McKenzie River Reflections

Trail crewThe Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) will again offer summer employment positions at the McKenzie River and Middle Fork ranger districts. Applicants should have been born between August 21st, 1997 and June 15th, 2000.
YCC employees will work on public lands and have the opportunity to learn about and develop an appreciation of the natural environment while earning a wage. The emphasis is on hands-on learning; tasks may include building bridges, pulling invasive weeds, conducting wildlife surveys, collecting trash, trail maintenance, wildlife habitat enhancement and repairing fences.


Cons fightingBy Finn J.D. John
Tips from the pros
In a bit of a break with the usual format of Offbeat Oregon History, today I’m going to share with you the text of a promotional brochure mailed out shortly before the First World War by notorious criminal mastermind/motivational speaker Blackie DuQuesne*:

Dear Aspiring Train Robbers:

McKenzie Sports Schedule This Week

Walterville Market, 39317 McKenzie Hwy., Walterville Shopping Center


Featured Items - Ad Prices Effective January 28 - February 3, 2015






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Leaburg DamLEABURG: Problem's continued today at the Eugene Water & Electric Board's Leaburg Dam.
Due to the breakdown of a crane on the structure, the road across the Leaburg Dam is closed. EWEB personnel were driving pilot vehicles to escort passenger cars and trucks through the private logging roads accessed by Goodpasture Road starting at approximately 4:30 p.m. today.
According to McKenzie Fire & Rescue, flaggers on the Highway 126 side of the dam will direct vehicles to a location on Goodpasture Road. The pilot vehicles will then escort passenger vehicles on the private roads to the Leaburg Dam.

Warning sign

LEABURG: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission  allowed EWEB to refill Leaburg Lake with no ramping restrictions. It was at 742 feet of elevation above sea level by about 8 p.m. 0n Wednesday night. Roll gates 2 and 3 are now back in operation. Calibrations and training were on the agenda this week at Leaburg Dam as the Eugene Water & Electric Board moved forward to bring the hydroelectric generating facility back on line. Utility spokesman Joe Harwood said the schedule called for dam operators to familiarize themselves with the new motor and gearbox that began “wet testing” last week in anticipation of refilling the reservoir soon.

Dynamite foundBy Finn J.D. John
There was a time, not so many years ago, when every Oregonian over the age of 12 had access to dynamite.
Not that they could simply walk into a hardware store and buy some — although in the early years, they could. But even as late as the 1960s, the laws restricting explosives purchasing were mild enough that it wasn’t uncommon for farmers to buy the stuff for stump removal, or to work a mining claim.

Leaburg DamLEABURG: $3 million in successful repair work at Leaburg Dam was completed this week. Following more testing, the Eugene Water & Electric Board plans to refill the lake behind the dam soon. One of the structure’s three circular roll gates broke in 2012. A second failed last month.



hero clerkBy Finn J.D. John
It was just after 2 a.m., in the wee small hours of the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 24, 1901, and the Oregon and California Fast Express had just left the train depot at Cottage Grove, headed for Portland. Up in the engine, engineer B.L. Lucas and fireman Robert Gittens were looking out ahead into an unusually dark night, illuminated by the carbide lamp on the front of the engine. They were passing through the wooded area north of Cottage Grove, approaching the hamlet of Saginaw.


McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.