Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 19, 2016
By Pat Edwards
I’m writing this column almost a week before you read it because I have gotten myself into commitments for the whole weekend and I need every minute of prep time in the days leading up to it. Our family’s big event… and the one that I’m most looking forward to, is our son Rob’s 50th Birthday BBQ which, by the time you read this was last Saturday. I have been working on a commemorative birthday album for Rob for the past few months. I scanned almost every picture we’ve ever taken of him and helped myself to some that others have taken from his Facebook page and have designed a 13″ x 10″ hardbound photo album/book to present to him. I’ve also included messages and memories that other friends and family members submitted to me for inclusion. These are the publishing projects I most love. I did it for his sister Gloria a year ago, too… it seems I’ve begun a tradition. The one black cloud hanging over the Saturday festivities (literally) is the weather forecast for thunderstorms.
I inadvertently committed myself to counting ballots for the Lane Electric Coop election on Friday, too. I’ve done it before and I’ve had a lot of fun. The staff at the LEC office makes sure we feel welcome and appreciated… they even provide lunch. Usually, my good friend, Judie Brantley, also of Lorane, and I partner while doing the counting and she and I have proven to be a pretty good team. Since I don’t get a chance to see her as often as I once did, it’s a fun way to reconnect.
Then on Sunday morning (last Sunday morning to you), Jo-Brew and I head to McMinnville to give one of our Highway 99 talks at the library there. By the time we get back, I have no doubt that I will be totally exhausted.
Speaking of Lane Electric Coop, I think this week would be a good time to include…
A Bit of Lorane History:
“In the 1920s, Lorane obtained its first electrical generating plant. The Blaine Addison family put in a Delco plant and wired their home and store for electric lights. There was a ‘pumphouse’ where the motor was housed which had shelves of glass batteries to keep the motor running. The house and store were destroyed by fire in 1932, but Harold Shortridge managed to save the old Delco plant and set it up again by the Lorane I.O.O.F. Lodge building.
“On April 3, 1933, permission was given to W.T. Anderson by the Lorane High School board to use the high school auditorium for a talk to be given on ‘Electricity and Power for the Community.’ The first electric power lines were put up by Pacific Power Co. in the late 1930s. They came into Lorane from Cottage Grove and provided power to those along the route into Lorane central, Territorial Road south and as far north as the ‘Y’ where Old Lorane Road meets Territorial Road. The REA had plans to run lines into Lorane from Eugene before World War II. Meter boxes were installed at homes along the way, but no electricity was supplied to the people along Territorial Road north, Old Lorane Road and Siuslaw River Road until after 1945, when the War had ended.
“Josie Doughty remembers buying her first electric refrigerator/freezer and washing machine from the 1947 Oregon State Fair.
“Before the time that electricity came to Lorane, and for some time afterwards, carbide lights, kerosene lamps and gasoline lanterns were commonly used.” (From Sawdust and Cider; 1987; 2006)