February 27, 2008

Redmond's history detectives

History Detectives:
Searching for the story of Redmond through pictures and stories

Photos bring the past to life – the dress, hairstyles, architecture and events of each era.
Since settlers arrived in what is now the Redmond area more than 100 years ago, thousands of photographs have been taken, but only a fraction have been shared with the public.
The Redmond Historical Commission collection contains about 1,000 photos, mostly from the first 40 years of the 20th century.
The Spokesman has a few old photos from various eras saved in recent years when they were found in odd places during office remodeling projects. But with remarkable shortsightedness, until about a dozen years ago the Spokesman tossed photos one year from the time they were published. In the past few years, the change to digital photography has made it easier to archive photos, at least the images we use in the paper.
We know many more images of Redmond’s past are out there, stuck in photo albums and boxes, or framed on the wall.
In the past couple of years, several people have shared photos from their collections with us, and with you, via the weekly Flashback column and Local Legacy stories.
But with Redmond’s centennial on the horizon – the city was incorporated on July 6, 1910 – we’d like even more photos to document the town’s growth – and we’ll be sharing copies with the Redmond Historical Commission for inclusion in their permanent collection. The Spokesman will also be celebrating 100 years of publication in July 2010 and this time we plan on being much smarter with our archiving so future generations will be able to access this valuable visible history.
Remember –snapshots are welcome. Photos of kids playing in a yard with a house in the background, birthday party celebrations, or a group walking a parade route or participating in a community event can reveal much about an era. We're particularly interested in seeing photos from the latter half of the 20th century, 1950-present.
If you’d like to share your photos of Redmond’s past, e-mail high resolution copies to news@redmondspokesman.com , or bring them by the office, 226 NW Sixth St., during business hours, and we’ll scan them. Depending on when you bring them in, you may need to leave them for a day or two.
And don’t forget to provide information on when and where the photo was taken and names of any people in the photo.
For more information call 548-2184, and ask for Trish or Leslie.

-- Trish Pinkerton

What to do with a community icon?

It's been more than 90 years since the proud city of Redmond built its beautiful two-story brick high school on Ninth Street and soon the community will have to make a difficult choice: what to do with a structure everyone seems to treasure and no one has any use for?

The Redmond School District, which still uses the facility for its intended purposes -- educating children -- will decide tonight if it wants to ask voters to approve a school construction bond, and part of the proposed bond, unfortunately, regards the usefulness of the current Evergreen Elementary building.

What was once a shining example of civic pride is now a pile of trouble encompassed in brick. The entire heating and ventilation system is long past being worth repair and the antiquated building techniques used in 19?? would require any upgrading to include an estimated $15 million in structural supports. Add to that a long list of smaller, but important, repairs and the district would face nearly $20 in repairs.

The sad truth is for $20 million dollars the district could build a modern elementary school free from maintenance headaches -- and that is what it is contemplating doing, putting its investment in a school that could last many more decades without expensive upgrades.

Now, what to do with Evergreen after the last chalkboard is removed? Who wants a complex of buildings one city-block large with virtually no parking? Who needs a full-size gymnasium, a wing of aging classrooms and an even older brick building that might collapse at the first moderate earthquake?

Yet, who would want to see this beautiful building and piece of Redmond history meet a terrible fate? Who can avoid cringing at the idea of an ambitious developer buying the site for a song, bulldozing the structures and constructing a fancy townhome complex or business center?

It goes without saying that the school district is not likely to get a huge sum for the site, despite its proximity to the city center and large size. It is a practical use of taxpayer dollars to consider a sale of the property and construction of a new school elsewhere, not to mention a better learning environment for students.

But should the district be responsible for what happens to the former school buildings after it is no longer the owner? Perhaps this is akin to finding a good home for a beloved pet you no longer have the time and resources to take care of. While no one can blame you for admitting that you can't do what needs to be done for the animal, as a responsible owner you are honor-bound to make sure someone else will do a good job.

Or maybe this task is too big for the schools, which should be busy educating children, to tackle alone. Perhaps if the city cares so much about the fate of the school building, the community needs to step up and offer to find a new use, and funding, for the structure.

You can be sure that if the school ends in a pile of bricks there will be plenty of finger pointing to go around, and maybe those fingers should be pointing at their owners. If we want to claim ownership over a 'community treasure' we need to claim the responsibility as well.


Vivian Gay Johnson
Feb. 10, 1932-Feb. 20, 2008

Redmond resident Vivian Gay Johnson, 76, died Feb. 20, 2008.

A service will be held at a later date.

Mrs. Johnson was born Feb. 10, 1932, in Albertville, Alabama, to John and Bernice Phipps. She married Carlos Johnson in 1966 in Coos Bay, Oregon.

Mrs. Johnson worked as a waitress and homemaker. She lived at Crooked River Ranch for 20 years and loved bird watching, knitting, gardening and being a good friend.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 2000.

Survivors include daughter Angela Packer, sons Larry Johnson and Rodger, Alvin, and John Jackson; sister Betty Lou Anderson, and three grandchildren.

Arrangements were handled by Redmond Memorial Chapel.

Diana Lee Matwiejow
Oct. 18, 1941-Feb. 20, 2008

Redmond resident Diana Matwiejow, 66, died Feb. 20, 2008 of natural causes.

A service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at Westwide Church in Bend.

Mrs. Matwiejow was born in Reseda, Calif., Oct. 18, 1941, to Wilbur and Aloha (Johnson) Tripp. She married Stanley Matwiejow June 4, 1960, in Reseda. She has lived in Redmond six years.

Mrs. Matwiejow was a volunteer at Westside Church and for the SMART reading program. She enjoyed reading, knitting, and volunteering.

Survivors include her husband Stanley Matwiejow of Redmond, daughters Jean Malkhasian and Judi Tugwell, brothers Ed and Don Tripp, and sister Beverly Biaso, and four grandchildren.

Memorial contributios may be made to the Humane Society or juvenile diabetes.

Arrangements were made by Redmond Memorial Chapel.

Anna Naomi Eskew
Jan. 18, 1915-Feb. 22, 2008

Anna Eskew of Terrebonne, 93, died Feb. 22, 2008. A graveside service will be held at Terrebonne Pioneer Cemetery, Friday, Feb. 29 at 1 p.m.

Mrs. Eskew was born in Cloud Croft, N.M., Jan. 18, 1915, to Charles and Dona (McCleskey) Cole. She met her future husband, Marshall Eskew, in Hatch, N.M. in 1933; the couple married in Terrebonne Nov. 15, 1936.

She was a homemaker and member of the Ladies Pioneer Club since 1944. She enjoyed family, friends, and taking care of the home.

Mrs. Eskew was preceded in death by her husband, a brother, and one great-grandson.

Survivors include sons Bob Eskew of Terrebonne and Bill Eskew of Redmond, six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers you may make contributions to your favorite charity.

Redmond Memorial Chapel handled the arrangements.