Jefferson County rapidly fills quota for war bonds during World War I, in 1918.

PIONEER LOGO - The Madras Pioneer looks back over the files from 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago.100 YEARS AGO

April 11, 1918

The workers and people at large of Jefferson County were gratified Monday evening, to learn that their county had gone over the top whirling, with perhaps a 50 percent oversubscription.

It was apparent Saturday, from the liberal way people were subscribing, that the Jefferson County quota would be filled early, since a large part of it had been subscribed that day. In the Hay Creek section, the workers went over the top shortly after noon, and we understand Culver was a close second. Other sections were but little behind.

The Madras quota was swelled to large proportions, but not filled. At an early hour Monday, it had gone over, and the total subscription for the county was within $3,000 of the mark, and it became apparent the full amount would be raised easily during the day. This shows that the people of Jefferson County have their hearts in their work, and that those who cannot go to the trenches and personally put a kink in the Kaiser's armor plate are doing equally necessary work with their dollars; that they will give their last penny, if necessary, to support those who have gone and will go to the front.

Much credit is due the company in charge of the work for the successful culmination of the Third Party Loan in this county. The organization was very perfect, and resulted in the splendid success of the drive.

Their work was in perfecting of the organization, and really not in the drive, because their organization was so perfect that the drive would have taken care of itself. Too much credit cannot be given the people for the splendid manner in which they came in and voluntarily subscribed.


April 8, 1943

The fire alarm sounded at about 8 o'clock this morning when a fire started in the basement of Dick's Café.

Firefighting equipment was rushed to the scene and in a matter of minutes, the fire was extinguished. It was a smoldering fire, believed to be similar to a fire in the same place several months ago.

Fire was first discovered when smoke commenced to pour in the restaurant near the sink, filling both kitchen and dining room with smoke of a black greasy substance peculiar to oil.

The Red Cross Drug Store, in the same building, was also filled with smoke.

Extent of the damage from smoke and water has been unestimated at noon today, as the smoke has not cleared sufficiently in the basement to make an investigation. Cause of the fire is unknown.


April 11, 1968

Corresponding this year with the Easter holidays will be the annual Root Festival and feast in Warm Springs. The festival, in which the Indians give thanks to the earth and God for giving them good roots and a new crop of foods, is basically a religious ceremony.

In years past, no white person could attend the Root Feast, which is a feast and festival occasion unique to the Indians. Now, nonIndians as well as Indians are invited to the feast, making it a time for fellowship and brotherhood.

From the first until the middle of March, the older women of the tribe go to the hills to test the readiness of the various edible roots used in the feast. By the middle part of March, they know just when the Root Feast will be. There are three groups of women who go into the hills; each group is responsible for testing and later the gathering of the three kinds of roots used in the festival. The three roots are Montana bitterroot, a bulbous root; and the camas root. A fourth root, which resembles a carrot and can be eaten raw, is not ready until June, too late for the feast.

The women dig the roots for three days prior to the feast. Each evening they return to the Longhouse where there is a religious ceremony to bless the roots and at the evening ceremony of each day, the women determine whether or not there are enough roots for the feast.

Inevitably there are never enough roots until the final night of digging. When the women arrive in from the hills, there is always someone there to cook their meal and there are three men there to perform the root-gathering ceremony, which consists of chanting and dancing. There are seven songs that are sung on each of the three evenings.

After the third evening, all people, old and young, are called to peel the roots. Everyone that is available comes. There are approximately three washtub-sized baskets of roots to be peeled. The roots are first soaked to precipitate easier peeling and then on Friday and Saturday, the roots are peeled.

Other foods at the feast will be baked salmon (roasted on a stick), fresh venison (baked and fried), the three roots and huckleberries and chokecherries preserved from the year before. Each Indian family keeps back a dozen or more containers of berries especially for the feast.

The women wear their most colorful traditional clothing for the feast. They wear braid, beads, and moccasins. The men wear beaded buckskin vests, and colorful shirts.

The ceremony while the roots are being cooked consists of dancing, chanting, and testimony. If a person has participated in preparing the feast in any way, from digging the roots to setting the table to turning on the water or electricity for cooking the roots, they are required to give a testimony.

On Sunday, feast day, the people rise early to prepare the feast. The food is placed in the following order on the table in the Longhouse: salmon, venison, roots, and berries. No other food is set with the traditional feast foods until the prayer of thanks and blessing has been said. Then the other foods, potatoes, bread, salads, are rushed in and placed on the table. The people then drink a small amount of water in the blessing ceremony; this water serves to preserve their bodies.

The feasting and prayers serve to thank God and the earth for what has been given freely, not what has been foraged from the ground.


April 8, 1993

Tony Ahern joined the Madras Pioneer as publisher April 1.

Ahern, 30, comes on board after seven years at the Central Oregonian, a twice-weekly newspaper in Prineville. Prior to coming to Madras, Ahern was the managing editor of the Central Oregonian, and also handled various advertising accounts. He had previously worked as sports editor and news editor at the Central Oregonian.

Joining the Pioneer team means a return home for Ahern, who came to Madras with his family, when he was 6 months old. Most of the Ahern family still resides in Madras or Central Oregon.

A 1981 graduate of Madras High School, Ahern received a journalism degree from the University of Oregon in 1986.

Ahern said he was excited about coming back home.

"I'm very optimistic about what the future holds for Central Oregon and Jefferson County, and for our county newspaper."

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