Cottage Grove

Sun, flowers, socializing: It almost ‘feels’ normal

After a week of Phase 1 it feels a little bit like the Cottage Grove of pre-pandemic days. Not that it was “business as usual” by any means.

People are still cautious (a good thing), masks are evident, tape marks are on the floor to set spacing for physical distancing, and there are signs reminding patrons to observe the safety precautions in place and to make use of ever-present hand sanitizer. But without a doubt things are opening up.

Cottage Grove City Hall – with officials strongly requesting to handle business by phone, email, or other electronic means – did open its doors last Monday for citizens who have business that can only be done in person. City Council meetings are still being held virtually and Grovers are encouraged to follow the proceedings via the internet. There is limited seating of up to 10 participants who lack technology to connect to the meetings online.

Some businesses along Main Street that had been shuttered have carefully cracked their doors open for customers to slip in, a few at a time. I saw happy customers getting a much-needed clip at the barbershop and, in another establishment, a woman in the stylist’s chair.

Under Phase 1 guidelines there is still the prohibition of nonessential travel. With that in mind it makes all the more sense to “keep it local.” As tempting as it might be to get out of Dodge, keeping yourself here will help us reach not only Phase 2, but help the local businesses that have taken a pounding these past two months. 

Speaking of those businesses, please keep in mind these three words that are mentioned repeatedly in public notices about reopening: Patience, respect and thoughtfulness. If you think about it, employees are putting themselves in danger to serve you, so let’s do what we can to keep them safe. Wear a mask, keep your distance, don’t go out if you feel even slightly ill, wash your hands, follow the guidelines asked of you by the businesses you are supporting and remember those three guiding principles.

If you find yourself out without a mask, the business you are visiting should have masks available for you according to state guidelines. Please ask!


If you are along Main Street, don’t forget to look up! The Main Street Program, with help from the City of Cottage Grove and EBID, have the hanging flower baskets up and looking great. Many Grovers contributed to have a basket in honor of a loved one, friend, or just to make it a little nicer. It’s not too late to add your name to the list. Drop off your donation at City Hall or include it in your utility bill (separate check written to EBID). Thank you to all that added this colorful statement to our Historical District.

With the welcome rains of the past weeks, the usual watering crew had time off from keeping the hanging baskets hydrated and happy. We are still about 7 inches off from our average rainfall but these May rains did a lot to make up for the abnormally dry late winter/early spring. Maybe if you were cooped up with the kids and family sheltering in place it was hard to appreciate but our plant friends sure needed it. It will come in handy this fire season too. Enjoy the sun now and keep your fingers crossed that we get some more of the wet stuff soon.


While enjoying the sun you can take in the city parks. Although the play equipment, shelters, basketball courts, and skate park must remain off-limits per restrictions, you can use the newly resurfaced pickleball and tennis courts at Coiner Park.

They look great and inviting for the racket crowd. Etiquette and good sportsmanship will dictate your social distance and no handshakes across the net, please. Small gatherings up to 10 are permitted as long as your spacing remains six feet or better.

An excellent suggestion if you do decide to safely go out and engage in a local business or restaurant is to call ahead. First to make sure that they are open. Secondly their requirements may make it so that the business has limited seating or hours. Don’t assume; call before you go!  


I enjoyed adding a glass of beverage served from behind the sneeze screen to my usual growler fill at the Brewstation. Additionally there is the possibility to go for a sitdown meal at the Axe, Toreros, Stacy’s Covered Bridge, and others coming soon. Many eateries took advantage of the down-time to do upgrades, maintenance, and impressive makeovers. Fresh paint and fresh new looks will greet many diners when they do reconnect with their old haunts.

Other places are still providing orders to-go so call to find out what your options are. Thank you for supporting these daring entrepreneurs flying by the skin of their teeth at the best of times, even more so during pandemic!

Saginaw Vineyard has reopened its popular “Friday Night Live!” music program. Due to distancing rules, it is reservation only. Tables fill up very fast so if you would like to go, call ahead to claim you space, 541-942-1364.

South Lane Wheels is starting a modified service. This door-to-door service will operate from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays. Local trips are $2; inquire for prices for Metro service. Passengers must wear masks and there will be spacing and capacity limits, along with regular wipe-downs to keep passengers and staff safe. This is not the LTD connector but an added service, so your LTD fare won’t work. Call South Lane Wheels to arrange your ride at 541-942-0456, ext 1.


There was a lot of joy in Mudville as Goodwill opened up last Tuesday. Some grousing was overheard, however. Masks are required, naturally, and that seems to set some people off that feel it is their right to endanger others if they are not concerned with their own safety or health. 

Also, there is a no-return policy in effect, and with the dressing rooms closed you must have a good eye for estimating if you will in fact fit into your purchase. Donations are being accepted but small items only, and no furniture at this time.

There is happy news to report on the progress in the Square One Cottage Village Coalition Tiny Homes Co-op. While there is no firm move-in date yet, organizers are anticipating occupancy dates this July to August. The Square One folks held information sessions last week and collected applications for those who understood what they were getting into. These tiny homes are not just an inexpensive place to live. To be accepted into the community one must be part of the self-governing group, do maintenance and help with the gardening and landscaping of communal areas. There will be nine units in this first phase.

It has been a long journey since the first vision sessions and from that muddy vacant lot to seeing the tiny homes so close to being finished. Thank you to all who have put so much into this project and have made contributions in kindness, money, or sweat!

There will be a virtual open house for the Cottage Village on Sunday, June 7, from 3-4 p.m. You will hear about all that has gone into the project as well as get a peek into the tiny homes. Join the party by visiting the Cottage Village website, Facebook page or its YouTube channel.  


It was a quiet Memorial Day in Cottage Grove, except for the exciting flyover by the Oregon Air National Guard F-15 Eagles. Pilots of the 173rd Fighter Wing from Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls took to the air to honor those who have given their all and to lift morale of all those who are restricted here at home.  

Virtual ceremonies were put on through a joint effort by the VFW, American Legion, and the City. It was bittersweet not to be able to observe the usual gathering at the Armory, but still the honor is the thing and that comes from the heart. Thank you all to our service personnel who put it all on the line and some left it there.

It won’t be the same to walk the streets of Cottage Grove and not encounter one of the most prolific walkers, Pete. As you may have heard, he had a stroke a while ago and after a lengthy convalescence had gotten back to his habitual walks around the Grove. I had just seen him two weekends ago and had a brief chat. Sadly, Pete has left us to walk the golden streets in that city in the sky. I will miss seeing this denizen of our town, deep in conversation with himself or others as he made his daily routes all over. I dedicate this to his memory from the 17th-century poet, John Donne:

No Man is an Island

No man is an island entire of itself; every man 

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; 

if a clod be washed away by the sea, our world 

is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as 

well as any manner of thy friends or of thine 

own were; any man’s death diminishes me, 

because I am involved in mankind. 

And therefore never send to know for whom 

the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

We will miss you my friend, fare thee well.

Contact Dana at [email protected]



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