Off Beat Oregon History

Hawthorne asylumBy Finn J.D. John
For many years, the case of Charity Lamb was looked at like a crime-fiction yarn from a pulp magazine like Spicy Detective. It seemed to have it all: illicit sex, a mother-daughter love triangle, conspiracy — and, of course, a brutal ax murder committed by a woman with the most ironically innocuous name imaginable.
“Charity Lamb and her seventeen-year-old daughter shared a passion for a drifter named Collins,” pop-historian Malcolm Clark Jr. explains breezily, in his 1981 book Eden Seekers. “When (Nathaniel) Lamb, as outraged father and cuckolded husband, strongly protested, Charity cut off his objections with an ax.”
The real story, of course, is not only more nuanced, but, well, totally different. In actual fact, the only part of Clark’s account that’s historically supportable are the names of the involved parties, the words “strongly protested,” and the word “ax.”

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Doodles By Barry McWilliams

Gardening Tips

RoseBy Kym Pokorny

Valentine’s Day is coming up and that means it’s time to pay attention to your loved ones and your roses, too.

On the west side of the Cascade Range, mid-February is generally time to start thinking about pruning, according to Amy Jo Detweiler, a horticulturist with Oregon State University’s Extension Service. In Central Oregon, April or May is the best time. In both cases, take your cue from the plants. When the buds begin to swell and get ready to break open, pull out your pruners.

Detweiler recommends using bypass pruners rather than anvil because they cut more like scissors and won’t crush the stems. Make sure they are sharp. Have some rubbing alcohol on hand to for dipping the blades in between cuts, especially as you move from rose to rose.

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McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.