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Southern Pacific roundhouse

The Southern Pacific roundhouse near the South Sixth Street overpass became the focus of concern in 1994, when city officials pressed the railroad to either repair the idled 68-year-old structure, or tear it down. The railroad opted to demolish the building where locomotives had been serviced and repaired in earlier times.

100 years ago

Plans have been drawn and the contract will be let next week for the construction of a new frame bathhouse in the Second Hot Springs Addition by M.A. Mann, present proprietor of the Hot Springs Bathhouse. The plans have been drawn by F. Hill Hunter, of the Sawmill Engineering and construction company. The new bathhouse will cost approximately $8,000.

Every modern convenience will be installed in the new bathhouse which will be ready for the public about Thanksgiving time. The structure will be equal to a two-story building in height.

Hunter has made provisions in the plans which provide for the entire structure to be free from posts of any kind in the tank proper. Two plunges will be installed and will measure 28 feet by 60 feet. They will be of reinforced concrete and will be 3-feet, 6-inches deep in the lower end and 7-feet in the deep end. Thirteen tub baths will be installed and space allotted for nine more. Two shower rooms, two large dressing rooms, 29 individual lockers, office, store, laundry, a spacious hall and waiting room are all included in the plans.

A feature of the new bathhouse will be revolving vents in the roof that will take care of ventilation of the place. Ample provision will likewise be made for furnishing light from the roof.

— Evening Herald, Sept. 9, 1919

50 years ago

Doubts were expressed today in Klamath Falls as to the identification of an aircraft wreck discovered recently by two antelope hunters on the slopes of Mount Dome, some 15 miles south of Tulelake, Calif. Klamath Falls aviator Rex Morehouse said the plane wreck could not be that of an Air Force 101, which was lost some seven years ago. Morehouse claims the plane went down on a different slope on the mountain, not in the location where the wreck was discovered.

Tuesday a search party of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office went to the site and Undersheriff Bill Rokes said the pieces he found were those of the lost Air Force plane.

The hunters last Friday reported the wreck to the Federal Aviation Agency in Sacramento, Calif., which contacted the Siskiyou County sheriff Monday. It was first believed the wreckage was that of a light plane missing since last February on a flight from Salem to Eureka, Calif. Col. Phillip A. Rand, Kingsley Field, said the Air Force F101 “Voodoo” jet went down May 8, 1962.

An Air Force investigation team went in and the wreck was marked with an orange cross, a customary identification if a wreck cannot be removed.

Undersheriff Rokes did not mention having seen the cross on the wreckage Tuesday.

Col. Rand said he was not certain the newly found wreck was that of the F101, but he had no explanation as to the identification of the wreckage.

But search officials assume this wreck had been found before it was spotted again last week, because the engines have been removed.

— Herald and News, Sept. 10, 1969

25 years ago

The neck of a broken beer bottle lies next to a plastic bag that once contained sunflower seeds. Broken glass from multi-paned windows litters the ground. The structure’s rafters are a playground and home for pigeons.

An orange Southern Pacific rail car occupies one of the building’s railroad tracks, but the rest lie empty.

The Southern Pacific roundhouse, listed on Oregon’s Historic Register, may be in its last days of life. The 80-year-old red building has been an eyesore and hazard to the city of Klamath Falls for several years and the city has told Southern Pacific the railroad needs to tear it down or restore it. Southern Pacific told the city it would tear it down.

But Fred Kepner, owner of the Great Western Railroad Museum, wants to restore the historic roundhouse and use it as a home base for his museum and its historic railroad cars.

“This is another example of an opportunity being thrown away,” he said. “The roundhouse represents a time when every city was a terminal. It’s part of our industrial heritage. Heritage is not only pretty, old Victorian buildings.”

The Klamath Falls roundhouse is only one of three left in the state. The others are in Portland and Eugene.

— Herald and News, Sept. 9, 1994

10 years ago

Born of a post-World War II idea of creating citizen-based international ties, the international sister city program gained popularity in the 1960s and ‘70s. During that era, Klamath Falls was linked to Rotorua, New Zealand, a city bearing some striking resemblances to this rural Oregon town.

According to the Rotorua District Council Web site, the cities were linked in 1962. The towns share many geographic and demographic features, including a proclivity for geothermal projects. While Klamath Falls uses its geothermal resources for heating and energy production, Rotorua has bubbling mud pools and shooting geysers that attract tourists. Both areas’ economies were once fueled by timber, which has given way to other industries, primarily tourism. Both also have populations of indigenous people and are built beside large, shallow, freshwater lakes.

Some Oregon Institute of Technology basketball players have been recruited from New Zealand and Australia.

— Herald and News, Sept. 10, 2009