As It Was: Windy Jantzen Homesteads on Oregon South Coast
In the early 1900s, Herman Jantzen lived in Windy Valley, a remote, serene place where the wind constantly murmurs through the trees. It rests at the foot of Snow Camp Mountain on the Oregon South Coast.
Jantzen became known as “Windy,” most likely because he loved to talk, but it may be that he took the nickname from the valley.
Within a few short years after filing for his remote homestead, the proving survey shows he built a log house, constructed a shake barn and smokehouse, planted 87 fruit trees, and had almost four acres under cultivation, all surrounded by a high picket fence.
Jantzen also stocked fish in his creek, filling milk cans with small trout from the Chetco River and packing them by mule 27 miles to the creek. He fed them by hanging a deer head over the stream. When it was crawling with maggots, they fell into the water, providing his young fry with a gourmet meal.
Eventually, he moved closer to town, purchasing 10-acres near Gold Beach.
Today, only a few rotted remains of the old buildings are evidence of Jantzen’s time spent in Windy Valley.
Source: Schroeder, Walt. Characters, Legends and Mysteries of Curry County, Oregon. Gold Beach, Oregon, Curry Historical Society, 2007.