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.

Pacific Telephone and Telegraph announced plans to build a large new telephone office building in Klamath Falls in 1930, but the company delayed construction for a decade as the Great Depression dragged on.

In the year that Oregon became a state, 1859, a group of men left Jacksonville on an expedition into the still unsettled Upper Klamath River Basin.

Most winters, Upper Klamath Lake becomes an immense sheet of ice for up to 20 miles.

The same federal agency that partially drained Northern California’s Tule Lake to create fertile farmland in the early 1900s considered, but rejected, something similar in Southern Oregon more than a half century later.

Klamath Falls businessman Rufus Moore submitted a report to the Portland Oregonian newspaper in February 1899 about the challenging conditions facing livestock producers in the Klamath Basin.  Moore said their primary concern was ensuring enough hay during severe or prolonged winter conditions.

Although legendary cattle drives are frequently associated with states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, stockmen in Oregon and Northern California drove not only cattle but also horses, mules and sheep in the days before railroads and trucks reached the region.

The boundary between the Oregon Territory and Mexico had been established as the 42nd parallel-north-latitude until 1848, when Mexico ceded territory to the United States that became known as the State of California.

Travelers in the early 1900s encountered many challenges and hazards in the rugged terrain of the Klamath Basin.

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.

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