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Oregon Journal suggests abandoning one Deschutes Canyon railroad line in favor of highway.

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

October 2, 1919

It has been suggested that one line of railroad up the Deschutes Canyon be abandoned and the track taken up and used for a line from Bend to Burns.

The Journal would offer as an amendment that the road bed be converted into a highway. This would solve a serious problem in the construction of The Dalles-California Highway by providing an easy grade. By widening the railroad grade and bridges and building an altogether new grade on the short stretch where a common track is now used in the canyon, a highway on a water grade would be obtained.

It would be a wonderful scenic road, as well as one of commercial utility.

By converting one of the railway lines into a highway, the crime of building two railroads up the canyon will be in a measure atoned.

– Oregon Journal

75 YEARS AGO

October 12, 1944

The council at a special meeting Wednesday night awarded to Howard-Cooper, Portland, the bid on the new fire truck for $6,409. The truck will be of a mid-ship type, 22.5 feet long and mounted on a Chevrolet chassis with a 200-gallon water supply tank. It will be delivered in Madras within 30 days.

Bids were opened, for the purchase of the new fire truck the city plans to buy, at the regular meeting of the council Tuesday night. Howard-Cooper and Neep Equipment Co., both of Portland, were the bidders. A special meeting of the council was called for Wednesday night to study the matter in detail. Purl Lytle was the only member not present.

A building permit was granted to Howard W. Turner for the erection of a building next to the bus depot now underway. No estimate was given as the owner's plans are not complete, although the future occupant will be the abstract office.

The third reading of the ordinance directing the issuing of bonds for the purchase of the fire equipment was also made and passed.

50 YEARS AGO

October 2, 1969

The 4-H program in Jefferson County has 404 club members, 128 boys and 276 girls, carrying 685 projects. The program is carried on by 61 leaders, 17 of whom are men, 42 women.

That is the "army" which is mobilized to observe National 4-H Club Week, Oct. 4-11, Jay Binder, Jefferson County extension agent, said Tuesday. The "army" is growing, Binder continued. Enrollment is some 50 greater than last year, and it could increase as much as 100 more next year.

From Binder's standpoint, it would be great if the increase of 100 materialized, especially if they were all boys. The 4-H program in Jefferson County needs greater male involvement, as membership figures show.

Many of the projects naturally attract more girls, Binder noted. Of 109 members engaged in clothing projects, a not surprising 107 are girls. The 54 knitting project members are all girls.

Of 178 members engaged in food preparation projects, all but 14 are girls. Boys' numbers top the girls' count in livestock projects ... but not much. There are 95 boys and 89 girls.

In projects of other types, the boys outnumber the girls in just two. They number 18 in gun safety compared to five girls. The 18 rocketry project members are all boys.

25 YEARS AGO

October 5, 1994

On June 17, 1965, a dedication was held for Round Butte Dam and Lake Billy Chinook, the reservoir which formed when the dam was built.

This Saturday, Oct. 8, beginning at 9 a.m., a special 30-year celebration of the formation of Lake Billy Chinook will look back on that day, with over 30 agencies and businesses participating.

Historical displays will tell about Warm Springs Indian scout Billy Chinook and give information about the formation of the lake and subsequent Cove Palisades State Park.

There will be information and concession booths and interpretive displays. Parties of volunteers will also be organized to do park cleanup and those participating will receive free camping Saturday night.

Back in 1965, Gov. Mark Hatfield came to Madras to speak at the dedication of the $62 million Round Butte Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam located wholly within the confines of the state of Oregon.

Started in 1961, some 1,300 workers were at work on the 440-foot high structure at the peak of construction.

The Cove, located in the canyon where the Crooked and Deschutes rivers met, had been a favorite picnicking and swimming place for early-day Madras and Culver residents.

The Boegli family farmed the canyon bottom and due to the lower elevation's milder climate, were able to grow peach and apple orchards, which drew customers from all over Central Oregon. The farm was sold to the State Parks Division in 1941.

A hydroelectric plant was built in 1912 by Pacific Power and Light; there was a tenting campground and baseball fields for locals to enjoy.

According to present Cove Park Ranger Paul Patton, the Crooked River was brought around by a flume, which created the island.

A reservoir began forming and flooding the old park area as construction on the dam progressed. It was expected it would take several years for the reservoir, named Lake Billy Chinook, to reach full capacity, but Mother Nature had other plans.

A Christmas flood in 1964 sent 22,000 cubic feet of water per second flooding into the canyon and it filled in one week.

"If it were not for the dams (also Pelton) the results would have been disastrous," Ranger Patton said.

That body of water and the new Cove State Park now attract over 750,000 visitors a year, and have an economic impact of $17 million per year in this area.

"The Cove area has always been a special place, even though its face has changed," Patton commented.


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