Groundwaters (Fall 2006), by Sonny Hays-Eberts
Any passing or serious historian of Lane County should seriously consider
purchasing this work. Likewise, any descendant of local pioneers would
also find a wealth of information buried in the pages. Sawdust and Cider to
Wine could also be an excellent gift choice for anyone with local ties. But
the real treasure inside lies for those who seek community.
Beginning with the native tribes who inhabited the region, Sawdust and
Cider to Wine traces the pioneer development of the region, histories of
local families, schools, social organizations such as Granges and Masonic
Lodges, postal history, local cemeteries, ranches, mills and the logging
industry, and former and current businesses. This edition is updated and
describes the recently developed wine industry. Among other changes to
this edition was the addition of Donation Land Claim maps for some of the
The historian will find an abundance of Donation Lane Claim maps, vintage
photographs, specific information on pioneer families combined with
recorded verbal anecdotes, descriptions of historic cemeteries and
buildings, and histories of defunct businesses.
A local resident would appreciate the depth of coverage of the region. The
reading is interesting and fun, not dry and academic. The book need not
be read as a novel -- it can serve as an interesting coffee table book,
where a few spare moments can discover the history of the Robertson
family of Ham Road, near CeeVee Ranch, for example.
The description of social organizations includes those that persist today.
Likewise, the book discusses current businesses such as the Lorane
Family Store (featured in Vol. 2 No. 4 of Groundwaters). Reading the
history of recent businesses in the area such as Territorial Seed Company,
the descriptions of the Volunteer and Emergency Services group, local
ranchers, and seeing the pictures of young girls riding, also give insight
into Lorane today. Sawdust and Cider to Wine is a valued historical
reference, but it also provides a glimpse of rural American life today.
The view is enhanced by wonderful writing that helps convey this feel of
small town life and the thread of community which has developed. The
stories of the past and the lives of today spread upon these pages are
bound together with eulogies and poetry. That's what makes Sawdust and
Cider to Wine a book I'd recommend to anyone. The dedication to Estelle
Counts, in the beginning, succinctly and touchingly reflects on this. The
chapter of eulogies and writing is especially touching, and is my favorite
part of the book. Highly, highly recommended! There is a website for the
book: It is http://www.sawdustandcider.com.
"... If Lorane was a bigger community, we would be naming a building or
special project after her -- 'The Estelle Counts Community Center' or the
'Estelle Counts Memorial' -- but we are a small community and since most
of us here knew and loved her, our memorial to her should be to not let her
energy or love of community die. If each one of us vows to get involved in
preserving the links between the past, present and the future of Lorane, it
will evolve as Stell would have wanted, but will also remain a community
where we can all feel we belong. And for each positive involvement, you
can be sure Stell will be smiling from her heaven..."
by Sonny Hays-Ebert (Groundwaters Vol 3 No 1, Fall 2006)
|FROM SAWDUST AND CIDER TO WINE, A REVIEW