On October 21, 1974, I began writing a little community newsletter as part of my volunteer position as Lorane 4-H Community Coordinator through the Lane County Extension Service Office. Each little issue told about which 4-H clubs were organizing in Lorane and what they each were doing as time went on. Elda Lowman, the principal at Lorane Elementary, allowed me to print the newsletters on the school’s antique purple-ink mimeograph machine and the multiple pages were stapled together. I distributed them through the school as well as at the Mitchell Store.
That first issue in October 1974 began: “The 4-H office has given me authorization to put out this experimental newsletter for our area as a means of informing the community of what is happening in our 4-H clubs. If you like the idea, let me know!!”
The last issue that I have retained is dated November 30, 1977, so it had a pretty long run.
by Pat Edwards
After publishing Sawdust & Cider in 1987, more information on Lorane’s history began to filter in when people discovered that they had missed the deadline or were unaware that the book was being written. In some cases, what they read in the pages of Sawdust brought back long-forgotten memories. I filed away each letter and communication, hoping to someday use it in another publication. By 1993, the battle fatigue of researching and writing Sawdust with Nancy and Marna’s immense help had worn off and my fingers were beginning to “itch” to begin writing again. We still had many copies of the book on hand, so we were not ready to do a revision or update on it, so that was not an option. I began to toy with the idea of starting a free newsletter featuring historical bits and pieces as well as portraits of current people and businesses in the community. I felt that it would have a niche and was something I could do even though I was working full time at the University of Oregon. I began digging through my files for those pieces of history that I had stored away. There was not a lot… at least not enough for more than one or two issues, but I knew that information on the current “old-timers” would be of interest, too. So, as the conception of the newsletter evolved, I decided that in addition to the main article, I would also try to feature an article on a local business (It’s Our Business), another featuring one of our local families (Family Portrait), and one on a “newcomer” family (New Kids on the Block). The Lorane Historian debuted on October 4, 1993. There was no schedule of when the issues appeared and I didn’t always follow the original format. They were distributed as soon as I could get one put together… sometimes monthly, sometimes not! I wrote and published 14 issues from that day in 1993 to 1997. Over that period of time, I included in the Family Portraits section Joe and Barbara Brewer, Mike and Linda Jenks, Gary & Lil Thompson, Lincoln & May Diess, Gary & Marie Armstrong, Earl & Mary Stuck, Lyle & Hazel Conrad, Jerol & Magdalena Ware, Don & Berniece Dorn, Shorty & Mel Keep, Lewis & Josie Doughty, Ira & Nell Dare, Bill & Charlotte Mitchell, Briggie & Toby Maley, and Walt & Lou Dell Hayes. Features ran on Chateau Lorane and King Estate, on the Indians of the area, the cemeteries, the libraries, historical homes, war heroes, and weddings and long marriages. By 1997, I was beginning to run out of fresh ideas, although I still had a few issues in me if my life at work hadn’t been so incredibly busy. I just didn’t have the time or energy to continue to go out on interviews or information-gathering missions on the precious weekends. I miss writing the Historian. I think it was enjoyed by many community members. Maybe someday I can once again resurrect it. I am hoping to compile the old issues into a small booklet to supplement Sawdust someday so that the information they contain will remain as part of the community’s history.
It will undoubtedly be a long process of transcribing these issues and placing them here for you to read.