In addition to the growing number of housing subdivisions, the commercial and retail areas of the communities are in transition. Stayton has struggled for some years in making its downtown viable. Its 3rd street section remains unnoticed by first-time visitors. Its redevelopment efforts in this area generally have not been successful. The area along 1st near Safeway has successfully developed and lures traffic and business from downtown. Sublimity, on the other hand, wants to maintain a pedestrian-friendly community, maintain the attractiveness of the community, and promote modest commercial development.
Residents had a good time describing the kinds of people that live in Stayton and Sublimity. One person said there are three types: those that live and work here; those that live here and enjoy the services but work elsewhere; and those that move here and retire.
Several people took a religious tact, given the early importance of religion in the local settlement. Baptists were the most prominent religious group during the settlement period—in fact, Drury Stayton was a part-time Baptist minister. Catholics, mostly in Sublimity, are related to German inmigration. One person said German Catholics “invaded” in the late 1800s. Townspeople talked a lot about “Christians,” mostly in Stayton, by which they seemed to mean the Campbellites, an offshoot of the Presbyterians. Mennonites also have a presence in town, many commuting from the rural areas for jobs and for use of local services.
“There is a huge Catholic community, maybe 65% of the population. Priests and pastors meet together routinely.”
A more common approach in discussing how the social pie is divided in Stayton and Sublimity is by occupation. The major categories discussed were:
Factory workers: Norpac, Philips, Karsten and others;
Seasonal agricultural workers: reduced in number now that
mechanized agriculture has supplanted human labor;
A JKA Report