Looking back

Construction of a flume to carry irrigation water to farmland south of Henley is seen in this 1921 photo. The concrete flume served several thousand acres of land in the Klamath Reclamation Project until it was replaced by a pipeline in 2017.

100 years ago

With their lives in the balance and the balance decidedly wobbly, Sam Woodard and E.A. Wets yesterday underwent an experience with a Ford touring car which will long live in their memory.

The men are employed on the Henley flume project nine miles south of this city and when they quit work, Wetz drove a car belonging to W. M. Dehlinger from the camp. The machine steered fine until the approach of a 12 foot ditch was made, then without warning the steering gear broke and the Ford started on a rampage of its own. With a veer to the right, the front wheels went over the side of the bridge then started to fall. During this period the occupants held their breaths.

A guard consisting of three barbed wire strands on that side of the bridge saved the lives of the men for it was at this point where the car began a teeter-totter swaying, halfway on the bridge, half in the air.

When the car finally stopped its swaying, the men climbed out the side of the machine to safety. The car was pulled back and found to have a broken driving rod and a bent axle but not nearly so badly damaged as the nerves of the two men.

The Evening Herald, October 19, 1921

50 years ago

Two Klamath County employees, Bill Burk and Rod Ruegger, showed off 150 big chinook salmon donated to the county by Pacific Power and Light Co. and the California Department of Fish and Game. The fish, sacrificed as part of the normal spawning operation at Iron Gate Fish Hatchery one the Klamath River east of Hornbrook, are used by public agencies in several Northern California and South Oregon counties. The pickup load for Klamath County will be canned and used by the jail and juvenile facility.

The Herald and News, October 18, 1971

25 years ago

They can approach without a sound, and at night without being seen—until it is too late.

Three Klamath Falls city police reserve officers are cruising the streets on 21-speed, silent-shifting mountain bikes and taking criminals by surprise.

This summer, the officers—Jeff Hutchinson, Kent Oldham and Chris Bason—spent 30 to 50 hours a month on the streets, mainly in Mills Addition and Downtown. The hope is to fight crime by talking to neighborhood residents and being a less intimidating presence than officers in patrol cars.

It’s working. The three have made numerous drug busts and cited juveniles for being in possession of tobacco and other drugs.

The police-on-bikes method also is effective at high school games and for stopping parking lot car thieves during events such as Ross Ragland Theater concerts.

The bicycles are equipped with large flashlights, black bags with citation books and other necessities. The officers themselves carry radios and guns and wear white bicycle helmets marked “police.”

The time they spend on the streets is voluntary and unpaid. The three also have paid jobs.

The Herald and News, October 22, 1996

10 years ago

The Fort Klamath Store is this ranching community’s place to gather.

“This is where people come to sit and have a cup of coffee and talk about the weather, where tourists come to see cowboys,” said Cheri Wilcox, who co-owns the store with her husband, Mark.

As of Nov. 1, locals and passerby will have to find a new spot to haunt and hang out. The store, which opened in the late 1890s, will close Halloween night. There are no plans for it to reopen.

Wilcox says Fort Klamath long-timers believe the closure is the first in the store’s history.

“It’s been getting progressively worse,” she says of business.

After talking about selling or closing the store over the past five years, they reluctantly decided to turn over the store, their nearby home and other buildings on the three-acre parcel back to the bank.

The Wilcoxs recalled marriages, babies who are now young adults, friends like Roger Nicholson, who depends on the store for Planter’s Peanut bars, Japanese tourists eager to eat real cowboy food, and customers “who’ve driven hundreds of miles just to come and have one of our homemade donuts and a cup of coffee, or to have some of our famous homemade chili or sometimes both.

The Herald and News, October 22, 2011