We are proud to celebrate Cottage Grove’s mining and Victorian-era heritage. Since the celebration first began people have always dressed up in period costumes during Bohemia Mining Days. Now, we are developing programs and entertainment that brings our mining heritage and Cottage Grove’s pioneer history to life!
The Bohemia Mine Owners Association has been a valuable mining history partner for nearly 60 years. These modern-day miners teach young and old how to pan for real gold. Located in the SW corner of Coiner Park in BMD’s Cultural Heritage area, the BMOA sets up a replica of a miner’s cabin, provides a display of antique mining artifacts and offers gold panning for a small fee.
The Cottage Grove Prospectors & Golddiggers Club created Bohemia Mining Days waaay back in 1959 as an annual tradition to keep our community's unique and colorful history alive for future generations. In 1964, they began the Miners Breakfast on the Mountain event on Sunday mornings at Bohemia Saddle Park, approximately 40 miles SE of Cottage Grove in the Bohemia Mining District. As the event’s popularity began drawing hundreds of diners, staffing issues forced the Club to hand off the festival planning duties to a group of community volunteers who have kept the tradition alive to the present day.
In addition to the Sunday breakfast, the Club owns and maintains the only Victorian-era home in town that is open to the public. It belonged to Dr. Snapp, an early doctor, and is now a museum showcasing early medical practices in the late 19th & early 20th Centuries. The Dr. Snapp House is one of the bonus checkpoints on South River Road on our Historical Treasure Hunt.
Other living history features this year include:
● The BMD Historical Treasure Hunt returns for its third year on Friday and Saturday. BMD’s "time-traveling train" transports our historical treasure hunters seeking cold hard cash prizes to follow a treasure map that leads them to three local museums, historical attractions, and to businesses in our Historic Downtown District. Sponsored by the Economic and Business Improvement District (EBID).
● Antique Engine Display showcases early gasoline/kerosene/fuel oil powered stationary engines that ran home appliances such as a washing machine, powered electric generators, belt driven mills and workshops. Sponsored by Roger Rue and friends.
● Living History Talks between Main Stage performances (check festival schedule)
● Bohemia City Players present a half-hour play on the Cultural Heritage Stage to bring to life some of the early settlers for whom today’s roads, covered bridges and waterways are named after. An original script written and produced by BCP Director Jennifer Mandeville Schulz, her cast and crew. Sponsored by Dari-Mart.
● Bohemia Mines Documentary Enjoy a delicious lunch and a cold beverage in air-conditioned comfort while you watch this documentary film about the history of the Bohemia Mining District. It has aired more than a dozen times on Oregon Public Broadcasting. It's a story about "Bohemia" Johnson's discovery of gold in the mountains east of town in 1864 and depicts how the district evolved over time and has impacted the culture of Cottage Grove today. The film is approximately 20 minutes with an introduction by the director, Dan Hill. A Q&A session follows the conclusion of the film. Two screenings are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at 3 p.m. at El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, 725 E. Gibbs Ave. A 10-percent discount is given to attendees sporting a BMD button. This is a free activity.
● Covered Bridge Tours Cottage Grove is proud to be known as the Covered Bridge Capitol of The West with six covered bridges within a 10-mile radius. Two are inside the city limits (one is the only remaining covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi River) and four are in the beautiful surrounding countryside. South Lane Wheels donates its 18-passenger bus and driver, so the costumed and personable tour guides can share their stories and knowledge of the bridges and the Cottage Grove community. Each participant receives a keepsake at the end of the tour. The two-hour tour departs from the “Bohemia City train station in Coiner Park at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (A third tour at 6 p.m. is possible is there is a demand for it.) The approximately two-hour tour allows time for participants to get off the bus and take photos at each bridge. Tour participants pay a $10 fee for the tour and pre-registration is required.
Go to the Event Schedule for Dates and Times of these Living History experiences.
*A BIG thanks to the Bohemia Mine Owners Association, the Cottage Grove Historical Society, the Cottage Grove Genealogical Society, the Bohemia Gold Mining Museum, the Cottage Grove Historical Museum, Roger Rue (antique engines), Videographer Dan Hill & El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, Director Jennifer Mandeville Schulz and her Bohemia City Players cast and crew, South Lane Wheels and Covered Bridge Tour Guides, and the Prospectors & Golddiggers for providing this year's living history experiences.