"New Life for an Old building" was the title of a two-page spread in the Eagle Point Independent Feb. 2, 1977 marking the move of the Long Mountain School (circa 1925 and known as District 37) to its final resting place as the Eagle Point Museum.
The Eagle Point Historical Society officially began Feb. 17, 1978 in the one-room Long Mountain School House. To mark its 30th year in Eagle Point and to coincide with the Heritage Day campaign, the museum will have a festive two days on Feb. 23-24. Hours will be 10-4 on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Events will include live music, storytelling that will interest both young and old.
New Horizons of the Rogue, and their 30 members, will provide music
under the direction of Ivan Hollinghous at 2 p.m. Saturday. They will
be followed by dixieland music with Dixie Six.
Thompson, part-time museum employee, will offer general interest
storytelling at 11 and 1 p.m. on Saturday and at 12:30 and 1:30 on
Everett Jennings has been invited to sign his Eagle
Point, Oregon booklet featured in the Upper Rogue Independent several
weeks ago. There will be celebration cake cut at 2 p.m. both days .
In order to understand the present celebration, one needs to start at the beginning—
2- 1977, from Eagle Point Independent- The museum started as the Long
Mountain School and many years later was moved to School District 9 and
used as a storage building. The idea to save the building and to have a
museum in Eagle Point was kicked off by the 1976 Bicentennial Committee
and the Eagle Point Business Association.
schoolhouse/storage building left District 9 hands, it passed into the
hands of a historical committee, headed by former Eagle Point Mayor Ted
Hoffman. Renovation began. Charter donors giving $25 or more were
promised their name on a donor’s plaque to be displayed inside the
July 8, from Eagle Point Independent- Ted Hoffman
reported good progress on renovation. Forsythe Glass repaired all the
windows free of charge. The Jackson family, of Jackson Electric,
donated some wiring and installed a flagpole. An American flag was
donated by Jess McFaddens.
Hoffman gave special thanks to District 9 students who worked on the building.
Gaynell Krambeal volunteered to act as a temporary curator.
Sept. 1977, Hoffman sent out a plea for a plumber to donate his
services. He also reported that his sons, Dusty and Barry Hoffman, had
placed the bell in the old school’s belfry.
Pioneer memberships for $5 were offered to those whose families had been in the area as of 1877.
Oregonian featured a full page story on the open house for the museum.
They described it by saying "it was a real old-time, small-town family
affair" and featured children playing in hay scattered around in front
of the building searching for coins tossed out by a parent. There were
rides around the block on a fire truck, artisans made pots of clay. The
Old Time Fiddlers supplied the music.
A profit of $300 was realized and put against the $1,500 deficit accumulated as a result of the renovation.
Oregonian reported the structure was on land donated by the Ed Dahack
family, the building, of course, was donated by School District 9,
cement and labor for the foundation was donated by Peter Crandall, who
owned Butte Creek Mill.
Since its beginning as a one-room
schoolhouse turned museum, there have been two additions, each 1200 sq.
ft. in size. The first was made in 1993 and the last one in 1998.
Walter Wood House was given to the Eagle Point Historical Society and
went through some safety preservation. In years past it was a popular
place for artists to paint. More recently it offers as a backdrop for
art shows as well as a variety of antique car and farm equipment
Financial issues face the historical societies and
museums in Jackson County. The financial support from the county to
assist these groups has ceased and as a result a Heritage District is
being proposed. All cities, except Shady Cove, agreed to allow their
citizens the opportunity to sign a petition if they wanted to see the
Heritage District on the November ballot. Should sufficient signatures
be obtained and should it pass in November, there would be a seven cent
per $1,000 assessed valuation.
In Eagle Point,
negotiations are nearing an end that would put the museum under the
control of the city and the Wood House would be on its own; finishing
the process is expected in the near future.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent