job), or, marijuana is more important to them than a bed or a shower."

She adds: "Thank you for your prayers for those we're trying to help."


Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn


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