DILLEY, Ore. - Winter weather may be cold and frightful, but the people who keep tradition alive near Dilley are warm and delightful.
Each day since Thanksgiving, the O’Rear family and their friends set the lights, hammer down the scenery and keep alive their 72-year-old holiday gift to the community called “Storybook Lane.”
It’s down a lane that’s unlike most. This one has elves who turn the gears that make the toy factory run.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes Marge O’Rear has been busy working in what she affectionately calls “Santa’s Workshop.”
It’s the behind-the-scenes place where she has drawn countless characters that have long been childhood favorites.
Her latest rendition of “The Three Little Pigs,” is coming to life on wood with paint.
She has been at it since 1945!
A winding trail leads folks past more than 70 displays of varied storybook, nursery rhyme and a scattering of Disney characters across an acre of forest.
It’s a huge family event and a commitment that nearly disappeared two years ago when Marge said the time had come for a change.
She told KATU, “I decided to sell the property – and I did!”
But not to strangers with uncertain plans. Storybook Lane is now in the hard-working hands of her daughter, Sue Marshall, and her husband, John.
They bought the land, the lane and all that goes with it.
So, for 11 nights through Christmas the lights shimmer, children scamper and music plays on.
Marge O’Rear added, “ I like to see the characters come to life out there and the
looks on the kid's faces when they come through. As long as we have a piece of property that isn't doing anything else, we'll continue to do it.”
You’ll want to stroll through when the show really shines. It may just warm you on a long winter’s night.
- Drive south from Forest Grove on State Highway 47 for approximately three miles to Dilley.
- Watch for signs to “Storybook Lane” on the left side of the highway.
- It opens each day at 5 p.m. beginning Saturday, December 15 and continuing through Christmas.