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As It Was: Applegate Trail Connects Lorane to Southern Oregon

Lorane, Ore, a Lane County community established in the early 1850’s by settlers seeking free land, was connected to Southern Oregon by the Applegate Trail which passed close to nearby Cottage Grove to the East.

The Lorane post office opened in 1887, named after a favorite niece of the postmaster’s wife.  She spelled her name L-o-r-a-i-n-e, which was shortened by the post office to L-o-r-a-n-e, for simplicity and to avoid confusion with several other post offices in the country.

The Cartwright House, also known as the Mountain House, opened nearby in 1853 and offered some of the best stage-stop services between Portland and San Francisco.  It was demolished and burned in 1973.

The Southern Pacific chose a route that passed through Cottage Grove rather than Lorane, but it flourished as a logging and lumbering community for more than a century before becoming known in the early 1900s for 1,800 acres of pear, apple and plum orchards.

Today, three large wineries and several hundred residents are in the fire district that includes the unincorporated rural community.

 

Source:  Edwards, Patricia. "Lorane (town)." The Oregon Encyclopedia, Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society, 17 Mar. 2018, oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/lorane/. Accessed 17 July 2018.

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.