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Bullhide Moore Manages Gold Beach Store for 32 Years

The Curry County Courthouse in Gold Beach, Ore., stands today on property once the location of a general store managed for many years by David Milton Moore. 

Born in Curry County’s Ophir in 1886, Moore would become a retail businessman, built roads, start a cheese factory, operate a water company, raise livestock and serve on the Gold Beach City Council.  
For a time, Moore and a brother owned a store and post office in Ophir, and he later bought a saloon, and started a meat market.
Opening a store in Gold Beach in about 1908, Moore noticed that when local farmers butchered cattle they discarded the hides. Purchasing hides for a dollar, he sold them in bulk to a tannery, earning the soubriquet “Bullhide Moore” for the rest of his life.  
In 1912, the county contracted to move the store building a short distance away to make room for a courthouse.  Moore organized the People’s Company with 50 shareholders to operate the store in 1918, which he managed for 32 years. 
The building stands today on Moore Street and is currently owned by the Ellensburg Theater Company.

Source: Schroeder, Walt. Characters, Legends, and Mysteries of Curry County, Oregon. Gold Beach, Oregon: Curry Historical Society, 2007. 

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Shirley Nelson moved to Port Orford on Oregon's South Coast, after having lived 28 years in Medford.  A writer since childhood, she became an elementary school teacher.  As an interested observer of her new environment, Shirley learned the history of Curry and Coos counties. She published a book in 2005 about Coos and Curry counties titled What Happened Here?.  Nelson has published articles and poetry in several magazines, including Oregon Coast.