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1912: Mystery character draws attention of the town, passing through in a donkey-led buggy before moving on

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - September 9, 1997: Bill Myers believes he has the best life possible. He owns and operates his own business... a fly-fishing shop. This means while most folks are at work, he can take time to test his product, by fishing his favorite, secret fishing stream.

110 years ago

August 28, 1912

A queer character drifted into Prineville Tuesday. He said his name was John Hughes; that he a started from nowhere and was going nowhere, but that he must keep moving. When questioned closely, he acknowledged he was from New Mexico. Hughes, who is tall and gaunt but as straight as an arrow, had an old rattle-trap of a buggy that seemed ready to fall to pieces. It was drawn by a burro that seemed to be as antiquated as its master. The old man looked to be 75 or 80 years old, under a thick coating of dust. He was several yards in advance of his donkey and would shout directions to the little animal that could be heard for several miles. Both man and beast understood each other. It was seldom necessary to emphasize his commands with a long stick that he carried, which was used principally as a walking stick.

In the old buggy was a bundle of wheat hay and some blankets. When Hughes wanted to ride, he sat on the blankets and let his legs hang over the front end where the dashboard was supposed to be.

He had an abiding contempt for state officials and those in authority. At that moment, Marshall Coon joined the crowd that had been attracted by the strange outfit, and with a flourish of his stick, John Hughes bade them goodbye and started up Main Street.

75 years ago

August 28, 1947

The big new hop drier at the Ochoco Hop Ranch, completed only a year ago and holding 30,000 pounds of dried hops, was destroyed in a spectacular fire Wednesday night. Delbert Haener, operator of the hopyards, estimated the loss at about $40,000, which was partly covered by insurance.

The fire broke out at about 8:30 p.m. with only the night fireman on duty, Mr. Haener said. He believes it started from a spark from the fire used to dry the hops. By the time the alarm could be turned in, the building was ablaze and before the Prineville firemen could reach the scene, the fire was out of control. The building burned to the ground.

Nearly three fourths of the 1947 crop of hops had been harvested, Mr. Haener said, and the amount of hops in the drier in various stages of processing would equal about 30,000 pounds of dried hops ready for market.

The Ochoco Hop Ranch was the first commercial hop planting in Central Oregon. It was established in 1943 by Mr. Haener, who came to Prineville from Aurora, Oregon, an area famous as a hop center of the Willamette.

50 years ago

September 4, 1972 A large mobile home owned by Norris Anglen of Prineville was a total loss in a fire, which broke out Thursday evening.

Fire Chief Ted Adamson said two Prineville firetrucks answered a call to the fire at 8:50 p.m., but there was no chance to save the mobile home or any of the contents.

The mobile home was near Highway 26 about eight miles northwest of Prineville. Adamson said the cause of the fire was not immediately determined and that investigation is continuing.

There will be no criminal action against Nelson, the district attorney's office has determined. Nelson was cited for hunting game birds in a closed season.

25 years ago

September 4, 1997

The City of Prineville Railway will expand their building space when they gain three historical landmarks. The Redmond depot building, which has been vacant for several years, will be moved three miles north of its current site to O'Neil Junction. COPRR Manager Jerry Price said the move won't be any time soon, however.

"They will call for bids in October," he said, to move the Redmond depot. Depending on the bid, the building could be moved to its new location the same month. If not, however, the move will have to wait until spring. The 85-year-old Redmond rail depot may become the office for the Crooked River Dinner Train. Part of the old depot building could be turned into a small-scale museum of railroad history, Price said.

The building will belong to the COPRR, City Planner Dick Brown said, but the dinner train will rent it. Presently the dinner train company pays rent to COPRR. "We provide the engine, crew and train tracks," Price said.

The two additional buildings to be moved will come from the Bend train station.

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