The tale of Snoopy and how he ended up on I-84 near Meacham

By on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

MEACHAM– If you have ever traveled along I-84 between La Grande and Pendleton you may have noted a lovable cartoon character from the Peanuts gang around the Meacham area. 

Snoopy is loved by many and is a visual representation, to some, of where they are on their travels.

But where did Snoopy and his bird friend Woodstock come from? How long has he been there?  And why is he there?  

Stories have been spun for many years about Snoopy and how he came to live along I-84, including one that has been repeated many times suggesting that it came from the owner of a lost dog, who lost his dog at that spot, so he placed Snoopy there as a reminder of that location.

But the truth about why and how Snoopy came to live near Meacham is simple according to Dale and Richard Naegeli, whose parents are the ones who placed Snoopy in his current location. 

It all started in Pilot Rock when Dale and Richards mother DeLoris painted a plywood outline of Snoopy and had their father Howard put it on the roof.   This started a tradition of placing these images around their homes.  

Around 1985 or so, according to the Naegeli brothers, the family moved to Meacham and DeLoris had the Snoopy figure placed on the property near the freeway for all to see.  

The brothers note that even after they (Howard and DeLoris) moved away from Meacham they continued to make these displays and would line the driveway with them for the neighbors and grandkids to enjoy.  Bugs bunny, the Peanuts, a grandma and grandpa were all displays that Richard and Dale remember being displayed. 

When asked why she placed Snoopy there the brothers say that “Snoopy was put up mainly for the children to see and get excited about seeing. After rising [sic] 7 kids my parents know how restless children can get on a long trip.”  Also saying that Snoopy gives kids enjoyment and something to be excited about seeing.

Those who travel the stretch of freeway between La Grande and Pendleton will notice that periodically Snoopy will get a fresh coat of paint or lights will be added, according to the brothers, the current owners of that property, who are no longer the Naegeli’s, take care of that.  

Dale and Richard note that they are thankful that the current owners continue to keep up on maintaining Snoopy.

Dale Naegeli says “I want to thank everyone for helping keeping [sic] my parents memorable [sic] alive. I don’t have the words to say just how much this means to me and the joy it has given me. Thank you all.”  Noting that after all of these years he can’t believe that people are still talking about Snoopy.