Petersen Rock Garden – our local living fossil

Feeling a little stir crazy this afternoon, I decided to play hooky from the daily grind and go find something interesting to photograph. I ended up at Petersen Rock Garden, which is chock-full of “interesting”.

This 4-acre slice of Americana was created by a guy named Rasmus Petersen, a Dutch immigrant who settled in Central Oregon in the early 1900’s.


There’s the man himself. (Vintage photos are courtesy of Friends of Petersen Rock Garden’s Facebook page.)

Apparently Mr. Petersen liked rocks, I can’t imagine any other reason for wandering Central Oregon looking for strange specimens then dragging them home, probably to an ever-growing pile in the back yard. At the age of 52, and probably in reaction to his family saying something like “What the HECK are you going to do with all those silly rocks, Rasmus?”, Mr. Petersen began building a garden.

Vintage photos are courtesy of Friends of Petersen Rock Garden’s Facebook page.

1950’s photo of the Pixie House with the Peterson home in the background. (Vintage photos are courtesy of Friends of Petersen Rock Garden’s Facebook page.)

I’m sure it started small, maybe a few beds made up of cement walls embedded with pretty stones in rows creating colorful patterns. Then it appears to have become something of an obsession for the man. For the last 17 years of his life, he built, expanded, changed things, added water and plants, added bigger and more elaborate buildings, and generally lived up to his reputation as a bit of an eccentric.

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Train Wars in the High Desert

Last summer we picked up a book at an antique store on the coast. I’m normally not a train fanatic, but this one happened to have a photos of the Crooked River high bridge on the cover, looking towards Jefferson – so, if our house had been built fifty-odd years ago, it would have been in this picture. We thought it worthy of the $8 price tag.

The book is Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway by Charles and Dorothy Wood. It covers not only the major lines throughout the west, but also our own little railway line here in Central Oregon, the Oregon Trunk Line.

A time schedule from 1912 shows many town names lost to history. Nena? Nathan? Maybe they were just stopping at people’s houses.

Of course, it was 1900, EVERYONE had trains, this is so NOT news. Oh, but au contraire mon frere, what we had here was a knock-down, no-holds-barred, spy-vs.-spy, fight to the finish line between two different companies.

Harriman and Hill

Two giants emerged on the scene to do battle for Oregon’s train spoils – James Jerome Hill and Edward Henry Harriman.

Harriman was born on Long Island in 1848, and became a boy wonder on Wall Street. He persuaded his father-in-law, president of the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain Railroad, to let him reorganize and improve the property.  A dozen fruitful years later, he joined with a syndicate to purchase the Union Pacific, turning it from receivership to one of the best railroads in the country using the proceeds of smaller lines he purchased and sucked dry, then cast aside after their stockholder were ruined.

Hill was born in Ontario Canada in 1835. After working as a clerk then forwarding agent for a steamship line, he created the Red River Transportation Company, which was direct competition to theHudson’s Bay Company in the area. During the panic of 1873, Hill was able to take over a bankrupt line fromSt.PaultoManitoba. Later he bought a Dakota company that held paper for thousands of acres of land. Land that had been homesteaded by many settlers for over 20 years, and instead of forcing the homesteaders to move, the government passed an act to allow Hill to trade these lands for valuable timber land in Montana, Idaho and Washington. His friend and neighbor, Frederich Weyerhaeuser helped him survey the land and purchased a few thousand acres for himself. In 1889, Hill organized the Great Northern Railway Company. The company sneaked into ownership of the Northern Pacific by purchasing shares under different names, then consolidating all into what became known as the Hill Lines.

These were the two men, backed by massive capital and land, who came to Central Oregon in the 1890’s ready to build tracks, haul lumber, and make money.

While both Harriman and Hill were willing to accept the business of Central Oregon, that business alone was not worth the effort and expense of constructing a railroad.

Before the train came to town, Bend was overrun by donkeys. Okay, maybe not, but travel wasn’t very easy, especially in winter months.

The name of the game was power, the control of transportation, and Hill, with a foothold now in Oregon, was determined to reach California. He sent John F. Stevens, one of the best known engineers in America, to the Deschutes with fishing gear in the guise of an affable sportsman. Another man was sent to buy up options on ranches and unfenced wild lands. The resulting survey showed the Hill line traveling along the Columbia from the Dalles, to the mouth of the Deschutes and up Willow Creek to Madras.

Harriman quickly took up the challenge also, and made his move to prevent Hill’s entry by chartering the DesChutes Railroad in 1909. Surveyors soon filed maps for a route up the Deschutes and Trout Creek to the plateau near Madras, although some changes were made in this route when the construction was started.

It’s ON!

In July, without waiting for the courts to settle the issues, Harriman quietly moved in large amounts of supplies and a great number of laborers to Dalles via the OR&N, and rushed them to the Deschutes Canyon to seize the strategic points.

The Twohy Brothers were contractors for Harriman, the Porter Brothers for Hill. Within days more than a thousand men and twenty different contractors were at work under the Porter Brothers, who started construction shortly before midnight July 26, 1909.

The Oregon Trunk Line Incorporated, responsible for the grading and terminal work from the Columbia River to Madras, acquired the Central Oregon Railroad Company by stock purchase August 24, 1909, thus obtaining the vital site for the railroad crossing of the Crooked River, and blocking Harriman from building a parallel line to Bend.

“Welcome to Madras! We have dust, and rocks!”

The American public was vitally interested in the accounts of the two greatest railroad figures of all time engaged in a dramatic canyon war, the last rail battle it turned out, to be fought along the right of way. It was also the last big job to be done by hand.

The job involved thousands of laborers, mostly recruited from Portland and Spokane. Labor was in great demand and men were hard to hold. Common laborers received 20c to 30c an hour, carpenters and concrete men, 30c to 40c, while well drillers drew $7 per day and teamsters $6. Lodging was furnished, with meals costing 25c to 30c.

It was rugged country – even food had to be carried better than 100 miles overland. Men, supplies and equipment were brought via the Shaniko branch of the OR&N or by the Great Southern from Dalles to Dufur, then followed almost 25 miles of mountain wagon roads to points along the first 70 miles of grade upstream from the Columbia. Harriman had the slight edge with control of the Columbia Southern, but Hill also ferried supplies across the Columbia.

When they weren’t trying to kill each other, the workers threw down sticks of wood and laid pieces of metal on top. This job was made more difficult by the dangerous equipment, rugged terrain, and erratic weather. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

The workers fought not only the heat, the snakes and hard rock formations that had to be blasted out by hand, but each other as well. Shovels, pickhandles, crowbars, rocks and guns were weapons as well as fences, barricades, guile, trickery and court orders. Black powder was placed in “coyote holes” drilled in lava cliffs to tear away the sheer walls of the gorge, and shortages occurred and delays ensued as powder caches were blown up by the rival side. Dynamite was set off at strategic points in the narrow canyon, and teamsters were drugged, made drunk or dragged from their wagons as they transported supplies over the rough terrain. There were running battles between huge gangs across the river from each other, using any weapon handy. Men were maimed and killed.

There were constant mix ups of titles, surveys and court orders. At the very start of the construction the Twohy Brothers woke up to find that the Porter Brothers had purchased the land on which they had spent $8,000 to build a wagon road to haul supplies from Grass Valley. Now not only did the Harriman forces not have a wagon road, but their enemies did.

These people live in homes with no running water, their toilet is a hole in the ground, and they are dressed nicer than many “modern” Central Oregonians on their wedding day.

The Porter Brothers also bought the property on which was located the spring providing the entire water supply used by the Harriman forces. A fake telegram was sent to George W. Boschke, Harriman’s leader and the builder of the famous sea wall at Galveston, instructing him to come at once as the wall had broken. He knew that he had built the wall to last and threw the message away.

The various conflicts on the routing of the two lines between the Columbia and the Warm Springs Indian Reservation were resolved by the agreement of the DesChutes to hold to the east side of the Deschutes River and the Oregon Trunk to remain on the west side of the river. At mile 75, however, the Oregon Trunk crossed the river to avoid the delay attendant in seeking permission for a survey on the reservation and filing the maps for approval of construction. Their filing on the east side for the twelve miles south to Trout Creek predated the filing made by the DesChutes line, and the latter was then faced with the delay.

Welcome to Madras! We still have dust, and rocks. But we’ve got a car and a train station, things are looking up!

The Oregon Trunk built their grade across the survey line of the DesChutes, blocking them out and causing the government to enforce the Canyon Act providing for joint usage of the ten miles of track between North and South Junction. Just south of this river crossing was the Smith ranch, over which passed the only right of way to Bend. The Oregon Trunk maps had been approved by Washington before Smith secured title to the land, but he had filed on it while approval of the maps was still under consideration, and the courts decided that this gave Smith the prior rights. The Porter Brothers offered Smith $2,500 for the right of way, Harriman purchased it for $3,500. This time the Oregon Trunk called for enforcement of the Canyon Act and another mile was added to the joint trackage.

A truce was reached on May 17, 1910 when Hill agreed to build no further south than Bend, and the opposing contractors agreed to cease fire for 999 years. With the worst part of the Deschutes Canyon behind, the Oregon Trunk reached Mecca and rapidly moved toward Madras, where the city declared February 15, 1931 Railroad Day with local dignitaries on hand to preside over a gala celebration. The Oregon Trunk let the contract from Madras to Bend, and to hold the right of way, kept men at work on the approaches to the 350 foot long Crooked River Bridge, which towered 320 feet above the water. The DesChutes had not progressed beyond Culver where the two systems ran parallel and not more than 100 feet apart. The first agreement giving Harriman entrance to Redmond on joint track from Metolius was amended on September 6, 1911 to provide joint trackage to Bend with joint terminal facilities.

Hey look! Our historic train station! The one we almost sold to Prineville for no apparent reason. Yea Bend, hi-5 for historic preservation!


So, that’s how the train got to Bend. No orderly and organized building of lines, but a bloody brawl for every mile.

A lesson in aging gracefully

Slideshow of all the pictures

Mike meets plenty of cool people while he’s out and about delivering packages. Today we got to spend some time with one of Mike’s cool customers, and get the VIP tour of his shop and yard. Beyond a simple collection of beautiful old cars, this amazing location houses a variety and quantity of parts, rare tools, and random antiques. It was an awesome time, and I’m really glad we got to share it with some good friends.

We were thinking about riding, but the weather made us all into four-wheeled wimps.

80 years old, busy rebuilding the lower end on the Dodge.

Specialized tools are everywhere. Here they wait in a bin like umbrellas.

Of course it runs!

Need a bolt?

Know what this is?

It's for testing what came in this box

Mike's thinking this ratchet might be a bit of overkill for working on the bikes.

Need Parts?

Maybe a typewriter?

Victorian Pram?

Time to head outside and see what other goodies we can find.

Grumpy grill.

Somehow, I can't imagine clicking pictures of a Kia in 70 years and thinking it's art.

A little Chrysler Fire Power under the hood.

This one's a little happier.

Give me a good camera and a few hours out here and I'd be a very happy girl.

Need parts?

I don't know what color it used to be, but it's awfully pretty now.

Look long enough, you'll find your knight in shining armor.


Sweet suicide doors.

Lines and curves that never saw a CAD design team or safety engineers.

All the bells and whistles.

I can't imagine being able to take a quick glance at this one while driving down the road.

I think 110mph may be optimistic.

Fresh Air has a winter option, I wonder if it pre-heated the air?

Thank you Ron for letting us spend time with you and your incredible collection today.

Florida – Day 9, February 12 (part 3) – Henry B. Plant Museum – The original Tampa Bay Hotel

Driving down a road lined with laundromats, liquor stores and coffee shops, with modern skyscrapers in the distance, something like this is pretty much the last thing you’re expecting to see:

This Moorish-revival design with an astonishing combination of detailed woodwork, red brick, and stainless steel minarets is the original Tampa Bay Hotel, built by railroad magnate Henry B. Plant in 1888 at a cost (then) of over 2.5 million dollars. Dang.
The hotel covered 6 acres, held over 500 rooms, and is 1/4 mile long. It was equipped with the first elevator ever installed in Florida, which is still in use today. Every room had electric lights and telephones (another first for the state). Many rooms even included private baths, complete with full-size tub.

Sometimes bigger is not better, and unfortunately for Mr. Plant, although Florida would become a mecca for easterners searching for winter warmth, those same easterners had some troubles with their financial situations in the 1920’s, and the massive hotel became too expensive to run after the stock market crash, and closed in 1930.

Even before the Depression, although the hotel housed many well-known celebrities, it was rarely full. Mr. Plant had a brilliant idea in 1898, convincing the US Military to use his hotel as a base of operations for the Spanish-American War in Cuba. Generals and high ranking officers stayed in the lavish rooms, while the enlisted men camped on the surrounding acreage. Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were there, with Roosevelt retaining a suite of rooms which he shared with his wife in the evening, spending the day leading his men on battle exercises on the lawn.

The Generals would gather on the wide veranda, sip lemonade, and discuss strategy.

Many people, disdainful of the lavish surroundings, began to call the conflict “The Verandah War”.

Walking on these wide and shady verandas, I can imagine these guys all dressed in seersucker suits and straw hats, sipping a gin and tonic and so removed from life and death amongst an infantry already battling yellow fever before they ever saw the enemy.

But that was almost 150 years ago, and how did this behemoth survive all these years? Thank the University of Tampa. Back in late 1933, the fledgling Tampa Bay Junior College was looking for a home, and was allowed to move into the hotel. Because of the large amount of space, the college was able to expand, eventually becoming the University.

In 1941, the city of Tampa signed a 99 year lease with the University for $1.00 a year, excluding the southeast wing of the building which would then house a museum.

Because this all happened very shortly after the closure of the hotel, most of the original artwork and furniture was still intact. This is amazing to us, since most of the historic homes we visit usually are filled with a few “original” pieces, and the rest of the stuff is simply “period correct”. And boy does this place have stuff. Every room is crammed to the gills full of unbelievably beautiful statuary, artwork, pottery, mirrors, furniture, it really is difficult to take it all in.

Admission is $10 for adults and only $4 for kids under 13. You are each given a hand-held device which gives an audio tour, and there is a short movie which covers the basics of the hotel’s history.

The artwork is amazing, and although some of the items are original bronzework, the Plant family wasn’t above a little deception to save a dime here or there, some of the statues are actually cast iron which are stained to look bronze.

Rooms are set up in vignettes, some, like this bedroom (part of a suite), are near-original condition:
I think this room looks like heaven. Well, in the winter. Summer would be more in the opposite direction.

The doorways into each room also have a grand Moorish design

The frosted panes of glass in the doors were originally fabric-covered panels, but the top windows are original.The outside doors carry on the same motif:

The exterior of the building is very well preserved, with very little evidence of any changes due to its use by the university.

I can’t believe this is all stainless steel. The cost would be astronomical if you tried to re-create this today.

This is me getting all artsy with my photography skills (or not).

The Plant Museum is a very neatly preserved capsule of early life in Florida, and definitely worth a few hours of your time.

There is also the 8-acre Plant Park adjacent to the museum, which houses some historic sculptures, and actually does have plants! It’s a nice grassy area to enjoy a picnic lunch or just let the kids run around. We didn’t take time to check it out, since I was really tired and was very ready to check into our room and just relax.

So, where are we staying for the next two nights? Keep in mind we are cheap. Also keep in mind that I do not want to be so cheap that we’re staying in a No-tel Motel in a bad section of town.

Well, Priceline really came through for us. I’d been plugging away at Name Your Own Price for a few weeks prior to our vacation, and finally hit the jackpot with a $43 bid which was accepted by Hyatt Place! Yep, serious score. Regular discounted rooms there are $144 a night. Here’s what our big-spending hundred bucks got us for two nights:

Out of the picture and to the left are the desk, wet bar, and refrigerator. Sure was nice to stretch out and have a sofa to sit on after spending a week at Pop Century in a 260 square-foot room!

By 7pm I climbed into bed with a book, and promptly fell asleep.

Tomorrow morning, Busch Gardens!

Florida – Day 9, February 12 (part 2) – Ybor City

Ybor City was really the start of Tampa. Founded in the 1880’s by a cigar manufacturer nambed Vincente Martinez Ybor.

You can read more about it at Wikipedia:

Ybor City (/iːbɔ̹r/) is a historic neighborhood in Tampa, Florida located just northeast of downtown. It was founded in the 1880s bycigar manufacturers and was populated by thousands of immigrants, mainly from SpainCuba, and Italy. For the next 50 years, workers in Ybor City’s cigar factories would roll millions of cigars annually.
Unfortunately, the area saw great declines in population during the Depression and WWII, leaving many buildings abandoned. In the 1970’s Tampa and the federal government decided “renovation” was in order. Inexplicably, their idea of renovation involved dynamite and the wrecking ball, and many of the historic buildings were destroyed. Locals got together and a push was made to create a Historic District, so the rest of the area was saved.The Ybor City Museum is a small museum which documents the history of the area with plenty of great period photos and a nicely done film. At $4 a person, it’s definitely within our parameters of “cheap entertainment”.

We enjoyed an hour or so here, reading about history and basically waiting until it was warm enough outside so we could wander around without freezing to death.

The museum also included some original worker housing, one of which is open and also has artifacts from the era:

We usually spend more time at museums no matter what they cover, but tobacco and cigar production are decently low on my list of “interests”. I really hate the smell of the things, my asthma doesn’t appreciate them either, and I’ve lost a decent chunk of my family and friends to lung cancer….so, this one was a hard sell for me. That said, I realize I can’t look at yesterday’s pastimes through today’s eyes, and it is a very well-designed space, worthy of a visit if you’re in the area.

Ybor City now is a conglomeration of vintage buildings, the occasional homeless person, a cool city trolley system, brick streets, tons of bars and nightclubs, head shops, and some very awesome vintage clothing stores. I can imagine walking through this place at night would be a vastly different experience than what we’re enjoying at noon on a Sunday.

Old and new play well together here. The newer buildings have been able to keep a similar feel to the originals, without going all “Victorian Cute” on the place.

I thought this was especially appropriate for my Trip Report

This is from one of the awesome vintage clothing stores which did a great job of melding authentic old with new stuff that has a vintage feel. I am not a shopper, I worked retail for years and I used to love fashion, now I loathe spending time in stores (sorry, I know I am very strange, please don’t hate me!). Anyway, vintage clothing was a major part of my life when I was younger, and I would have killed to have a store like this nearby.

Back out on the street, Mike does a little “over the shoulder” peek to see what’s in the news:

Even though it’s near 1pm, the wind is still cold, and we’re keeping all our layers on.

We hear a rooster crow. Well, that’s not something you’d expect to hear in the middle of a city, so we go searching and find these guys:

I’m thinking they’re a holdover from the Cuban emigrants, but I could be wrong. I’m sure there’s a story here somewhere!

One last view of Ybor, and we’re off to the Plant Museum (not about plants).

Klamath Falls Old Homes and Antiquing

After spending the night at the moderately sketchy America’s Best Value Inn near the north end of town, we got up for another early start. First we headed up into the hills, winding past an old grade school and up a decrepit asphalt single-lane road that terminated at the abandoned radio station. The view from here showed the entire valley, and gives me a better idea of why I can never really get a handle on Klamath Falls, the place looks like it’s made up of patches of different towns, sewn together by multiple connector roads and forced to work at different angles because of lakes and other waterways.

We kept on going up this road, which turns to gravel and eventually turns into a private drive to a big, expensive new home nestled in a small valley. On the way back down the hill we noticed some sort of building at the top of a rise with a little-used two-track branching off from the road we’re on. We parked the car and walked up to a small bluff to a burned out hulk of someone’s little slice of personal craziness. It looks as if someone decided this would be a great place to build a home, so they did. To heck with the fact that they didn’t have permits, property ownership, or building skills. Walls of various types of brick and stone are slapped together, not in a bond pattern, just stacked vertically with a piece of re-bar stuck in the middle. Old wood mingles with new in a burned out mess, you can just feel the insanity oozing from the place.

Wandering back down towards town, we had a great time looking for old houses. Klamath Falls definitely is a town that’s tried many times, and failed almost as often. There is beauty here, and good weather, lakes to fish and float, they have industry and a decent retail district, I just really don’t know why Bend got bigger.

Although some older homes have been restored, most are simply being lived in. Mike said it well, “it’s like the original owners moved in, grew older and their homes grew old with them, became decrepit, and the shell of the house is still standing, sort of reflecting the life of the owner.”

There’s one Victorian beauty on the once-tony Riverside drive that is nearly abandoned. The owner of Little House Antiques said the Goeller Mansion has a reputation for bringing unhappiness to the owners . This site has some interior views taken a few years ago, peeking through the windows, it appears most of what you see in the photos is still there. For a history of the home and its owners, I’ve compiled some information here.

Goeller House

Goeller Carriage House

Beautiful woodwork and original stained glass live precariously in their abandoned state

Next to the Goeller Mansion is what seems to have been called the Baldwin House, and is now housing the Klamath Crisis Center.

Baldwin Home

This whimsical turreted wonder still has a neat frontage, but construction of two rear towers (probably housing an elevator) really messes with its original roofline. The current use of the house is extremely appropriate, given a famous former owner, Maude Baldwin, drowned herself out of desperation and depression. I have a bit more information on the home here.

Maud Baldwin

Massive brick house with original attached greenhouse

Continuing on through the rest of the town, we enjoyed another hour of gawking and making the locals nervous as we stopped and clicked away at old places.

Our first antique store stop was at the quaint and beautiful Little House Antiques, an old brick house right across the road from the lake, the owner Joan Maricle is a very neat lady and her large collection of furniture and other bits are definitely worth the trip.

We also discovered what I believe to be the world’s ugliest BMW

Check out that bitchen' seat.

Speaking of Beemers, our next stop was Airhead Motors and a nice chat with Howard Jones who’s dad was one of the founders of the uber-awesome Collier Museum.

Down the road from moto-goodness is one of the coolest antique stores I’ve seen in a long time. Housed in (and spilling out of) a vintage heavy machinery repair shop, the Antique Warehouse is a guy-friendly place that on initial inspection seems to be a massive jumble but on closer view shows some very savvy categorization. I definitely recommend spending some time here.

A veritable plethora of vintage trinkets

At top left, barbed wire and bits, bottom left ladies clothing, bottom center lampshades, top center wooden boxes, to the right you'll find books mopeds etc. etc...

Looking for union suits in their original box?

Or maybe your own personal fan club?

Or how about an instant beer can collection (with Ebay potential!)?

Cameras to document everything.

A few tools to choose from.

Player piano rolls to keep you entertained.

And some padlocks to keep it all safe.

Like I said, this place has everything.

I breathed a sigh of relief as we left Antique Warehouse only $5 lighter in the wallet, and Mike carrying a very rusty British bike tank.

The rest of the antique stores in town are of the more fluffy “artique and collectible” variety. Although cute and worthy if you like tea towels and scented candles, finding motorcycle memorabilia in these spots would be nearly as tough as finding it at your local WalMart.

Closing in on evening, we decided it was time to head towards home. And crazy thing is, we still need to come back here and visit their great selection of museums sometime. Seems like no matter how much time we take exploring a place, we still need more.

Baldwin House in Klamath Falls

Maud Baldwin

‘You will find me in the lake’   By By BILL MILLER  for the Mail Tribune

February 13, 2011

They found her exactly where she said she would be, floating face down under the Link River Bridge.

Never married, 47 years old and daughter of an Oregon state senator, Maud Evangeline Baldwin had finally given up.

Born in summer 1878, “Vinnie,” as her family called her, was her father’s princess, the only girl in a family of five. He lavished his attention on her and made sure she had everything she needed or desired.

Wallace Baldwin, her uncle, was said to be the first non-Indian to settle in Klamath County, arriving in 1852.

Four years later, Wallace moved to Jackson County, settling with his sister Harriet on a homestead near Talent.

His letters home to Missouri made Southern Oregon seem so exciting they enticed his younger half-brother, George, Maud’s father, to come west in 1872.

Only 16 years old, George took a room in Ashland and began studying tinsmithing at the Academy, the forerunner of today’s Southern Oregon University.

He married, moved to Klamath Falls, opened a tin shop and began his climb to success by building up one of the largest retail hardware businesses in Southern Oregon.

In 1906, he built the city’s first four-story brick building, selling hardware on the lower floors and renting out rooms on the uppers.

Three years later, he moved the hardware store out, made some changes, and reopened the building as the Baldwin Hotel, the first hotel in town with running water and electricity.

The hotel and her father’s political career marked the beginning of Maud Baldwin’s downward spiral.

George Baldwin’s political success mirrored his business career. He moved from city councilor to county treasurer and county judge, and ultimately served two terms as a state senator.

Maud was expected to be there for her father, appearing at all social and political functions and helping however she could with her father’s career. It was a duty she didn’t enjoy.

There were exceptions. Maud attended Oregon State Normal School in Monmouth, beginning in 1894, and in 1905 studied at the California College of Photography in Palo Alto, Calif.

She had taken up photography as an amateur in 1898 and over the next 15 years opened a succession of studios, eventually becoming a successful professional.

Family pressures began to intrude even more in her life and, by 1915, Maud was trapped in the needs of her father’s career and stuck managing day-to-day operations at the hotel.

Tragedy piled on tragedy. The hardware store went bankrupt. She fell in love with one of the cooks in the hotel’s kitchen, but her father refused to let her marry. And then came 1920.

George Baldwin’s wife suffered a stroke that left her an invalid, needing Maud’s constant care. No sooner had Maud begun that tedious chore than her father died and she was left to run the hotel all alone.

The pressures grew to be too much. In May 1926, she gave up.

“I am going insane and cannot stand it,” she wrote. “You will find me in the lake.”

She walked a few hundred feet from the hotel into Lake Euwana and kept her promise.

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at

Klamath Crisis Center (from Simple Solutions website)

When Marta Carpenter learned that Klamath Falls was one of only five Oregon counties that did not have a shelter for abused women (and yet it ranked third highest in the number of reported domestic violence crimes) she decided to do something about it by donating a home. At the time, Marta owned the historic Baldwin house, which was built in 1900 on the banks of the Link River in downtown Klamath Falls. When she had purchased the 8,000 square-foot mansion, it was painted six different colors, was completely boarded up, and had a leaky roof. After she bought it, she replaced all the windows with energy-efficient frames and glass, installed a new roof, and completely re-sided the house. Although this exterior work was completed, the house required interior renovations estimated at $1 million to complete.

To fund the interior work, the dedicated staff of the Klamath Crisis Center turned to the community for help. The City of Klamath Falls received a $600,000 grant for the renovation project from Regional Strategies Economic Development, and local groups initiated a fund-raising campaign. Simplexity Health Business Associates themselves donated $55,000 in 1998. When the work was finished, the four-story home, which was first renamed the Harbor House, included fifteen domicile rooms, several areas for individual and group counseling, a community room, and a huge kitchen. The original terraced gardens were also rejuvenated and are now irrigated with Klamath Lake algae water for fruits and vegetables accessible to all residents.

As part of our Simple Solutions outreach program, we provide monthly financial support to the Klamath Crisis Center.

Goeller House – a George Barber Design built in 1905

The Goeller house is a George Barber – designed house in Klamath Falls, Oregon built by John Goeller around 1905.  It is from the cottage catalog number 2, design 56

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John Fred Goeller

Birth: Jan. 22, 1860
Tuscarawas County
Ohio, USA
Death: Apr. 14, 1935
Klamath Falls
Klamath County
Oregon, USA

John Fred Goeller followed his carpenter trade in Ohio and Nehama County Kansas, came west, with his wife Alice and son Harry, in 1890 and contined his trade in Santa Rosa and Alameda, California until 1891 when he purchased a half interest in the A.M. Peterman planing mill in Linkville. In 1896 he became the sole -storyowner and later erected his own two-story mill in the same locality. This he operated with his son Harry, under the name of J. Fred Goeller and Son, until his retirement in 1926. He belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge. An automobile accident in front of his home on Riverside Drive resulted in his death on April 14, 1935.

John Fred Goeller was the son of Johann Michael Goeller born Germany settled in Ohio in 1852. There Michael Goeller married Anna Barbar Wucherer on April 16, 1857. They had five sons and a daughter.

John Fred Goeller married Alice Zua Sawyer September 1, 1887 in Harden City, Finney County, Kansas. Their son Harry was born in Kansas, and three more children were born to them in Klamath Falls, Fred L. Goeller,  Hazel M. (Orem), and Barbara F. (Sowers).

The Goellers built a house at 234 Riverside, they moved into a house next door while they built the big house.

John Fred Goeller Family links:
Alice Zua Sawyer Goeller (1868 – 1954)*


Harry Elmer Goeller-July 18th 1888, Kansas 

Hazel Maude Goeller-September 2nd 1894, Klamath Falls

Barbara Frances Goeller-November 4th 1895, Klamath Falls

Fred Lawrence Goeller-September 8th, 1907

*Point here for explanation

Note: bur Apr 17, 1935 see: Alice Burial:
Linkville Pioneer Cemetery
Klamath Falls
Klamath County
Oregon, USA
Plot: 10-2-2 IOOFCreated by: jeanie sawyer
Record added: Jul 15, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28303342


House ownership information:

Summer 2016 – Currently listed with Action Realty

December 2015 – Sold to US Bank in Sheriff’s Auction.

2013 – House was owned by Tamara Kay (Beach) (Caillouette) Taylor, who purchased the house sometime around 1995 with her then-current husband Conrad Caillouette. Their submission request for the National Historic register has quite a bit of information about the original owner, it can be viewed here.


 2001 – Beach-Taylor Wedding at Goeller House

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2001 12:00 am

Tamara Kaye Beach (formerly Caillouette) and Charles Ray Taylor exchanged wedding vows Oct. 13, 2001, at the bride’s home in the historic Goeller Mansion in Klamath Falls.

Phil Studenberg performed the double-ring ceremony. The bride was attended by Tawnie Taylor, daughter of the groom. The groom was attended by Cody Taylor, his son.

During the ceremony, the bride was accompanied down the aisle by Clint Taylor, son of the groom. Honored guests were Adelaide Brown of Ashland, the groom’s grandmother; and Leona Hawkins of Coos Bay, the bride’s grandmother.

The bride, daughter of Alice Virginia Beach of Oregon City and step-daughter of Robert Burback, is a 1978 graduate of West Linn Senior High School. She attended Clackamas Community College and Hawaii Business College. She is employed as executive administrator of Winema Inn.

The groom, son of Sandra C. Rapp of Ashland and step-son of Chester Rapp, is a 1973 graduate of Ashland High School. He attended Southern Oregon State College and Pacific University. He is employed as vice-president of business resources at Jeld-Wen.


2001 – Goeller Mansion open house Sunday – December 14, 2001

Charlie and Tamara Taylor will open the doors to their Victorian Goeller Mansion located at 234 Riverside for their fifth annual open house from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Cookies and cider will be served.

The house is included on the National Historic register. Fred Goeller started construction of the house in 1900. He owned a sawmill in the area that now includes Veterans Park. Construction was finished in 1905.

The Taylors started restoration in 1995, adding electricity, plumbing, heating and new roofing.


2002 – Historic home open to visitors

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2002 12:00 am

Visitors to the Goeller historic home open house this Sunday will enjoy holiday sweets and music and step back in time to earlier Christmases.

The public is invited to come from 5 to 9 p.m. to the cream-colored gingerbread house at 234 Riverside Drive.

Owner Tamara Taylor has decorated rooms with themes in the lovingly restored Queen Anne/Eastlake-style home, built by planing mill owner Fred Goeller between 1900 and 1905. The home is opened to the public once a year as required of houses on the National Historic Register.

In the parlor are Santas, more Santas, and the family Christmas tree. The dining room features angels sparkling in candlelight, and the library has a brigade of nutcrackers marching on a shelf around the room. Antiques donated by the Goeller family and purchased by Taylor recreate an earlier era throughout the home.

A work in progress since 1995, the restoration took some major steps this year, one of which is all new wiring. French doors now open from the dining room onto a deck. Insulation was blown into the walls, a first in the home’s lifetime, and Taylor, her husband, Charles, and his two teen sons now have a real kitchen, completed just two months ago.

Taylor is encouraging visitors to bring a donation of a can or two of food which will be given to the Klamath/Lake Counties Food Bank.


2008, May 

Listed for sale through John L. Scott in May 2008 for $949k, pulled from market 11/09 after reduction of price to $748k a few months prior.


2008  – House left vacant

Charles Taylor and Tamara Taylor Moved to Florida sometime in 2008. It appears the owners held an auction as there are some items still inside the house with price tags on them. Some pieces of furniture sold to Little House Antiques (they still have one table)


2010 – Death of Charles Ray Taylor

Charles Ray Taylor, “Charlie,” age 54, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 12, 2010.


2015 – Sherriff’s Sale and Purchase by US Bank

Wandering through Wallace Idaho

Mike got away from work early enough Friday evening that we were able to make it to an old Motel in Hermiston. Got up this morning and flew across the flats and into the mountains of Idaho’s Panhandle. There’s silver and gold in these hills, and old mining towns galore.

We rode through this area a few years ago on our way up to Newfoundland, glancing off the freeway, doing 80mph and passing semis on the steep grade, we were both intrigued to see the old brick structures and decidedly vintage homes on the very steep hillsides. I remembered the town name and filed it away for a possible future visit.

Then last year I read an incredible book, The Big Burn, by Tim Egan, which chronicles a massive forest fire in 1910 that burned 3 million acres, and decimated Wallace and its residents. The opening chapter of the book is still so vivid in my mind, creating images of a roaring wildfire whipped by 70+ mph winds, whipping over the ridge above the town, and swooping down on the residents and the one train that will take them to safety. Really worth reading, especially if you are planning a trip to the area.

Wallace, after the fire

Although the fire wiped out about 1/3rd of the town, many of the original buildings are left. And what buildings they are! At the turn of the last century, Wallace was one of the richest cities in the west, producing more than a billion ounces of silver by the 1980’s. So, there was some money here, and plenty of it was spent on beautiful homes and business establishments.

We arrived in town around 11am, and pulled into our motel, the Stardust.

Stardust Motel Sign, with accompanying "escape pod"

The gal at the desk was very accommodating, juggling things around to get us a first floor room, then asking the maid to clean it right away so we could get in early. The maid happily dragged her cart from a completely different section of the hotel, cleaned the room in 20 minutes and we were in. Unfortunately, there was no refrigerator, we asked a guy who was fixing a lock on the room next to us if the other rooms had a fridge, he said yes. He talked to the desk clerk, who said our room was one of the few without, and so he simply unplugged the fridge from the room he was working in, and lugged it to our room!

Turns out the “maintenance man” was actually Scott Lasley, the president of the Wallace Chamber of Commerce! He made sure we had a local map and tour book, and said to just ask if we needed anything else. Wow! We’re in town for 20 minutes and already we’ve been treated like royalty! Turns out everyone we met here was just as friendly and accommodating. I can’t say enough nice things about the people here. Just amazing.

We hiked a few blocks down to the Sierra Silver Mine Tour building, and purchased tickets for the tour. I was hoping to also do the Burke tour, but missed out on the season opening by a few days. We didn’t really know what to expect from the Mine tour, only that we’d be taking a trolley (with some color commentary by the driver) up to an old mine, then be taken underground by a “real miner” and shown some mine operations.

Good thing they gave me this hat

This description makes it sound a bit cheesy, but the tour is really quite amazing and a little dangerous. Our mine guide was tall, gangly and a bit rough around the edges, probably about our age, and he’d been mining off and on his entire working life. Articulate, and very good at creating a word picture of what mining was like “back in the day”, and what it was like for miners today. Amazingly, he demonstrated mine equipment including a drill, a drag instrument, and a loader, all of which were of course, loud, and astonishingly evil-acting pieces of pneumatic machinery which could maim or kill you in a variety of ways.

Tour goers check out what's keeping the roof from becoming the floor

After the Mine tour, we wandered around town, taking pictures and checking out antique stores. Wallace has done a great job of showcasing the old while allowing new businesses to survive. I was very surprised at how quiet it was for a 3-day weekend, I really expected the place to be packed. I know that during the ATV jamboree it’s a madhouse, and I hope they get enough tourists during the rest of the year to keep things going.

I can’t express enough how nice the people are here, everyone, at every store, went out of their way to make sure we had a great time during our visit. Whether you are interested in history, love riding high mountain ATV and MC trails, or just enjoy wandering antique stores, go to Wallace, you’ll have a great time, guaranteed!

For us history buffs, Wallace has put out a great booklet with maps and descriptions of every historic building in town. It’s broken up by residential and business districts, and is very easy to follow. A huge asset, and it made our visit even more interesting.

Even furry residents of the town are ready to smile for the camera

As evening approached, our grumbling stomachs forced us to turn in to the Pizza Factory for their salad bar and some garlic breadsticks. After a filling meal, we headed back towards our room, on the way “home” this little sweetie rolled past, fitting cap to a great day in Wallace.

Back in our room at the Stardust, tired feet, tired bodies, comfy bed, ready for some sleep!

Photos Here