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Huckleberry Mountain Produces Bumper Crop in 1908

It was a bumper huckleberry year in 1908 in the Cascade Forest Reserve just west of Southern Oregon’s  Crater Lake National Park.

In October, Park Superintendent V. K. Arant told the Klamath Falls Evening Herald that some 500 families had camped that fall on Huckleberry Mountain, collecting 40,000 gallons of berries.  He said an equal amount was picked from the Lake of the Woods country some 61 miles to the south.

“Not half the berries (on Huckleberry Mountain) were gathered,” the newspaper said.  “There were fully a thousand acres literally black with the luscious berry, but even the army of people … could not more than half cover the ground.”

The newspaper said people riding horseback through the heavily laden bushes left a trail of berries brushed off by their saddle stirrups.  It added that the mountain offered ideal camping with ample water, foot-high grass for feeding the horses and “wide spreading trees (that) afford shade by day and protection by night.”

Park superintendent Arant said Crater Lake had a banner year, too, attracting some 5,000 visitors between July and the end of October.  That compares with 756,344 park visitors in 2016.

Source: "Forty Thousand Gallons Picked on Huckleberry Mountain." The Evening Herald, 20 Oct. 1908 [Klamath Falls, Ore.], p. 1, oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn99063812/1908-10-20/ed-1/seq-1.pdf. Accessed 26 Jan. 2017.

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.