UNDER MY OWN NOSE

A week working close to home–Eugene and Junction City.  One day on Highway 99 research in the Knight Library on the University of Oregon campus.  Another doing an interview  with a former trailer park owner from Junction City.  Still another collecting a story from a local musician with a long history at The Embers, a nightclub and restaurant on Highway 99. 

Even close to home, I find I’m taken in directions I didn’t expect.  Out on Highway 99, between Eugene and Junction City, almost on the railroad tracks at the corner of Hwy. 99 and Meadowview, there is a disintegrating old railroad building.  For all the years I’ve driven by it, I assumed it was one of those where equipment was stored.  Now, with a couple of research books in front of me, I am almost convinced it was the Meadow View Depot for the passengers and freight of the Oregon Electric Railway.  The almost is because the building is missing some of the decorative attributes in the picture which would have been taken before 1933.      

I didn’t expect to be writing about the electric trains in Oregon, the precursors to both the Pacific Highway and Highway 99 but the electric cars are so interwoven with the growth of the city, they cannot b e ignored. 

Although I’ve had several good meals at the Eugene Electric Station, I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the history of the building.  Since I’ve begun reading about the Oregon Electric Railway during its peak years from 1905 to 1925,  it’s obvious I do need to revisit that time and place in my writing about the history of  Eugene. 

The depot itself was designed by A.E. Doyle of Portland, Oregon’s best known architect at the time and is a National Historic Site.  The trains were plush and impressive.    At this point in my research, it’s already very clear, I have an obligation to make a return visit to the Station for an in person study, and maybe another meal.

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