History columnist produces second book of collected stories

Mona Waibel last week released her second book of stories about Sweet Home history.

Waibel, a longtime public figure in Sweet Home who was born in Sweet Home and has lived here most of her life, collected the material for the book from columns she has written for The New Era’s monthly publication senior section 55 Plus.

She said she published the book “mostly because readers asked me to.”

The second volume follows an initial collection, also entitled “Sweet Home’s Good Old Days,” which sold more than 2,000 copies since its publication a year and a half ago.

“The people who bought it were those who have lived here for a long time and a lot of people who once lived here, have moved away, and like to keep in touch with history,” she said. “Some of them have even been people who haven’t lived here, but just like Oregon, or like small towns,” she said. “I even had one lady from Wisconsin buy this last book. She called and talked to me about it. She said she loved it.”

The second volume is 235 pages, larger than the first, and covers a wide variety of topics starting with old-time logging

companies €“ ” the thing I love best about Sweet Home” €“ and ending with local timber mills. Mixed in between are stories about families who have been in Sweet Home for more than a century, the communities of Cascadia, Crawfordsville, Foster and Holley, the 1940s and the 1950s.

“I have more pictures in it this time, many more than I did before,” Waibel said. She added that she particularly tried to include photos of all the old families and the old logging companies.

Waibel said she enjoys writing about history and she said what sets her apart from some others who have written about local histories is that she has lived it herself.

Pointing to the cover, which shows downtown Sweet Home in what appears to be the early 1930s, she said, “I remember when it looked like that, when people drove those cars. I could probably tell you who drove those cars.”

“Sweet Home’s Good Old Days, Volume II” is available for $15 a copy at the Sweet Home Genealogical Library, East Linn Museum, the Sweet Home Senior Center, Friends of the Library Bookstore, Foster Lake Mall and The New Era.

Waibel said she got the books on Thursday and received a phone call early Friday morning from someone asking where they could get a copy.

“I don’t even know how she knew it was out,” Waibel said.

She said she enjoys history.

“It makes me feel good that people say they enjoy reading it,” she said. “I enjoy writing it. I think people like to read what’s familiar to them.”