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Klamath Day Attracts Spectators at World’s Fair

In early October 1915, the Klamath Falls Commercial Club encouraged people to attend Klamath Day at the Oregon exhibition of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. It was the third World’s Fair held in the United States and the 12th anywhere.

The Klamath Day theme was “Where Fortune Calls.”

Seven-hundred-fifty visitors attended Klamath Day on Oct. 29, among them 150 Klamath residents and 200 former residents.  The Sperry Brothers Milling Co. offered alfalfa honey spread on hot baked bread to exhibition visitors, who also sampled Klamath County cheese and celery.  Lumber baron Robert Booth was among the day’s speakers, saying the county had enough timber to attract a population of 20,000 to Klamath Falls.

The Evening Herald newspaper headlined its report of the day’s activities, “Most Successful County Day at Fair, Klamath’s.”  The newspaper said thousands of people “who until today didn’t know that Klamath was on the map, or if they did know, thought it was a region of only Indians and swamps and desert … have tasted Klamath county cheese, celery and mineral water, and … have heard all about Klamath.”

The day ended with Klamath folks hosting a dance at the Oregon building.

Sources:  "Most Successful County Day at Fair, Klamath’s." The Evening Herald 30 Oct. 1915  [Klamath Falls, Ore.] : 1. Print; "Klamath Day at Exposition Set for October 29." Ibid. 21 Sept. 1915 [Klamath Falls, Ore.] : 1. Print; Official Guide of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition - 1915. San Francisco: The Wahlgreen Company, 1915. 94. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.