Witham Oaks is of my family lineage and goes back to the original settlers, Alfred and Drucilla Witham, who came over the Oregon Trail in 1846, buried their first child on the trail, eventually settling on Witham Hill.

It was a total of 1,100 acres when they owned it. They suffered many hardships to develop it, and at one time it was a beautiful ranch and well attended to.

Alfred Witham became a man who assisted in the forming of the state of Oregon, served nobly in the political system and was well respected.

 The land being retained as a memorial to this great pioneer and family, would be wonderful.

Also, it would be a shame to see the land covered with houses, when retaining it as an area of ecological beauty for hiking, a wild-animal refuge, watershed and beauty inside Corvallis, would be the healthiest and best use of that land.

It is a scientific proof that having wooded areas within urban areas is healthier for those who live in the community. Trees and greenery filter and purify the air and also bring more tranquility and peacefulness.

I have hiked the land, sat on the old foundation of my grandparent’s house and wept for the loss of the land that was at one time inhabited by the Withams. My heart says let’s do all we can to retain this land for now and our children’s futures.

Phyllis Witham, Corvallis

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