State Fair Memories

I grew up with the state fair, living in Salem meant that getting there was easy, and parents were comfortable dropping their teenage charges off for an afternoon without worrying something awful would happen. It was always a bit bittersweet because the end of the fair meant the beginning of school, but it was a fun way to end our break.

In Jr. High and High School you’d always want to have a date take you to the fair, it meant you were cool enough to have a summertime boyfriend. I can remember going with my buddies and seeing other friends their with their boyfriends and being oh-so-jealous. It was the place to see and be seen.

My Junior and senior year I worked at the fair, it was two weeks of hot sweaty labor inside the Hefty Chef building, it’s gone now (along with all the other permanent eating establishments there), but used to house the largest fast food establishment there, serving the requisite greasy curly fries, fried burgers, fried everything. The only training we got was a half day of orientation learning the cash registers and the menu basics. Back then there was no food safety training, no safety training of any kind, I guess they figured if we’d survived this long around hot stoves at home, we’d be smart enough not to burn ourselves or our co-workers without any extra training.

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Lonerock has a lone rock. And a church. And lots of other awesome buildings.

So, on the map in the middle of pretty much nowhere is a place called Lonerock.


It’s not exactly the kind of place that you go through on the way to someplace else, which is probably why we haven’t visited yet.

We were looking for some gravel roads to explore, and this area has a nice selection, with some wet weather the week before it was a perfect time to do a bit of dirt.

First things first, breakfast and coffee in Fossil.

First things first, breakfast and coffee in Fossil.

Then on to some tasty road selections with beautiful views!

With views like this, I can understand why residents down in that valley are willing to put up with this road.

With views like this, I can understand why residents down in that valley are willing to put up with this road.

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Steens Mountain with stops in Diamond, Frenchglen, and the Round Barn

Continuing on our quest to finally go all the places we’re surprised that we haven’t been before, we decided to ride out to the Steens on Saturday. We were thinking we’d make a weekend of it, heading home through Silver Lake, but ended up making it an epic one-day 625-mile ride instead.


Besides the Steens loop, we wanted to check out Diamond and also the Peter French Round Barn. We got started nice and early, on the road by a little  after 6am (note to other riders, yes, we know this is deer-thirty, and yes, we know it’s stupid to ride this early and also ride as late as we did). We had a fun sighting of a beautiful hot air balloon hovering over Hwy 97, sure was a nice way to start the day.

Hot air balloon on the road out of town in the morning.

Hot air balloon on the road out of town in the morning.

The remainder of our ride to Burns was uneventful, it’s not an ugly road, but there’s really nothing very beautiful about it either. Continue reading

Exploring Burns, Seneca & home through John Day

Checking weather reports on Thursday, it looked like we would be getting one gorgeous Saturday, and Sunday would be a good day to stay home, so we started looking at maps and checking for back roads we haven’t done before, or it’s been so long we’ve pretty much forgotten. We’d never done 395 from Burns towards John Day, and there was a jaunt on some Forest Service roads that took a minor detour from Seneca to Prairie City so we added that in too.

Overall, this is an enjoyable ride, with no major “oh wow!” moments as far as scenery. The roads are all in very good shape, even the short gravel sections. At 450 miles, it’s probably a bit long for a casual day ride, but it worked out fine for us.

Burns is sort of a gloomy place to visit right now, their sad little casino is closed with a sign out front saying “Closed, New Building to be open Spring 2013!” which makes it even more depressing. A town that used to house plenty of industry is now home to picturesque and crumbling old warehouses and other buildings. Good people live here, I hope more business comes to the area soon.

450 mile jaunt through the Eastern Oregon backcountry
Here’s the loop.
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Prineville Car Show – 2013 Crook County Rodders

Mike is lucky enough to have some pretty neat businesses on his route, one of which is Ricky B’s Restoration. Rick and his gang of talented and slightly crazy employees do an impressive array of restoration work on old parts. Every year Ricky has a bunch of cars in the Rodders show, and also sponsors a huge barbeque at his house after the event, it all adds up to a very fun day.

This was our first year visiting the car show, so I didn’t know what to expect, I guess I was thinking probably quite a few older pickup trucks with flame paint jobs and nice rims from Les Schwab. Well, there were a few of those, but the quality, variety, and quantity of participants really blew us away. If you have a chance to attend the show next year, definitely do it. Added bonus? It’s free!

Gorgeous Orange

Gorgeous Orange

Cruz Oregon, sounds like a plan to me

Cruz Oregon, sounds like a plan to me

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375 miles of Central Oregon beauty

For a first ride of the season, it was no baby step, clocking in at around 375 miles, we were both a little saddle sore by the time we pulled back into the shop this evening. We did see some gorgeous scenery, got to ride a few new miles of single-track pavement, and spent a little time exploring Twickenham School, built in 1906.

Photo Slideshow

Ashland Oregon

I admit, I was a little concerned about taking Mike to Ashland, I mean, it’s a theatrical town and Mike is decidedly NOT theatrical. I figured it was useless to try and get him to see a play, so we’d just be exploring the area and of course checking out their Antique Stores. I’d have a good chance of Mike liking Ashland if they had a good selection of cool antique stores. Heck, if he found some cool vintage motorcycle toys for cheap, he’d practically be ready to move there!

We got into town very early, so spent a few hours just cruising around the neighborhoods above the city.

Plenty of neat old craftsman-style homes here have been updated and are now pretty darned fancy. I love that even though quite a bit of money has been thrown at these restorations, there’s still some artistic flair and whimsy showing that you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

Driving through a neighborhood, I saw one of those cheesy cement deer statues in someone’s front yard and thought it really clashed with the other landscaping – until it moved.

Live statuary

Nice rack on that fellow, and he’s definitely not missing any meals.

Next we drove through a development area that had roads and sidewalks constructed, but not much else. We were enjoying the view of the opposite hillside when I noticed a cat walking down the road in front of us. He turned around and gave us a look, and I realized “that is not a cat”. Actually, it was, just not a domesticated version.

Bobcat gives us his best cool, calculating stare.

Not often that you catch a bobcat in a residential area – and this guy was huge. He was completely unconcerned about the car, just kept slowly walking up the road and occasionally turning around to size us up. He finally walked into the treeline and was gone. I love unexpected sightings like this. It reminds me of how nature is just living its life right next to us, and I’m usually just too preoccupied or ignorant to notice.

After exhausting most of the back roads, we traveled in to town where I had Mike sample the Lithia water. He was not impressed. Fortunately, he WAS impressed with the town.

Ashland Springs Hotel - built in 1925, and originally named the Lithia Springs, I remember it as the Tudor-Styled Mark Anthony.

One of the B&B's downtown

The outdoor Elizabethan Stage - changed with added balconies since I'd visited last in the 1980's

Mike wasn't impressed until he saw all the plaques and realized they'd been putting on plays here since 1935.

As You Like It Antiques apparently means "as the owner likes it", since they never did open.

Amazing, gorgeous, and a little strange - only in Ashland would you see a multi-million-dollar home restoration with a theme of dragons and sunflowers.

Dilapidated down by the railroad tracks. At what point do you decide the shrubs win, and just stick a fence across the front stairs?

Hey look, they do have homes under $100k in Ashland!

As the sun sets on Ashland, we bid farewell to Chautauqua-inspired artistry, and head down the road to K-Falls

We had a great time exploring Ashland, Mike really loved it here. Hey, maybe next time I can actually get him to see a play!

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