"It's a farming town," one woman told us, reflecting the historical roots of the community.Now, the sentiment of local residents is that it's a "bedroom community." Others described the blue collar nature of the workforce, and the rapidly urbanizing population.
Sublimity is known as a high-end housing area for Salem commuters. Costs are attributed to high lot costs, system development fees of $10,000 or more, and city permits.
The city recently has mandated a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet in an effort to maintain its attraction for higher end homes.
The Stayton/Sublimity Community Resource Unit (CRU) stretches from near Silver Falls State Park to the north, to a western boundary between Stayton and Aumsville, to the south into Linn County and north of Rogers Mountain, and to the east to Stout Mountain west of Mehama. People to the west of the CRU are called "flatlanders", while the east is referred to as "up" or "up the canyon" or "up the river." The Bend area and eastern Oregon is referred to as "over the mountains." Street.
"Westown" in the northwest was touted as "the" place to live, but the poor quality construction of the development turned out to be a real disappointment for many residents. Canals and ditches mark the history and values of local people and also define their physical space.
Both communities are absorbing newcomers at a steady rate and residents commonly report newcomers are part of the commuter set, less involved in the community than longer-term residents, but vitalizing communities anyway with their presence.
Residents in both towns perceive that local governments through their policies are encouraging higher cost homes and discouraging lower cost homes, although debate is mixed about whether this is positive or not.
New developments are creating neighborhood boundaries since they are not integrated in style or physical layout with adjacent residential areas.
In the town of Stayton, the post office contains a mural showing a logging truck next to a man fly-fishing in a pristine lake.
Drury Stayton, a homesteader living near Sublimity, bought acreage between the Santiam and the Willamette Rivers, recognizing that the diversion ditches could power an assortment of mills. It was truly a market town, with the first reliable cash crop for farmers coming from the Flour Mill.