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February 11, 2013
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Chamber corner: Riddle looking ahead to annual spring happenings

I’ll bet you didn’t know that a factor contributing to the early economic growth of the idyllic community of Riddle was the prune.

Dried prunes from many orchardists in Douglas County were processed and shipped by rail from Riddle prior to 1930. Although the town didn’t expand to founders Abner & J.B. Riddle’s full projected potential, it found a niche in the timber industry and is home to six lumber producing mills.

The old Riddle Nickel Mine (Hanna Nickel) site was reinvented as a processing plant for sand products and currently has worldwide sales. And now the winemaking industry is taking a foothold in the landscape of this “valley of the Umpqua.”

The Riddle Chamber of Commerce recognizes the economic opportunity that lies within this community and is working to support existing businesses in their mission and to create an environment for new business growth.

The Riddle Chamber of Commerce started off 2013 with a Chamber Mixer on Jan. 22. Business owners and managers from surrounding communities were invited to a “Meet & Greet” and then a “Mingle & Network.” The event was held in the new First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on Main Street in Riddle. The ladies of the church catered the affair, setting up a buffet of delicious finger foods. Lorenzo Wilcox and Bannon Frank, 11th-grade students from Riddle High School, with guitars in hand, provided easy listening background music for the evening. You did not need to be a member of a Chamber of Commerce to attend.

Around 30 people, representing Riddle, Myrtle Creek, Canyonville and Sutherlin, enjoyed each other’s company, shared some personal trivia, and then discovered five things they had in common. The general consensus was that the evening was a huge success.

“Riddle Spring Happenings” on Saturday, April 27, kicks off the first outdoor event of the year in South Douglas County and is produced by the Riddle Chamber. Plans are under way for another successful event.

If you made that New Year’s resolution and you’ve been training for that first run, the Riddle Spring Happenings Scholarship 5K Run/Walk is a great place to start. The race starts at 8 a.m.

The City Wide Yard & Garage Sale begins at 9 a.m. Maps will be available at the Main Street Park Gazebo. I-5 Auto Repair, owned by Dave and Susan Wood, will host its annual car show beginning at 10 a.m. Musicians and vendors will be spread throughout the downtown area, celebrating all that comes with the season: birds, plants, flowers, games, food and drink, soulful songs and yard art. Mark your calendars now and make plans to attend this fun event.

For more information regarding vendor space, call Carol at 541-874-3931 or Kat at 541-671-7828. For the event schedule, check out our website at

The Riddle Chamber of Commerce meets on the second Tuesday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. A delicious meal is always provided by the ladies of the church (donation suggested). Our 2013 membership drive is in full swing. Check the website for more details and the benefits of joining.

Applications are available on the Chamber of Commerce page. Questions? Call 541-874-2612.

Ann Gilbert is president of the Riddle Chamber of Commerce.

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The News-Review Updated Feb 11, 2013 12:19PM Published Feb 18, 2013 06:28PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.