Lane County Roadside Dog Mystery

Whatupdog?
Larry and Jennifer from Travel Lane County passed on an email to Lost Oregon that they received from someone looking for more information about a wonderful dog stand photo they recently found. Here’s what we know:

  • It’s called “The Dog.”
  • It’s [or was] on US 99 in Lane County, Oregon.
  • The photo was taken in 1935.

Anyone have any idea on this?

The Vintage Roadside gang just made a Highway 99 pilgrimage last month – any sightings?

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20 thoughts on “Lane County Roadside Dog Mystery

  1. I am the person who incited the hunt for this Dog. I am also very appreciative of all of the help folks have volunteered. Thank you!

    It’s baffling how such a wonderful bit of roadside vernacular could be so quickly lost to memory. Here’s hoping a location is pinned down as I indeed itch to visit mecca.

  2. I’ll bet that if you did some asking around in retirement centers in Lane County you might find a quick answer…

  3. Good idea. I thought of that, too, but living in northern Washington state would make for a doozy of a commute.

  4. From what i can glean from the net, the photo was taken
    by the wonderful photographer Dorothea Lange. and it
    was taken in Cottage Grove Oregon. One might check with
    a history of Cottage Grove.

    1. I contacted the Lane County Historical Society with no results. I will try the Cottage Grove Museum folks.

      Michael, can you provide the sources for your information. I would love to see the references you mentioned.

  5. Did anyone find the other photo of The Dog?

    Repeat all steps listed above.

    When you get to the Dog’s page:

    Click “Display Images with Neighboring Call Numbers” below the photo.

    A group page will open.

    Click “PREVIOUS IMAGE GROUP”.

    The second photo from the bottom right hand corner shows the illustrious Pooch from a little different perspective.

    Some rigmarole, but worth it.

  6. Success.

    I have spoken with someone very well acquainted with the dog.

    It was a hot dog stand that sat on the outskirts of town. It was south of town and stood in front of a building supply of some sort. This location was owned by two brothers. Here is the general area of the stand. http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=43.787826,-123.065586&spn=0.013817,0.027637&z=15 The dog was occasionally transported to events on a trailer and for a time was located in Eugene but later returned to Cottage Grove. It’s current location/status is now unknown.

    I was referred to the town library that has an article clipping in their archives featuring the dog. I am planning on a trip down to view the information next week and will get back to this thread with additional information and hopefully an exact location.

  7. WOW! This is good news. Its amazing that you were able to find someone who still remembered the dog.
    A question that is bothering me… is…what is the pooch
    made of? I looks quite heavy. It must not have been moved
    easily.

  8. Oh, where, oh, where can the mythic dog be? Too exciting! I’m on the edge of my seat and goggle-eyed in anticipation of another veil being lifted. Go Bean Team!

  9. According to a local Historian the dog was made of wood.

    It was made by two men as I mentioned earlier. One was a known prankster named Charlie Hall.

    The historian (Marcia Allen) said it would be just like him to think up selling Hot Dogs out of a dog.

    Marcia saw the dog one time that she remembers. It was painted white with brown spots.

    The historical library staffed by volunteers has misfiled the article about the dog but indicated they will keep looking for it and contact me when it has been found. I was hoping for photo copies and unfortunately came away empty in that regard. Marcia did tell me that the dog was on the highway just south of the building that is now a Re/Max office.

    That puts the dog approximately where this building now stands on Hwy 99. The Re/Max office is the blue roofed building if you pan the street view to the right.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=78314+highway+99+south+cottage+grove&sll=43.79142,-123.063526&sspn=0.027633,0.055275&ie=UTF8&ll=43.786525,-123.066745&spn=0.013818,0.027637&z=15&layer=c&cbll=43.786451,-123.066818&panoid=0JSlpmcb9GC5leF5EfxJkg&cbp=12,238.15,,0,-8.73

    This link gives the aerial view of the dogs location.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=43.786262,-123.06712&daddr=&hl=en&geocode=&mra=mi&mrsp=0&sz=18&sll=43.78623,-123.067045&sspn=0.001727,0.003455&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=18

  10. So tantalizing, so enigmatic. I like how the trees and the sort of gray mood in the contemporary photo echo the Dog’s portrait. A giant, tail-wagging, “Thank you!”, Bean Team. You’ve brought us the Dog’s creator and an eyewitness sighting – a huge touchstone. This curious cat is has gotten so much satisfaction from all of the clues and help kind people have given. I’m pleased, too, that some quest remains.

  11. Marcia from the Cottage Grove Historical Society sent me a note and told me they had found the documents about the dog.

    I incorporated a trip into my work day by skipping lunch and stopped in to visit the Historical Library that is in the same space as the Bohemia Mining Museum. What I found there was Pay Dirt.

    A two page file of photo copies that included two pictures of when the Dog was new and three newspaper articles from 1930. The longest article gives the Dog’s size and weight and many other pertinent details.

    I created a then and now page for the Hot Dog Stand at waymarking.com to illustrate the Dog’s history and hopefully preserve it for the future. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM6J89_Cottage_Grove_Oregon_1939_Hot_Dog_Stand

    I knew of the dog because I started a waymarking category for Zippy The Pinhead locations. http://www.waymarking.com/cat/details.aspx?f=1&guid=b12d9a31-bcef-49a8-bd4d-c374e88ec278&gid=6

    The artist has featured nearly 2,000 real world locations in his strip. The category and group are trying to catalog those locations.

    Of the 14 locations in Oregon http://zippylocationsintherealworld.blogspot.com/2009/01/oregon-zippy-pinhead-locations.html I thought this one would be one of the ones never found.

    Thanks to Lost Oregon and all who posted here as I would never have found this location or its unique history without the links, questions and location information found here.

    TheBeanTeam

  12. Ecce Canis!

    ‘BeanTeam, your tenacious sleuthhounding and splendid waymarking page have given us an admirable compilation of researched facts about a bit of whimsy to be remembered though vicariously by many surely wistfully by those who muse over things vanished before encounter.

    Thank you, so very much, for your time and enthusiasm. I feel I have journeyed and kissed The Dog’s paw.

    Kathy =^..^=

  13. This may be the poison that killed the dog. Look into the history of Richfield gas stations and the tower beacon project being built in the late ’20’s (one location survives 7miles north of Eugene at the far end of Santa Clara on the northwest corner of Highway 99/River Road and Beacon…Prarie Road was the 1st route of 99, replaced by River Road alignment). Now, two photos have been found. The first is a Richfield station south of Cottage Grove at Divide (listed as a ghost town since the 1920’s, but an operating train-orders station of Southern Pacific up to the early ’70’s) where the old 99 curved down into the canyons around Burkett Road. Just south of the gas stop is a sign that says Chicken & Hot Biscuits 12-2pm. The back notation reads “great grandma & grandpa Burkett & she served bis. & gravy” over “Divide, Oregon late 1930-1940”. [The station may be after 1936 when the new Richfield Oil Company was formed, or before when Richfield was a brand belonging to an earlier Rio Grande Oil Company (apparently Texas based)]. The second photo seems to show the station is now Shell, but with other signs and trucks for Associated Oil Company (Flying A stations in the west). The back note seems to say “Divide Trucking Oregon”????
    To sum it up, how can you sell highway hot dogs when they’ve got homemade chicken meals right down the road?
    The curve in the highway might be right where 99 now stops and runs into I-5. They must have graded the heck out of the area before 1962. Burkett Road survives and there may be a bridge over the area. Good luck finding any traces of what may have been there.

  14. Additional info. & corrections: The Richfield station is now identifiable as “Pass Creek Service Station” (from the sign lettering). Pass Creek’s headwaters begin at Divide. The original Pacific Highway apparently had a bad “at grade” crossing of the Southern Pacific tracks at Divide. In 1918, the State let out for contracts to build an improved bridge over this intersection. With the highway carried over the tracks, this would explain the hard curve of the roadway at the Pass Creek station site.
    An obituary for Winston Harvey Russell, Sr. (12/27/1915-5/13/2013 in Phoenix AZ), brought mention of a grandfather running the service station at Divide. Winston’s parents appear to be Harvey Harrison Russell and Mabel Maurine Burkett. This would seem to relate to the Burkett name serving food (Spring Water and Ice Cream are also advertised on crude hand-made signage along the road).
    The Richfield Oil Company of Los Angeles was responsible for the stations. After some economic problems and the separation of the Eastern operations, it was forced into a merger with Rio Grande Oil of Los Angeles (formerly of Texas). By 1936, this re-emerged as Richfield Oil Corporation (of Delaware by stock certificates), headquarted in Los Angeles. By 1966, it all disappears into ARCO (Atlantic-Richfield).

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