Archive for December 8th, 2009
Local columnist Bob Welch, who writes for the Eugene, Oregon paper The Register-Guard has an article in today’s paper about “Lawrence of Florence,” actually two camels, in the coastal town of Florence, Oregon. (Florence is roughly fifty miles from where I live in Eugene.)
Welch often answers queries from people in the area about local history; recently someone asked about camel rides on the coast back in the 1970s though Welch writes that there were two camels there from 1983 to 1985.
A California couple bought over a hundred acres on the coast, some of it just sand, and that was their inspiration for the camel. Welch reports that there were camel rides hired for entertainment from a California animal for hire entity: Movieland Animals, complete with “caretakers.” For under $2.00 people could ride a camel on the beach.The following comment by a woman who remembers the camel rides captures the whole flavor of the coastal side show:
The size of the space was a bit disappointing; it was rather small and just off the highway. The camel looked exhausted. A guide walked the camel with a child on top around maybe a 30-foot-wide circle. I recall feeling the experience was anti-climactic.”
What ended the camel rides didn’t seem to be concern for the exploitive nature of the coastal offering, but a neighbor who was upset with the amount of traffic caused by the camel attraction.
I wonder what happened to those camels. . .