© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

As It Was: Huge Hot Water Geyser Erupts in Adel, Ore. in 1959

Charles Crump had no forewarning of what would come of his contacting the Nevada Thermal Power Co. that was looking for geothermal sources for power plants.
Crump owned land near Adel, Ore., so he made a deal with the company in 1959 and suggested a spot to drill.  The company gave up after drilling down to 1,681 feet without striking water. 

Puzzled by the dry hole, Crump was visiting the drill site a few days later when the ground began to rumble and a roaring, boiling column of water burst 200 feet into the sky right in front of him.

It became the largest continuously erupting geyser known in the United States, even larger than Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful.  The world-class geyser continued nonstop for six months, and then started spouting at regular intervals throughout the day. Someone in the early 1960s had the wise idea of dropping large rocks down the well casing and watching the geyser shoot them out.  Instead, the rocks plugged the geyser and its eruptions ceased altogether.

The present-day Crump Geyser has become a well, and the area around it is a geothermal energy-exploration-and-development site.

Sources:  Crump Geyser." Oregon Hot Springs, edited by Anders Noren, soakoregon.com, 2017, soakoregon.com/crump-hot-geyser/. Accessed 22 Nov. 2017; John, Finn J. "Last Geyser in Pacific Northwest has gone still in Lakeview (Edit: No It Hasn't!)" Offbeat Oregon History, 12 Nov. 2010, offbeatoregon.com/H1011c-last-geyser-in-oregon-goes-still-in-lakeview.html. Accessed 21 Nov. 2017; Thornburn, Mark, and Lisa Wojna. Oregon Trivia: Weird, Wacky and Wild. Alberta, Blue Bike Books, 2007, pp. 40-41.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.