Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About The Siuslaw news. (Florence, Lane County, Or.) 1960-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 12, 2015)
❘ AUGUST 12, 2015
P.O. Box 10
Florence, OR 97439
RYAN CRONK , EDITOR
❘ 541-902-3520 ❘
EDITOR @ THESIUSLAWNEWS . COM
1 2 5 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y F L A S H B A C K
T HE W EST
F LORENCE T IMES
T HE S IUSLAW O AR
T HE S IUSLAW N EWS
S IUSLAW N EWS
his year marks Siuslaw News’ quasquicentennial, our 125th anniversary, a remarkable achievement for any business in a small
community like Florence. To commemorate this milestone, throughout the year we’ll feature some of the town’s history as origi-
nally published in the newspaper, including historic articles and photos from more than a century ago. —Editor
Hospital to be dedicated Sunday afternoon
O RIGINALLY P UBLISHED A UG . 10, 1956
T HE S IUSLAW O AR , V OL . 29, N O . 11
The dedication on Sunday, Aug. 12, of Western
Lane Hospital will mark the culmination of many
dreams and much planning and hard work.
The formal program is scheduled at 2 p.m., with
Director A.E. Ellingson, of Western Lane Hospital
district board of directors, as master of ceremonies.
Since pioneer days, people in western Lane
County have had to “make do” when illness of
accident struck. Many critical patients were cared
for in private homes as the hazardous trip “out-
side,” by boat or transfer to horse-drawn litter, was
resorted to only in extreme emergencies.
After Southern Pacific passenger services was
instituted, patients were transported by train to
either Coos Bay or Eugene.
However, it was not until the 1930s, when
roads were sufficiently improved, that ambulances
from Eugene and Reedsport began making trips
into the area. The time elapsed in making the
round trip often meant the difference between life
With improved roads came community growth
— population trebled, lumbering activities stepped
up and the incidence of severe accidents increased.
In 1939, Mrs. N.J. Dunn, wife of the area’s
only doctor, began taking emergency cases to the
hospitals on a stretcher in the family car. Since
that time, Coast Ambulance has outgrown two
ambulances and, at the present time, has a new
long wheel-base Green-Pontiac fully equipped to
meet any emergency. It will work closely with the
It was 1948 when the Siuslaw Pioneer
Association formed a committee to work toward
establishing better medical facilities in the area —
specifically a hospital for western Lane County.
In September, the Florence Hospital Association
incorporated with charter members including
Laura Dahlin Erlandon, chairman; Ella G. Waite,
vice chairman; Wayne Morgan, secretary-treasurer;
Mathilda Thomas and Archie Knowles, directors.
Mrs. Lenna Ragan was very active in this charter
organization, lending money without interest to
secure property and actively assisting in a series of
This group worked with untiring efforts to stim-
ulate interest and acquire financial means whereby
a hospital could be provided. They were successful
in acquiring several thousands of dollars in money
and property which later financed the formation of
a tax district and contributed materially to the con-
struction of the building.
Western Lane Registered Nurses (WLRN), a
fairly new organization in the area, appointed a
committee in 1952 to study the needs of and
means whereby a hospital tax district could be for-
mulated. The following year, 1953, saw voters of
the area overwhelmingly approve formation of
Western Lane Hospital District, with the bound-
aries including the school districts of Florence,
Mapleton, Ara and western Linslaw.
It was June 16, 1954, when voters approved a
$200,000 bond issued for the new hospital with
Hill-Burton funds then being applied for. The proj-
ect was approved and approximately one-third of
the total cost, or $93,000, will be so derived.
Through the cooperation of the Lane County
Board of Commissioners, the City of Florence and
Martin Petersen, a five-acre tract of land on 12th
Street was acquired without charge. ...
The facility will have 22 adult beds, four chil-
dren’s cribs and six infants’ bassinets. It is designed
with surgery, emergency surgery and delivery.
Oxygen is piped to every room and telephones can
be plugged in by every bed. There is also an X-ray
laboratory, kitchen and laundry facility. It will be
ready to receive patients Aug. 18. ...
The Old Whoopie — Part II
B OB J ACKSON
N EIGHBORHOOD C ORRESPONDENT
For the Siuslaw News
he 1925 Chevy, or “Old Whoopie,”
as it had been called, was to be my
very own car. I had earned it the
hard way by cutting up that old stray log
with a crosscut saw, and I could hardly
believe my good fortune. Shortly before
this, my Uncle Dewey had taught me how
to drive in his 1929 Chevrolet coupe, and
now I would have a car of my own.
However, when I went to claim my
prize, I was really in for a shock!
Like a dying animal, it had been
shoved far back into a tangle of brush and
trees and, for many stormy winters, left to
slowly rot away and die. Its empty head-
light buckets stared balefully back at me
as I desperately tried to hand crank the
four cylinder engine, but it was obviously
rusted solid and hopelessly frozen in
Had it not been for Uncle Dewey, the
old whoopie would have eventually dis-
appeared, melting like so much detritus
into oblivion amongst the ferns and toad-
stools on the brushy hillside. But my
uncle had been watching my feeble
attempts to rescue this old junker, and
being a natural born mechanic and a
steam-engine donkey engineer, he knew
just what to do.
The first step was to remove the cylin-
der head and pour coal oil (kerosene) into
the holes and let it soak for a few days,
which seemed like years to me. Then we
put one end of a long timber under the
edge of the frame and over the top of the
crank sticking out from just underneath
The rods and crankshaft were tough,
and after a few hearty jumps on the tim-
ber, the crank began to move. Soon by
turning the crank, the pistons were slop-
ping up and down as they were supposed
After the cylinder head was tightened
onto the engine block, spark plugs and
wiring hooked back up, a battery was
placed underneath the floorboards, gas
was poured into the tank, and at last it was
“the moment of truth.”
Starting a 1925 Chevy was a little dif-
ferent than firing up a new Impala today.
On the right side of the steering column
was the throttle lever, which was always
pulled about halfway down. On the other
side was the spark lever that had to be
positioned just so, to keep the engine from
backfiring and breaking your arm as you
Hanging onto the crank in the proper
way also lessened the chances of getting
hurt. It was also a good idea to make sure
the long, floor-mounted gear shift lever
was in neutral so the car wouldn’t run
over you when it started.
It seemed like a miracle when Uncle
Dewey’s mechanical genius brought this
old rusty beast back to life. It was like Dr.
Frankenstein’s reincarnation of life into
exhumed, sewn-together body parts from
the graveyard; or when the witch Mombi
in Frank Baum’s children’s book “The
Land of Oz” created a flying creature
called “the Gump” by sprinkling the pow-
der of life onto a bedstead that had a
mounted dear’s head on one end and palm
fronds for wings.
ILLUSTRATION BY BOB JACKSON
Lacking a muffler, the rebirth was star-
tling. Like a baby’s first cry, the string of
explosions were like a celebration. The
overhead valves were actuated by
exposed, spring-loaded tappets that
caused the old girl to have a whee-whee-
whee sound when idling, which turned
into a clattery whine at full throttle.
The whoopie had not evolved far from
a horse-drawn buggy.
With the protection of a high, straight
up and down windshield, it was an
improvement, but the seats and springs
were not that much better than that of a
More to come...
Fortunate for CERT
I am writing to commend the CERT (Community Emergency
Response Team) training I have received here in Florence and to
thank the local CERT leadership team for volunteering their time
to provide this valuable service and training to our town and its
I also thank the members of our local ham radio club, the
Central Oregon Coast Amateur Radio Club for the education and
mentorship that provided me the opportunity to obtain my FCC
license and become a ham radio operator.
Both of these disciplines were invaluable aids as I traveled
north on Highway 101 this past Friday, Aug. 7. I encountered traf-
fic stopped in a remote area at Strawberry Hill, due to an over-
turned FedEx delivery van.
Drivers had stopped to assist in traffic control and to aid the
driver of the van, who was out of the truck and conscious on the
embankment. Official emergency responders had not yet arrived
and the persons who had stopped to assist were unable to call out
due to lack of cell phone coverage.
I was able to contact one of our local ham operators on the
radio, who in turn called local dispatch to alert them to the acci-
dent. Then, because of the training and preparation techniques I
learned at CERT training, I was able to provide safety vests and
assist those directing traffic on a very busy highway until profes-
sional help arrived.
We are so fortunate to have these agencies and services pro-
vided free of charge to help our communities prepare for unex-
pected and possibly catastrophic events. I urge everyone to par-
ticipate and be prepared. I am certainly glad I did!
I have always been a fan of Megyn Kelly from Fox News,
even before she had her own show, “The Kelly File.”
I have always had the opinion that she played fair and operat-
ed with integrity. On Thursday evening, when Megyn moderated
at the Republican debate, it was a disgrace and big disappoint-
ment the way she went for the jugular to confront Donald Trump.
She knew exactly what she was going to create in the
Republican party and she became a media prostitute herself, just
like the liberal media. She lost my respect.
L ETTERS TO THE E DITOR P OLICY
The Siuslaw News welcomes letters to the editor concerning
issues affecting the Florence area and Lane County. Emailed letters
are preferred. Handwritten or typed letters must be signed. All letters
should be limited to about 300 words and must include the writer’s
full name, address and phone number for verification.
Letters are subject to editing for length, grammar and clarity.
Publication of any letter is not guaranteed and depends on space
available and the volume of letters received. Libelous and anony-
mous letters as well as poetry will not be published. All submissions
become the property of Siuslaw News and will not be returned.
Write to: Editor@TheSiuslawNews.com
USPS# 497-660 Copyright 2015 © Siuslaw News
Publisher, ext. 327
General Manager, ext. 318
Editor, ext. 313
Advertising Director, ext. 326
Office Supervisor, ext. 312
Wednesday Issue—General news, Monday noon; Budgets, four days prior to publication; Regular classified ads, Monday
1 p.m.; Display ads, Monday noon; Boxed and display classified ads, Friday 5 p.m.
Saturday Issue—General news, Thursday noon; Budgets, two days prior to publication; Regular classified ads, Thursday
1 p.m.; Display ads, Thursday noon; Boxed and display classified ads, Wednesday 5 p.m. Soundings, Tuesday 5 p.m.
NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTION RATES:
In Lane County — 1-year subscription, $71; 10-weeks subscription, $18; Out of Lane County — 1-year subscription, $94;
10-weeks subscription, $24; Out of State — 1-year subscription, $120; Out of United States — 1-year subscription, $200;
E-Edition Online Only (Anywhere) — 1-year subscription, $65.
Mail subscription includes E-Edition.
Website and E-Edition: www.TheSiuslawNews.com
WHERE TO WRITE
Published every Wednesday and Saturday at 148 Maple St. in Florence, Lane County, Oregon. A member of the National
Newspaper Association and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Periodicals postage paid at Florence, Ore.
Postmaster, send address changes to: Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439; phone 541-997-3441; fax
541-997-7979. All press releases may be sent to PressReleases@TheSiuslawNews.com.
Pres. Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
TTY/TDD Comments: 202-456-6213
Gov. Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court St.
Salem, OR 97301-4047
Governor’s Citizens’ Rep.
Message Line 503-378-4582
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
State Rep. Caddy McKeown
900 Court St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (4th Dist.)
2134 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
State Sen. Arnie Roblan (Dist. 5)
900 Court St. NE - S-417
Salem, OR 97301
West Lane County Commissioner
125 E. Eighth St.
Eugene, OR 97401