From Our Files (June 29, 2022)

June 29, 1972

The Sweet Home City Council voted to try to purchase the old Forest Service guard station at Quartzville for recreational and education purposes.

There would be no cost of the 3.2-acre parcel to the city, and maintenance costs are estimated to be about $150 a year. The included guard station, bunk house and cook house are valued at $15,485. The property was declared surplus by the federal government.

One councilman had reservations about obtaining the land because the city already has prime recreational land in the city.

Another councilman said the city should get the property while it’s available, and maybe turn it over to the county or back to the federal government if it’s too much of a burden.

More than 350 youngsters already use the area in the city’s summer recreation program for rockhounding, gold panning, treasure hunting and fishing. If acquired by the city, the recreation director will be able to use the buildings for overnight camps.

The Morse Code key has quit talking at the Burlington Northern railroad depot in Sweet Home. It has been operated at the station for the past 20 years by Bob Briggs, an agent telegrapher who used to handle all Western Union messages for Sweet Home and all lumber orders for Santiam Lumber Co.

The utility poles holding the Morse wires were recently removed during the highway widening project between Lebanon and Sweet Home.

Briggs said there are few people left to talk to in Morse Code anyway, but he will continue his work at the depot through telephone and radio. He may be considered one of the few remaining of a vanishing breed of telegraphers, a position which once virtually held the key to communication across the nation.

The Lively Livestock 4-H Club helped paint the Senior Center and its adjacent building while the Senior Center also received a pool table from Helping Hands Center in Lebanon.

The controversy over the dump at Holley is probably not over, but at least it’s been delayed. The Oregon DEQ extended an interim operation permit for one year to Lester Weld, operator of the dump. Hints by the DEQ this spring that his operation was substandard and would not be allowed to operate beyond July this year led to considerable controversy.

The DEQ extended similar permits to most garbage dumps in Oregon and obligated itself to not make any major changes in Linn and surrounding counties until a five-count solid waste study committee has completed its plan.

June 25, 1997

A 1968 single-engine Cessna crashed on Riggs Hill Road.

Passenger Flora Hannon was sent to the hospital where she was treated for a concussion and sprained neck.

1965 Sweet Home High School graduate Mike D. Gibb was piloting the plane, having come down from Washington to see his father. Gibb was taking Hannon on a joyride when the engine died at about 3,000 feet.

He tried setting the plane down in an open field on the west side of Riggs Hill Road. The aircraft hit the ground at 60 mph at the edge of Lippert’s field. It was later determined the fuel tanks had run empty.

Bernice Waddle, who recently sold The Point restaurant to Manuel Victor, plans to become a Realtor for her retirement years.

Waddle and her sister, Francis, and their husbands purchased a small house across from Shea Point on Foster Lake in 1971 and opened their family restaurant.

From its beginnings as a small square house, The Point expanded with a lounge, bathrooms, office, storage and a walk-in freezer.

The dessert grew too, starting with one or two pies a day and expanding to about a dozen pies and cobblers. Another popular dish was The Point Special Burger with plank fries – a “logger-sized meal.”

Waddle eventually shifted toward healthier cooking.

Bonnie Ka’auwai Van Handel moved to Sweet Home from Hawaii in 1993 and soon after began teaching hula dancing as a way to keep her culture alive for her daughters. In Hawaii, girls are taught hula starting at age 3.

At Van Handel’s Sweet Home and Lebanon schools, Halau Hula O’Lehua Ilima, she teaches two forms of the dance, auwana (modern hula) and kahiko (ancient hula). Her students of all ages also learn how to sew their own costumes, and to read and speak the Hawaiian language.