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The delivery of Hay Creek's sheep to Klamath Falls in 1943 marks end of era lasting 70 years.

PIONEER LOGO - The Madras Pioneer looks back over the past 100 years of news.100 YEARS AGO

June 20, 1918

The farmers north of Madras are pleased with the prospects for bulk handling of grain this year.

D.M. Clark has completed arrangements for the immediate construction of an up-to-date elevator which will replace his warehouse at Paxton.

Some time ago, J.T. Adkinson, an officer of the State Farmers' Union, was sent here by the government to urge upon the farmers the necessity of the bulk system. An open meeting was held by the Mud Springs Farmers' Union, where plans were formulated for entering into a contract with Mr. Clark. The farmers tributary to Paxton have contracted with him to the extent of 10,000 acres, to deliver their grain to his elevator for a period of three years, this guaranteeing him sufficient support to justify the construction of the elevator.

The elevator will contain 10 bins, with a capacity of 30,000 bushels, an up-to-date wagon scale, and a recleaner with a receiving capacity of 1,500 bushels per hour. The cost will be approximately $6,000.

This is a very practical move for the farmers, as it will save both the sack expense and the screenings and at the same time put a better grade of grain on the market.

75 YEARS AGO

June 17, 1943

With the delivery of the last of the Hay Creek sheep to Jack O'Connor of Klamath Falls the first of the month, passes a tradition and to old-timers who have thought of Hay Creek and sheep as one word comes pungent memories.

Hay Creek was settled in 1873, when Dr. Baldwin of Boston was the founder of the ranch which bore his name, the Baldwin Sheep, Land and Livestock Co.

The original holdings numbered 160 acres of land and a blacksmith shop and a general merchandise store handling everything from a gold watch to a threshing machine, which served the ranch and countryside for more than a half a century.

A hotel and boarding house was a favorite stopping place for travelers seeking locations. A number of residences housed employees of the ranch, which gradually grew in size until the original 160 acres became that many thousand.

Retail selling was discontinued about 1920 and the store that had supplied hundreds of homesteaders with groceries and clothes and had been a market for their eggs and butter became a supply center for the ranch and employees only.

Lyn Nichols of Prineville went to work at the Hay Creek Ranch in 1888 when he was 12 years old and worked there for 18 years. Lord Edwards owned the ranch then.

Lyn's description says, "Government land surrounded the ranch and was unfenced and grass grew knee high. Fifty thousand sheep and between 1,500 and 2,000 head of cattle were run. It was a period when the ranch knew its greatest prosperity, because of an ideal combination of free land and thousands of sheep and cattle, a situation that will never again prevail in America.

"In the 18 years of my close association there, only once was it necessary to buy hay. Six thousand tons annually were almost a certainty. The meadows were in alfalfa and yields were large. Sheep were ranged over what is now Jefferson County. Camps were on the Deschutes River, at Gateway, Frog Springs, Paxton and Coleman; in fact every good spring in the country was a camp. At one time, the ranch had five camps on Agency Plains.

"Hay Creek was the first ranch to install a sheep-shearing plant. And I helped to install this machine and I remember that in its first year of operation, 42,000 sheep were sheared. It would be interesting to estimate the number of sheep sheared in the following years.

"During Edward's ownership of the ranch it reached its peak in the ram business, becoming known as the largest fine wool breeding plant in the U.S. Four thousand rams were sold each year. When Edwards sold the ranch shortly after the turn of the century, 40,000 acres of land and 75,000 head of sheep changed hands.

"In 1901, prices of sheep ran from $2 to $3. Lambs brought $2 and ewes $2.75. In those days, weathers were often kept for wool. The prices on yearling weathers was $2.50 and 2-year-old weathers brought $3. Wool was around 13 cents."

It has been said that the first settlers of Hay Creek were Felix and Marion Scott, who crossed the Cascade Mountains over the pass in 1863. They brought teams and wagons and several head of cattle and located on Hay Creek, where they lived in caves in the cliffs of Hay Creek Canyon. According to old-timers, the (Native Americans) stole their cattle, and the men saved their lives by hiding in the caves.

The ranch has changed hands several times since founded by Dr. Baldwin. F.W. Wickman replaced the sheep with cattle and plans to run cattle until such time as the labor situation improves.

50 YEARS AGO

June 20, 1968

Helmer Wallan, chairman of the Jefferson County Fair Board, announced Monday at the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon meeting that a 40-foot-by-100-foot multipurpose block building would be ready to house commercial exhibits by fair week, Aug. 11-18. The building will also be available for such uses as the Playhouse 97 productions, rollerskating, and others.

25 YEARS AGO

June 17, 1993

Following much controversy, Crooked River Ranch Association members voted June 14, to approve the construction of an additional nine holes to complete the ranch's golf course.

After a special meeting Monday night, members cast 588 votes in favor and 466 votes against the construction project. Ranch Director Ginger Morrison said Tuesday that the board of directors will meet again Saturday to ratify the vote and decide on the next steps to take.

An estimated 275 ranch members packed inside and more stood outside of the Crooked River Ranch Firehall during the special meeting Monday to air their views before the vote.

The controversy centered around members concerned about increased membership fees and fears that should the golf course fail, they would be financially liable for it.

Other members felt the additional nine holes would generate enough money to keep future membership fees from increasing astronomically. They said at the rate the ranch is growing, some sort of income besides membership fees is needed to pay for road improvements, etc.

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