This week in Coos County history: July 7-10 | Local News

Late rains keep forest fire free

Chief Warren Thomas says weather has favored them

Will build fine trail around headwaters of Coos river — new wireless

Owing to recent rains, the forests west of the Coast range are fire free and so moist that it will take quite a spell of dry, warm weather to make the ordinary hazard, according to Chief Fire Warden Thomas who came in from Tioga to spend the Fourth.

Mr. Thomas has just concluded a trip with P.S. King, state inspector, over the trail around the headwaters of Coos river which Mr. Thomas has started to open up. Mr. King declared the trail would be worth $10,000 as a forest fire fighting asset. It will run from the Burn Mountain lookout around the headwaters to near Tioga country.

The new wireless receiving station at Johnson Mountain is a big aid, picking up reports from the observers on the U.S. airplanes who are covering the whole district. Operator Ledgerwood of Myrtle Point is at this station.

$50,000 loss in mill fire at Reedsport

Plant of Reedsport Planing Mill Company destroyed — burned to ground last evening

City was threatened with being wiped out

Lack of wind, water supply and desperate fighting on part of citizens saves place

Insurance is only $11,000

Already plans are being talked of rebuilding — company was operating and had orders enough to run for year

REEDSPORT — Fifty thousand dollars loss was caused by the destruction of the plant of the Reedsport Planing Mill Co. by fire last night. For a time the entire industrial section of the city was in danger of being wiped out. Although other structures caught fire the flames were contained to the one plant.

The mill district was saved only by the most desperate fight on the part of men of the city, the new water supply and the fact that there was no wind. Had a wind come up nothing could have saved the other mills and the business section of the city. Without a breath of wind the flames and sparks went straight up but the heat was intense and other buildings took fire but were finally saved.

The chief stockholders of the company are H.C. Morris, who was manager, Warren P. Reed and C. McC. Johnson. The fifty thousand dollar loss to build and contents was covered by only $11,000 insurance.

The burning of the planning mill was a severe blow to the city. The plant was started last year but only recently has been in full operation. Twenty-five men were employed and it was planned to increase the force. Additional machinery had been ordered. Sunday a carload of doors had been shipped out and the force was working on two more carloads which were to be finished by July 15.

The company had an order for 60 carloads of garage doors and had orders sufficient to insure the operation of the plant for the next year.

Just what could be done in the way of rebuilding was not known today but there was an inclination on the part of local business men to aid in any plan which might make it possible for the company to start again and it was not unlikely that a local stock company will be formed to help the owners rebuild.

Chautaqua at North Bend open

First entertainment given yesterday afternoon

Attendance is good and undertaking promises to be a financial success

The Chautauqua at North Bend opened with a concert by the Liberty Belles of Boston which pleased the audience.

There was a good attendance and it is expected that there will be a large patronage throughout the course of the entertainments. The sale of tickets has not yet been checked up so it cannot be told just how the guarantors stand, but the Chautaqua promises to be a financial success and the entertainments so far have pleased.

Ku Klux Klan may work here

Organization being formed in state it is said

Portland paper states that branches are being established in different localities

This locality is supposed to be one in which the Ku Klux Klan is being organized. It is stated that more than 1000 members have been signed in Portland and that the organization is working throughout the state to secure members.

As it is a secret organization and works under cover, even in securing members, just what is being done cannot be learned and naturally any efforts being made here would not come to light if the organizers could prevent it. The movement is one which has been going on in different parts of the country and is a revival of the old Ku Kluxx Klan which operated in the south many years ago.

The members wore white robes, caps and masks, and weird and terrible are the tales one’s grandmother will tell of those days. While the purposes of the organization were held to be the most noble, many crimes were committed under cover of white caps and many personal revenges were carried out. It was never possible to tell whether the masked men were real members of the organization or those using the disguise to carry out wicked intents.

The Portland Telegram tells of the efforts to organize in Oregon and in this connection says:

“It is expected there will be 5000 clansmen in Portland within sixty days, according to the present indications.

“Other Oregon towns have been invaded by clan organizers and enough members obtained to perfect clan chapters and apply for national charters.

“At the same time announcement is made the thirty-nine states now have clan organizations.

“Fear that the new clan organization may send its white-robed figures to tar and feather, or to horsewhip, are branded as without foundation by those fostering the movement, who assert that the clan first of all stands for law and order and legal processes of sheriff, police and courts.

“Wild, weird crimes so often charged against the organization in other parts of the country are the work of lawless individuals who mask as clansmen without right, according to Portlanders close to the movement.”

May not rebuild at Shore Acres

L.J. Simpson says no reconstruction now

Hard luck has unsettled him — did not even save picture of his wife

L.J. Simpson who was up from Shore Acres today said that the reconstruction of Shore Acres, his beautiful home which was destroyed by fire last Saturday night, is dubious. He said that reconstruction is not possible immediately and he is dubious as to whether it will be rebuilt.

Mr. Simpson is still suffering from the blow and says that he has had more than his share of hard luck. He is particularly grieved over the loss of all the personal belongings of himself and his late wife, not saving even a picture of Mrs. Simpson.

Mr. Simpson is being urged on all sides to replace the wonderful show place which he and Mrs. Simpson so graciously shared with all Coos Bay and the noted visitors.

It is also rumored that outside parties have been figuring with him on the construction of a magnificent summer hotel. He had this in mind for his Sunset Bay property but it is possible that the destruction of his home and the loss of Mrs. Simpson may result in his consideration of using the former home site for the later purpose.

Mr. Simpson’s car was slightly charred by the fire, the side curtain glasses being melted by the heat before they were able to push it to safety.

‘Upswing’ offsets layoffs

Labor disputes curtailed employment in Southwestern Oregon during June, according to the Coos Bay State Employment office manager, Edward J. Konka.

Konka said the seasonal upswing in employment partly offset permanent layoffs in the lumber industry and shutdown in pulp production and there were other bright spots in seafood processing, where work was “fairly stable,” and in retail trades. Real estate sales were “excellent.”

Labor disputes were among wood crews, carpenters and longshoremen, the employment service manager said.

Employment and business conditions continued to improve during the month in retail trade. Businessmen said various soft and hard goods moved well throughout the month.

It was believed that labor negotiations could affect retail trade business if they are prolonged, but an early settlement would contribute to further upward movement.

Salmon, shrimp, bottom and river fish were processed by the seafoods industry throughout June, according to Konka.

Reedsport mill faces interruption

REEDSPORT — The Reedsport Mill Co., sawmill operation at Reedsport faces a possible interruption of operations because of the maritime transportation tie-up, a company spokesman said Thursday.

“We depend on water shipping — about 60 per cent of our production goes to Los Angeles by barge or ship transportation.”

He said that railroad cars are not available and that trucking of any significant amount of the lumber would be too costly to consider.

“We have right now about 3 ½ million board feet of lumber stock piled at the mill yard and on the dock and dock yard at Bolen Island,” the spokesman said. Bolen Island in the Umpqua River is the site of the barge loading operations.

The sawmill and chipping operations, a traditional plant located on the Scholfield River at Reedsport, employs about 60 men on one shift, five day week, and produces about 2 ½ million board feet of finished lumber per month. The Watson Logging Co., associated with the Reedsport Mill Co., employs about 40 men and would also be affected by a continued interruption of shipping.

The company spokesman said that some lumber has been trucked by the purchaser in San Francisco, Rolando Lumber Co.

Peterson is medalist at amateur

Golf: Former Bulldog shoots a 69 to grab the top spot in championship flight

Former North Bend High School standout Alden Peterson shot a 69 to earn medalist honors at the Southwestern Oregon Amateur on Thursday at Coos Country Club.

Peterson’s round of 1-under par was two shots better than Bruce Parry and Wes St. Clair, who earned the second and third spots in the championship flight.

Peterson was one of North Bend’s top golfers before graduating last year.

Two-time defending champion Carl Johnson shot an 80 and also is in the top flight.

The best round of the day was actually turned in by the medalist for the senior flight, Ken Forster, who shot a 68. Ron Brogan, the defending senior champion, did not go through qualifying and will be the top seed in the 16-person flight, with Forster the second seed.

Other South Coast players in the championship flight include Josh Lewis, Jason Snelgrove, Kent Kristensen, Kyle Johnson, George Montgomery and John Qualman. Both Lewis and Johnson were South Coast standouts who graduated from high school this year — Lewis from Marshfield and Johnson from North Bend.

Johnson, the Midwestern League champion this year, was in a group of three players tied for fourth with rounds of 75. The other two were Cleve Lund an Troy Laurilla.

Olympian, world champion visits Coos Bay for four days

Judo: More than 25 from the Northwest, including eight from local club, treated to Jimmy Pedro

Might as well learn from the best.

That is what judo athletes and the Southwestern Oregon Community College judo program did for four days when Jimmy Pedro arrived in Coos Bay.

Pedro came to Southwestern to teach the basics of judo, but also the moves and techniques that helped him become one of the world’s best at his weight.

The 30-year-old won a world championship in 1999 and a bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He also competed in the 1992 (Barcelona, Spain) and 2000 Olympics (Sydney). Pedro was one win away from a bronze medal in Australia.

He wasn’t in town to show off his medal, however.

“Everybody here is very enthusiastic,” said Pedro, as he panned over the class size of around 30. “I try to teach them all the stuff I learned throughout my career that seemed to work for me.

“Typcially at clinics you see very fancy moves that don’t ever work. What I try to teach them is real-life stuff that has proven successful.”

NB police arrest four in school vandalism

The North Bend Police Department has charged four juveniles with burglary and criminal mischief in connection with the vandalism that occurred at Roosevelt Elementary School last month.

Det. Brent Gaither said officers detained four juveniles, two boys and two girls between the ages of 10 and 16, earlier this week and the juveniles were referred to the Coos County Juvenile Department.

The damage to the former school occurred sometime between June 15 and 19.

Vandals were unable to enter the main school building, but gained access into the separate building that housed the gymnasium and classrooms. The vandals tossed hundreds of sheets of paper across the basement floor. Large patches of glitter and overturned gallon-sized paint cans littered the floor.

They also used the paint to put handprints along the walls, along with writing profanity, racial slurs and the word “kill.”

Police estimated damages at $7,500.

Bay Area chef adds culinary curriculum to college’s menu

New program: Oregon Coast Culinary Arts Institute to open this fall in former steak house

A North Bend building that has stood vacant for almost a decade has become the home of Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Oregon Coast Culinary Arts Institute.

Southwestern recently began leasing the building at 3491 Broadway, which formerly housed the KC Steakhouse, for $4,000 a month, said Mike Gaudette, dean of marketing, recruiting and college advancement.

“This is a trial program and we’ll see how it goes,” Gaudette said. “The reality is this is the first year of the program and we are going to be testing the waters to see if we can successfully recruit students into a high quality culinary arts program.”

When Southwestern agreed to lease the building, the college began the process of cleaning and repairing it for use this fall, he said.

The culinary arts program will offer students from across the United States a chance to obtain one-year certificates in chef training or two-year associates in applied science in culinary arts management training.

While the certificates prepare individuals for entry-level chef positions, the two-year degree offers students basic and advanced chef training as well as restaurant management skills.

Local chef Robert Gregson, who has 40 years of experience and is a former instructor at the Indiana University at Pennsylvania’s culinary school, will serve as the institute’s chief executive chef.

Southwestern already has 19 paid reservations for the program, Gaudette said.

College gets $1 million for Curry campus

Southwestern Oregon Community College received a $1 million windfall to build a campus in Curry County from the state during the last few hours of the Legislature on Saturday.

The funding for the project is from the Emergency Fund Reconciliation Bill, or House Bill 5014.

Southwestern President Stephen Kridelbaugh said the college was able to secure the funding through the efforts of Sen. Ken Messerle, R-Coos Bay, and Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach.

“Although the college has been working to obtain property for a campus in Brookings for the past five years, a campus with facilities was not in the realm of possibility due to a lack of money,” Kridelbaugh said in a press release.

“Now the college and the citizens of Curry County can plan with certainty for a community college campus in Brookings,” he added. “We would not have this campus if the $1 million from the state had not been forthcoming. On behalf of the Board of Education and the future students that the Brookings campus will serve, thank you to our local representatives.”

Curry County’s annexation into the Southwestern Oregon Community College District was approved by the county’s citizens in March 1995.

These stories were found in the Marshfield Sun Printing Museum newspaper repository stored in Marshfield High School courtesy of Coos Bay Schools.

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