Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Sweet Lorane Community News
June 23, 2022
By Pat Edwards
What glorious weather we are experiencing the last few days. The warm, but mild, weather has allowed me to go outside and make some headway on all of the “catch-up” work awaiting me in and around our yard. Most important, though, is the fact that the farmers are finally able to go into the fields and begin cutting the hay crop that is on the verge of being overdone. Our son-in-law, Brian, is one of them.
For Jim and I, the weather is having to take a backseat this coming week in our thoughts and plans. He is scheduled for a serious back surgery on Monday, June 27, and will have some disk work done on his lower back as well as the stabilization of a break that was discovered there, as well. He will spend a couple of days at McKenzie-Willamette until they are sure that all is as it should be before sending him home. Thank you for keeping him in your thoughts and prayers… the more the better.
This week, I want to tell you about my newest book. I just completed it about a week ago. It’s local history, as are all my books… specifically it tells about the orchard industry that had a huge effect on the communities of Lorane and Creswell in the early 1900s. I had always heard about the vast orchards that used to populate the rolling hills around Lorane at one time. We included a big chapter of our first book, published in 1987, Sawdust and Cider; A History of Lorane, Oregon and the Siuslaw Valley, about how it offered jobs and summer work for the residents of Lorane, but I didn’t fully realize until recently the scope and all that was involved in the investment “opportunities” offered by capitalists and real estate companies in the Midwest to investors all over the U.S. I had heard that these companies bought large acreages in both Creswell and Lorane and split them into 5-, 10- and 20-acre tracts which were planted to fruit trees—apples, pears, prunes, mainly. Oregon apples, especially, were in huge demand in not only the eastern and midwest part of the U.S., but in foreign countries, as well, and sold at premium prices at the turn of the 20th century.
My new book, Picking the Orchard Clean, tells about how the communities of Lorane and Creswell were referred to as “Fruit Lands,” and how these investment companies impacted the local economies in surprising ways.
I’ll be at the Lane County Fair’s “Oregon Authors’ Table” to sell some of my books on local history all day (Senior Day) on Thursday, July 21, and I hope that some of my readers will stop by and say “Hello.”
In the meantime, I wish us all a “Happy Summer!”