75 years ago

Weather fair, crowd large for ’62 and Pioneer Day events

For the first time in six years, the ’62 celebration at Canyon City last Saturday failed to bring a rain on the day of the event, however heavy clouds were low in the sky most of the day. But, it was fair weather, and the crowd, as usual, was large for the nighttime events in the big ’62 auditorium where two dances were in full swing all night. Both dance floors were crowded, and the restaurant, soft drink bar and gambling tables also were well patronized.

An account of the Pioneer meeting and reunion, which was held in conjunction with the ’62 follows:

Grant County Pioneer Association met at Fraternal Hall, Saturday, June 10, at 11 o’clock for a short business session.

It was voted to divide the county into zones, and select a queen from one zone each year. Zone 1 includes Canyon City and John Day localities; Zone 1 – Prairie City, Austin, Galena, Susanville and Granite localities; Zone 3 – Mt. Vernon, Dayville and Kimberly localities; Zone 4 – Monument, Hamilton, Long Creek, Ritter, Range and Fox Valley localities; Zone 5 – includes Bear Valley, Silvies, Izee and Suplee localities. Zone 2 will select the queen for 1945.

The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Orin L. Patterson, president; Chas. A. Trowbridge, vice president; Lena Welsh, secretary-treasurer.

The Grant High School band gave several numbers during the noon hour.

At 2 o’clock the following program was given:

“America” by the audience.

Invocation by Rev. Geo. A. Murphy.

Solo, “All the World is Waiting for the Sunrise,” by Tommy Johnson. Mr. Johnson’s encore number was “John Day Valley,” words and music by Bob Watson, a former Grant County resident.

Donna Patterson and Penny Hicks as flower girls presented bouquets to seven pioneer ladies.

The Pioneer Queen, Jennie Fields, was escorted to her throne, and Luan Chandler sang “Wagon Wheels.” In attendance to the queen were Janice Johnson, Mae Jeanette Keerins, Ellen Gunther and Christie Jean Hoverson.

Allegiance to the flag was given by the audience, and a beautiful corsage presented to the queen by Mrs. C. W. Brown.

Mrs. Hugh B. Fate and Mrs. T. E. Knox, in old-fashioned costumes, sang two duets.

Owing to a sudden illness, John Biggs, Burns attorney who was to deliver the principal address, was unable to attend, so at the last minute, Attorney Orval D. Yokom and Rev. Geo. A. Murphy were asked to substitute and they kindly consented. The themes of their remarks were “pioneers” and “our heritage,” and, had the audience not been informed, no one would have ever suspected that these were extemporaneous talks, as both speakers gave a timely message greatly enjoyed by their listeners.

The meeting closed by the audience singing “God Bless America” and “Auld Lang Syne.”

50 years ago

Damages hit the $250,000 mark

Untold damage lies in the wake of a series of flash floods and thundershowers that reached a peak Monday evening in Grant County.

One person was injured by lightning and a horse in the Kimberly area was reported killed by lightning. Power service of the California Pacific Utilities Company and the Columbia Power Cooperative Association were curtailed in various locations in the county for brief periods of time.

Highway travel is reported to be “back to normal” by Norman Cox, State Highway Department maintenance foreman in John Day. He said today that there are some spots on Highway 26 between Dayville and Prineville still restricted to one-lane traffic.

Assessment of agricultural damage is yet to be completed. Soil erosion and silt deposits have damaged more than 100 acres of farmland between John Day and Prairie City.

Hay crops have also been damaged by the heavy rainstorms.

Memories of the 1964 Christmas flood were recalled Monday evening in John Day as three homes on NW Bridge Street were flooded. High water broke over a levee on the east side of the Grant County Fairgrounds at about 9:30 p.m.

Virgil Allen and the Darius Dayton family were forced to vacate their homes. Both have not returned yet. The Bennie Reids were not home when the flood hit their house.

Sandbagging operations prevented water from entering the back door of radio station KJDY. The water was an inch from entering the front door of the radio station, which was flooded in the Christmas flood.

Manning the sandbagging work in the flooded area were the Grant County Jaycees.

The high water almost entered several other homes in the area. The flood reached a peak at about 10:30 p.m. and started to recede almost immediately. Flood water was gone by Tuesday morning.

At Ritter, Cecil Swaggart was injured Saturday at approximately 8:30 p.m. when lightning struck his metal covered building.

“I was about to pick up a shovel and then the next thing I knew I was lying under the corner of the truck,” said Swaggart.

He was not seriously injured by the accident.

A five-year-old mare belonging to Wayne Leathers of Kimberly was killed by lightning sometime Sunday evening. The horse was found dead by a fence.

Lightning was also blamed for power outages in the county.

Cal-Pac services were knocked off from 7:23 p.m. to 7:52 p.m. Monday. Outage occurred again Tuesday afternoon. John Day-Canyon City was without power from 4:48 p.m. to 5:32 p.m. Some sections of the community were without power until 6:55 p.m.

Power was out in Seneca, Mt. Vernon, Dayville and Prairie City as late as 6:33 p.m. A tree blew over and knocked out power for Canyon Creek residents from 4:48 p.m. to 7:32 p.m.

There was a five-hour outage in the Cottonwood Creek area Sunday evening and a two-hour outage on one phase of the Ritter-Kimberly line. Columbia Power Co-Op officials said that the service has been restored.

The Trailways bus, delivering Portland newspapers to the county, arrived late in John Day Tuesday morning after changing directions by coming through by Burns instead of Prineville.

Traffic on Highway 26 was closed for about 90 minutes at Dog Creek Road Monday night due to flash floods.

Waterspouts struck in several locations on Highway 26 between John Day and Prineville.

Road problems persisted for several days during the storms. Highway 395 at Beech Creek was restricted to one-lane travel three miles north of Mt. Vernon last Thursday evening.

25 years ago

’62 Days – It’s a celebration

Sunny skies and warm spring weather brought out a large number of spectators to line the parade route of this year’s annual ’62 Days Parade.

Staging took place along Inland Street, and after the judging, the parade headed south down Humbolt Street then crossed over to Canyon Blvd. at the courthouse and headed back up Canyon Blvd. to Grant Union High School.

Taking the sweepstake’s honors for this year’s parade was the Grant County Little League. First place in commercial floats was won by Jackson Oil; second place, Russell’s Custom Meats; and third place was John Day Polaris.

In the organizational float category, first place was won by the Blue Mountain Hound Club, with second place going to the Bear Valley and Mountain Bloomers & Britches Cloggers.

Sue Holliday took first place in the mounted individual category and the Wounded Buffalo was first in mounted groups. Second place went to High Mountain Bareback Riders, and third place to the Young Riders.

In the horse drawn vehicle category, Dennis Reynolds with his pony and cart took the first place blue ribbon. For best-costumed individual Neal Coleman of Canyon City dressed as a mountain man with packhorse took first place.

McDaniel Oil took first place in the costumed group category with their clown costumes. The individual float that won first place was Ernie Boyd’s blacksmith shop.

The old cars category winners were, first place, Pete Allen with his 1931 red Model A Ford; second place, Gardner’s yellow 1939 Ford pickup, and third place went to Mosier’s 1955 black Cadillac.

In the fair and rodeo courts category, the winner was the Grant County Fair Court; and in the final category the winner was Hugh Lawrence with his tractor.

The horseshoe pitching contest that was held produced these top three winners: first, Terry Cuff of Salem; second, Earl Cuff of Salem; and third, Elmer Bone of Canyon City.

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