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Dunes City celebrates golden anniversary

Modified: Tuesday, Jun 25th, 2013

Current and former Dunes City residents and city officials packed the city hall in Westlake Saturday, June 22, to celebrate its “semi-centennial.” Clockwise from left, City Recorder Fred Hilden and Mayor Rebecca Ruede wrestle with a clutch of keys to open a time capsule that had been sealed in a wall since 1994. The city hosted a barbecue lunch for the dozens of attendees, which included the first elected mayor, Bob Read. Bob Jackson, author and Siuslaw News correspondent, shared his memories of the early days of Westlake, North Beach and Dunes City. Bob Petersdorf was also a guest Saturday. Petersdorf was the second elected mayor of the city and served on many committees over many years. Ruede displays copies of the Siuslaw News, one dated 1977 and the other 1994, which were stowed in the time capsule.

An Oregon-perfect summer day at the City Hall on Spruce Street in Westlake was the setting for Dunes City’s semi-centennial party to celebrate its official incorporation.

Mayor Rebecca Rueded delivered the history by way of introduction to the day’s events:

“On June 11, 1963, the registered voters of Dunes City overwhelming approved the establishment of the City of Dunes, as we were originally known, later to be officially recognized as Dunes City. The following day, June 12, 1963, the Lane County Commissioners confirmed the election results.

“On Aug. 19, the newly elected City Council elected Phil Himmel to serve as the first Dunes City mayor. The original council consisted of Dr. E.S. Stong, Phil Himmel, Martin Christiansen, Ray Riesenhuber and Carol Hammond.

“Since 1963, 15 different mayors and more than 70 councilors have provided leadership and guidance for our city, all culminating in our current group of hard-working and dedicated public officials. I am pleased to serve the city with some of our finest citizens and devoted volunteers.”

Many people in the crowd represented those volunteers. While they enjoyed lunch, barbecue served by the city along with potluck from the guests, the mayor and City Recorder Fred Hilden opened a time capsule that has been stored away since 1994. Even figuring out the correct keys to open the locks was a bit of a mystery after almost two decades.

For the complete article see the 06-26-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-26-2013 paper.

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