Alden Loring wanted no more than to build a legacy by displaying his antique and historically significant mementos in a grand showcase, Loring’s Lighthouse Museum, on Hemlock Street.
But Alden died on March 29 at his home in Brookings – and before the museum was built, throwing a wrench into all the plans.
And now, no one is sure what will happen to the building after it’s dried-in for the winter, much less in the years to come.
According to Alden’s only son, Randy, when Alden drafted his living trust, he anticipated the museum and a coffee shop would be built and his artifacts – guns and automobiles among them – installed before his death. Loring’s wife, Daphne Jones-Scalletti, to whom he’d been married seven months, was to inherit everything at his Memory Lane home.
When he died, however, the cars and guns were still at that home and thus, legally belonged to his widow. It is unsure if those items have been sold or if they are in storage.
Originally, the museum was to be operated by Scalletti’s son, Jeremiah Bateman – the original contractor hired to build the museum – and his wife, Brie.
And when Randy’s youngest son turns 25 – he’s 13 now – the building’s ownership is to revert to him, according to the trust.
“The entire scope of the project has been changed,” Jones-Scalletti wrote in an email. “This is not at all what Loring set out to accomplish. Loring wanted nothing more than to share his love for guns and antiques with the community.”
Randy said he would love to see those wishes fulfilled.
“But there’s nothing to put in it,” he said. “We’ll make a museum if there’s something to put in it. And I’d give them (the Batemans) the right to operate it (until his son turns 25). But how can you have a museum if there’s nothing to put in it – answer me that.”
Brie Bateman said her mother-in-law has the antiques. Whether they’ve been sold, she doesn’t know. Scalletti could not be reached for comment.
At this point, the building is being “dried-in” – finished enough to protect the interior from the winter elements – but from there, no one seems to know what’s going to happen.
Bateman said in an email to the Pilot that, when finished, the trustee has said the building is to be sold. The proceeds, she said, would go to Randy’s youngest son.
Lisa Tine, vice-president of Oregon Pacific Bank and trustee of the will, first said no decisions have been made regarding the building. She later replied in an email that she was “unable to discuss the matter because it really is confidential and I am not at liberty to discuss it with anyone except the beneficiaries.”
“I’m glad everyone knows what’s going to happen to the building that belongs to my children better than I do,” Randy said, noting that he’s overheard conversation throughout town that runs the gamut.
“There are no plans to put it on the market,” he said. “There are no plans to rent it, no plans to sell it. My wife and I will decide because we’re acting on behalf of our children. And there are no plans.”
“He’s a beneficiary; he can’t make any of the decisions,” Bateman said. “It’s all handled by trustee.
“I’m disappointed,” Bateman added. “This isn’t what Alden would have wanted at all. If there’s not going to be a museum, I imagine it’ll have to be sold and given to (the youngest boy). That’s what it was intended for.”