Set of 2 books – OREGON’S MAIN STREET: U.S. Highway 99

By Jo-Brew and Pat Edwards

“The Stories”

Long before Interstate 5 was built, Pacific Highway, later designated U.S. Highway 99, became our “Main Street” not only through the State of Oregon, but from Mexico to Canada. Unlike I-5, U.S. Highway 99 went through towns and small communities along its path, bringing them the means to connect with the rest of the state and nation. Jo-Brew takes us on a trip, south to north, beginning at the California-Oregon border, as the highway continues its climb through the Siskiyou Mountains. We then go down through the connected valleys where economies were built on orchards, forests, farm lands, recreation and businesses built to support the growing reliance on the automobile and commercial truck traffic that used it daily to deliver people and products to their destinations. OREGON’S MAIN STREET: U.S. Highway 99 “The Stories” takes us along this route today, but it is filled with the stories of those who grew up, worked, played and raised their families in the communities along its path. Over 150 individuals shared their stories, some in the form of old letters and diaries, but most in first-person accounts through interviews, letters, email and even phone calls all done personally by Jo-Brew. We both worked together on researching, editing and laying out this and its companion book, “The Folk History.” She allowed me to co-author “The Folk History,” which contains more stories and insights into these same communities along the route of U.S. Highway 99 that connect with their earlier histories. Her interest were in gathering the stories from extensive interviews she did; mine was focused on the local and folk histories of the communities. For those who love old pictures, you will be treated to many more than we were able to include in “The Stories,” too — 422 photos and illustrations, in fact. Before her death on March 1, 2018, Jo turned over all rights to “The Folk History” to me. Proceeds of “The Stories” were generously bequeathed to the Lane Library League of Lane County, Oregon. So, climb on-board Jo’s little red Rambler and let’s take a ride up Oregon’s “Gut,” or — if you’re too young to remember driving “the Gut” in your own hometown — let’s take a drive on “Main Street, Oregon.”

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“The Folk History”

In 1913, the first shovelful of dirt was turned by Oregon Governor Oswald West on the Siskiyou Pass to mark the beginning of the construction of the long-dreamed-of Pacific Highway through Oregon. At the time, the whole State of Oregon had only 25 miles of paved road. Even after construction of the highway had begun, it was mainly dirt and gravel for quite some time. Federal money did not pour into the project until 1921. Up to that time, it was up to the individual counties along the route to come up with the funding to build the roads through each of their areas. By its completion in 1926, however, it was adopted as U.S. Highway 99 and was declared the longest improved highway in the country by 1928. Actually, the history of the highway began long before 1913. This book covers how the route for the Pacific Highway was determined through its use by Native tribes and later by trappers, miners and settlers who used portions of the California and Applegate Trails in their journeys, and eventually by the stage lines and the railroad. It will also show how each of the settlements along its route were formed and grew into prospering cities, small rural communities and some that are now ghost towns. Join us on our journey through these communities as we wend our way north from the California border where the Pacific Highway first started from that shovelful of dirt. You’ll learn about some of the interesting, but lesser-known, aspects of their histories and the people who were instrumental in making them what they are today.

BOTH BOOKS – $34.00 plus $6.00 shipping

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