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Roadhouse Earns Rowdy Reputation in Bly, Ore.

Most small communities in Southern Oregon-Northern California’s mythical State of Jefferson, had their rough edges during Prohibition.  The Klamath County logging town of Bly was no exception.

A pool-hall roadhouse opened in the early 1900’s in Bly, located at the midway point between Klamath Falls and Lakeview, and just a few miles from the southeastern corner of the sprawling Klamath Indian Reservation.

The roadhouse earned a reputation for numerous brawls in the 1920’s, and sheriff’s deputies frequently responded to disturbances at the pool hall, aptly named “The Bucket of Blood.”

Authorities, tipped that reservation residents were frequenting the establishment to obtain moonshine, padlocked the Bucket of Blood and six other Bly establishments in February 1930.  It soon reopened under new management, only to be raided again within a few months.

Justice of the Peace Jack Almeter imposed fines of $400 on each of the two new owners.

A sheriff’s auction sold the roadhouse in 1932.  Converted to a hotel, the place burned to the ground a few months later.

A Klamath Falls newspaper reported authorities responded to the fire with “a sigh of relief.”

Sources: "Bucket of Blood Raided by U.S.I.S Officers." The Evening Herald, 15 Dec. 1930 [Klamath Falls, Ore.], https://www.newspapers.com/image/92102645. Accessed 29 Mar. 2017; "Fire Strikes Bly Resort." The Evening Herald, 30 Dec. 1932, https://www.newspapers.com/image/95994302. Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

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.