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Tank of Gas Getaway: Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove, Ore. — The brick buildings in downtown Cottage Grove have real character and have hosted some real characters as well – yes, “Animal House” fans, these streets were the setting for the famous parade scene.

The movie history in Cottage Grove goes back to the silent film era and actor director Buster Keaton, so we start our tour in the cafe named after him. Paul Tocco, the owner of Buster’s said, “The cafe and the bottle shop are in the historic district of cottage grove and we are in the hotel that is a 103 years old and the reasons are place is called Busters is for Buster Keaton. He filmed a movie called “The General”, a Civil War movie and he was here for 6 months and the entire time he was here he stayed in the hotel.”

The cafe is more than a place of history. The food it draws crowds from across the state and is worth a drive. Tocco said, “Over the course of time I have been able to find some great chefs and we serve some really unique food we serve wild game, water buffalo and boar and elk, we also stuff French toast and we have made about 45 different types of stuffed French toast.” Add to that meal with an old time soda and drink in the memories.

Tocco said, “I had a gentlemen from Texas and I just loved his experience and he saw that we had new grape and he cracked it open and started drinking and closed his eyes said, ‘Right now I’m back with my friend and we are walking the railroad tracks because we did that every weekend.’”

The other thing that Cottage Grove is known for is covered bridges, there are a lot of these great relics throughout the State of Oregon, but they are highly concentrated here, including this one behind me that is a one of a kind west of the Mississippi”

We are the covered bridge capital of the west. There about 50 covered bridges left in Oregon from what was originally about 400, and we have 6 of them here so you can do a little tour.

Besides the covered bridges you also have the gold mining history and festival and 32 miles of family friendly biking trails as well.

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