From a story on Harlan, Oregon by reporter Kyle Odegard.
Most of the land in Harlan is zoned for timber or farm use, and that has made it nearly impossible to build new homes there. The result has been an aging group of residents and a declining populations, locals said.
The signpost at the Harlan T intersection shows that the community is miles away from anywhere else. During periods of nice weather, locals sometimes drive over Marys Peak to get to Highway 34 and Corvallis.
Sterling Grant and his daughter Rebekah Grant live on property their ancestors homesteaded in the 1870s. “I want to live out here all my life,” Rebekah said.
Sterling Grant, pictured in his grandfather Leonard Grant’s trophy room, talks about predators in the Harlan area. Leonard Grant was a government trapper, and later Lincoln County Commissioner, who killed more than 600 bears.
An old vehicle on Gene Cooper’s spread is being reclaimed by nature.
Gene Cooper is 87, but he said he still does 90 percent of the work at his mill by himself.
Sawdust sprays at Gene Cooper’s one-man saw mill. “Everybody in this country has got a few of my boards on their property,” Cooper said.
The first person buried at the Harlan Cemetery is Morgan Lillard, who was shot to death by his son-in-law.
Aaron Bauman and his wife built a studio-sized shelter to stay in this winter. Though it doesn’t have electricity or plumbing, at least they won’t be staying in a tent.
There’s an interesting mix of people in Harlan, said Aaron Bauman. “You’ve got loggers, hippies, farmers, Vietnam vets,” said Bauman, who moved to the Coast Range community in January.
Winston Grant attended Harlan High School in the 1930’s, and holds up his letterman’s sweater. He ran track and played basketball for the Huskies. “Belive it or not, I used to jump center. I was five-foot-eight at that time.”