City planning to join celebration of Oregon’s 150th birthday

Oregon turns 150 next year, and city of Sweet Home officials are planning to celebrate that birthday with a nod to Sweet Home history.

But they need to find it first.

“We’re looking for information about Sweet Home 150 years ago,” Community Development Director Carol Lewis said.

She said Corky Lowen has already been busy digging up facts and figures from the past and getting the information to officials.

Lewis wants more.

Sweet Home still has members of the earliest Sweet Home families, she said, but it doesn’t have a good connection to the time, prior to becoming a city, when it amounted to the Ames family land claim and a farming community.

It’s fairly easy to find information about Sweet Home 75 or even 100 years ago, but before that, it gets more difficult, she said. “We really don’t have a lot of knowledge of 150 years ago.”

She is asking that anyone with connections, family history and information dating back to Sweet Home’s earliest history give her a call at 367-8113. She is looking for everything from photos to stories and contact information for people who may be able to fill in the blanks.

Next year, the city is planning a variety of activities to celebrate the milestone.

The celebration will kick off with some kind of event on Feb. 14, Statehood Day, she said. The city is planning to paint a new commemorative mural.

The Tree Commission is looking at doing something with heritage trees, she said, which will probably center on Arbor Day. Heritage trees are very old trees, such as the two apparent “council” trees located in Sweet Home, Lewis said. One is in the Midway area and another near the intersection of Oak Terrace and 10th. These were important locations to the local Calapooia Indians, but not much is known about them.

The summer recreation program will focus on connecting children to Sweet Home and Oregon history next summer, she said.

Right now, specifics are still up in the air, she said, and the city could use volunteers to help develop a program for 2009.

Statewide, “they’ve got lots going, and we want to have some sort of celebration too,” Lewis said.

For statewide information, visit