The Chronicle -

By Dana Merryday
Chronicle Columnist 

Opal Whiteley in the 21st Century


April 11, 2019

Photo provided

Pictured is the Opal Whiteley Mural, as seen in Downtown Cottage Grove.

Cottage Grove and Opal Whiteley have a long and somewhat complicated relationship. She grew up in nearby Walden, Star, and other logging towns and camps and was undoubtedly a savant, the likes of Mozart and other child prodigies. Whiteley had a photographic memory and was able to absorb vast amounts of natural history, plant & animal names, long passages from the Bible, etc. She so impressed her teacher at Walden School that she was moved up two grades in her first year.

But it is her connection to the natural world that really reveals her deepest gift. Opal could sense the spirits...

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