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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.

Laurel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State. Her research efforts as a volunteer for the Curry Historical Society produced numerous newsletter articles and exhibits and earned her a reputation as a seasoned local history buff. Laurel is the author of "Renderings from the Gold Beach Pioneer Cemetery", a 50-page booklet containing a walking tour and snippets about the lives and times of folks buried there. She is also a contributing writer to Oregon Coast Magazine.