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Celebrating success

Posted: Tuesday, Apr 30th, 2013

Visitors flocked to Sea Lion Caves on Saturday, when the admission price was the same as it was more than 80 years ago — 25 cents. Above, right, Steve Saubert, center, grandson of one of the early owners of the caves, and wife Sue, right, listen to remarks from Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich and State Rep. Caddy McKeown. In addition to the retro-admission price, there were free wine tastings, birthday cake, popcorn and tours. General Manager Gerald “Boomer” Wright, right, holds a piece of advertising material from the business’ early days, some of which, along with video and other memorabilia, will be buried in a time capsule later this month.

More than 1,800 visitors from all over the United States converged at the Sea Lion Caves for its Founder’s Day Celebration last weekend.

The event turned back the clock to 1932, the year the caves, 11 miles north of Florence, were formally opened as a public attraction. On Saturday, guests enjoyed a sunny, almost windless day and a ’30s-era admission price of two bits as well as finger foods, wine tastings and birthday cake.

The caves opened in August 1932, said General Manager Gerald “Boomer” Wright, so the official 80-year anniversary has come and gone, but management wanted to offer the 25-cent admission during the time of year when visitors could be assured of a glimpse of wild Steller sea lions in the cave. This weekend, the sea lions were spotted swimming as well as resting in what is billed as America’s largest sea cave, a natural home for the creatures.

Dignitaries also attended the event and seemed to enjoy it as much as the droves of children and parents in attendance.

For the complete article see the 05-01-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-01-2013 paper.

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