75 years ago

First shipment of Penicillin

The Blue Mt. General hospital received its first shipment of Penicillin last Saturday, in the amount of 500,000 units. This widely publicized drug, used extensively and successfully for treating the wounded in the battle zones, is allotted for civilian use through hospitals, by the government.

50 years ago

County receives geological signs

Grant County residents and tourists alike will be able to gain a better insight of the geological features of the area with the installation of information signs at seven locations.

The signs arrived in John Day today and will be installed as soon as possible.

The geology of the Mt. Vernon Butte, Strawberry Mountain Range, Picture Gorge, the Rattlesnake formation, Long Creek Mountain and the John Day River Valley is explained by the signs.

Information for the signs is the result of cooperative efforts of the Grant County Planning Commission, the State Department of Geology, State Highway Department, geology departments at University of Oregon and Oregon State University, U.S. Geological Survey and numerous individuals including Dr. Thomas Thayer.

25 years ago

Grand marshals named for Prairie City, Dayville parades

John, Charlene Gardner honored by Prairie City

Parade grand marshals for this year’s Grant County 4th of July celebration in Prairie City are John and Charlene Gardner of John Day who will be riding in the parade in a horse drawn vehicle.

The Gardner’s own and operate Gardner Enterprises, in John Day. John began the beverage bottling and distributing business in 1959. At that time it was located in Canyon City in the old Coca-Cola bottling plant that first opened for business in 1911.

In 1974 John moved his business to the present location in John Day, and in 1984 the bottling operations ceased due to most beverages being in aluminum cans.

John was raised in Greenhorn where his father was a gold miner; however, he was born in Weiser, Idaho.

“I was born there because it was winter and mother had gone there to be closer to a doctor and be with relatives,” said John. “She brought me back right away though.”

By the time John began school the family had purchased and moved to a ranch in the Marysville area east of Canyon City.

He attended the old Rebel Hill School from first through sixth grades; graduated from Grant Union High and then attended Oregon State University.

Charlene was born and raised, and attended school in Baker City. Early in 1963 she came to John Day to work at the Blue Mountain Hospital. Shortly afterwards she and John met, and in December of 1963 they were married.

The couple has four children, two sons and two daughters. Eldest son Tony works in the family business in John Day; Andy is a teacher in Stayton; Jennifer lives in Boise, Idaho and has presented John and Charlene with their as yet only grandchild, Meghann; and youngest daughter Amy has recently graduated from the University of Portland and returned to John Day.

John and Charlene are both community-oriented and very involved in local activities. Long time supporters of the annual Grant County Fair, as well as the 4-H, they are also members of the John Day Elks Lodge, the Grant County Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion and the Whiskey Gulch Gang. Charlene also serves on the board of directors of the Grant County Federal Credit Union.

Fishing and gardening are enjoyed by both John and Charlene when time allows, and according to Charlene they are really looking forward to participating in the 4th of July parade.

“It’s certainly an honor to have been chosen for this,” said John. “We really like being thought of in this manner.”

“The 4th of July is a great national celebration,” said Charlene. “Our family has always enjoyed going to the celebrations, watching the activities and events and seeing the fireworks displays. Prairie City always has such wonderful fireworks on the Fourth.”

Linda McArthur will lead activities for Dayville’s Fourth of July gala

A great grandmother of five generations will serve as grant marshal for this years Dayville Fourth of July Celebration.

This year’s parade will mark Linda MacArthur’s second invitation serving this title as she was also honored nine years ago.

Born along with a twin brother in 1902 to William and Gladys Munjar, Linda and her sibling, Grey, were reared in Dayville where they also attended school.

Her parents were married upstairs in what is now known as the Dayville Mercantile. At that time, it was known as the American Legion Hall, where dances and celebrations of all kinds were held.

Linda mentioned that in her day they did not have then the luxuriant transportation to and from school that kids do now.

“I remember when the river was so high on the South Fork we both had to ride our horses all the way down to where we had a cable car,” recalls Linda, “and there we rode across the water to get safely to school.”

At 92 years young, Linda enjoys gardening and quiet times spent at home, where she lives by herself.

Times are surely different today than they were back then. She credits her longevity to lots of hard work.

At Canyon City in 1928 she married a man from Inverness, Scotland, named George MacArthur. He came to this country on the sister ship behind the Titanic.

“He wanted to travel on the sunken ship, but felt it was too expensive,” says Linda. “I’m glad he didn’t have the money to do that. I would have never met him.”

Their union produced a daughter, Muriel, and a son, Keith. The couple made their living by raising registered Herefords, ranching and farming, and making a living off the land.

The hardest times, says Linda, were during the Depression. “Stamps were only three cents a piece, and there were times I wondered how I would pay the postage.”

Linda also worked in the old box factory located out old county road where the Mascall Ranch now resides.

“We made coffins and boxes, and it was hard work. But it was a job, and that’s what we all needed at the time.”

Her husband, George passed away in 1958. Since that time she has stayed in Dayville and says she’ll never leave.

“It always has been and always will be home to me.”

With lots of loved ones nearby, it seems that Linda MacArthur will pass down her wisdom through the five generations of family members that live in the vicinity.

“I’ve seen lots of changes over the years and I’m glad to have had such a good life,” she says. “Now, if I could only get rid of my arthritis…”

10 years ago

T-storms get jump on season

The 2009 thunderstorm season is well underway in Grant County.

According to the National Weather Service, as of last Friday there were 17 thunderstorms reported within 10 miles of the Grant County Regional Airport in John Day – an early start to the season.

For the average year, the John Day area gets about 20 thunderstorms.

Dennis Hull, an NWS Meteorologist in Pendleton, said June has been a particularly active month for thunderstorms.

15 of the season’s 17 thunderstorms were in the first 16 days of June. The others were reported March 4 – with both thunder and snow observed at the airport – and on May 28.

The flurry of activity came ahead of the Weather Service’s annual Lightening Awareness Week – June 21-27 – that is intended to warn folks about dangers of such storms as the season begins.

More than 70% of lightening fatalities occur between June and August, says John Jensenius, the National Weather Service lightening expert who tracks and evaluates lightening paths for the agency.

Each year lightening strikes more than 400 people in the United States.

About 60 of those die, and many more are left with devastating and permanent disabilities.

The Weather Service studies lightening fatalities in order to know where to best target its lightening education efforts.

For example, men are struck far more often than women, sustaining about 85% of lightening deaths. And men under 40 account for 60% of all lightening fatalities.

“At the start of summer when people are getting ready to enjoy outdoor activities, we want to remind them that lightening is very dangerous,” says Jensenius. “Lightening can kill – so remember – when thunder roars, go indoors.”

To avoid being struck by lightening, Jensenius recommends that you:

• Get into a fully enclosed building or hardtop vehicle at the first rumble of thunder.

• Stay indoors for 30 minutes after the last thunderclap.

• Monitor the weather forecast when you’re planning to be outdoors.

• Have a plan for getting to safety in case a thunderstorm moves in.

• Do not use a corded phone during a thunderstorm unless it’s an emergency; cell phone are safe to use.

• Keep away from plumbing, electrical equipment and wiring during a thunderstorm.

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