Residents of Tenmile Creek will tell the story of how they faced off against developers and won in “Just a Bunch of Hippies,” a Saturday, Sept. 14, presentation at Newport’s Pacific Maritime Heritage Center.
In 1981, a developer bought 186 acres on the coast south of Yachats with the aim of building a resort on the property. A diverse community living along Tenmile Creek Road, Big Creek Road, Yachats, the Yachats River Valley and surrounding areas, came together to testify against the development at a public hearing. Dismissed by the developer as “just a bunch of hippies” the Tenmile community found themselves united by a common goal — stopping development of this wild, scenic part of the Oregon Coast.
For the next 35 years, these “hippies” fought against the development with every legal means at their disposal. Leadership came from Tom Smith, a fisheries biologist with many years of experience working with environmental organizations, but the young people who had moved to the area in the 1970s contributed a surprising range of skills, as well as dedication. Many continued to have careers or pursue volunteer opportunities that impacted the natural environment and the culture and arts of the Central Oregon Coast.
Several members of the “Greater Tenmile Community” will join Andrea Scharf, author of “Saving Big Creek,” the story of the campaign against the resort, to talk about their experiences — what drew them to the Central Oregon Coast, how they built community, learned new survival skills and what resulted from their participation in the effort to save Big Creek.
Saturday’s presentation, will start at 2 pm in the new Doerfler Family Theater at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center, 333 SE Bay Blvd. Audience participation is welcome. Copies of “Saving Big Creek” will be available for purchase.
Admission is $5, but free for members and children aged 12 and under. Parking is available at the top of the hill adjacent to the museum.
For more information, call 541-265-7509.