Then-Sen. John Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, attended 13th annual Lord’s Acre Sale in November 1959, a year before Kennedy won the presidency. The celebrity couple bought a quilt made by Lonnie Yates. Despite the visit, Powell Butte favored Richard Nixon in the election.

100 years ago

Oct. 20, 1921 — Bend defeated by 15-6 score

Superior team work and a heavier eleven that was at the same time capable of more speed, enabled Redmond to beat Bend by a score of 15 to 6 in the opening game of the Central Oregon high school football conference. The game was played Thursday afternoon before a crowd of 2,500 Bend day visitors at the Deschutes County Fair.

75 years ago

Oct. 24, 1946 — Care urged in dumping garbage

Persons using the city dump to dispose of garbage or rubbish are requested to be certain the garbage is dumped over the side of the cliff at the dump grounds, not on top.

Redmond police have been checking and have found considerable trash scattered at the top of the cliff, including a large amount of turkey feathers.

50 years ago

Oct. 27, 1971 — Siren to signal Halloween curfew

Sounding the fire siren at 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, will signal curfew for trick or treaters in Redmond.

Police Chief C.L. “Speed” Durgan stresses that youngsters on the streets after that time on a Sunday evening are in violation of the city’s curfew ordinance. The siren will be sounded to alert youngsters, who may have become engrossed in Halloween festivities and lost track of time, that it is time to be home.

25 years ago

Oct. 23, 1996 — 50 years of the Lord’s Acre celebration

He was only a senator at the time, but John F. Kennedy was there. Jackie too.

While today you can’t buy a $10 quilt, as the Kennedys did in 1959, there are some spectacular new ones ready for the Lord’s Acre Sale in Powell Butte Nov. 2.

Get there early. The crisp November air hasn’t kept eager buyers away for 50 years. Homemade sauerkraut and handstitched quilts go first, the old-timers say.

Bonnie Ward, the historian at the Powell Butte Community Church, thinks of herself as a newcomer to this tradition.

“I’ve only been doing this since 1973,” Ward said, “but I’ve enjoyed it very, very much.”

Ward’s done her research. She said locals quibble over the first sale date, but no matter who argues the point, this is the 50th year.

And the date isn’t going to change. No matter how cold the first Saturday in November is, that is Lord’s Acre day. She said it’s a farming community tradition to feast after the harvest.

“What amazes me is the number of people who come and help,” said Jeannette Bierly, the church secretary. “Many have nothing to do with the church the rest of the time. It’s really a community project.”

It’s also a project of the heart, sometimes lasting beyond death. Penny Beard of Redmond, who died of cancer this month, promised to crochet afghans for this year’s auction. She finished them all and delivered them to the church before she passed away.

Quilts, afghans and sauerkraut are standard fare. The rest is up to the community. According to records, people have donated handmade soap, hay and a crate of live ducks.

“We never know until the day of the auction what we’ll be auctioning off,” Bierly said.

Hazel Jones, 80, has donated her homemade bread to the auction’s bazaar and country store for decades. She has one thing to say about it all — “Whoa, Bill!”

Jones commend aptly sums up the effort behind the event. It doesn’t magically happen. One week after the sale, preparation begins for next year. Lard is rendered for pie crusts, quilters choose their patterns and donations begin trickling in from across the nation.

Coordinators hope for a harvest of steers, hogs and lambs for the pit, as well as goods to sell. Bierly said fewer families raise hogs, so the church buys them.

“We have to face it,” she said. “It’s not a small farm community like it was 50 years ago.”

If you don’t have a hog to give, either, don’t worry. Your time is welcome, too. Take a turn on the after-midnight crew with the men in the pit. These are the next generation tenders, watching the fires as the meat simmers through Friday night.

“The older guys don’t like to do the job anymore,” Bierly said. “Especially since Edith Taylor died. She used to keep her door open all night so they could get coffee. The torch has been passed.”

Word of the sale has been passed too. Famous, infamous, known and unknown, they gather by the thousands.

It’s not just presidential hopefuls who want a taste of Central Oregon’s famous outdoor feast. Senators, congressmen and governors have stood in line to heap their plates with pit-cooked barbecue. Sunset Magazine and Tom Smothers of the 1960s comedy team also were lured by these treats.

This year everyone can take the treats home. Church women published a 200-page cookbook full of “heavenly harvest” recipes. Directions for gooseberry jam, Lord’s Acre sauerkraut and a happy marriage are included.

In 1946, Rev. D.L. “Penny” Penhollow and the congregation began planning to raise building funds. The first sale, held the first Saturday in November 1947, brought in $6,000. Half a century later, the one-day sale brings in nearly $40,000.

No longer needed for construction, proceeds now build lives. Donations are made to needy families, missionary support and Bible college scholarships. Only 10 percent is dedicated to next year’s Lord’s Acre sale and future projects.


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