Todd Kepple

As It Was Contributor

Todd Kepple has been a Klamath Basin resident since 1990. He was a reporter and editor the for the Herald and News from 1990 to 2005, and has been manager of the Klamath County Museum since 2005. He enjoys volunteering at Crater Lake National Park, the OC&E Woods Line State Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also a founding member of the Klamath Tree League.

The discovery and publicizing of Crater Lake came about in fits and starts in the mid-1800s, as stories of a great body of water emerged from a variety of sources.

The first large hydroelectric facility on the Klamath River entered service 100 years ago, providing an abundant source of power for residents of Northern California and Southern Oregon.  The dam, known as Copco 1, generated 11 megawatts of electricity.

The advance of the California Northeastern railroad from Weed, Calif., toward the Upper Klamath Basin in 1908 brought an end to hauling freight by pack trains or in wagons during the long winter months.

The need for more water in the Central Valley of California has generated countless headlines over the years, and officials there have frequently looked as far as Southeastern Oregon for possible sources of water supplies.

Finding safe places for people to enjoy ice skating in the early 1900s was a real preoccupation of community leaders in Klamath Falls.  The smooth, expansive frozen surface of Upper Klamath Lake continued to lure young skaters, despite drownings beneath the ice.

The Chelsea Lumber and Box Company announced plans in 1917 to build a new sawmill in Klamath Falls at the county fairgrounds at the south end of Lake Ewauna.

Free mail delivery came to Klamath Falls in September 1916.

Nearly four decades after completion of the transcontinental railroad, the Upper Klamath River Basin remained virtually untouched by modern commerce at the outset of the 20th century.

In 1948, Klamath Falls began work on a popular new four-lane highway on the city’s north side to reduce heavy traffic that wound along narrow streets in residential neighborhoods along Biehn and North Ninth streets.

Fire has always been a threat to lumber mills, especially in the days before modern firefighting equipment was close at hand.

As America prepared to enter World War I, military recruiters scoured the West for lumber workers to support the war effort in Europe.

The old National Guard Armory on Main Street in Klamath Falls, Ore., held hundreds of boxing matches. One claimed the life of a young Native American fighter known throughout the Northwest.

It was expensive in the 1800’s for the federal government to feed soldiers at remote outposts such as Fort Klamath in Southern Oregon.

Members of the Klamath Tribes gathered along the banks of the Sprague River near Chiloquin, Ore., in March 1990 to revive the nearly lost tradition of the First Sucker Ceremony.

Most small communities in Southern Oregon-Northern California’s mythical State of Jefferson, had their rough edges during Prohibition.  The Klamath County logging town of Bly was no exception.

The town of Linkville sprang up in March 1867 – 150 years ago this month -- when George Nurse established a trading post and hotel on the banks of Link River.  Oregon had already been a state for eight years at the time.

Some soldiers at Fort Klamath in the winter of 1867 relieved their boredom by producing a humble, hand-written newspaper they called The Growler.  One of its stories made national news.

Long before strip malls and supermarkets became prominent, an entrepreneur in Klamath Falls offered one-stop shopping for rural Klamath County customers.

Over the years, Klamath County has had its share of difficulties keeping criminals safely confined.  The county’s first jail, made of sandstone blocks in 1899, was easily compromised. Located behind the courthouse in Klamath Falls, Ore., it became known derisively as the county’s cracker-box jail.

Free mail delivery came to Klamath Falls in September 1916.