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The 1900's


Court Number 1400, St. Boniface Court, of the Catholic Order of Foresters was chartered.

The first roads were macadamized and by 1913, nine miles of road were completed, for a cost of $18,000.

In October, after several large fires, the City of Sublimity formed the Sublimity Fire Department. The fire department acquired one A.G. Long #10 chemical fire engine that consisted of a 45-gallon cylinder tank, two wagon-style wheels, two kerosene lanterns, one axe and one crowbar. Information as to the leadership for the department is sketchy; however, G.H Bell was the president of the fire department at its formation. Many names that are still common today appeared on the early fire department rosters: Zuber, Ditter, Etzel, Ripp, Susbauer, Kintz, Riesterer, and Welter.

The first public well was dug.

The Stayton Light Company erected electric streetlights and a special city tax was levied to cover the costs.

The fire department purchased a two-wheeled water barrel cart for $30.

The Knights of Columbus organized St. Anthony’s Council #2439 in Sublimity.

1920s and 1930s
Many sawmills were established in the area. Those operating them had names that are still very familiar in Sublimity: Breitenbusch Brothers, Van Handel Brothers, John Frank & A. Minden, Stuckart & Minden, Frank Etzel, Ted Freres, Amandus Frank, J.B. Van Handel, Sim Etzel, Peter Gries, and Lulay Brothers.

The Sublimity Firefighters sponsored an annual talent show, which built individual interest in various arts and music. There were multiple sports and indoor games, baseball, basketball, and amateur plays. The basketball team was known as the “HAWKS” and frequently won trophies among the seven Santiam Valley teams. East of town on the Zimmerman Place, in 1932, William Lulay built a baseball field with bleachers. Mr. Lulay got a team together and managed its affairs during the season.

The nearby Silver Creek Falls Park is dedicated with 1030 acres and nine waterfalls ranging from 25- to 198-feet tall.

Eugene A. Ditter is appointed fire chief after Chief Tom Reuf died of pneumonia. Eugene “Gene” Ditter served until 1979.

Sublimity Fire Department acquired a 1934 International Pumper. This pumper was the first motorized fire equipment in East Marion County.

There was a new water system, grade school, two general stores, the building supply and a tavern.

The St. Boniface Hall and Gymnasium building was built for $7500.

St. Boniface High School was constructed for $51,000, just west of the gym. It had tile with brick and the capacity for seven teachers and 100 students.

The Marian Sisters (Catholic order of nuns) built a modern living quarters across the street from the new high school for $52,000.

A new grade school was built on the William Bell Place for $55,000.

The Rural Fire District is formed. One engine is purchased/equipped/ housed and manned at the Sublimity Station.

Chief Ditter retires after 42 years of dedicated service. His successor is Kevin Hendricks.

The Rural Fire District annexes the City Fire Department to become the current Sublimity Rural Fire Protection District.

A new headquarters station is built at 115 NW Parker St.

Chief Hendricks accepts a position at Woodburn Fire as their new fire chief. Jerry Heater becomes the new fire chief of Sublimity.

Additional pumpers, a rescue vehicle, brush rig, tender and command vehicle, along with a second station located on Drift Creek Road and a dedicated core of fire fighters, now complement the fire district’s arsenal.

On November 15, Alan W. McMahen is hired as the district’s first career fire chief. Chief Heater is appointed to the position of assistant chief.

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