Since You Asked: New light shed on mystery of secret meetings

Earlier this month reader Bill D. of Central Point asked about the theater-style seats being removed from an old barn located on the site of a former slaughterhouse along Table Rock Road just after it passes over Interstate 5 and Bear Creek.

He saw seats bolted together in stadium fashion and wondered whether there were "secret meetings" at some point in the old building's history.

Apparently there may have been, but not of the kind Bill might have imagined.

As Since You Asked reported earlier, the seats Bill saw were removed from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Elizabethan Theatre when it was remodeled in the early 1990s and placed in storage. Those chairs were recently given to Cascade Christian School.

There were also ordinary wooden chairs in the barn and therein lies the rest of the story.

Ray Johnson, the superintendent at Cascade Christian, said the school's maintenance staff was told there were indeed "secret meetings" where locals gathered for cockfights, apparently as recently as the 1970s. The big barn was useful for concealing an activity that was highly controversial even then.

Unfortunately, this is another one of those apocryphal stories that's hard to confirm, since most, if not all, of those involved are now long gone or up in years, and might not want to talk about an activity that was controversial even then.

Maybe some of our readers can shed some light on the barn's shady past ...

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