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“It’s migrants now.”

“I used to take my kids out to pick strawberries. It was a tradition in the community. Now, with Hispanic fieldworkers, there aren’t opportunities for children to pick strawberries for harvest.”

“In the summer, you have to be careful of the combines on the road [related to seed operations]. Also, it’s the Christmas tree capital here. In November, there are lots of trucks here.”

“Ninety-nine percent of the people in Sublimity have nothing to do with agriculture. We are Salem commuters and retirees.”

Paris Woolen Mills closed about 1988. It had 70 employees. The current owner has investigated making a brewpub of the facility, perhaps with shops and apartments, but so far has been unable to attract the necessary interest.

“I remember the mill whistle blowing in the morning when I was a little girl. I was raised next to Martha Brown. Our historian lives in what was some kind of factory. There was also a shoe factory and a glue factory.”

Currently, woods products employment does not comprise a significant portion of total employment. Although these communities were never timber or logging towns like other Oregon communities, loggers and mill workers were always part of the local scene:

“My family has owned a saw mill for over 50 years. It just went from a two shift schedule to one shift, or from 200 workers to 100.”

“You can’t find woods workers anymore.”

“I’d like to see the timber industry come back. We get visitors out here and they’re surprised when they see trees. They think we cut them all down.”

A JKA Report


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