Master fish warden finds a favorable site for a salmon hatchery on the Metolius River at Camp Sherman 75 years ago


September 29, 1921

The much talked of visit to all parts of Oregon by the party of midwestern home seeker's representatives has been called off. In a dispatch received by the Madras Pioneer Monday, the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce, which had charge of the party writes:

Conditions in the Middle West, where the farmers are hard hit through crop failures, lack of markets and general hard times, has resulted in the decision of the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce to cancel the home seeker's excursion through the state as originally planned to begin September 22, according to announcement today.

J.R. Heuring, representative of the State Chamber, who has been advertising Oregon's opportunities in the past five months, reports conditions there to be unbelievably bad, due to the general business depression which has followed the good times of the past two years. The great corn producing states are the hardest hit, according to Heuring. Corn which sold for two dollars a bushel two years ago is now being contracted for at thirty cents.

Large numbers of farmers promised to come to Oregon on the September excursion, according to Heuring, but when the actual date of departure drew near, only seven were able to complete their reservations.

"Although we were not able to secure a large party to come to Oregon this fall, I believe that the past summer's work in the middle west will be of enormous benefit to Oregon," declared Secretary Quayle. "Heuring personally interviewed more than 3,000 prospective settlers and distributed more than 25,000 pieces of descriptive literature. This cannot fail to create a tremendous sentiment for Oregon so that when conditions are more favorable, this state will undoubtedly receive hundreds of farmers as a result of this campaign."

Necessarily the Jefferson County temporary organization, which has been formed at the call of W.R. Cook, president of the Madras Commercial Club, has been called off. Local people express considerable disappointment at the turn affairs have taken but appreciate the conditions of the times readily see that little benefit could have come to the section had the party been made up, taken the trip, and visited here. However, Mr. Cook, like a great many of the other local people who have made a study of the opportunities for bringing home seekers west, is of the opinion that the campaign put on in the middle west by the Oregon State Chamber will, in the future, bear fruit in this section and to every part of the state.


September 26, 1946

It is interesting to note the news reports in the Oregonian of Wednesday morning, to the effect that Arnie J. Suomela, master fish warden of Oregon, has found a favorable site for a salmon hatchery on the Metolius River at Camp Sherman, summer home of many local folk and hundreds of other Oregonians. Indeed, some Californians come to Camp Sherman to spend the summer season at their lodges. The report of the Suomela discovery follows closely on the heels of the story told this newspaper last week by District Forest Ranger Gustafson, who declared that he had found many salmon spawning in the Metolius this year.

The comment of the master fish warden on plans for making the Metolius River the site of great new spawning grounds for salmon which cannot proceed on up the Columbia to former spawning beds, when the McNary Dam is built at Umatilla, is interesting. We, however, are interested in reviewing the recorded history of this Central Oregon river. From various sources we have learned that the Metolius has long been known, to both Indians and pioneer white settlers, as a favored river of spawning salmon. We have been told by local old-time residents, who declare they gained the knowledge from their Warm Springs Indian neighbors, that the name, "Metolius," meant in Indian language stinking fish. The spawning salmon, their life's span concluded, died by the thousands in the beautiful river in earlier years. Their decaying bodies, it was declared, resulted in a repulsive stench along the banks of the stream, so noted today for its beauty.

Lewis A. McArthur, Oregon's best-known authority on geographic names, does not bear out this significance of stinking fish. But he does declare that the Metolius had long been known for its salmon. In his volume, "Oregon Geographic Names," Mr. McArthur says: "Three of the western tributaries of the Deschutes have their sources in giant springs, Metolius, Spring and Fall Rivers, and of these three, the Metolius is the largest and the longest. It flows from the north base of Black Butte, full-bodied and icy cold, and after winding northward through beautiful pine forests, swings around the north end of Green Ridge through a canyon of great depth and majestic grandeur, joining the Deschutes just north of Crooked River. The gorge of the Metolius is more than 1500 feet deep in places, with sides sufficiently precipitous to make a descent a real problem. As far as the writer knows, the first mention of Metolius is in the Pacific Railroad Surveys Reports, Vol. VI, where the name is given Mpto-ly-as. The army officers who compiled these reports visited the valley of the Deschutes in the latter part of 1855, and apparently heard the name from the Indians at that time. Other earlier forms were: Metolius and Mastoles, but modern usage has standardized on Metolius. Around Bend there is a story to the effect that Metolius is a Warm Springs Indian word meaning spawning salmon, but Warm Springs Indians have informed the writer hereof that Metolius means white fish, indicating by that expression that they meant a light-colored salmon rather than a white fish. The two translations may both be correct. There is a post office in Jefferson County named Metolius for the river.

"Fremont forded what we now call the Metolius River on December 1, 1843, but gave it no name. His Indian guides told him it was a 'salmon water'."


September 30, 1971

Unofficial word was received Wednesday that the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has approved a contract for a grant of $966,859 for construction of 50 family units on the Warm Springs Reservation.

Waldron Lessert, a member of the Warm Springs Housing Authority, said that he had anticipated signing the contract later this week. Known as a HUD low-rent project, the plan calls for 50 separate units of from two to five bedrooms in the West Hills district of the reservation.


October 2, 1996

A small pipe bomb was recently found underneath a stairwell at Bright Wood Corporation, near plant number 11.

An employee of the company found the device at approximately 7:15 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 26.

Before authorities arrived at the scene, the employee picked up the bomb, which was approximately four inches long, and examined it.

The device, which did not contain a fuse or a timer, contained what appeared to be a black powder.

The case remains under investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

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