© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Donation Land Claimant's Daughter Promotes Sutherlin

Fendel Sutherlin took out a donation land claim in Camas Swale in Douglas County, Ore., in the early 1850s.  By 1901, Fendel’s daughter Anne Waite inherited his several thousand acres of land, and determined to establish a town in her father’s honor.

Frank Waite, Anne’s husband, and other investors formed the Sutherlin Land and Water Company, built a dam on the Calapooia River to provide electricity and water and tried to market farm sites.  The idea was great, but better promotion was needed.
In 1906 F. S. Luce bought the company and formed the Luce Land and Development Company with his friends in St. Paul, Minnesota. Luce ran colorful ads in the Eastern press and brought excursion trains out to Camas Swale to see 10 or 20-acre irrigated orchard home sites.
By 1911, Anne’s dream of the town of Sutherlin was fulfilled. It sported a large hotel, stone bank building, Luce’s Land Office and 455 people.
The orchard boom never materialized.  By 1919, the hotel became the Seventh Day Adventist Academy, the bank was headed toward failure and Luce’s Land Office was closed.
Sutherlin boomed again in the 1940s, but that is another story.
Sources: Hubbard, Doris W. Widow Makers and Rhododendrons:Loggers--The Unsung Heroes of World War II. Central Point: Hellgate Press, 2000. 17-27. Print; Dias, Tricia. Sutherlin. N.p.: Arcadia Press, 2011. 23. Print; Holm, Ivan. "Sutherlin Adventist Church History." Sutherlin Adventist Church. Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1998. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. .

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.