En route to Yachats Friday, I was reminded that Florence-to-Yachats on Highway 101 is my favorite 20-mile stretch of highway in the state of Oregon. But did you know that back in the 1970s, it was almost ruined by the building of a nuclear plant?
Huh? You didn’t? Well, then, you need to take my Lane County historical trivia test to challenge yourself and learn. (Answers at the end and, no, they’re not upside down.)
1. Name the Eugene hardware store, operating from 1903 to 1980, where change was made by a central cashier on the second floor who received and sent customers’ money on wires.
2. Benjamin Franklin Finn, for whom Finn Rock on the McKenzie River is named, claimed to have been what well-known character from literature?
3. What University of Oregon graduate was credited with helping mainstream America better understand the AIDS epidemic with his book “And the Band Played On?”
4. In the pre-pepper spray days of 1910, what triggered one of the first NIMBY environmental protests in Eugene?
5. What Lane County state legislator – and later a UO administrator – was a driving force behind the nation’s first returnable-bottle bill, which passed in 1971?
6. Name the respective leads in the following filmed-in-Lane-County movies: “The General” (1926), “Animal House” (1978) and “Personal Best” (1982).
7. What well-known Oregon politician wrote a column for the Oregon Daily Emerald in the ’30s called “Sports Quacks?”
8. In 1924, 8,000 people showed up in Eugene to see what?
9. What head UO basketball coach – here for more than one season – has the best winning percentage in school history?
10. Speaking of hoops, what was the nickname of the Oregon men’s basketball team that won the first-ever NCAA basketball tournament in 1939?
11. Who benefited most from Eugene’s 1911 “local option” law prohibiting alcohol?
12. What Hollywood film star once worked in the Mohawk Valley?
13. Bob Kintigh served as a Republican state legislator for 12 years, but he made national news in 1992 for something else. What?
14. What event commanded the first seven pages of the Eugene Register-Guard on Jan. 26, 1969?
15. The first three pages of the Guard on Sept. 25, 1982?
16. Name the auto mechanic credited with helping guide Eugene through the treacherous Depression years – and whose garage is now a music venue.
17. In 1918, the Daily Guard reported that 15,000 people – the most people in Lane County to ever assemble in one place to look at a single object – had shown up to see what?
18. Name the Eugene hippie co-op that was launched in October 1972.
19. In the ’90s, Eugene welcomed its first female mayor, first female chief administrator and first black police chief, none of whom, incidentally, still have those positions. Name them.
20. In the first nine years of the 20th century, how many different head football coaches did Oregon have?
21. In , why was the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, somewhat anticlimactic in Lane County?
22. In 1971, what did the Eugene Register-Guard salute with a special section dedicated to an “adventure in innovation”?
23. What former television star got his start in Eugene’s Very Little Theatre?
24. As the ’70s arrived, what did EWEB want to build north of Florence that voters ultimately shot down?
25. Who was Tugman Park in Eugene named for?
26. What singer-composer made the splashiest entrance to the debut of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in 1982?
27. What technological advance made its debut in Eugene in 1904?
28. In 1950, what City Hall in Lane County had to be shut down because recalls and resignations left too few people to carry out routine duties?
29. What reached 86 mph on Oct. 12, 1962?
30. What smooth R&B star got his start in Eugene in the late ’70s?
31. When it began in 1969, what was the price of admission at the Oregon Country Fair – then called the Renaissance Faire?
32. Who was J. Fenwick Insider?
33. What UCLA halfback, who would go on to make history, was held to 14 yards on 15 carries in a Bruin-Duck football game at Hayward Field in 1940?
34. What year did my Beachside Writers Workshop begin in Yachats?
Answers to Bob Welch’s Lane County 20th Century History Quiz (Page 1D):
2. Huckleberry Finn of Mark Twain fame.
3. Randy Shilts, who died of AIDS himself in 1994.
4. A plan to deepen and widen the millrace, in which workers were confronted by shotgun-toting landowners who suggested this was not a good idea at all.
5. Nancie Fadeley.
6. Buster Keaton, John Belushi and Mariel Hemingway.
7. Former Gov. Tom McCall, who, besides being a sportswriter, ran a successful impromptu write-in campaign for senior class president – until Wayne Morse, the dean of the law school, deemed the write-in election invalid.
8. The crew of the first round-the-world flight land before its last stop in Seattle.
9. Jody Runge, who is 128-54 (.703) in her six-plus years.
10. The Tall Firs.
11. Springfield, which remained “wet” and welcomed a double streetcar full of thirsty, eager-to-spend folks from Eugene every Saturday night.
12. Clint Eastwood.
13. After a nationwide search, a Christmas tree from Kintigh’s ranch in Cedar Flats was chosen to adorn the White House.
14. A surprise storm that buried Lane County under 2 feet of snow.
15. The opening of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts.
16. Samuel Bond, a 12-year City Council member whose other legacy is Sam Bond’s Garage.
17. The Liberty Bell, which was en route from Philadelphia to San Francisco for the Pan-American Exposition.
18. The Growers Market.
19. Ruth Bascom, Vicki Elmer and Leonard Cooke.
21. Oregon had granted women suffrage in 1912, and Lane County voters had approved such a measure in 1900.
22. The new Eugene downtown mall.
23. David Ogden Stiers, who went on to star in television’s “M*A*S*H” and later become a music conductor.
24. A nuclear power plant.
25. William Tugman, bulldog newspaper editor for the Eugene Guard and later the Eugene Register-Guard, and one of the founders of Very Little Theatre.
26. Mason Williams, who, in a tuxedo with red vest and red high-top sneakers, paddled his way down the Willamette River from Springfield to Skinner Butte Park, then walked his canoe to the Eugene Hilton, where he asked an attendant to “park” it.
27. The automobile. By 1910 there would be more than 10,000 across the state.
29. Winds in Eugene during the Columbus Day storm, which killed five, left 45 injured and caused more than $2 million in property damage in Lane County.
30. Robert Cray.
31. Fifty cents.
32. Head janitor at the state Capitol – and a fictional character of former Register-Guard columnist Don Bishoff.
33. Jackie Robinson, who would later break major league baseball’s color barrier.
How You Rate
20-34 correct: Historically speaking, you rule.
10-19 correct: When the New Year’s Eve conversation turns to local history, you’ll be the life of the party.
0-9 correct: New in town, huh?