Community building project is but a memory 50 years later

Demolishing an abandoned cinder block structure isn’t normally very newsworthy and  there probably are few that even knew it happened until reading this article. So, why you ask, does anyone care if the building is gone?

It was 49 years ago, on April 15, 1962 that some two years of hard volunteer labor was recognized at an open house for the Scout Community Building. Virtually all labor and material for the $50,000 structure had been donated.

The Scout Community Building (more recently called the old Head Start ofr Community Building) was the result of a need expressed by then Scoutmaster Lester Marshall. He asked for an additional one room scout house on So. C St. The troop was sponsored by the Eagle Point Junior Chamber of Commerce. They took the request to heart and also noted the need for other groups to have a meeting place.

The structure was planned for the old garbage dump owned by the city. It was out of the way and considered safe for kids. Bulldozers began burying the garbage. But apparently there was an issue with the original site and another site was used. It was not clear how far they were apart in an article written by Eagle Point resident Dottie Harbison in the Mail Tribune.

Footings were dug in February 1960. It was determined the structure would include a basement. It wasn’t until March that weather permitted pouring a foundation. From then on every Saturday and Sunday from daylight to dusk workers volunteered. Women provided potlucks and even made homemade ice cream. It was definitely a community project–and perhaps was the basis for two future community-wide projects–namely moving the covered bridge to Eagle Point and building the Eagle Point Stadium.

Walls were done by Thanksgiving 1960. Huge laminated beams were made and during the Christmas break a crane was hired to lift them into place. Along the way there were numerous fund raisers.

Harry Hanscom and Ed Kimmel were building committee co-chairmen.

At the July 4th, 1960 celebration there was a contest to name the new city park where the building was located. The name that won was Little Butte Park and it was near the end of that road that ran along the edge of the park that the Scout Building was being constructed.

The structure was 40×48, sold cement floor, smooth enough to dance or skate on, gabled glassed ends with a dining room, kitchen, hall and bath. There was an area for a fireplace. Eagle Point Lions installed the heating system in December 1961. It was overhead gas. Three separate meetings could be held at once as each had an outside entrance. The downstairs was primarily for youth. A shuffle board was painted on the floor.

September 1961 by-laws were adopted. The executive board decided adult groups would pay $1.50 for its use, but youth always had first rights to the facility.

In the summer of 1961, Ted Hoffman started a volunteer group working on a rifle range. Later he moved it to the top of the hill by the reservoir where he taught hundreds hunter safety.

The Scout Building was the scene of many gatherings. Eventually it became home for the Head Start program. The building began to show its age and lack of tender loving care. It wasn’t a glamorous building, but how useful and how dear it was to many for years. And last week it became but a memory– part of the good memories when Eagle Point folks band together to create something good, something wanted and needed.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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