Losing a piece of history

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

I READ ABOUT Your visit to our community [OREGON REINVENTS, NOVEMBER], and saw that you were at the zeolite plant in Hines. Did anyone mention that the historic long barn next to the building you visited is being torn down?

The quarter mile-long shed was built in 1929. Trains actually went inside to pick up lumber. I was shocked recently to see a gash in its side and walked over to investigate. Sure enough, the timbers have been sold to a company that will use them in homes. Which is all well and good, but the building is a great loss to this community.

We were asleep at the wheel it seems, as that great cathedral-scale space could have been converted to many good uses, such as motor coach storage if Monaco expands, or a museum dedicated to mill towns. Every town could use a destination site. When I went to Kansas last year, I saw Tiffany church windows that draw people to Topeka just to see them.

Here, we could have used that irreplaceable building as a lure. I’m heartbroken to see it going.

Terry Keim

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