As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 18, 2017


The first picture I am sharing was taken in 1941 during one of the times Ferry Creek overflowed its banks in those days.

Bob Otto Court, 1941
Bob Otto Court, 1941

Pictured is the Bob Otto Court, which survived the Fire of 1936 and was pressed into service for many uses. No one knows why the Bob Otto Court survived the Fire, but I guess it's not surprising since the big building just east of it, the Coast Lumber Yard, also survived. The Court was on the corner of Elmira and 101 where the Shell station now sits, while the Coast Lumber yard was on the corner of 101 and Fillmore, both on the north side of the highway.

In his account of the fire, Lowell I. "Chile" Giles (father of Doug and Jeff Giles) recalls that after the Fire, "the term 'going downtown' now meant going to the Bob Otto Court, a service station and a few motel units. One could always find someone who knew what new buildings were being constructed -- or information on friends not yet seen. The Court also maintained a bulletin board for messages."

It also served as a triage center after two nurses from Myrtle Point joined Dr. Mast in rushing to the aid of the burned and injured victims of the Fire.

According to a passage in Dow Beckham's book, "When they arrived on the hill overlooking the town, they had to stop as it was too dangerous to drive down into the inferno. When it was safe they drove to Bob Otto Court that had miraculously escaped the fast-moving fire. They quickly set up a work space where they began treating burned victims with dressings and ointment and also helping to clear smoke-filled eyes. They worked throughout the night. She noted that Bandon's Dr. Lucas was there, but Dr. Wilson was out of town."

The book also notes that "The West Coast Telephone Company crews worked most of the night stringing wires and putting up burned-out poles. By 7 a.m. it had an emergency switchboard and lines at the Bob Otto Court."

At the time of the Fire, the telephone company office was in the U.S. National Bank building (now the Masonic building). Although the cement building survived the Fire, the wood roof was on fire. Evelyn Manciet, the telephone operator, was finally persuaded by Fire Chief Curly Woomer to leave her post at the switchboard. Even when the windows of the office blew out Evelyn continued working. She received a meritorious award for her bravery.

"Within weeks after the Fire, the winter rains came . . . The Ferry Creek bridge burned during the fire. The replacement bridge did not have adequate space for the flood waters to escape. On Feb. 6, 1937, torrential rains flooded the downtown area with two feet of water around Bob Otto Court, the city's temporary quarters, the tents for many of the homeless, and some city businesses."

And the problem had still not been taken care of when this picture was taken in 1941.

I love the second picture featuring Dave Elliott, owner of Dave's TV and Radio Shack, posing for an ad photo in 1966. I love the console TVs and the turntable, which many of us still remember. The shop remains open in Old Town Bandon today and is run by his daughter, Geri.

Dave's TV and Radio Shack, 1966
Dave's TV and Radio Shack, 1966

The third picture was taken during the cranberry harvest in 1970 at the bogs of Dr. Bill Soper and his wife, Jean. Dr. Soper, who is pictured here, practiced dentistry in Bandon for many years, and was much loved by his patients.

Cranberry harvest, 1970
Cranberry harvest, 1970

*           *           *

I knew that earwigs had taken over my flower beds, but I had no idea just how prevalent they were until I was cleaning off my desk this morning and found one behind my computer.

For years, I had battled slugs and snails who were destroying my dahlias before they even had a chance to grow. The minute they peeked through the ground, they were fair game for the slimy predators. But I learned to control them with slug bait, etc., and then came the earwigs. No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get rid of them.

The only thing that stops them from gnawing holes in dahlia leaves and eating around the perimeter of the blooms is diatomaceous earth, but sooner or later they get immune to that, too.

The earwig that made his way into my office probably was hiding in one of the dahlias I displayed in my kitchen. They hide deep in the blooms so they can sleep during the day and wreak havoc at night.

I have grown dahlias at my house downtown and at the house I used to own in Powers, but never did I have earwigs.

But they found me in east Bandon and I don't know how to get away from them.

I'd love to hear from anyone who knows how to control them or how to get rid of them completely.

(Two days after I wrote this, I was cleaning the slop sink in the utility room and found two more earwigs under the soap dish. I guess I will have to enjoy my dahlias outdoors, because I won't be bringing them into the house any more.)

*           *           *

I recently saw a link on Facebook about a Bandon High School graduate who is now a surgeon with Longview (Wash.) Orthopedic Associates. Dr. Jake McLeod is the son of J. J. and Penny McLeod. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Portland before earning a medical degree at Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz. He then completed a three-year surgical residency program at the Highlands Foot & Ankle Institute in Denver, Colo.

More recently he finished a foot and ankle sports medicine and surgical fellowship at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. While at Virginia Mason, his clinic treated professional athletes from the Seattle Sounders FC., Seattle Reign FC, and the Seattle Storm.

He and his wife have two young children.

Jake was a great athlete ... and a great scholar at Bandon High, and it's not surprising that he is so successful today.

*           *           *

Recent news that Bank of America is continuing to shut down its branches, particularly in rural areas and small towns, didn't surprise me, considering that they closed their doors in Bandon several years ago.

An article in the Wall Street Journal said the bank has shut 1,600 sites since the financial crisis, including all of its branches in Indiana four years ago. Now they are returning to that state, but this time they are targeting affluent customers in the state's largest city, Indianapolis.

"The reductions are roughly equivalent to shutting all the Citi-group Inc. and Capital One Financial Corp. outlets in the United States"

I guess they've given up their slogan "Bigger is indeed better."

*           *           *

I saw a familiar face in the obit column of the World last week, but I did not recognize the name. It was Joanne Campen Ferber, who worked in seafood stores for many years in both Charleston and Bandon, and then as a manager at Second Street Gallery in Bandon.

And that's where I remember her . . .

*           *           *

Saw a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal recently that said exactly what I have been saying all along: "Have all states apportion their Electoral College votes in proportion to votes cast for each candidate to fulfill the promise of one person one vote. Nebraska and Maine already divide their electors."

Hard to understand why this can't be done ...




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 11, 2017


The first picture I am sharing this week is of the old Coast Guard Station (now owned by the Port of Bandon) in 1977.

Coast Guard Station, 1977
Coast Guard Station, 1977

The building had pretty much fallen into disrepair in those days, and although you can barely see it, at the end of the street (where Edgewaters sits now) was Robertson's Sand and Gravel. You can also see the front of the Breuer building, which is now the River House vacation rental dwelling. At the end of the street, you can see the roofline of the building which was part of the Robertson's complex.

The second picture was taken in June of 1972 of the large lot along First Street, between Alabama Avenue and Oregon Avenue hill.

Large lot along First Street, 1972
Large lot along First Street, 1972

It is now leased by the City of Bandon from owners Fred Gernandt and Kirk Day and is primarily used as a parking lot for the Old Town Marketplace and other Old Town businesses. It is interesting to see what is not there in the picture, which was taken long before the Devon's building was constructed across the parking lot from the Masonic Building on what used to be Wall Street. This was also before the revitalization of Old Town as you can see the Alabama parking lot has not yet been constructed and cars are parking on both sides of Alabama. Not sure exactly what this piece of equipment is but the envelope indicated it had something to do with the city, so it was probably the hydro-electric department, but not sure. I would guess that I took the photo, but in those days we weren't concerned about what was in the background (which is generally the most interesting part of these old pictures), but whatever the "news" we were shooting.

The third picture will come complete with a history lesson. My guess is that this picture of the First National Bank building was taken either in the late teens or early '20s.

First National Bank building
First National Bank building

According to historian Dow Beckham, in late January of 1910 a group of Bandon businessmen met and organized the First National Bank, capitalized at $35,000. One of the founders, J.W. Roberts, bought $5,000 of the stock and the rest was picked up by 41 additional stockholders. In 1913 the bank built its building against the bluff on Alabama Street (now Avenue) and moved there the following year.

That is the building we now know as the Masonic Building, which houses Spirit of Oregon and The Cobbler's Bench. When this picture was taken the bank offices were on the left side of the building and the Western World (which was purchased by my grandfather in 1912) was on the right side of the building.

The bank did not last long in Bandon.

"The third decade ended with serious changes in the economy. On April 3, 1925, the First National Bank closed its doors in Bandon and the national bank examiner, Charles C. Otto, took charge. Following a public statement in which the bank officials assured the depositors that they would eventually receive one hundred percent of their deposits, Otto began the liquidation process. In 1924, auditors had found cashier Roy Corson $17,000 short in funds. Corson was sentenced to federal prison but was released within months. Apparently Corson was able to repay. Corson's problems were not the reason for the closure.

"The bank issued a formal statement: Owing to adverse financial conditions and the inability of some of our borrowers to meet their obligations, we have been forced to close the bank ... This may mean a heavy loss to our stockholders and a much greater loss to us who are directors. To our depositors we wish to state we hope and believe that each will be paid in full."

But that did not occur.

Depositors received their fourth and final dividend for a total of 75 percent from the bank in November of 1927 ... two years before the stock market crash of 1929.

*           *           *

As I was sitting in my comfortable seat at the Bandon Showcase presentation of "6 Guitars" Thursday night, I thought about how fortunate we are in a small town like Bandon (population about 3,100 people) to have a top-notch library, a spacious community center and a first-class 200-plus theater that is the envy of towns much larger than ours ... all surrounded by a large city park and hopefully one day a swimming pool.

All that pales when you consider that only a block away is one of the most magnificent stretches of beach on the Oregon Coast.

We really are fortunate to live here ....

*           *           *

The headline in Sunday's Register-Guard got my attention: "Inmate faces $25,000 garbage fine." And that was before I read the article and realized that the guy, Willy Joe Jenkins, owns property out on Seven Devils Road between Bandon and Coos Bay.

The guy is being fined by the Department of Environmental Quality for the 37.5 tons (250 cubic yards) of trash strewn around his property. According to the article, a typical dump truck holds about 10 cubic yards of material, so the junk would fill about 25 dump trucks.

"The waste covers an entire hillside and contains not only bags of household waste but furniture, waste tires and at least two boats," said Katherine Benenati, a DEQ spokeswoman in Eugene.'

The material apparently accumulated on the property before Jenkins was sent to prison for gun and methamphetamine crimes.

It's hard to imagine how a property got so bad that DEQ had to step in, but one only needs to drive around the unincorporated areas of Coos County to realize that enforcement is pretty lacking ... if at all.

*           *           *

While attending the recent League of Oregon Cities Conference in Portland, I met a neat lady during the Mayor's Forum, and she turned out to be Betty Jean Roppe, mayor of Prineville, and the mother of Steve Dimock, who with wife Susan, owns the LaKris Motel in Bandon. The Dimocks are, of course, best known for their fantastic bird photography.

Betty, who like me just celebrated her 60th year class reunion, has been mayor for six years and previous to that, she served six years on the Prineville City Council. She worked for the Forest Service in the 1960s and was the Clinic Administrator for the Monmouth/Independence Clinic and later for the Prineville Medical Clinic.

It was neat getting to know this incredible woman, who has battled cancer twice in the last few years, but who has more energy and enthusiasm than people half her age.

*           *           *

I was sorry to learn of the death of Roger Cox, who passed away Sept. 28 at the age of 76. I grew up with Roger and his sister, Andrea, who lived across Ferry Creek and up the hill from our house. I was a regular at their home and still remember Andrea and I sitting on her bed cutting out pictures of our favorite movie stars from our movie magazines.

In addition to his sister, Andrea Cox Langley of Napa, Calif., Roger leaves his loving wife Donna, a local and very talented artist.

Roger was involved in real estate in later years.

*           *           *

I saw a real estate listing this week that indicates that Kali Fieger is selling the Loft Restaurant and Bar, which has a fantastic view of the harbor from its upstairs dining room in the building at the end of Chicago Avenue, owned by the Port of Bandon.

The sale, of course, is only the business and not the real estate, but it is a wonderful place for a restaurant, and they have earned a great reputation for their food and their service.

According to many reviews on Yelp, their butter fish is "to die for."

Beach Loop Realty has the listing.

*           *           *

The public is invited to attend the Grand Opening celebration at First Interstate Bank, located at 1110 Oregon Avenue SE, on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 4:30 p.m.

The event celebrates a successful transition from Bank of the Cascades to First Interstate Bank, a merger that occurred mid-August, according to local bank manager Carolyn Reed.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 04, 2017


I've chosen this picture of building the road to the South Jetty because of information I learned last week during the Fire program at the museum.

Building South Jetty Rd
Building South Jetty Rd

While reading John Fasnacht's memories of the Fire, I learned that in 1936 the road that we all know as Jetty Road did not exist. There may have been a path down to the beach, but there was no road, according to John's interview, which he gave in the mid-80s. He said the only road to the jetty, which he and others drove down to escape the flames, was the one off Beach Loop, known as Madison Avenue. It is now gated off at both ends to discourage people from using it, although jetty residents are aware of what it takes to open it in case of an emergency. It is still pretty steep and unstable. I can only guess what it was like more than 80 years ago. I don't known when this picture was taken but you can see by what is not there, that it was a long time ago (probably sometime in the '60s or '70s). John, as the locals know, served as school superintendent before the Fire, and then went to work for the City as Manager of Utilities (which today we call City Manager), a position which he held for many years.

The reason I am once again sharing the second picture, which was taken during the Festival parade in 1966, is because it is such a good picture of what is now Penny's Lotus Grotto Gifts (in the center of the picture).

Cranberry Festival parade, 1966
Cranberry Festival parade, 1966

Penny has posted a sign on the front of the building which indicates that her business (but not the building) is for sale. When this picture was taken, it was the home of Ivan and Margie Cook and their family. Carr's Variety Store, to the left of the two-story building, is now the home of Bandon Baking Co. For years, Elsie Hamilton managed Carr's Variety, where us kids spent a lot of time going up and down the aisles, looking for the perfect toy.

I love the third picture, which was taken in September of 1973 ... a few short months before Bandon High School (in back) was destroyed in an arson fire.

That year, one of my favorite people Lanny Boston was the Mystery King.

Mystery King Lanny Boston, 1973
Mystery King Lanny Boston, 1973

I know that at the time of the high school fire, Walt Ashton was fire chief, but shortly thereafter Lanny became chief ... and position he has served very capably for over 40 years. For many years, the City of Bandon had its own fire department, but we now contract with the Rural Fire Protection District for fire services. It is definitely a win for the city as we could not afford to provide the level of fire services that the BRFD does for a very reasonable cost (around $100,000 a year).

The little girl at left looks a lot like Leann Remy, but that is only a guess. I certainly could be wrong about this.

*           *           *

In the last year, I have received many compliments about the history portion of my column. People tell me they love my old pictures; but last week a friend said she wished I would write more about the city council and leave out the history parts. "I don't care where the service station used to be," she said. It got me to thinking ... but only for a moment. I leave coverage of the city council meetings to Amy; and will continue sharing my old photos until I hear from a lot of you that you'd rather read "the news" than view photos of what Bandon used to look like ...

*           *           *

I always love to see Facebook posts featuring Bandon. Several days ago Julie Miller shared a website that listed "the 10 Best Fall Festivals in Oregon," with the Bandon Cranberry Festival being number one.

Others were the Lincoln County Fall Kite Festival, no. 2; Hood River Apple Harvest Festival, no. 3; Stormy Weather Arts Festival, Cannon Beach, no. 4; Klamath Basin Potato Festival, Merrill, no. 5; Northwest Quilting Expo, Portland, no.6; Jacksonville Oktoberfest, Jacksonville, no. 7; Alpenfest, Joseph, no. 8; St. Josef Grapesstomping Festival, Canby, no. 9; Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire, Kings Valley, no. 10.

The headline spelled Bandon with an "r," which sadly is not unusual, but the body of the article spelled it correctly. Oh well, Brandon or Bandon, we know who they meant.

And we're just glad all the hard work of the chamber's festival committee received the recognition it deserved.

*           *           *

Read a sad story Sunday morning about an accident which occurred Saturday morning inside the city limits of Seaside.

It appears that the Seaside PD responded to a residence on Highway 101 near milepost 20 about a disturbance. There they encountered a silver Dodge Durango driving toward them. They attempted to overtake the vehicle and the female behind the wheel, but lost sight of the vehicle before coming upon the crash scene. The driver had lost control of the vehicle and drove up onto the sidewalk, where it struck a bus stop shelter, killing one pedestrian and critically injuring another. The Durango continued, jumping another sidewalk, where it came to rest after hitting a lamppost. The driver was walking away from the scene as police arrived and was identified by witnesses and detained.

I often communicate with the District Attorney of Clatsop County, Josh Marquis, who will undoubtedly pursue criminal charges against the driver of the Durango.

No names had been released as of Sunday night.

*           *           *

I received an email from Public Works Director Richard Anderson who said that barricades have been placed at the south end of the jetty parking lot, on the west side, in an attempt to prevent more people from parking on the foredune.

He added that he had ordered large boulders to border the location.

He also asked the city's administrative assistant, Beth Hager, to put the information on the city's website as he was sure the action would "generate lots of questions."

Richard also included a map which indicated that the host trailer would soon be moving into the center of the parking lot in front of the restrooms.

*           *           *

In case you're wondering why the post office appears to be in the dandelion-growing business, I agree with you.

Several months ago I talked with the great gang of postal employees who faithfully, and always with a smile, wait on us at the window each day. They are just as concerned as I, or maybe more so, about the condition of the post office grounds. And they suggested that the city send a letter to management as it appears that three different people are "in charge" of the Bandon post office, so rather than name any specific manager, they said just send it to "whom it may concern."

But that didn't work.

About a month ago, the city did send its summer work crew over there to cut down some of the dandelions, but I suggested rather strongly that rather than spend our time "bailing out a federal agency," maybe we could help out people truly in need.

One of the three interim managers did tell me that they were waiting for another quote before they could award the bid for the work. But that was nearly a month ago.

I guess they are waiting for the weeds to dry up and blow away . . . which should guarantee a bumper crop next year.

Maybe it's time to get out the citation book . . .


Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn


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