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Civil War: A Town Divided

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HARRISBURG, Ore. — The Civil War got its name because the match-up of the Ducks and Beavers splits the state.

The division of fans is perfectly illustrated in the town of Harrisburg. The town sits about 23 miles to Corvallis and 20 miles from Eugene, meaning it is pretty much right smack in the middle of the two college towns, and residents say so is their fan allegiance, especially on Civil War week.

You can walk into just about any store in Harrisburg and find at least one Beaver and one Duck.

“We have a real pretty even split,” said Mike Hurd.

Hurd says that’s the case at his store and pretty much throughout the entire town, which makes friendships a little feisty, especially during Civil War Week.

“There’s some rivalries. I’ve got my guys I make my bets with, and I’ve been paying for a lot of years now, so I’m looking forward to getting even this year. I believe there was one involving me shaving my legs and I had to walk around gateway mall in shorts,” Hurd said.

Larry Means hasn’t lost many bets lately, being a Duck fan, but that doesn’t mean Beaver fans sit quietly either.

“One year I had somebody throw a feather pillow out in the street, and there were feathers all throughout the parking lot. We did win that year though,” Means said.

Both men say the competitive culture that comes to a head in Harrisburg is really just another way to have some neighborly fun.

“Closer to Corvallis and stuff, yeah it’s strictly Beaver fans and they don’t really tolerate the Duck fans, just like in Eugene. It’s mostly Duck fans and they don’t tolerate the Beavers, so I guess here it’s more mixed, so we get along better I guess,” Means said.

Getting along still means getting excited over a year’s worth of bragging rights, that will be up for grabs again here in Harrisburg this Saturday–a town that will always be civilly divided.

So what will the atmosphere be like this Saturday? What it’s like year-round–a big jumble of orange and black, green and yellow.

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