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North Unit voters approve a $5 million bond to construct irrigation system in 1919.

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

March 20, 1919

Are we happy? We are. The bond election held Monday on the question of bonding the North Unit Irrigation District in the sum of $5,000,000 for the construction of an irrigation system carried by a much larger majority than did the former election, showing conclusively that the landowners of the district are realizing more than ever the importance of turning the life giving nectar of the Deschutes into channels of production.

And say! The result of the election received front page space in two of the Portland dailies, an indication that the eyes of the whole state are turned in our direction. The items in the Portland papers follows:

Oregonian – Madras, OR. March 17 – Special – The North Unit Irrigation District bond election for $5,000,000 held today, carried by over 70 percent, there being a majority of 137.

This is the second bond election that has been carried in this district. The first was invalidated owing to defective procedure. The election definitely shows the feeling of the residents of the district for irrigation, as the bonds carried for time 20 percent stronger than before. The district comprises approximately 100,000 acres, all privately owned land and a greater part of it under cultivation.

Secretary Lane told A.D. Anderson in Washington this project would receive early consideration.

Oregon Journal – Madras, OR. March 17 –The election held today on the question of bonding the North Unit Irrigation District to the sum of $5,000,000 resulted in a decided victory for the irrigationists. All elections heretofore held in the district have been hard fought and been won only by a safe margin. At this election, the people have gone on record as wanting irrigation by a 70 percent vote. The final counting stood 237 for bonds and 100 against. This places the North Unit in a better position before the government than it has been at any time in the past and the people believe the government will give them a hearing.

75 YEARS AGO

March 16, 1944

Planes were thick as could be over the airport and Madras, Saturday, the ships darting this way and that and many wondering what the occasion was all about.

It seems that an army balloon had escaped from the airport and the flyers were trying to bring it down to earth again. It contained a valve that was rather valuable, though the balloon itself did not cause so much concern.

The airport has many planes and quite a few newly arrived second lieutenants and this gave them occasion for much practice.

The balloon, which was one used for detecting wind velocity, air direction, etc., for some reason had become stuck in the sky, a fact caused by a supposed air pocket. The balloon was finally shot down, but not by machine gun fire — a .22 rifle being used for the purpose.

50 YEARS AGO

March 20, 1969

The problem in Madras with Babe Ruth and Little League baseball is Madras. And volunteer participation. That was the substance of a two-hour long meeting held Monday night at the Jefferson County Courthouse conference room of supporters and patrons of the summertime youth baseball in Jefferson County.

Those gathered, and their number was few compared to the scope of the program, heard Jefferson County youth baseball president Ray Durfee explain that if the 1969 program is to succeed, volunteer participation, so far as groundskeeping and general maintenance was out, and a funded, organized, and continuing program of upkeep was in.

Madras, Durfee said, desperately needed someone to head up the baseball program on a strictly Madras level. A strong leader locally, he said, could avoid situations similar to last year where he, as Jefferson County League president, was forced to leave ball games he was coaching in Culver to come to Madras to umpire a ballgame, which is strictly illegal.

The evening was spent airing various ways this might be approached.

Durfee explained that current efforts are being made to approach the Jefferson County Fair Board on the possibility of transferring to them the authority and responsibility for upkeep of the playing fields. This would be accomplished, he said, by raising for Madras participants — 165 last year — the playing fee which currently is $2 and using the money to help offset fair board costs.

He felt this approach would work because of the centralization of authority and the simple fact that volunteer assistance in the youth baseball program, so far as groundskeeping is concerned, is nonexistent.

Another factor, brought out by Don Vandervelden, who attended the meeting, was the value of youth baseball to Madras. It was far better, he said, to have a working, functional program, paying whatever is necessary to make it work, than a program in shambles, disorganized and of minimal benefit to all concerned.

Durfee added that one of the problems last year was the disgust of parents with the program (team mothers were, he said, packing irrigation pipe to water the field) to the point of taking their kids out of the program. Further, Durfee said, a keener interest by coaches, umpires and all concerned would be engendered if the spectre of protracting bouts as groundskeepers and handymen would be removed.

25 YEARS AGO

March 17, 1994

History came tumbling down Sunday at noon.

The K&D Drive-In screen, a south Madras landmark, was pulled down to make way for progress.

As someone who will promote growth and evolution within our town as a good thing, I guess I can't complain. But when I thought about the big screen tumbling to the weed-covered drive-in floor, I got the same feeling I did when I read in this paper a couple years back about the Chief Theater being destroyed — like important scrolls of history were being shredded.

So many helped fill a station wagon to hit the drive-in on a Saturday night, crammed themselves into a trunk or climbed that old brown fence to escape an entry fee, and nervously sat in their parents' car across a first date, and some even sat with the sage on South Adams Drive to watch a soundless movie. The echoes of those nights were heard again when the screen came down Sunday.

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