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“Young adventurers” laid groundwork for tourism

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VIDA: “About 1914 something kind of magical happened,” according to Randy Dersham, president of the McKenzie River Drift Boat Museum. The magic came about when log trucks replaced river drives as the most economical way of getting timber to sawmills combined with the creation of a graded road that drew recreationists up from Eugene who wanted to fish a pristine river.
“The young men that were log drivers in the homesteads around here at the time started to guide around 1920,” Randy told the gathering at last Saturday’s Eugene Symphony fundraiser.
The young entrepreneurs soon found the “Old Scow” design used to corral heavy logs wasn’t all that maneuverable when it came to avoiding rocks and rapids in fast water.
Credited with the first major advance in boat design was John West who opted for a wider craft that could seat two people side-by-side. Built out of fairly thick 3/4 inch boards and weighing around 500 lbs. It wasn’t a lightweight, except in comparison to the “Old Scows.”

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

WreathBy Kym Pokorny

Wreaths hung on the door with care call out a festive “Happy Holidays.”

Share that message in a special way by making your own circle of cheer with plants clipped from the garden or gathered from friends and neighbors.

“A good part of the fun of making your own wreath is going around the neighborhood, collecting plants and talking to people,” said Susan Hoffman, who has been a master gardener with Oregon State University’s Extension Service since 2012.

Be sure, she added, to ask before you clip.

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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.