Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
February 21, 2019
By Pat Edwards
The Unicorn Ranch in Lorane has just announced that it is signing area youth from ages 8 to 19 for its Lane County 4-H programs. They will definitely have a horse project, but they are also considering adding art, agriculture, growing herbs and other projects if enough interest is shown in them and whether they can find leaders with the skills and knowledge to lead them.
In addition, the Unicorn Ranch has been chosen as the site for the 2019 Lane County 4-H Horse Fair.
Many of you know—and I have spoken of it on these pages—that I was the Lorane 4-H coordinator for over 10 years while our own children were growing up in the 1970s and 1980s. I have a special soft-spot for 4-H and what it provides for not only farm youth, but urban kids, as well.
4-H has been a part of Lorane’s culture for many, many years. In the early part of its history, when life was centered around the farm and home, the main 4-H projects almost always involved activities such as livestock raising, sewing and cooking. Those are still the basic projects of the club, but the 4-H organization has tried to involve the “city kids” in projects that encompass literally any field of interest from leathercraft to rocketry to raising dogs for the blind.
A Bit of Lorane History
In November 1927, Della Crowe of Lorane received the following letter from the Lane County 4-H Club agent, Arnold D. Collier. “The club year is finished for 1927. You worked all year for your club members. They tried to Make the Best Better. They appreciate your untiring help. You have been the one who has helped them to better practices in their homes. Do you realize you have made a better club member by your time which you spent with each member? And a better community, a better county, therefore, a better state and nation? In this most humble way, I want to thank you for the splendid cooperation you have given…”
In 1940, the 4-H Builder Club of Lorane spent much of the school year designing and building a scale-model city through their woodworking class under the guidance of their 4-H leader Archie Keener and shop teacher Leslie Godard. It was exhibited at the Lane County Fair and the Oregon State Fair, and was said to have been chosen to be exhibited at the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco, California. These miniature buildings included models of a house, barn, machine shed and windmill among others. The house, worked on by Charles Schaffer had rooms with plastered walls and composition roofs.
Lowell Davis’ project was the machine shop. Lowell remembers the times during the late 1930s and early 1940s when he participated at 4-H Summer School. He and a couple of other boys from Lorane took the train to Oregon State College in Corvallis where they joined dozens of other 4-Hers, living on campus and taking part in the scheduled activities.
In the early 1960s, Lorane resident, Barbara Brewer, remembers that Jim Kotrc led a 4-H club in woodworking. He held his meetings and workshops in the basement of the Lorane High School building. (From Sawdust and Cider to Wine, 2006)