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Warner Name Dominates Terrain East of Lakeview, Ore.

The name Warner dominates the terrain in the desert and mountains east of Lakeview, Ore., including the Warner Mountains, Warner Valley, Warner Lakes, Warner Canyon, Warner Rim, and Warner Peak, the highest point on Hart Mountain at 8,017 feet.

Their namesake, Capt. William H. Warner, was a 37-year-old explorer of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers when Indian arrows killed him in an ambush in 1849 while searching railroad routes through the Sierra Nevada.  His body was never recovered.

The Warner Mountains stretch some 85 miles from Northeastern California to South-Central Oregon.  From 1867 to 1874, Camp Warner served as an army supply and administrative center west of the Warner Lakes in today’s Lake County.  Nothing is left of the camp.

The Army built a stone bridge in 1867 across the Warner Valley wetlands that later became part of the Oregon Central Military Wagon Road.  The bridge and sections of the road still exist and are on the National Register of Historic Places.

After graduating from West Point at age 24, Warner fought in the Second Seminole War and helped move the Cherokee Nation west before becoming a topographic engineer corps officer.


Sources: "William H. Warner." Wikipedia. 2015. Web. 18 Apr. 2016. .

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.