This Month in History
The following material was compiled by Gerald Neath for the Oregon Area Historical Society from material published in the Oregon Observer.
100 years ago (1911)
On Saturday, February 4th., Fincher Bros. hosted a large horse sale in what was described by The Observer as “the best lot of horses ever brought together in this village” and was attended by “the largest crowd of farmers and horsemen that has been here in many a day.” Of those attending, a local farmer counted 175 rigs on the streets and in the hitching park. Twenty-four horses were sold at an average price of $184.00. The highest price paid was $450.00 for a matched team. Another span brought $444.00. Payment terms were either cash or “bankable notes” for a six month or one year term.Notice was given that the Danish Sisterhood of Oregon was holding a dance at the Woodmen Hall. The ladies attending were requested to bring lunch baskets that would be sold at auction. All Scandinavians were invited.

50 years ago (1961)
Champion bowler, Steve Nagy, was the featured attraction at the grand opening of the Oregon Bowl. Local bowlers Don Johnson, Ervie Olson and Mrs. Marvin Ringen participated at Nagy’s evening exhibition. High School principal, Elmer Duerst, emceed the program. The event was visited by Roundy Coughlin, the well known State Journal columnist. Larry Mandt will be managing The Oregon Bowl.

The Fire Department elected the following officers: Don Bunnell, Chief; Glen Campbell, 1st…Assistiant Chief; Don Xander, 2nd. Assistant Chief; Al Gasner, Treasurer and Marvin Jensen, Secretary. Norton Ames was elected Oregon’s first honorary fire chief.

The OHS boy’s basketball team became the Suburban League Champions when in the last game of season they defeated Juneau 83-70, while Waterloo, who had been tied with them for first place, lost to Evansville. This was Oregon’s first clear title in the Madison Suburban League since 1945. In the sub-district tournament they defeated Belleville 67-60 and Verona 65-47.

OHS boy’s basketball players, Kent Cohee and Ken Ricker were named to the All-Suburban Squad. Cohee had scored 286 points in league play, while Ricker had scored 253 points. Dale Manion and Morris Haukereid received honorable mentions.

Preliminary work started for the extension of Oak Street through the marsh to the disposal plant road and for a street from this extension westward to Soden Drive, north of the school grounds.

A building permit was issued for the remodeling of the former Martin tavern and bowling alley (located on the vacant lot next to the Firefly) which was being operated at the time as The Sportsman’s Bar. The remodeling was to include an area for dancing with live music planned for the weekends.

The OHS Annual Band Concert was held. Drummer, Richard Steele, was featured in a solo with band accompaniment.

Julayne Lemke of Girl Scout Troop #166, presented Oregon librarian, Hazel Russell, with two books the troop had purchased with funds from their recent peanut selling project. Other scouts at the presentation were Sandra Bavery, Jackie Molony, Patty Powers, and Doris Rotar.

25 years ago (1986)
District School Board members toured the industrial arts classes where new computerized equipment was demonstrated. Mike Way demonstrated a new computer aided drafting machine, Larry Svanda showed the use of a digital ammeter, and Robert Prahl demonstrated how a robotized metal working machine could be programmed to reproduce items on production line basis. Merritt Bohse explained how students use a TV recorder for various projects and demonstrated the automated printing and collating capabilities of the school’s offset printing presses.

Attorney Charles Cell, president of the Chamber of Commerce, formed a task force to get things moving on exploring ways of developing and improving downtown Oregon. Members of the task force were Roger Wetzel, village president, Allen Miller, chairperson of the village planning commission, Bill Bushner, president of Valley Bank of Oregon, and Urban Johnson, chairperson of the Chamber’s commercial and industrial development committee. Their main focus would be on three properties that were all for sale; the Lappley building, the old blacksmith’s shop, and the vacant lot where McCarville’s Flooring was located prior to the building burning down. (Note: The old blacksmith’s shop and McCarville’s were located in the area of the present day Pizza Pit and Tan Lines Optional.)

The sixth grade students at Brooklyn Elementary completed a unit on studying the guitar, covering its history as well as the different styles of playing it. Following their studies they were asked to make a guitar of their own or to create something illustrating a guitar. This resulted in guitar cakes, cookies and pizza as well as creations in needlepoint and string art. Some of the creative participants were Cory Woolston, Marie Myers, Kim Hole, Jenny McBee, Becky Roberts, Patrick Anderson, Cory Secher, Mike Sigman, Dawn Zimmerman, Julie Garvoille, Tonja Yazz, Ruth Huntoon, Kim Myhre, Sonja Clark, David Burnett, Bill O’Brien, Karen Tyler, Chad Slaght, and Brad MacLeod.

The OHS swing choir, “Oregon Sound Company” took second place in the competition held at St. Norbert’s College in DePere. Nineteen choirs completed.

The People’s United Methodist Church sponsored their annual Washington Day Dinner; a family style roast beef dinner with all the trimmings including their famous homemade pies for dessert. This was all for $4.50 for adults and $2.00 for children under 12. They would even provide free delivery for carry outs.

The Oregon Straw Hat Players presented their first winter show, “Laffing Room Only”. Those appearing in the production included Judy Heitmann, Jean Schaefer, Rosie Fiscus and Mike Daley.

Lisa Anderson, 1980 OHS graduate, was back in Oregon to visit family and friends. Lisa, head girls basketball coach for Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, was here with her team which was scheduled to play St. Norbert’s of Green Bay in Oshkosh for a conference title. (Lisa Anderson Stone, is the U.W. Girl’s Basketball coach).

OHS wrestler, Jim Sweeney, heads to his third WIAA State Wrestling Tournament. As Jim closed his high school wrestling career, Coach John Bauman stated, “He will be remembered as one of our all time best wrestlers. Jim had 86 career victories, held the school record for most takedowns in a season with 58, and in the previous year had set the record for the most team points (143). His 50 career pins also set a school record.

The OHS boy’s basketball team had their undefeated record broken by Fort Atkinson (57-53). They now shared first place in the Badger Conference with Fort, both having 9 and 1 records. Previous to this defeat the team had had a season record of 16 consecutive wins.

10 years ago (2001)
The Village purchased the two downtown buildings located at 106 and 110 North Main Street for $78,500.00 (current site of Pivotal Point Acupuncture). The properties were acquired to enable the Village to control the re-development of the area until such time as a new zoning ordinance is in effect and the downtown master plan is finished.

The Oregon Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting at the Stoughton Country Club. Richard Wisden of J. L. Richards Meats won the Community Improvement Award for new buildings. The President’s Award was shared by Angie Nagy of Madison Newspapers, Inc. and Phil Harms, owner of Advantage Builders, for their service and involvement in the community. Local dentists, Mike and Mark Nelson, shared the award for Business Persons of the Year.

The Oregon School District Board of Education approved the creation of an Oregon High School home construction course. The course will be under the guidance of industrial technology teacher, Justin Zander, along with several area builders. Fifteen students will be building a 1 500 to 1,800 square foot house in the Rustic Vineyards development.

The final payment for the Oregon Senior Center was presented to the Village Board at their meeting on February 5th. Those present for the presentation included the Oregon Area Council of Aging president, Ruth Swanson, and past presidents, Caryl Farrell, Charlotte Clark, and Rita Plummer.

OHS freshman wrestler, Zach Melvin, at 112 pounds, was the only one from Oregon to advance to the Sectionals, where he placed 3rd. in his class.

Coach Darin Everson’s OHS girl’s basketball team rolled on to the Regionals. In a close game they defeated Jefferson 66-64, during which Erin Johnson scored a career-high 28 points. Abby Kirchcloefer and Meghan Pehler each scored 8 points. From there the team went on to defeat Sauk Prairie 56-42 in a game where Andrea Johnson scored a game-high 25 points and Abby Kirchdoerfer 15 points. In the Regional Finals they defeated Stoughton 69-62 for the Championship. Andrea Johnson scored 20 points as well as scoring the 1,000th. point of her career.

Jim Manson retires from the Town of Dunn after 34 years of keeping the town’s roadways in good shape and passable during all seasons of the year.

Jody McCoy’s 6th. graders of Oregon Middle School held their annual science fair; the culmination of a unit of study about the principles and properties of electricity and magnetism. Sonja Saxe developed an earth trivia quiz board, Dan Minahan’s exhibit demonstrated the use of junkyard electromagnets; and Stephan Smieja’s exhibit showed the flow of electricity from a power plant to a home were just a few of the many projects displayed by the 85 students participating.

Netherwood Knoll Principal, Terri Mills, continued the artist-in-residence program. The 4th. and 5th. grade students of Netherwood Knoll were working on a school-wide mural project with artist-in-residence, Marilea Groves. The finished the murals were to be displayed on the walls of the hallway between the district office and school cafeteria.

Jim Lease finished first in the open slalom for the 30-40 year old age group at the Badger State Winter Games.