Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 5, 2018
By Pat Edwards
We got the news yesterday that the Crow High School band, led by Music Director Extraordinaire, Pat Dixon, has been selected to represent Oregon in the “Parade of Heroes” in Washington, D.C. over Veterans Day weekend. According to our daughter, Michele Kau, Teacher Extraordinaire at Crow, the band is desperately needing help with funding to make the trip happen. They are accepting cash donations and have begun a fundraising effort by selling really great-looking t-shirts to commemorate the trip. The t-shirt order link can be found on the Lorane, Oregon and Crow Community Facebook pages and more information is available by calling the school at 541-935-2227. Let’s show our pride and help make this happen for our local student/musicians!
Speaking of Crow Middle/High School, we also got word that last week – sometime between Friday, March 30 and Sunday, April 1, someone broke into the auto shop at the high school and stole multiple items that belong to the school. It has been so exciting to see our schools providing vocational classes again for our students and to have this one crippled by tools and equipment being stolen over Spring Break, is very upsetting. If anyone has any information on the theft, please contact the sheriff’s office and the school.
Once again, we don’t have a lot of news to report this week. This time, I’m going to tell you a little about when the stage route that went through Lorane was changed…
A Little Bit of Lorane History:
The Divide landmark is located at the I-5 exit 170. It marks the little-noticed pass that divides the Umpqua River watershed from the Willamette River watershed—Southern Oregon from Northern Oregon. It is here where a traveler can return to U.S. Highway 99, now called the Goshen-Divide Highway, to visit the towns where the highway once brought prosperity.
At one time, there was a post office called Divide that was established on May 31, 1900 and was closed on January 15, 1921. It may have been moved across county borders, or its county designation may have changed in a boundary shift between Lane and Douglas counties.
After 1865, the stagecoaches no longer used the steep Territorial Road to cross the Calapooya Mountains, past the Cartwright House/Mountain House Hotel and Lorane on their way to Eugene City. Instead, they were rerouted by way of an old road which wound through Pass Creek Canyon. The road was poor, soft and muddy along the creek bottom and the canyon passage was narrow.
Robert H. Ward, who lived at the southern end of the new route, built a corduroy road by laying 8-foot cedar logs side by side across the road through the pass. This road became known as Ward’s Toll Road, with Ward collecting a toll from northbound travelers and Ira Hawley collecting the southbound tolls.
On the stage route, Hawley’s Station was located 10 miles north of Estes Ranch on the Ira B. Hawley Donation Land Claim. It provided a rest stop and a horse-changing station there.
“The passengers found food and overnight accommodations at the house and a big barn sheltered the team of horses on the large 4,000 acre cattle and sheep ranch. There was also a small community school on the property that served the surrounding area.
Today, U.S. Highway 99, south of Cottage Grove passes the red ranch buildings and barns which belong to the present Hawley Land and Cattle Company on the site of Ira Hawley’s Stage Station.
(From OREGON’S MAIN STREET: U.S. Highway 99 “The Folk History”  by Pat Edwards)