Micki Piper has been making pioneer aprons and bonnets and providing them at her cost to the Logging Museum Gift Shop for years. “I must have made 75 to 100 of them so far,” she says with a merry gleam in her eye. Sales benefit the park. A lifelong artist, she also painted the end of the water tank that sits right next to the entrance gate with a brightly colored Spring Creek scene.
(2010 Friends Newsletter) Spirited, full of life and fun at 87 years old, Micki Piper loves Collier Park’s Logging Museum. A lifelong art teacher, when she and her husband, Ed, retired and made a new home for themselves in Chiloquin, Oregon, one of the first things she did was sign herself up as a volunteer at the Interpretive Gift Shop when they asked. Under the tutelage of another faithful Collier Park volunteer, Sonny Dehlinger, she learned how to order merchandise and understand the “business” of running a high traffic store – 88,000 visitors a year come to see Collier’s Logging Museum, with many poking their heads into the Gift Shop. She and Sonny worked together for 4-5 years filling in on Monday and Tuesday, the days not covered by Park Hosts who man the Gift Shop the other five days of the week.
When Sonny retired, the responsibility for stocking the Gift Shop was Micki’s. Whenever needed, she would make an order for review by Park Manager, Jim Beauchemin, and off it would go for timber-industry and pioneer history themed goods and books.
She semi-retired at 80 and turned over her records feeling certain, “if something happened to me, nobody would know what to do!” Today Micki stills helps with ordering, but not nearly so much. What she still loves to do is participate in the Annual Living History Days event held each June at the park. She mans the little store in the Pioneer Village, adding personal artifacts to the display including her great-grandfather’s books and his 5-rung ladder back rocking chair (pictured above). She then gets a big kick out of explaining to visitors how all the objects they see were used.
Micki’s family were loggers so she feels especially at home at the park. We are grateful she has been here to help us for so long!!!