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Oregon Connection House of Myrtlewood The Oregon Connection (The House of Myrtlewood) is one of the oldest businesses in Coos Bay, Oregon. Started in 1929 by William Beaumont, the original location was near the present day Chevron Station on 1st Street. Beaumont, originally from North Dakota, started the business as a way to support his family after the box company where he worked closed down. His son, Daryl Beaumont, worked at the business during his school years and then returned to work full-time after graduating from OSU. When Daryl enlisted in the Navy and served in WWII the senior Beaumont ran the business until his son's return, and then left the area for Southern California.

In 1956 the business was sold to Clete and Layla Snyder. The Snyder's moved the business into an old Door and Sash factory building in South Coos Bay. Continuing in the "family business tradition" the Snyder's five daughters all worked for their parents while they attended school.

Oregon Connection House of Myrtlewood In 1972, the Snyder's sold the business to Les and Barbara Streeter, of Seattle Washington. Tired of the "corporate world" the Streeter's were anxious to own their own business. While searching out different opportunities Les read an advertisement for the business in the Wall Street Journal and six months later they moved, with their daughters Tricia and Lyn to Coos Bay.

Though their work schedule was hectic, Les and Barbara enjoyed the business. In 1989 they sold part of the business to their older daughter Tricia Benetti, wife of Joe Benetti; Mayor of Coos Bay, and owner of Benetti's Italian Restaurant. The other major change took place in 1996 when the family decided to change the name of the business to The Oregon Connection. "We wanted our name to be contemporary," commented Tricia Benetti, "to reflect our changing product mix. People who hadn't visited the store in awhile were amazed at all the wonderful items carried."

Tradition Continues

Historic Oregon Connection Building

In December of 2005, Les and Barbara Streeter along with Tricia and Joe Benetti decided to sell The Oregon Connection to the nonprofit organization, Star of Hope. The Streeter's will try their hand at retirement and this transition allowed the Benetti's to devote more time to their restaurant, Benetti's Italian Restaurant located at 260 South Broadway, Coos Bay.

Over the years the Streeter's and Benetti's made many positive changes to the business. They continuously expanded the myrtlewood product line, always offering the best product available to their customers and expanded the store to include fine women's apparel and custom accessories, gourmet food items, the famous patented "Wooded Touch Putter", and unique tasty fudge. The Oregon Connection is considered one of the largest and oldest factories in Oregon producing Myrtlewood Products.

The acquisition of The Oregon Connection by Star of Hope will provide an additional catalyst in supporting the overall mission of Star of Hope in serving adults with developmental disabilities. The Oregon Connection fits into the overall company's strategic plan and goals:
  • Diversify vocational training opportunities
  • Develop additional employment options
  • Strengthen Star of Hope financial plan for adults with developmental disabilities

"The Mission of Star of Hope is to provide community support services in Southwestern Oregon to adults with developmental disabilities in a manner which encourages independence, productivity, and physical integration.

In managing the Oregon Connection/House of Myrtlewood, Star of Hope has kept the business exactly how its loyal customers have come to love and expect. The expert employees have all been retained and have benefited by the Star of Hope clientele assisting in the factory, mill and store. Star of Hope's hand woven, one of a kind, loomed rugs, and handmade greeting cards, both produced by adults with developmental disabilities, are featured in the store, having already been introduced by Tricia Benetti into the product line in 2004.

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