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December 24, 2013
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Letter: City of Roseburg should retain Willis Park

Rethink Willis Park options

The Westons were interested in purchasing the old Judge Willis house and converting it into a bed and breakfast. The city of Roseburg even threw in nearby Willis Park as a sweetener, but apparently the deal is off. This is a fortuitous chance for the mayor and Roseburg City Council to reconsider options. Willis Park, with its green lawn and charming gazebo, is a sweet little park. Do we really want to lose public access to one of the only two downtown parks?

The Judge Willis home, built in 1874, with curved interior staircase and ornate millwork on door casings and window frames would be lost to public viewing if it were made into a bed and breakfast, as proposed by some private buyers. I think a better course for Willis Park would be to keep it under city ownership and open as a green oasis for everyone downtown. The judge’s home and its history, including visits by great people like Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, should be kept as a treasure of historic downtown Roseburg and open, like the Lane House, to public viewing.

There must be better ways to generate money for the city of Roseburg than selling off some of our history and our parks.

J. Martin Verberkmoes


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The News-Review Updated Jan 2, 2014 08:59AM Published Dec 24, 2013 05:36PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.