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Out of the Past: Grasshoppers devouring Wallowa County crops

From the archives of the Wallowa County Chieftain

Published on July 3, 2018 9:01AM

Decades back, moving houses was an art and a necessity in Wallowa County. This archive photo shows a house being moved. Do you know who owns the house, what year it might have been and where this shot was taken?

Chieftain Archive

Decades back, moving houses was an art and a necessity in Wallowa County. This archive photo shows a house being moved. Do you know who owns the house, what year it might have been and where this shot was taken?

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100 YEARS AGO

July 4, 1918

In 1915 the people of the Flora School District took a great step forward by erecting a new and modern school house. It gives room for present needs and allows something for growth. The building starts two blocks north of the business street of higher ground, giving it a slightly location. It is substantially built of frame construction, is plastered, and has a good heating plant. The Flora people will never regret their expenditure for the school as nothing goes farther to give a community a standing.

Grasshoppers have appeared on the Divide in such great numbers as to be a grave peril to all growing crops. They entered the fields of Peter Cote and Ira Michaels last week and in four days destroyed 90 acres of spring wheat. Much poison was spread, which killed thousands, but did not remove the danger by any means.

Twenty-nine cows have died during the week in town and on Trout creek, from poison spread along the East Oregon railroad track to kill weeds. The preparation, a liquid, was sold on the understanding it was harmless to stock. Shortly after it was sprinkled on the weeds, cows got on the right of way at different points and licked the vegetation and ties, as the solution appeared appetizing to them.

70 YEARS AGO

July 1, 1948

The city of Enterprise has passed an ordinance providing for the licensing of slot machines within the city, the ordinance is to go into effect immediately after publication which is being made in this issue of The Chieftain.

The Pondosa Pine Lumber Co. mill at Wallowa was destroyed by fire Monday evening. The fire broke out about 5:20 p.m. after the mill had shut down for the day. The planer crew, however, was still on the job. Flames were first noticed leaping out of the boiler room and it is supposed that a spark ignited the dust and oils in the room. In a matter of a few seconds the entire area was a mass of flames, the fire literally exploding through the building.

Officials of High Wallowas Inc. indicated this week that the sale of stock in the new gondola company is going far better than expected. In the first ten days that the stock was being sold about half of the required subscribers had purchased stock. A minimum of 110 subscribers must purchase stock in the company before the loan can be closed. About 60 persons have already purchased stock.

Around 150 people enjoyed the Methodist Sunday school potluck picnic held at the lake last Sunday. The children were taken up by bus. A baseball game, races and horse shoe pitching provided the afternoon’s entertainment. Prizes were given as follows: oldest resident, Mrs. Polk Mays; oldest person present, Mrs. Mabel Thompson; youngest person present, Barbara Wilson; newest-comer, Mrs. Charlie Heard.

50 YEARS AGO

July 4, 1968

Ted Grote lost his helicopter to fire last Thursday morning about 9 a.m. when he made an emergency landing on the Snake river. Grote and Clem Stearns, publicity director for Pacific Northwest Power Company, were engaged in search for a lost Beechcraft aircraft carrying A.B. Martin. The mishap occurred at a ranch house near the mouth of Getta Creek on the Idaho side of the Snake river about two miles up the river from Dick River’s overnight camp.

The Nez Perce Sales and Service has been purchased by Vernon (Dick) Hammack, well known local rancher. Dick took over the management of the dealership on July 1. In the future the business will be known as “Hammack’s, Inc.” The owner of the enterprise for the past few months was Wes Cruikshank and prior to Cruikshank, Maylan Lakey operated the business for a number of years.

Photo Caption: City Councilman and Fire Chief Irv Nuss is shown here looking over some of the debris in the roadway at the Enterprise city dump. With garbage spread over nearly all of the dump, Nuss said that the conditions there are “deplorable” and promised to spearhead a move to have some changes made.

25 YEARS AGO

July 1, 1993

Sean Neal and Eric Werst, sixth-grade students in the Wallowa Middle School class of Marilyn Soares, Linda Eddy and Marcia Sheehy, were recently notified of the acceptance of a piece of their poetry for national publication. Sean and Eric’s poems will be published in the 1993 edition of The American Academy of Poetry’s “Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans.”

Donna Butterfield of The Art Angle in Joseph participated in meetings with some of the world’s leading artists at an annual gathering held this year in Vancouver, British Columbia. Donna was among the 450 art dealers present for this year’s seminar.

John Williams has been named Extension agent and staff chair for the Wallowa County office of the Oregon State University Extension Service. Williams, who will be in Wallowa County full time in mid-July, is transferring from Tillamook County, where he has been an extension agent working with 4-H and youth and agriculture programs since 1986.



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