Sweet Lorane Community News, May 10, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 10, 2018
By Pat Edwards

There seems to be lots of news to report this week. For these columns it seems to be either a deluge of things I need to tell you about, or I have to dig deep.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find out about the Taco Dinner and Fandango dance event held at the Lorane Grange until it was too late to include in last week’s column. It was sponsored by the Rural Art Center. If you missed the event, they will be performing at the Crow Grange (May 16), Crow High School (May 23), at the Applegate Regional Theater (TBA), and at the Blue Rooster Inn (TBA). This is part of their summer dance series. Check out the poster displayed on the Lorane and Crow Facebook pages and in businesses around the area for more details.

The music is provided by El Taller de Son Jarocho, a Eugene-based community group and everyone is encouraged to join in. They will teach the basic dance step, a simple tap dance style.

The Lorane Grange will be having a work day at the Lorane Grange Cemetery on Monday, May 14. Volunteers are encouraged and welcome to come. Everyone should meet at 10 a.m. and bring garden tools and equipment to use, if possible.

The Celebration of Life for Lloyd Porter will be held at Lorane Christian Church with a potluck following at Lorane Grange. The Grange doors will be open at 11:30 am to receive food. Jeri asks that everyone wear Western or at least casual attire in memory of Lloyd.

Mark your calendars, Crow High School Senior Recognition night, is May 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the CHS gym. This is always a fun time to honor the seniors and their accomplishments.

The Lorane Community Association (LCA) held a recent meeting and Mina Knittel provided very detailed minutes. They held election of officers and the 2018-2019 include
President, Pam Kersgaard; Vice President, Marissa McNutt Cooper; Treasurer, Mina Knittel; and Secretary, Heidi Langstraat.

It has been decided to unveil the Lorane Mural at this summer’s Ice Cream Social! Kevin, at the Lorane Family Store, will be building a protective awning and seating area in front of where it will hang. The mural will include an interactive game for people to spot local birds, insects and wildlife within the mural!

For those who haven’t seen the prototype, the mural will be a beautiful scenic and historical landscape of Lorane that includes a map of points of interest in our community! Donations are needed to complete the project. If you have a winery, farm or local business and would like to be included on the map, please contact Pamela Kersgaard.

The Lorane Community Church is collecting cans and bottles for their annual women’s retreat on the Oregon coast on September 5-8. Donations of recyclables can be dropped off at the deli or Heidi Rusten Langstraat can come pick them up! Please contact through the church for details.

We are approaching the Growers Market season! Visit the beautiful produce stand in front of the deli. Anyone can place their fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants, and wares there for donation/sale to the community. Any funds received for these goods goes to LCA projects!

More things from the minutes will be included in next week’s column. I hope that everyone is enjoying our sunshine. One of these days, I’m going to catch up on everything that needs doing!

Sweet Lorane Community News, May 3, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
May 3, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Last week, the Easy Acres Neighborhood Group invited all Lorane residents to attend a Firewise (Wildfire Prevention) program conducted by Alex Rahmlow, a coordinator from the Western Lane Fire division of the Oregon Department of Forestry. We had a really good turnout of approximately 30 people—about half from Easy Acres and half from the greater Lorane area. A lot of interest was shown and questions were asked about what should be considered when we are ready to make our properties less inviting for wildfires. Much of the information is common sense, but it sharpened our focus on how very important it is to try and minimize the dry, brushy undergrowth near our homes, leaving at least a 30′ green parameter around our houses and outbuildings and a much wider band where brush has been cleared around trees and dead limbs and lower branches have been removed.

Caution on following the rules of designated guidelines posted by the fire districts during fire season is vital for each of us. During hot dry summers we need to be careful not to use mowers, chain saws, trimmers or other equipment that can emit sparks usually after 1:00 p.m. each day during the extreme fire danger periods.

The program did not focus so much on the common sense considerations such as campfires in undesignated areas, throwing cigarette butts out the car window, dumping still hot charcoal briquettes into areas that could catch fire, or burning of any kind, but these are things that are still being done occasionally.

During the recent summer when the fire danger was extremely high, I frequently walked our dogs up Easy Acres and was shocked by the number of cigarette butts I found along the road… many that were obviously recent discards. Even though this is normally something that people know not to do during fire season (or any time), I shuddered to think what could happen to Jim and me and our neighbors if one of those had fallen on a dry patch of dead leaves and caught fire.

All of us need to be extra cautious—for our own sakes as well as our neighbors’. John Eckles is putting together an 8-member board for our community group on Easy Acres Drive to monitor and assess the conditions along our road. Other areas in and around Lorane that are particularly wooded or brushy should consider doing the same.

For more information on how to form these groups, contact Alex Rahmlow, the Western Lane planning coordinator at 541-935-2283.

I understand that congratulations are in order for Mrs. Heather Hohnstein, teacher of English, Drama, Health at Crow Middle/High School. She is to receive an award from the U. S. Air Force “in recognition of outstanding support and dedication to the ideals and principles of the USA in her careers class, and in helping students get ready for their futures.” Congratulations!

The Crow Grange will be sponsoring its annual Mother’s Day Breakfast to be held on Sunday, May 13 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. The menu includes pancakes or biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs, fruit juice and coffee. They suggest a $5 dollar donation per person.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there!

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 26, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 26, 2018
By Pat Edwards

After a glorious week of sunshine and 70 to 80 degree weather and busy, busy days, I am taking a quiet day today as the spring rain falls outside. I need to get my column written and to work on a fascinating new book project I’m writing. I’ll at least get this written and sent off, but the weekend promises to be even busier than usual with a craft/bake sale, a baby-shower, a dessert and bingo evening, a fire prevention program, and a birthday dinner for our granddaughter on my schedule. By the time you read this, the weekend will have passed, hopefully our nice weather will be back, and I’ll have survived.

Sadly, Lorane has lost another one of our favorite residents. After suffering several major strokes, Lloyd Porter, passed away this past week. Lloyd is remembered by many for his ever-present cowboy hat, jeans, boots and western shirts, and frequently, when he was still riding, his horse would be tied up at the Lorane Family Store while he went in to get a snack. He always had a bright and sunny disposition and enjoyed making friends, of which he had many. His wife, Jeri, asked me to let everyone know that there will be a Celebration of Life in Lloyd’s honor on Saturday, May 19 at 1:00 p.m. at the Lorane Christian Church. A potluck will follow. Everyone is invited. Our condolences go out to Jeri and his family.

I’d like to tell you a bit about the new book I’m working on.

Cover first draft - promo

Captain John O’Brien homesteaded 160 of land west of Lorane in the Letz Creek Road area in 1873, following his 4 years of service in the American Civil War. I have been very fortunate to connect with a descendant of his who is allowing me to include excerpts from the almost 50 letters that Captain O’Brien wrote to a favorite cousin during the war years. An Irish immigrant, he enlisted as a private in 1861 in the first volunteer regiment formed in the Union army from Connecticut and by the end of the war, he was honorably discharged as a captain by brevet. His letters are so very interesting and full of stories about the battles he was involved in with the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery regiment, as well as the conditions he lived under and his reflections on his love for his adopted country and the honor he felt to serve.

After his military service, he went back to his home in New Haven, Connecticut, where he tried working in the trade he apprenticed for before the war—a printer—but after his years in battle, he felt the need to explore the west. In doing so, first in Helena, Montana and later Sacramento, California and then San Francisco, he became involved in helping to form typographical trade unions to benefit the working men and, later women. He was soon active in the Federated Trades Assembly… a collection of trade unions that worked together for reform that eventually morphed into the American Federation of Labor (AFL) that was headed by Samuel Gompers. John soon ended up in Portland, Oregon in the early 1880s where he was president—and on the executive committees—of both the Multnomah Typographical Union #58 and the Federated Trades Assembly of Portland. He also founded the Portland Daily Sun newspaper there.

As often as possible, Captain John O’Brien would retreat to his property in Lorane where he was respected as a gentleman who cared about his neighbors and friends. It was there where he retired in 1907 and where he lived until his death in 1931.

I’m completely enamored with his story and I hope that I can do him justice in this new book which I will probably be calling The Life and Letters of Captain John O’Brien. I hope to have it in print by the end of June.

I’m always looking for photos and/or stories of any of our early Lorane residents. I’ve found that each of them had their own special stories that I would like to tell.

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 19, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 19, 2018
By Pat Edwards

Two days, so far, of beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures! I’m in heaven. These 75-year-old bones are getting a bit creaky, so I’ve decided that, this year, I’m going to go at my spring planting and yardwork a little slower than I usually do. I don’t want to pay too dear a price the next day, so my goal is to get at least one major project done each day. Yesterday, I planted my petunia box. It holds 3 dozen plants that I stick through holes drilled through the front and sides of it as well as those that cover the top. Digging the old soil out and freshening it before I layer it on top of the plants protruding from the holes takes a bit of time, so I had a real sense of accomplishment when it was done. I have one more to do at my daughter’s house. I take pride in the fact that I built both boxes with my own hands a couple of years ago and when they are fully in bloom, they are a solid mass of color.

Today, was shrub planting day. Digging three holes and planting shrubs is all the physical work I want to do today since my back has said, “Enough!” but at least I can mark that one off my list now, too. I may even be up to doing some mowing this afternoon after I’ve written this column and worked on my new book a bit. (Fortunately, I use a riding lawnmower.)

The Easy Acres Neighborhood group is inviting the Lorane community to attend a Wildfire Prevention program to be held at the Lorane Grange on Sunday, April 29 at 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

The program will be conducted by Fire Planning Coordinator, Alex Rahmlow, of the Oregon Department of Forestry, District of Western Lane. We can all benefit from Alex’s presentation by preparing for this year’s fire season. We all know how scary wildfires are after experiencing one really close to home the summer of 2015. 11888121_1625459517709138_4611884414108457338_n

We hope there will be a large turnout, since the more people who care enough to take measures to diminish the chance of wildfires on their property, the safer we all will be.
Just a reminder… the Lorane Christian Church’s Bake Sale and Craft Faire will be held at the Lorane Grange on Saturday, April 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They are renting tables to display your product for $5 each plus a 10% commission will be charged on sales. I’m going to have one of the tables there for my books, (They are crafts, aren’t they?) and am trying to decide whether or not to bake some goodies, too. I hope to see some familiar faces there that day although I won’t be able to stay to the end. Tracie DeBoer has agreed to watch over my table until closing. Be sure to sign up for a table!
Later, that evening, the Lorane Grange will be holding its Dessert and Bingo Night beginning at 6:00 p.m. It’s for the whole family and the progressive blackout game, played at the very end, is ripe for winning. They also have a 50-50 drawing and great desserts. It’s always a fun evening. Be sure to come if you get the chance.

Here’s an update on the fundraiser for the Crow High School Band trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Oregon in the “Parade of Heroes” that I included in a recent column. Thanks to so many of you out there, they are nearing their goal to guarantee that the band can go. Be sure to send in your donations to the high school office and/or buy a really great-looking t-shirt at https://www.bonfire.com/crow-high-school-band/. It looks like it’s going to happen!

I hope everyone has been enjoy this beautiful weather!

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 13, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
April 12, 2018
By Pat Edwards

I was so saddened this past week to see the obituary for one of my favorite long-time Lorane residents, Beth Booth. She celebrated her 100th birthday last August and passed quietly away at her home on Stony Point on Easter Sunday.

She lived a remarkable life. She was a regular customer at our store in the late 1970s and ‘80s when I was running it. She came to the store each week to get grain for her beloved horses and other necessities and we would catch up on the news of our respective families. She was an intelligent, vibrant woman who had a soft spot in her heart for animals of all kinds as well as people.

I remember so well the time she wanted to take a trip for a couple of weeks, but was wanting to find someone who she knew would take good care of her home and animals while she was away. It happened that my mother and stepfather, who were spending their first years of retirement in a motorhome, traveling around the country, were going to be in our area during that time. When Beth met them, they immediately bonded and they made arrangements to stay in her home while she was gone.

During that time, I remembered her home as being a wonderfully comfortable, peaceful place. Her spinning wheel was the focal point in her living area and she had many of the items she had knitted from the wool she spun decorating it. To me, it felt like a safe haven mirroring the woman who lived there.

This amazing woman continued to ride and drive her beautiful Morgan horses through her 95th year before she finally hung up her bridle. Our condolences go out to Beth’s loving family. She will be missed by many.

I also want to send out a get-well message to my fellow newspaper columnist, Lil Thompson, who writes the Lorane news for the Cottage Grove Sentinel. She had major back surgery this past week and I hope that she’s up and feeling better soon.

The Ladies of the Lorane Christian Church are sponsoring a Bake and Craft Sale to be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Lorane Grange on Saturday, April 28. For anyone who wants to participate, the table fees are $5. Knowing the reputation the church ladies have for yummy baked goods, you’ll want to get there early!

If you have questions, please call 541-556-6223 for more information. It’s a great opportunity to start out the “sale’n” season since it will be indoors and will take place, rain or shine. Help support the wonderful programs the church puts on for the Lorane community each year.

Just a quick aside to anyone who has cats or kittens that are in need of spaying or neutering… the Petco Foundation has just given a grant to Willamette Animal Guild (WAG) to supplement spaying and neutering of cats. While the funding lasts, the fees for cats is only a $10 co-pay for males or a $20 co-pay for females.
We have taken the feral cats and kittens that wind up at our store over the years to WAG.

They do an excellent job and I highly recommend them. Information and an application form can be found on their website at wagwag.org. Please be a responsible pet owner.

Sweet Lorane Community News, April 5, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
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” [2014] by Pat Edwards)

Sweet Lorane Community News, March 29, 2018

Fern Ridge Review
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
March 29, 2018
By Pat Edwards

For the past month (and a little more), I’ve pretty much stayed at home. I had a virus that held on for much too long. I still am dealing with residual symptoms of it as well a painful shoulder that I injured last August, and, most of all, the loss of my friend and colleague, Jo-Brew. I’ve been quietly occupied much of the time, working on writing projects, painting our guest bathroom and taking a lot of naps, but I haven’t tried to get out much.

Contributing to my general ennui, we rehomed one of our sweet Blue Heeler dogs because I realized that Nora really needed to be the only dog in the family. She is now with a couple without children who absolutely worship and spoil her rotten, playing her favorite game of fetch several times each day. We both love and miss her, but we knew that we were being selfish to continue to keep her with Toby who has declared his ownership of Jim and me and resented the attention I, especially, paid to her.

All of this adds up to what I feel was a minor bout of depression. I feel, however, that I’m beginning to step out of the fog I’ve been in and I’m ready to experience more of life again.

It’s time to make plans and to get outside more. I’m making a list of the plants I need to get in the ground soon and to fill two petunia planting boxes I made a couple of years ago for our daughter, Michele, and me. I’ve begun taking notice of all of the small limbs that need to be picked up from this winter’s brush clearing that we had done and the fact that the grass is growing a lot right now. I want to take Toby on some more walks and let the still-crisp air fill me with new energy and life.

Yesterday, I was sent information on a writer’s “summit” that is taking place at Sunriver over Memorial Day weekend. I don’t usually participate in these types of things, but it is offering classes and topics on things that really interest me as a writer and I’m hoping that I can work out a way to go… hopefully, with another good friend and colleague, Jen Chambers.

I’ve also decided to take on a new book project about Capt. John O’Brien that I’ve been hoping to write for quite a few years as part of my Early Lorane Settlers series. I published one on the Bailey family of Bailey Hill last year, so this will be the 2nd in the series. I have already gathered a great deal of information on this fascinating Civil War veteran, newspaper publisher and long-time union organizer. All I’ve needed was an incentive to begin it. I’m finally feeling it! It’s time.

This column is supposed to be about Lorane events and people, but there’s little news to share right now and I feel that by talking about my own experiences occasionally, I am able to let others, who are experiencing the same types of things, know that they are not alone. We all have our bouts of the doldrums occasionally and I’ve learned that it’s ok… it’s part of life. We need to learn to deal with the downs in our lives as well as the joy. Each balances out the other and makes life much more interesting!

And just to make sure this column isn’t totally about me this week, I need to remind everyone about the upcoming annual RAC/Lorane Grange-sponsored Talent Show that will be held on Sunday, April 8 at 3:00 p.m. If you want to participate, give Lil Thompson a call at 541-952-5701.

Happy Spring everyone!