Collier Memorial and OC&E Woods Line ready for Cycle Oregon
by Kyle Jansson, Oregon Heritage Commission coordinator
Two state parks that showcase southern Oregon history and heritage are on the route of the 2012 Cycle Oregon ride Sept. 8-15. Approximately 2,200 cyclists will ride a minimum of 417 miles on the weeklong event.
Collier Memorial State Park
A bicyclist stop on the ride’s second day is Collier Memorial, which includes an outdoor logging museum and pioneer log cabin village. The park features 75 large pieces of logging equipment–some more than a century old–set in the ponderosa pines. Why do they have names such as steam donkey, water keg wagon or straddle lumber carrier, and how did they work?
The logging museum brochure states that the men and women who worked in the woods “required mountains of food to fuel their hard work. Cooks prepared heavy, solid meals….” These folks sound a lot like Cycle Oregon riders.
OC&E Woods Line State Trail
Riders begin their seventh day with seven miles on the OC&E Woods Line. This 100-mile trail lies on the rail bed of the Oregon, California and Eastern Railroad (OC&E). The rail line’s construction began in 1917. By 1919, the main line fed logs to four mills. Engines transported carloads of enormous pine logs, often carrying daily as much as one million board feet.
In the 1990s, the OC&E incarnation as a logging railroad ended and its transition to a trail, with the help of Oregon State Parks, began. Cycle Oregon riders will cross a steel railroad bridge on this day’s ride. Learn more about the OC&E.
Riders have an “off” day in Ashland, but they can learn about the area’s bicycling past. “Pedaling History: The Roll of Bicycles in Jackson County” is an exhibit created by the area’s cyclists and the Southern Oregon Historical Society, and supported by an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Heritage Programs grant. The exhibit highlights the role that bicycles play in the Rogue Valley, with an emphasis on transportation, freedom and lifestyle.
The display runs Aug. 27-Oct. 4 at the Ashland Historic Railroad Museum, 258 ‘A’ St., Suite 7.