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Out of the Past: July ‘48: Cold, snow fall on Wallowa County

From the archives of the Wallowa County Chieftain.

Published on July 31, 2018 2:25PM


August 1, 1918

With hay not all put up and grain harvest starting, the expected farm labor shortage has become a reality in the county. County Agent Mac Hoke had the names of two dozen farmers yesterday wanting workers to pitch, drive teams and do other harvest work.

On July 7, the Secretary of the Interior designated 225,000 acres of land in Oregon as subject to being considered public land. About two-thirds of this land is in the La Grande district.

Directors of the county fair association have been summoned for a meeting to consider holding an exhibit one or two days this fall, with displays by children as the chief feature. The state makes an appropriation from public funds for county fairs, Wallowa County’s share this year being $670. If no fair is held, this money goes to other funds.


July 29, 1948

A northwest wind brought winter temperatures over the valley and a heavy snow fell over the entire mountain range. A blanket of fresh snow covered Mt. Joseph, Mt. Enterprise and other nearby peaks down 2,000 feet from the summits. Temperatures have been dropping as low as freezing at night and most residents have had to fire up their heating stoves and furnaces.

The 14th Annual Wallowa County picnic will be held in Laurelhurst Park in Portland. All present and former Wallowa County residents and friends are invited to attend. Approximately 150 people were in attendance last year.

The Enterprise City Council has granted a building permit to the La Grande Lumber Co. for the construction of a retail lumberyard and building estimated to cost $25,000 on the lot immediately east of Jay’s Service Station.


Aug. 1, 1968

More than 500 people, some coming from as far away as Belgium and Pakistan, visited the Art Exhibit and Flower Show, sponsored by the Joseph Chamber of Commerce, during Chief Joseph Days at the Masonic Hall. There were approximately 100 art displays and 25 floral arrangements made by members of the Joseph Garden Club and the Wallowa County Garden Club.

The weekend spanning Chief Joseph Days saw a record crowd at Wallowa Lake State Park. All available accommodations were in use.

The Re-Actions band from Enterprise traveled to Spokane on Sunday to participate in the Battle of the Bands contest. They were one of 30 bands in the contest.


July 29, 1993

Gwen T. Coffin, former editor and publisher of the Wallowa County Chieftain, was inducted into the Oregon Newspaper Hall of Fame at the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association summer convention in Seaside. Coffin, 86, became the 13th journalist inducted into the Hall of Fame, founded in 1973.

For two hours, speakers –– many of them descendants of the Wallowa Band of Nez Perce –– spoke at the Sunday reception at Wallowa Lake Lodge in honor of the authorization of the addition of four Wallowa County sites into the Nez Perce National Historic Park. Speakers included Soy Redthunder of Nespelem, poet Phil George and Sam Penny of Lapwaii, Idaho.

Completion of the Hat Point Recreation Complex began July 19 at three different locations along Hat Point Road. The Hat Point Lookout tower will also be getting a facelift with a new stairway to a mid-level platform and a new ground-level observation platform.


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