IN 1947: Abundant wheat harvest. In 1972: Bright Wood expands. In 1997: the president of the chamber of commerce resigns
100 YEARS AGO
August 31, 1922
Under the direction of Alexander Maxwell, of the Maxwell & Bailey company, owners of the Redmond theatre, which recently bought the local theatre, it reopened last night to large audiences. The image shown was “Through the Back Door” featuring Mary Pickford and was a very excellent image.
Mr. Maxwell has just installed a new Powers 6-A projection machine and it is certainly an excellent picture machine. A number of other improvements for customer comfort were also noticed.
A new entrance should be built immediately and as soon as they can be secured, new opera chairs should be installed. In addition, the building must be sealed and a stage set up. The theater operates at the usual popular prices.
75 YEARS AGO
August 28, 1947
Late last week found the wheat and barley harvest on Agency Plains, Jefferson County’s main grain growing area, nearing completion. However, combines are still operating in the Grizzly District and in Ashwood Country. Much of the grain remains uncut, due to late maturity, in the irrigated area around Culver.
Yield from the Agency’s Plains grain fields, which were earlier and were more severely damaged by an early May frost and subsequent drought, are being reported by growers better than expected. Yields from wheat fields in the higher elevations around Grizzly and Ashwood were above average as they were not damaged by the weather from late planting. Varying estimates are heard as to the total yield of wheat and other grains in the county for the current year. The wheat crop is placed under 500,000 to 700,000 bushels. For the previous two years he was said to have run about 1,000,000 bushels. Heavy plantings of barley, pulses and other crops have replaced wheat in the 17,000 underwater acres of the Culver and Metolius districts. However, many fields in this region, where growers were engaged in preparing the land for water, were allowed to do without crops.
Much of the local grain has been sold recently at prices up to $2.15. Selling last week, it is reported, was slow, although offers of up to $2.20 a bushel were made. Heavy rains at the start of the harvest caused considerable damage, with the humidity at that time reducing the protein content.
Most producers, it is reported, ship from the field, with little grain in storage. The shortage of cars is an obstacle to traffic.
50 YEARS AGO
August 31, 1972
The Federal Small Business Administration has approved an expansion program at Bright Wood Corporation calling for the reactivation of the company’s original factory and the purchase of the building and the 12 acres it sits on.
Word of the SBA’s approval came in a letter to Jefferson County Development Corporation attorney Sumner C. Rodriguez on Friday. The development company worked with the SBA and First National Bank to secure a $425,000 loan for the construction of a new Bright Wood Corporation plant.
The development company had approved the expansion program at a noon meeting on July 20, but SBA approval was also sought because the expansion plan outlined by Carl Peterson, chairman of the Bright Wood Corporation, provided for expenditures not included in the originally approved plan.
Peterson’s plan calls for the purchase of the old factory and the 12-acre land it sits on for $40,000.
The factory, owned by Jefferson Plywood, has a footprint of 20,000 square feet. It still contains the machines used before the commissioning of the new factory. Peterson told the development company that with the machinery already in place, the plant could be reactivated this fall or winter with minimal expense.
In proposing the reactivation of the old plant, Peterson said $60,850 remained of the original $425,000 loan. He said $40,000 of that money could be used to purchase the old factory and another $20,000 could be used to add 20,000 square feet of storage space for the casting plant.
When he first proposed the development company’s expansion, Peterson wrote:
“Our mold plant does not have enough floor space to effectively handle increased inventory for its current volume. This division of our company could handle material for our new die-cut plant, but we have access to a large stock of toys at great prices from other cutting plants in the locality, which strains our storage and handling facilities and leads to great inefficiency.”
At that time, Peterson told the development company, “…the new cutting operation, on a one-shift basis, has given us revenue double our monthly revenue for the year We just started a second shift, and by the end of August, our revenue should be even better.”
25 YEARS AGO
August 27, 1997
Rob Fuller recently decided to step down as executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.
He has been the chamber’s executive director for just over five years.
Fuller said his decision to step down was not easy but it is necessary to assess what his next career move will be.
The job of executive director of the chamber, Fuller said, is time-consuming, “and right now I need more time in my personal life to figure out what I’m going to do. There are several options that I I examine, and to weigh the options, I need time.”
Fuller, 35, said he hopes to stay in the community, if possible, and that “at this time, I’m completely open to all options available.”
“Five years is a good length of time for these positions,” he said of his work in the chamber. “If you go way beyond that, you risk being less productive for the community.”
“And it’s a good time of year for this kind of move, with most of the big community projects behind us,” he added.
In a resignation letter to the chamber’s board, Fuller said his last day as executive director would be Oct. 31.
“I will remain involved with the chamber as a participant,” he said, “because I believe passionately in the value of this organization to the county.”
Fuller said he plans to continue serving as chairman of the Central Oregon Economic Development Council and as a Jefferson County representative on the Regional Strategies Board.
“I have also given the chamber council a strong commitment to a smooth transition,” he added. “I will be there to help them in any way they want me to help.”
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