Appendix D.

 

Alseya Valley to Alsea Valley, 1853-1914:

GLO Background, Methodology, and Index

 An indexed forest and fire history of Alsea Valley and its headwaters from 1853 to 1914, as recorded by the original GLO land surveyors, a local historian, and an early timber cruiser

 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction: The view from Buck Peak, 1853-1914

 

History of the rectangular survey, 1784-1850

 

General Land Office survey methods in Oregon, 1851-1910

 

Tsp. 13 S., Rng 7 W. (13-7): Indian Trail to Alseya

 

Tsp. 13 S., Rng. 8 W. (13-8): Grass Mountain

 

Tsp. 14 S., Rng. 7 W. (14-7): Inmon Mill

 

Tsp. 14 S., Rng. 8 W. (14-8): Indian Trail to Tidewater

 

Tsp. 15 S., Rng. 7 W. (15-7): Prairie Mountain

 

Tsp. 15 S., Rng. 8 W. (15-8): Lobster River

 

 


 

Introduction: The view from Buck Peak, 1853-1914


This appendix is intended to serve a dual purpose. First, it provides an overview of General Land Office (GLO) survey history and methods; a key source of materials used to research this thesis. Second, it provides an indexed sampling of the types of information gathered by GLO surveyors as they surveyed Alsea Valley, in Benton County, Oregon, and compares it with information gathered and recorded by an historian and a timber cruiser who described portions of the same area during the same general period of time. All of the excerpts are indexed by legal description, as assigned by the original land surveyors and used to now.


The cited surveyors are the same as listed in Table 2.02. The Alsea Valley area is located on Map 2.01, and shown on Maps 2.12 and 2.13. The historian is David D. Fagan (1885), who is cited throughout the thesis. The timber cruiser is J. H. Bagley (1915), whose maps and survey notes are typified by Map 2.05. This appendix is indexed by Tsp. and Rng. (see Map 2.01) and by square-mile sections (see Map 2.02). Entries are arranged chronologically, except when noted.


This appendix contains a large number of representative surveyors' field notes on fires, reforestation, species location, and Indian trails. In keeping with the focus of this thesis, I have left out most references to compass bearings, distances, and other measures of little interest to most non-surveyors, as they tend to detract from the narrative flow of the field notes. Likewise, I have left most references to topography, slope, stream crossing locations and stream widths out of the narrative because this information changes from time to time and/or is readily available from other sources. These excerpts are arranged by legal description and indexed by location, using Map D.01. To get an idea as to the differences in writing style and perspective provided by the different observers, a sample excerpt follows in which each observer is looking over Alsea Valley from a vantage point on--or very near--the valley's eastern boundary, Buck Peak (see Map D.01):


Summit of mountain, overlooking the Alseya Valley, course N. and S. . . A fir 24 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . A fir, 24 . . . A Maple, 20 ins. . . A hemlock, 20 ins. . . . Land, very rough and west slope of mountain very steep and rocky
--Dennis Hathorn (Surveyor), Buck Peak, June 5, 1856

These boundaries include Alsea valley, a beautiful expanse of country some eight miles long and one wide. Not far from the upper end the two branches of the river unite, causing a widening in the vale to about four miles, forming a level prairie now thickly settled, and surrounded with lofty timber-covered hills. Here were the first settlements made more than thirty years ago when many claims were taken under the provisions of the Donation Law, which, it would appear entitled the pre-emptor to the land not covered with brush, and as no one thought of clearing the ground at that period, it was assumed that everything worth occupying had been appropriated. Of later years, however, many have gone into the woods and demonstrated the fact that such lands may be profitably improved.
--David D. Fagan (Historian), 1885: 498


Yellow or bastard fir is just fair in quality, is low in clears and there is a large amount of defect. Red fir is young and thrifty but low in clears. Hemlock is young, thrifty and low in clears. Cedar is defective and good for posts only . . . A ground fire has been over nearly all of the section years ago and while it did not kill any great amount of timber at the time, a large amount is beginning to show defect. The fire risk is nominal.

-- J. H. Bagley (Timber Cruiser), Buck Peak, May, 1915

 

Map D.01 Alsea Valley original land surveys index

 

 

The writers are the nine general land office surveyors listed on Table 2.02, Benton County historian David D. Fagan (1885), and Benton County timber cruiser, J. H. Bagley (1915). The surveyors’ names (and the years they worked) were Kimball Webster (1853), Harvey Gordon & Josiah W. Preston (1854), Dennis Hathorn (1856), George Mercer (1865 and/or 1878?), J. M. Dick (1873), Alonzo Gesner (1891), Charles Collier (1891-1893), and Edward Sharp (1897).

All of the writers are white males, a trait in common with the primary journalists for the Coast Range (see Table 2.01). Nine of the writers are GLO surveyors, following the same set of specific instructions and using specified terms and measures over a period of 44 years, from 1853 until 1897. Near the end of that time, in 1885, while most of the surveyors were still alive, Fagan wrote his detailed history of Benton County. Thirty years later, in 1915, a change in tax laws caused Benton County to hire Bagley to cruise and map the County’s privately owned timberlands.

 

Notes are transcribed directly from the references that are cited. Edited portions are clearly marked ( . . . ) and editorial comments are contained in brackets ([]).

History of the rectangular survey, 1780-1850

 


In 1784, Thomas Jefferson was made chairman of a committee charged to "ascertain a method of locating and disposing of lands in the Western Territory" in order to help pay national debt incurred fighting the Revolutionary War. Congress subsequently authorized the Public Land Survey (PLS) system of dividing the lands of the US into a series of adjacent rectangles with the Ordinance of May 20, 1785 (Stewart 1935: 2). This system was a radical departure from the existing custom of subdividing land by metes and bounds, which had dominated property surveys in colonial America (Bourdo 1956: 757). The act of February 11, 1805 (enacted coincidentally as Lewis and Clark were preparing to explore and map uncharted lands west of the Western Territory) finalized descriptions of PLS lines and corners as they exist today (Stewart 1935: 12).


The General Land Office (GLO) was established April 25, 1812 for purposes of implementing the act of February 11, 1805 (Stewart 1935: 29-30). Surveys of public lands were to be conducted by independent contractors working under direction of the GLO. In 1849 supervision of the GLO transferred from the Secretary of the Treasury to the newly created Department of the Interior (ibid.: 31). The act of September 27, 1850 authorized the Secretary of the Interior to:


. . . continue the surveys in Oregon and California, to be made after what is known as the Geodetic method, under such regulations and upon such terms as have been, or may hereafter be prescribed by the Commissioner of the General Land Office , but none other than township lines shall be run where the land is unfit for cultivation.

 

General Land Office survey methods, 1851-1910

 

Detailed survey instructions were developed following the act of September 27, 1850 and subsequently issued for the survey of Oregon in 1851 (Moore 1851). These instructions were changed slightly and formalized for the entire US in 1855 (Moore 1855). These latter instructions remained in effect until after 1910, with the result that the entire Pacific Northwest was surveyed by a single prescribed method using only one set of instructions, with only slight modifications from time to time.


By 1855, 12 contract surveyors were working in Oregon and had completed surveys of 1,450 of 1,800 total Donation Land Claims (DLCs) (see Map D.02), in addition to townships and township subdivisions. By 1856, more than 836,000 acres had been surveyed, despite southern Oregon "Indian hostilities", "cloudy weather", and "the mines" that had "hindered progress" on the project (Prosch 1907: 196-197). (The reference to "the mines" was to the lure of instant wealth that had drawn single men and whole families from their homes and jobs in western Oregon to the gold fields of northern California and southwest Oregon, beginning in 1848 (Haskin 1948; Carey 1971: 359, 478-479, 654) and continuing through the Civil War).

 

 

 

Map D.02 Tsp. 14 S., Rng. 8 W., GLO Donation Land Claim (DLC) surveys, 1856.

 


The GLO rectangular survey system is based on an systematic arrangement of square miles, or "sections". Each section was located with four corners one mile distance from one another, each marked with four "bearing trees". Bearing trees were established in quadrants: one in each of the four adjacent sections that shared a corner. Halfway between each section corner a "1/4 sec." corner was established with two bearing trees; one on either side of the line. Therefore, each section corner and 1/4 sec. corner located bearing trees in each adjacent section. A section had four corners and four 1/4 sec. corners, so for each forested square mile a total of eight bearing trees could be expected to be established. In instances where trees were absent or too small to be used for surveys, other methods were used to mark corners. Bearing trees were carefully marked, identified as to species and general condition, measured for diameter, and located by distance and compass bearing from each corner. They are protected by strict laws and are the basis for all property and subsequent tax lot descriptions and subdivisions from 1851 to now. When original bearing trees have been destroyed, or are unable to be relocated due to surveyor error or other cause, they are replaced with new bearing trees, so a continuous record of all survey corners and trees is kept from the time of the original survey (1851-1910) until now.


An exact square mile contains 640 acres. Due to the curvature of the earth and occasional surveyor error, a section rarely contains exactly 640 acres. For the same reasons, or in instances where a survey intersects the shoreline of the ocean, a large lake, or wide river, townships sometimes contain less than 36 sections. In such cases, the numbering pattern remains the same as if the township were whole (see Map 2.02). DLCs established by December 1, 1850 could be as many as 640 acres in size; 320 acres for "white settler" or "American half-breed" citizens at least 18 years of age (Carey 1971: 253), and the same amount for his wife, "to be held by her in her own right" (ibid.: 482). This is one of the first federal laws extending equal rights to married women who, by Oregon law at that time, could be as young as 12 years old. Single persons (men and widows older than 18) could claim 320 acres. From December 2, 1850 until 1855, a man and wife could claim 320 acres and a single person 160 acres. All of the DLCs shown on Map D.02 were claimed after 1850, so none are larger than 320 acres. Their relative size indicates whether the claim was made by a single male or a man and wife. DLC surveys were conducted in the same manner as rectangular subdivisions, and were tied into the subdivisions by measure and description, but used a different method for establishing bearing trees at each corner. Because DLCs often had six, eight, or more corners, and because they included trees well-within the boundaries of section lines, these surveys provide us with far more exacting information--particularly near the center of the sections in which they are located--than surveys of sections that do not include DLCs (see Maps 3.03 and 3.04).

Map D.03 shows a portion of the GLO map of T. 15 S., R. 7 W., illustrating corrections made in 1940 to the survey of 1897. Note the rectangular sections of the original survey have now been replaced with trapezoids and octagons. This map demonstrates one method by which survey error can be corrected, while still using the original bearing trees. In extreme cases, initial results were voided and entirely new surveys undertaken. Speculation regarding the cause of error in this township is that the "surveyor was lazy" and simply took the "easiest route between corners, rather than the straightest" (Mardis 2002: personal communication). Other survey errors noted in the study area were usually noted in the field and corrected at the time (e.g., Gesner 1891a: 244-245; Mercer 1878: 164). Some errors were less troublesome and left uncorrected, as when Collier (1893: 185) reported the diameters of bearing trees had not changed in the 40 years since they were first established and, in one instance, had even decreased an inch in size over a 15 year period!

 

 

Map D.03 Tsp. 15 S., Rng. 7 W., GLO survey error with corrections, 1897-1940.

 

In addition to surveyor error, fraud and statistical bias have been other causes for concern regarding the quality and usefulness of GLO data. Fraud is a minor problem, although not unknown, with GLO surveys. A well known case that took place in California from 1873 to 1885, the so-called "Benson Frauds" (Stewart 1935: 66), has helped cause some researchers to conclude the practice was far more prevalent than it was. In my own experience, I have examined hundreds of GLO maps and thousands of pages of GLO field notes for Oregon and southwest Washington during the past 30 years (e.g., Braman 1987; Zybach 1992; Zybach 1999) and uncovered only a few minor instances of possible dishonesty: the Sharp (1897) and Gesner (1891a) surveys used in this appendix are about as close as any, and they tend to represent sloppy workmanship rather than outright fraud. In most cases, such poor quality work is usually (as in the instance illustrated by Map D.03) compensated or corrected by others at some later point in time, and has little bearing on the overall quality of the surveys (see Bourdo 1956: 760). The same holds true for surveyor bias. Statistical tests have demonstrated that, while bias certainly exists, it is of little consequence when considered in context of the entire body of work or when considering broad spatial scales (Bourdo 1956:760-767; Schulte and Mladenoff 2001: 7; Whitney and DeCant 2001: 155).

 

Tsp. 13 S., Rng 7 W. (13-7): Indian Trail to Alseya

 

General Description

 

[Hathorn 1856: 332] The quality of soil in this fractional township along the river is 1st rate; the hilly portions 2nd rate; the timber is principally fir; the open portions are covered with hazel and fern. The unsurveyed portions of the township are too mountainous for settlement or cultivation.

 

 

Sec. 1

[N mile between 1 and 6] Top of ridge . . . Top of ridge . . . A maple, 6 ins. . . . A maple, 4 ins. . . . Wells Creek . . . Indian Trail to the Alseya, course SW. Foot of hill, begin to ascend . . . Land, mountainous and unfit for cultivation. Fir, timber (Gordon and Preston 1854: 275)

 

 

[N mile between 1 and 6]                                                                                  Top of spur . . . Old corner A fir, 4 ins. . . . marks overgrown. A fir, 8 ins. . . . marks overgrown. A fir, 18 ins. . . . marks overgrown. A yew, 12 ins. . . . marks overgrown. Top of ridge . . . Ravine . . . Top of ridge . . . Bottom of ravine . . . Top of ridge . . . Bottom of ravine . . . Top of ridge . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . the bearing trees have probably rotted and slid down the hill . . . Top of a ridge . . . Wells Creek . . . Road from Philomath to Alsea . . . Stream . . . Indian trail, from Willamette Valley to Alsea, course SW. and NE. . . . A red fir, 4 ins. . . . A red fir, 18 ins. . . . A red fir, 5 ins. . . . A red fir, 6 ins. . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar and hemlock, and covered with a dense undergrowth of vine maple, salal, rhododendron and devil's war club (Collier 1892: 339-341)


 

Tsp. 13 S., Rng. 8 W. (13-8): Grass Mountain

 

General Description

 

[Hathorn 1856: 412] This township is all mountainous. Timber principally fir and much of it burnt; none but sec. 36 deemed fit for settlement. There are some burnt openings covered with fern, but no grass land except near the summit of a very high mountain, two miles from the west line and two from the south line of the township. On this there is probably a sec. of grass.

 

[Collier, September 23, 1891: 407] The greater portion of this township is rough, mountainous and broken. There is much rich bottom land along the Alsea and it's tributaries, which rises in the township. The entire township is covered with heavy timber and dense undergrowth, which has been cleared away in a few spots by the settlers. There are a number of settlers in the township. It should be subdivided.

 

[Sharp, September 21, 1897: 454-455] This township contains but one variety of land, rough, mountainous and broken. The soil is of one general character and about 3rd rate, productive of much vegetation, vines and timber, owing to the heavy rainfall. It is entirely without grass except in a few open glades on Grass Mountain in about the center of the township. Extensive fires raged over the greater part of this township about forty years ago leaving much dead timber now intermingled with a new growth, in many places being thickets. Much valuable timber exists upon this township, but large quantities have been destroyed by forest fires . . . Grass Mountain, the highest land in the township, is located nearly in the center and from it the water flows north, south, east and west, eventually all in the Alsea River. The township is entirely without settlement, the petitioners praying for the survey are located upon sec. 36 of this township . . . But little, if any, of this township is suitable for settlement. (Sharp, September 21, 1897: 454-455)

 

 

Map D.04 Grass Mountain balds and trails, 1971.

 

Fig. D.01 Aerial photo of Grass Mountain balds, 1966.

[Compare the persistent patterns of trails and vegetation shown on this aerial photograph and on Map D.04, with GLO surveys of the same area, performed from 1856-1897.]

Tsp. 14 S., Rng. 7 W. (14-7): Inmon Mill

 

General Description

 

[Hathorn, c. June 15, 1856: 164] The quality of the soil in this fractional township, along the Alseya and its branches, is excellent and produces abundance of grass. The uplands are 2nd rate soil and covered with a very heavy growth of fern. The timber is principally fir.

 

[Collier, April 24, 1893: 175]  A large part seems to have its timber deadened, offering excellent range for cattle . . . the snow lay just south of our line during the time of the survey. . . There are several settlers scattered through different parts. It should be subdivided.

 

[Collier May 12, 1893: 228] 43 miles, 77 chs. and 15 lks. of these subdivision lines run over mountainous lands or through timber. . . The usual vegetation of the Coast Range grows strongly everywhere. Wild grass and pea vine grows thick where other growths have been killed. Most of the openings are taken by a rank growth of fern. The whole has been covered by heavy fir, cedar and hemlock forests which has been deadened by fire on about half the area and the slopes exposed afford excellent range for cattle and sheep.

 

 

Sec. 1

[S mile between 1 and 6] A fir, 24 ins. . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . . Land, all rough mountains. . . Timber, fir, cedar, etc. Undergrowth, hazel, fern, fir, etc. The west 3 1/2 miles of this line is rough mountains of the Coast Range . . . Top of ridge . . . A fir, 28 ins. . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . . A fir , 30 ins. . . . A fir, 30 ins. . . . A fir 40 ins. . . . A fir, 60 ins. . . . A fir, 14 ins.. . . . All rough mountains. . . Timber, fir and cedar, principally dead. Undergrowth, hazel, fern, briars, etc. (Webster October 12, 1853: 98).

 

[W mile between 1 and 36] A sink of earth about 10 feet deep and 10 wide. . . . Summit of ridge. . . A fir 36 ins. . . .A fir 12 ins. . . Summit of ridge. . . A cedar 30 ins. . . . A fir 30 ins. . . Timber, fir cedar and hemlock. Undergrowth, hemlock, fern and salal (Hathorn 1856: 151).

Sec. 2

[W mile between 2 and 35] Summit of mountain, overlooking the Alseya Valley, course N. and S. . . A fir 24 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . A fir, 24 . . . A Maple, 20 ins. . . A hemlock, 20 ins. . . . Land, very rough and west slope of mountain very steep and rocky (Hathorn 1856: 151)

 

[S mile between 1 and 2] Along east slope in heavy forest of fir and hemlock. Top of high timbered ridge . . . Thence along steep West slope in heavy timber and thick salal . . . A fir, 24 ins. . . . A fir, 48 ins. . . . Spur from Buck Peak . . . Fir, 60 ins. . . . Ravine . . . Spur . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar, and hemlock and covered with dense undergrowth of salal (Collier 1893: 191)

Bagley 1915

Yellow or bastard fir is just fair in quality, is low in clears and there is a large amount of defect. Red fir is young and thrifty but low in clears. Hemlock is young, thrifty and low in clears. Cedar is defective and good for posts only . . . A ground fire has been over nearly all of the section years ago and while it did not kill any great amount of timber at the time, a large amount is beginning to show defect. The fire risk is nominal.

Sec. 3

[3/34 W] A fir, 40 ins. . . . Summit of narrow ridge . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . .A fir, 24 ins. . . A cedar, 30 ins. . . .Summit of a ridge . . . A fir, 40 ins. . . .A dogwood 12 ins. . . .Timber, fir, cedar and hemlock. Undergrowth, salal and fern (Hathorn 1856: 152)

 

[2/3 S]              A maple, 20 ins. . . . A hemlock, 20 ins. . . . Descend gradually through heavy timber. . . Ascend gradually . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . .A fir, 18 ins. . . . Ascend rapidly. Top of ridge . . .descend sharply . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar and hemlock, with undergrowth of salal, vine maple and arrowwood (Collier 1893: 196)

Sec. 4

[W mile between 4 and 33] A fir, 36 ins. . . .Summit of ridge . . . A cedar, 48 ins. . . . A vine maple, 9 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . A fir, 15 ins. . . .Timber, fir, cedar and hemlock. Undergrowth, vine maple, hazel and fern (Hathorn 1856: 152-153)

 

[S mile between 3 and 4] A fir, 40 ins. . . .mkd. with surveyor’s guage but mark mostly burnt off . . . A dogwood, 12 ins. . . .now fallen, mkd. but marks nearly rotted away [exact species and sizes recorded by Hathorn 1856, pg. 152: killed shortly thereafter?]. . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . Descend sharply. Enter bottom. Fence . . . enter meadow . . . Mr. Hutchin's house . . . about 10 chs. dist. Mr. Trout's house . . . about 25 chs. dist. . . . leave meadow and clearing, enter timber and brush . . . Leave bottom; ascend along broken N. slope . . . A maple, 8 ins. . . . A maple, 5 iins. . . . Top of ridge . . . Land . . . bottom . . . partially cleared and seeded to grass . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar and hemlock and covered with dense undergrowth of same and vine maple, arrowwood, dogwood, salal and maple (Collier 1893: 207-208)

Boise 1893

Mr. Boise has small clearing and cabin in SW 1/4 (Collier 1893: 229)

Hutchins 1893

Mr. Hutchins has house, barn and 7 or 8 acres in cultivation or meadow in sec. 4, NE 1/4 (Collier 1893: 229)

Trout 1893

Mr. Trout has house and barn and some land in cultivation in NE 1/4 (Collier 1893: 229)

Bagley 1915

Yellow fir is sound and A#1 grade. Red fir is sound and a fair grade. Cedar is sound and a good quality. There is some fire damage as shown in red on the plat [84 acres]. The fire risk is ordinary one.

Sec. 5

[5/32 W] Enter prairie, course N. and SW. . . . A fir, 30 ins. . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . Enter river bottom . . . East half timbered same as last mile [4/33 W]; west half prairie (Hathorn 1856: 153)

 

[4/5 S] A cedar, 15 ins. . . . A cedar 7 ins. . . . A cedar, 16 ins. . . . A cedar 14 ins. . . A red fir, 24 ins. . . . South Fork of Alsea River . . . A fir, 20 ins. . . . An alder, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 14 ins. . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . A fir, 30 ins. . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . . Timber, fir, cedar, hemlock alder, with heavy underbrush (Mercer 1878: 164-165)

Bagley 1915

Yellow fir is sound and a good quality. Red fir and cedar is a fair quality of timber. There is some fire damage as shown in red on the plat. The fire risk is ordinary one.

Sec. 6 

[W mile between 6 and 31: Error?] Leave prairie and enter timber. . . . Enter North Fork of Alseya River. Leave same . . . Enter prairie . . . Jacob Holgate’s house . . . Trail . . . Enter thicket . . . Leave same . . . Leave bottom and commence ascending hill . . . Enter timber . . . A maple, 10 ins. . . . A maple, 4 ins. . . . Enter fern prairie . . . .A maple 20 ins. . . . A maple 20 ins. . . . Land hilly. Timber, principally fir and maple. The high prairie is covered with a thick coat of fern from 6 to 8 ft. high. (Hathorn, June 9, 1856:153-154)

 

[W mile between 6 and 31: Error?] Trail . . . Enter alder thicket . . . Leave same . . . Enter timber . . . Leave timber and enter fir opening . . . A fir, 40 in. . . . 285 lks. . . . An alder, 10 in. . . . 218 lks. . . . An alder, 9 in. . . 135 lks. . . . An alder, 10 in. . . . 77 lks. . . . No tre convenient NE. Land hilly; about half covered with fir and maple; balance open and all the high portions are covered with a large growth of fern (Hathorn, June 28, 1856: 325-326)

 

[S mile between 5 and 6] Leave prairie and enter timber . . . A dogwood, 10 ins. . . . A vine maple, 10 ins. . . . Summit of ridge . . . About one-fourth level land . . . Timbered with fir. Under growth maple, hazel, and fern (Hathorn 1856: 161-162)

Holgate 1856

[#7879: 319.5 A., beginning at NW corner in 13-7-31] A dogwood, 6 ins. . . . A fir, 10 ins. . . . Enter prairie . . . Enter thicket . . .Enter field . . . Enter Holgate and William’s house. Leave same. Leave field . . . Trail . . . Enter thicket, Enter prairie, Enter timber . . .Enter prairie . . . A fir, 40 ins. . . . 1028 lks. A fir, 40 ins. . . . 1080 lks. . . . An oak, 12 ins. . . . 233 lks. An oak, 12 ins. . . .177 lks. . . . Summit of ridge . . . Enter timber . . .Enter North Fork of Alseya River. Leave same . . . Enter same Leave same . . . A crab apple, 12 ins. . . .An ash, 30 ins. . . . An ash, 12 ins. . . . A fir, 60 [ins.?] wide . . . 190 lks. . . . Enter prairie or openings . . . An oak, 30 ins. . . .A fir, 36 ins. . . . 820 lks. . . . Leave prairie and enter timber . . . Enter North Fork of Alseya River. Leave same . . . Enter prairie . . . Trail . . . Enter thicket . . . Enter prairie . . . Leave prairie and enter timber . . . To beginning cor. Land about half level prairie and timbered bottoms. . . Timber fir and maple principally. About ten acres in cultivation. Buildings 2nd rate log. (Hathorn 1856a: 469-471)

Bagley 1915

Yellow fir is a good quality of timber. Red fir and cedar are a coarse grade of timber . . . There has been no recent fire damage and the fire risk is ordinary. The balance of the section is open grass land and farming land.           

Sec. 7

[N mile between 7 and 8]  . . Enter openings . . . Enter timber . . . Summit of ridge . . . A fir, 50 ins. . . . 270 lks. A fir, 50 ins. . . . 100 lks. Summit of ridge . . . A fir, 15 ins. . . . 221 lks. A fir, 40 ins. . . . 245 lks. A fir, 48 ins. . . . 127 lks. A fir, 6 ins. . . . 367 lks. Land about the same as last mile [E between 7 and 18] (Hathorn 1856: 160-161)

 

[E mile between 6 and 7] Leave prairie and enter timber . . . Leave same and enter prairie . . . Enter timber . . . A fir, 30 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . Enter openings . . . Summit of ridge . . . Enter timber . . . Enter openings . . . Timber, fir. Undergrowth, maple, hazel, oak and fern (Hathorn 1856: 161)      

Bagley 1915

Yellow or bastard fir is defective, there being considerable stump rot and broken tops. Red and white fir is a young, thrifty growth, no clears. A fire of many years ago has been over the entire section and it has grown up to brush. The present fire risk is nominal.         

Sec. 8

[N mile between 8 and 9]  . . . A hemlock, 18 ins. . . . a maple, 12 ins. . . A maple, 24 ins. . . . A maple, 24 ins. . . A fir, 12 ins. . . .A fir, 18 ins. . . . A cedar, 12 ins. . . . Land about the same as last mile [E between 8 and 17] (Hathorn 1856: 162-163)

 

[E mile between 5 and 8] . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . A fir, 24 ins. . . .Summit of ridge . . . Land about the same as last two miles [E between 8 and 17; N between 8 and 9] (Hathorn 1856: 163)

Bagley 1915

Yellow fir is a fair quality of timber. Red fir is a coarse common grade. Cedar is a fair quality. Burned lands are shown on the plat [153 acres]. The fire risk is an ordinar[y] one.

*Sec. 9

[N mile between 9 and 10] Ascend in old burn . . . Enter old burn . . . A dead fir, 30 ins. diam. . . . 37 chs. heavily timbered with fir, cedar and hemlock, remainder in old deadening with scattered groves of fir timber and many old logs and stubs, with patches of dense salal and huckleberry brush (Collier 1893: 205-206)

 

[W mile between 4 and 9] Fir, 24 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . A fir, 10 ins. . . . Enter deadening and slashing in bottom, Boise’s house . . . about 7 chs. dist. . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar and hemlock with undergrowth of salal, blackberry, hazel, dogwood and vine maple . . . covered with dense undergrowth of weeds and briars and an almost imprenetrable and unsermountable piles of brush of vine maple, etc. (Collier 1893: 217-218)

*Sec. 10

[N mile between 10 and 11] A dead cedar, 20 ins. . . A dead fir, 24, ins. . . . old deadening with logs and stubs, thickly strewn and some thickets of hazel and maple . . . Some scattering groves of green fir on the mile, but most of it is old deadening. Slopes covered with logs, fern and grass (Collier 1893: 193-194)

 

[W mile between 3 and 10] Top of ridge . . . A fir, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . . Top of spur . . . Stream . . . Top of spur . . . Heavily timbered with fir, and covered with dense undergrowth of salal and vine maple. The East 29 chs.. partly deadened (Collier 1893: 206-207)

Sec. 11

Heavily timbered with fir on last 24 chs., scattering live fir and remains of old deadened forest on remainder (Collier 1893: 188)

Sec. 12

Enter deadening, desc. rapidly through dead timber and brush. . . . Heavily timbered with fir, deadened in some spots (Collier 1893: 187)

 

 

[1/12 W]                     ]W WAscend in old deadening . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar, maple and alder, mostly deadened on the middle, 48.00 chs. of it (Collier 1893: 190)

 

Sec 13

Enter opening, deadening (Collier 1893: 184)

 

51 chs. heavily timbered with fir, deadened in spots with dense undergrowth of salal and fern; 29 chs. old deadening scattering fir (???)

 

*Sec. 14

[W mile between 11 and 14]

Ascend gradually over rolling table land in old deadening. . . Top of ridge . . . through belt of live timber. . . . leave live timber . . . A fir, 16 ins. . . . A fir, 30 ins. . . . Old fir logs and stubs, thickly scattered with occasional live fir trees. Covered with good grass and patches of thimbleberry with strong growth of fern, now all flattened down (Collier 1893: 192-193)

*Sec. 15

[N mile between 14 and 15]

Top of spur . . . in heavy fir timber . . . Fir, 26 ins. . . . enter opening, old deadening of heavy forest . . . A fir 7 ins. . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . . Road . . . Top of ridge . . . Spring . . . enter dense thicket of alder and willow. . . East branch of Trout Creek . . . leave thicket . . . A dead fir, 36 ins. . . . A dead fir, 24 ins. . . . A dead fir 24 ins. . . . A dead fir 24 ins. . . . heavily timbered with fir, with dense undergrowth of salal, arrowwood and hazel; 56 chs. through deadening over grown in patches with fir and hazel and maple, thick with logs and stubs (Collier 1893: 191-192)

 

[W mile between 10 and 15]

Top of spur . . . A dead fir, 36 ins. . . . A dead fir, 50 ins. . . . Porter's house . . . Top of ridge . . . Some scattering groves of green fir on the mile, but most of it is old deadening. Slopes covered with logs, fern and grass (Collier 1893: 204-205)

Summers 1893

Mr. Summers has house and barn and about 5 acres in cultivation or meadow in SE 1/4 (Collier 1893: 229)

Porter 1893

T. W. Porter has house, barn and 2 or 3 acres fenced in NW 1/4 (Collier 1893: 229)

*Sec. 16

[N mile between 15 and 16]

. . . Trout Creek. . . Fir, 16 ins. . . . Road to Meyer's . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . Road . . . Porter's house . . . Trout Creek . . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . . dead fir 48, ins. . . live fir, 34, ins. . . . live fir, 30 ins. . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar, maple and alder, partly deadened, strewn with big logs, covered in most parts with dense undergrowth of salal, hazel, thimbleberry and dogwood (Collier 1893: 203-204)

Meyers R. 1893

R. G. Meyers has house, barn, and outhouses and about 15 acres in cultivation and 3/4 acre in orchard in sec. 16, besides a large quantity of range fenced (Collier 1893: 229)

Smith 1893

Mr. Smith has about 4 acres in cultivation and 1/2 acre in orchard in NW 1/4 of Sec 16 and house and barn in same (Collier 1893: 229)

Sec. 17

A dead fir, 30 ins. . . . Thence over high open steep grassy S. slope . . . Thence over more gentle descent on grassy S. slope . . . heavily timbered with fir, cedar, maple and alder, with dense undergrowth of salal, arrowwood, hazel, blackberry; remainder open in old burn. (Collier 1893: 228)

Sec. 18

A fir, 36 ins. . . . A cedar, 15 ins. . . . A fir 8 ins. . . . A cedar, 12 ins. Webster 1853: 99)

 

[N mile between 17 and 18]

Summit of ridge . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . Summit of ridge, course E. and W. South trail to the Willamette, course NW. and SE. . . . A maple, 12 ins. . . . A maple, 10 ins. . . . A maple, 10 ins. . . . A cedar, 12 ins. (Hathorn 1856: 159)

Sec. 19

enter old deadening . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar, hemlock, maple and alder, deadened last 59.50 chs., covered with dense undergrowth of cherry, balm, alder, huckleberry, blackberry (Collier 1893: 227)

Meyers H. 1893

H. C. Meyers has about 5 acres of meadow in sec. 19 in NE 1/4(Collier 1893: 229)

Sec. 20

[N mile between 20 and 21]

Top of rise . . . Rock Creek . . . Top of spur . . . A cedar, 20 ins. . . A cedar, 30 ins. . . . Enter Alsea River ., . . A fir, 50 ins. . . .A dead fir, 24 ins. . . A dead fir, 40 ins. . . . An alder, 5 ins. . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar, alder and maple, mostly deadened by fire, covered with dense undergrowth of same and huckleberry, blackberry and salal (Collier 1893: 212-214)

Hedwig 1893

Mr. Hedwig has 1 acre in cultivation and 6 acres in meadow and house in NW 1/4 (Collier 1893: 229)

Sec. 21

[N mile between 21 and 22]

A dead fir, 40 ins. . . . A fir, 6 ins. . . . . To left bank of Alsea River . . . To right bank . . . ascend on E. slope in heavy live timber. . . A fir, 10 ins. . . . A fir, 4 ins. . . . A fir, 24 ins. . . . A fir, 20 ins. . . .Heavily timbered with fir, cedar, alder and maple; the first 63 chs. having its large timber mostly deadened by old burn, covered with dense undergrowth of huckleberry, salal, arrowwood, cherry and maple (Collier 1893: 201-202)

 

[W mile between 16 and 21]

Top of spur . . . Leave live timber; thence along grassy S. slope . . . A fir, 30 ins. . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . .R. G. Myer's house . . . Enter heavy fir timber . . . 44 chs. heavily timbered with fir and cedar and covered with dense undergrowth of salal, willow, hazel and arrowwood; remainder nearly open with scattering firs. On southern slope, covered with grass and pea vines (Collier 1893: 214)

Fagan 1885

Ruble's Mills--These mills are located at the upper end of Alsea valley and prove a boon to the country in which they are located. The saw mill was constructed in 1872 and the grist mill in 1873. When first started the latter was fitted with a single pair of burrs and had a capacity of about one hundred bushels in ten hours, while the former had but a single sash saw, capable of producing fifteen hundred feet of lumber per day. In 1884 a new saw mill was built in the forks formed by the Alsea river and Rock creek, and on the opposite side from the old site. This building is fitted with a circular saw, planer, etc., while the lumber manufactured is from the great forests of cedar, fir, alder and maple that abound in the vicinity. There are one hundred and twenty acres attached to the mills.

*Sec. 22

[N mile between 22 and 23]

Descend . . . Enter live timber, dense thickets of cherry, vine maple, salal, arrowwood. Enter low wet bottom. South Alsea . . . West’s rail fence . . . Enter partial clearing of the underbrush . . . Rail fence . . . leave partial clearing of brush . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . .Top of rise . . . . Ridge . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . . A fir, 16 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . A fir, 30 ins. . . . nearly bare of live timber with old logs and stumps of fir forest; remainder heavily timbered with fir, cedar, hemlock, chinquapin and maple with dense undergrowth in places of salal, vine maple and huckleberry (Collier 1893: 181-182)

 

[W mile between 15 and 22]

Descend along N. side of canyon . . . Enter opening . . . A fir, 10 ins. . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . Descend sharply into green timber . . . Trout Creek . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar and hemlock, with some small glades of opening, with dense undergrowth almost throughout of salal, hazel and arrowwood (Collier 1893: 202-203)

West 1893

Charles West has house, barn, sheds and about 30 acres in cultivation or meadow in SE 1/4 (Collier 1893: 229)

Bagley 1915

Yellow or bastard fir is good quality and generally sound. Red fir is a thrifty growth, low in clears. Cedar is only good for posts and shingles . . . This is a railroading proposition down the Alsea river. Fire has been over the entire section except about 25 acres . . . and about 10 acres . . . There is a scattering timber all through the old burn. The present fire risk is nominal. There is a homesteader on the SW 1/4 SE 1/4 . . . All that part of section not reported on is in the old burn and does not carry any timber.

Sec. 23

[W mile between 14 and 23]

. . . Road . . . A fir, 8 ins. . . . 246 lks. . . . A dead fir, 40 ins. . . . 187 lks. . . . Top of steep ascent . . . thence over rounding top of ridge . . . Enter belt of green fir timber. Enter deadening . . . 4 chs. covered with heavy fir forest, remainder through heavy old deadening with patches of undergrowth of salal, fern, etc. and on the high part, good grass (Collier 1893: 183-184)

Sec. 24

Leave burn and enter timber (Mercer 1878: 167)

Sec. 25

A fir, 28 ins. . . A fir 18 ins. . . . A fir 15 ins. . . . A fir 24 ins. (Webster 1853: 120)

*Sec. 26

[W mile between 23 and 26]

Ascend. Leave live timber. Top of mountain [Name?] . . . Enter bottom with dense underbrush and timber . . . Green Peak Fork of Alsea . . . Cherry, 3 ins. . . . A cherry, 5 ins. . . . A fir, 8 ins. . . . East Fork of Alsea River . . . Leave same. Leave bottom . . . Land, 14 chs. bottom, covered with dense undergrowth and heavy timber; 65.92 chs. mountainous covered with scattering live timber and old logs and stubs of fir, and dense undergrowth of salal, fern, hazel, etc." (Collier 1893: 180-181)

Sec. 27

[N mile between 26 and 27]

Top of rise . . Cedar, 16 ins. . . .Fir, 50 ins. . . . Fir, 50 ins. . . . Leave live timber. Top of ridge . . . A fir, 10 ins. . . . 119 lks. . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . . 250 lks. . . . West's house [Sec. 22] . . . Head of slide and spring . . . Fir, 48 ins. . . . Some croppings of coal . . . A fir, 8 ins. . . . 115 lks. . . . A fir, 4 ins. . . . 120 lks. . . . A fir, 3 ins. . . . 88 lks. . . . A fir, 4 ins. . . . 75 lks. . . . heavily timbered with fir, cedar and hemlock, some groves of fir and some patches of brush on last part (Collier 1893: 178-179)

 

[W mile between 22 and 27]

Cross a little hollow . . . Top of spur . . . West's house . . . West's barn . . . Onto table land . . . A dead cedar, 24 ins. . . A dead cedar, 20 ins. . . . Ridge . . . Top of ridge . . . Timber, mostly deadened, with patches of brush and alder groves along the streams (Collier 1893: 200-201)

*Sec. 28

[N mile between 27 and 28]

Descend in old deadening . . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . . A dead fir, 36 ins. . . . Hole in the ground, 10 ft. in diam., 15 ft. deep, a stream, about 2 lks. wide, observed in the bottom, course W. . . . Ridge . . . An alder, 5 ins. . . . An alder, 10 ins. . . . An alder, 5 ins. . . . A dogwood, 5 ins. . . . through old deadening with many stubs standing, many logs strewn over surface, with occasional thickets of fir, hazel and arrowwood and alder groves along the stream (Collier 1893: 199)

 

[W mile between 21 and 28]

Ascend. Top of ridge . . . Stream [Blackberry Creek] . . . Top of ridge . . . A fir, 7 ins. . . . A fir, 6 ins. . . . Top of ridge . . . In old deadening of heavy fir forest; covered in part with dense undergrowth of cherry, alder, maple and salal, with occasional open grassy slopes (Collier 1893: 212)

Sec. 29

A dead fir, 72 ins. . . . A dead fir, 60 ins. . . . A dead cedar, 12 ins. . . . A dead cedar, 40 ins. . . .A dead fir, 36 ins. . . A dead fir, 30 ins.. . . In old deadening of heavy fir forest, covered in most parts with dense undergrowth of cherry, balm, alder, maple and fir, with some open grassy patches Dead cedar, 16 ins. . . An alder, 4 ins. . . . An alder, 5 ins. . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . A dead fir, 24 ins. . . A fir, 48 ins. . . A fir, 48 ins. . . . Scattering live fir timber, but remains of heavy forest (Collier 1893: 211,222- 223)

 

[W mile between 20 and 29]

Descend. Enter bottom . . . Stream [Rock Creek] . . . Asc. Abruptly from bottom. On to spur . . . then up along top of same . . . Head of spur; thence along N. side of mountain. . . A dead fir, 30 ins. . . . A dead fir, 40 ins. . . . Hedwig's house [Sec. 20] . . . about 40 chs. dist. In the Alsea bottom. Top of ridge . . . Spring . . . Timbered with scattering live firs and thick forest of dead firs and cedar, with dense undergrowth on most of the line of cherry, balm, alder, maple, blackberry, huckleberry, etc. (Collier 1893: 223-224)

Sec. 30

A burnt cedar, 18 ins. . . . a burnt cedar, 20 ins. . . . a burnt fir, 30 ins. . .A burnt yew, 12 ins. . . . Timber, fir and cedar, and mostly burnt (Hathorn 1856a: 158).

Sec. 31

[N mile between 31 and 32]

. . . A fir, 60 ins. . . . A maple, 24 ins. . . . Fir 60 ins. . . . A dead fir, 30 ins. . . A fir, 8 ins. . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . A maple, 4 ins. . . .Heavily timbered with fir, and alder; large timber mostly deadened by old burn, covered in patches with dense undergrowth of salal, cherry, alder and maple (Collier 1893: 219-220)

 

 

[E mile between 30 and 31] A burnt cedar, 18 ins. . .. A burnt cedar, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 30 ins. . . A burnt yew, 12 ins. . .. A dead fir, 60 ins. . . A dead fir, 60 ins. . . Large fir timber, mostly deadened. (Collier 1893: 221-222)

 

Sec. 32

Dead fir timber . . . A fir, 4 ins. . . . A dead fir, 30 ins. . . A dead fir, 36 ins. . . A dead fir, 36 ins. . . . A maple, 4 ins. . . . A cherry, 3 ins. . . . Covered with heavy fir and cedar forests, deadened by old burn, and dense undergrowth of alder, cherry, mountain balm, huckleberry, young fir, and maple (Collier 1893: 209)

Sec. 33

[N one mile between 33 and 34]

Trail to Prairie Mountain, course 750 E., and S. 750 W., on top of ridge of same . . . A fir, 10 ins. . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . . A fir, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 60 ins. . . . Top of Last Chance Ridge . . . enter old deadening . . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . . A dead fir, 20 ins. . . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar and hemlock, deadened on last 14 chs., with undergrowth of same and salal (Collier 1893: 197-198)

 

[28/33 W]

Descend steep West slope in old deadening . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . A fir, 4 ins. (Collier 1893: 210)

Sec. 34

Top of Last Chance Ridge . . . enter old deadening . . . Heavily timbered with fir, cedar and hemlock, deadened on last 14 chs. (Collier 1893: 197-198)

 

last 8 chs. in old deadening and fir thicket, remainder covered with heavy timber and dense undergrowth of salal (Collier 1893: 197-198)

*Sec. 35

[W mile between 26 and 35] . . . remains of flume and ditch, starting just above line and running Easterly to Inman's mill (Collier 1893: 178)

*Sec. 36

[30/36 S]

A fir, 16 ins. . . . A fir, 15 ins. . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . . Foot of hill . . . A fir 28 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . A fir, 12 ins. . . . A cedar, 12 ins. . . . A fir, 40 ins. . . . Timber, fir and cedar. Undergrowth, hazel, fern, fir, etc. (Webster 1853: 100-101)

 

[25/36 W]

South Fork of Alsea River . . . A cedar, 12 ins. . . . A cedar, 14 ins. . . . Same stream . . . Same stream . . . Land rolling; about half good for cultivation. Timber, cedar and hemlock (Mercer 1878: 166)

Bagley 1915

Yellow fir is sound, fair size and not over ripe. The timber on the SE 1/4 is large and rough, the limbs come low down. The balance of the section is very good grade of timber, old growth and young growth mixed . . . Cedar is scattered along the creeks, is sound and of fairly good quality . . . The timber will have to be taken out by railroad, which can be constructed at a reasonable cost across divide through low pass . . . There is also a low pass through section 8-15-6 . . . No damage by fire. There is danger of fire . . . as here is some very heavy underbrush. Not much fire danger on balance of section as there is very little underbrush except vine maple and alder. The mill on the NE 1/4 NW 1/4 is burned. There are a good many logs cut on the ground. There is a very good 7 room house and a very good large barn on NW 1/4 NW 1/4 which are abandoned . . . There is 7 acres cleared and grass . . . There are also several small garden spots cleared on the old mill site . . . The buildings on the two old mill sites are rough board houses (Bagley, April, 1915)

 

 

Tsp. 14 S., Rng. 8 W. (14-8): Trail to Tidewater (see Map 2.11)

 

General Description

 

[Hathorn, July 3, 1856: 278-279] The open portion is covered with a very heavy growth of fern. Timber, being chiefly fir, cedar and maple. There is a plain trail leading from this township to tide water on the Alseya, which is said to be quite passable for horses. The Indians however generally travel it in their canoes from a point near the west line of the township and frequently from near the east line of the same.

 

[Gesner, June 8, 1891: 313]  This township is generally mountainous, rough and broken in the southwest portion . . . It is covered with a dense undergrowth of fir, hemlock, cherry, vine maple, etc. Some excellent fir timber along the western portion of the township . . . There are about thirteen settlers on the portion of the township I subdivided. Some of them having settled there ten or twenty years ago.

 

 

 

Sec. 1

[S mile between 1 and 6]

Enter timber . . . Leave timber and enter prairie on summit of ridge , course NW. and SE. Trail, course NW. and SE. . . . A W. oak, 24 ins. . . . 850 lks. level. An alder, 12 ins. . . . 349 liks. . . . John Kellum’s House . . . An Indian Trail . . . Enter thicket . . . Enter prairie . . . Leave same and enter timber, course NW and SE, . . . Indian trail, course E. and W. . . . Enter bottom, course E. and W. Intersect right bank of North Fork of Alseya River . . . Leave river . . . Same river . . . Leave timber and enter prairie . . . A crab apple, 9 ins. . . . 505 lks. An alder, 20 ins. . . . 500 lks. An oak, 18 ins. . . . 330 lks. An oak, 18 ins. . . .383 lks. The summit of a high mountain bears N. 520 W. . . . Timber, fir and maple. Undergrowth, maple, briers [sic], vines and fern. Prairie covered with a fine growth of grass. (Hathorn 1856: 154-155)

 

The post corner was rotted away . . . and the marks on the bearing trees burned off (Dick 1873: 237)

 

A fir, 50 ins. diam., bears S. 130 E., 310 lks., burned down and nearly destroyed (Gesner 1891a: 242)

Sec. 4

[W mile between 4 and 33]

A fir, 30 in. . . . A fir, 50 in. . . . A fir, 30 in. . . . Summit of ridge . . . Summit of ridge . . . The summit of Holgates Peak [Grass Mountain], bears North. This mt. is open on the S. side near the summit and probably contains about a sec. of the prairie . . . A fir 18 in. . . . A fir, 15 in. (Hathorn 1856: 234-235)

 

[4/33 E mile between 4 and 33]

. . . Spur . . . Spur . . . A fir, 6 ins. . . . A fir, 7 ins. . . . Top of steep ascent at top of rocky bluff . . . thence over table land, sloping gently NE., enter green timber. Trail to Prairie Mountain, course N. 500 E. . . . A hemlock, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 40 ins. . . . A yew, 12 ins. . . . A vine maple, 6 ins. . . .Heavily timbered with fir and hemlock; old growth dead on west 44.50 chs., but young growth in thickets taking its place. Dense undergrowth of salal and rhododendron on last half, 80 chs. (Collier 1893: 172-173)

Sec. 5

[W one mile between 5 and 33]

A fir, 40 ins. . . . A cedar, 48 ins. . . . A maple, 9 ins. . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . . Timber, fir, cedar and maple, and mostly killed by fire. Undergrowth, maple, hazel, fern, briars and vines (Hathorn 1856: 235).

Sec. 6

[E mile between 6 and 31]

. . . Top of spur . . . asc. Over a round, grassy ridge . . . Top of same . . . Ravine . . . An alder, 5 ins. . . . A fir, 8 ins. . . . Top of spur . . . land slide . . . Top of ridge . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . .A fir, 6 ins. . . . timber, burned. Dense underbrush in most parts of mountain; balance huckleberry and maple, with occasional thickets of fir and open patches of fern and grass (Collier 1893: 169-171)

 

66.00

Indian trail on summit of ridge, course E. and W. (south between 5 and 6, Hathorn 1856, 14-8: 278)

 

[W one mile between 6 and 36] Timber, principally fir, cedar and maple, and mostly burnt . . .(Hathorn 1856: 235-236)

 

[S one mile between 1 and 6] Land, hilly and about half fern prairie; balance burnt fir timber” (Hathorn 1856: 236-237)

 

[S one mile between 1 and 6] Burnt timber strewn with logs (Gesner 1891: 241-244)

Sec. 8

51.00

Indian trail, course NW. and SE.

52.50

Summit of ridge, course NW. and SE.

 

52.50

Leave prairie and enter timber, course NW. and SE. (north between 8 and 9, Hathorn 1856, 14-8: 273)

Sec. 17

19.50

A dim Indian trail, course NE. and SW. (north between 16 and 17, Hathorn 14-8: 272)

Sec. 19

45.40

Top of ridge and trail, bears E. and W. (Gesner 1891: 307)

Sec. 20

2.50

Top of ridge, bears east and West.

 

3.00

Trail from Alsea to Lobster, bears East and West (between 20 and 21, Gesner 1891, 14-8: 300)

Sec. 21

Timber, south 40 chs. Mostly burnt timber; some green alder, maple, and dogwood (Gesner 1891: 285).

 

27.50

Top of ridge and trail, bears NE. and SW.

 

38.00

Top of ridge and trail, bears NE. and SW.

 

74.14

Summit of ridge and trail (west between 16 and 21, Gesner 1891: 285)

Sec. 22

10.50

A dim Indian trail, course E. and W. (north between secs. 22 and 23, Hathorn 1856, 14-8: 263)

 

10.75

Summit of narrow ridge, course N. and S.

 

Indian trail, course N. and S. (between 22 and 27, Hathorn 1856 14-8: 267)

Sec. 24

[S mile between 19 and 24]

Leave prairie and enter timber . . . Enter prairie . . . summit of ridge . . . Enter timber . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . . A fir, 18 ins. . . . Summit of ridge . . . A fir, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 15 ins. . . . A fir, 18 ins. (Hathorn 1856a: 158)

Sec. 25

[S mile between 25 and 30]

. . . Summit of a ridge . . . A fir, 36 ins. . . . A maple, 15 ins. . . . Summit of a ridge . . . A burnt cedar, 18 ins. . . . a burnt cedar, 20 ins. . . . a burnt fir, 30 ins. . .A burnt yew, 12 ins. . . . Timber, fir and cedar, and mostly burnt. Undergrowth, maple, hazel, fern, salal, Oregon grape, briers [sic], vines, etc. (Hathorn 1856a: 158).

 

Creek, 3 lks. Wide, course West; enter burnt woods (Gesner 1891a: 238)

Sec. 26

Left green and entered burnt timber (Gesner 1891: 292)

Sec. 27

[W mile between 22 and 27] . . . Summit of narrow ridge, course N. and S. Indian trail, course N. and S. . . . A dogwood, 15 ins. . . . A fir, 50 ins. . . . A fir, 40 ins. . . . A fir, 40 ins. diam. . . . A burnt fir 40 ins. . . . A burnt fir, 40 ins. . . . Timber, fir, cedar and maple, mostly burnt. Undergrowth, maple hazel, fern, salal, briers [sic], vines, etc. (Hathorn 1856a: 267)

 

[W mile between 22 and 27] . . . Top of ridge and old Lobster Trail, bears SW. and NE. . . . A dogwood, 15 ins. . . . A red fir, 50 ins. . . . Post and bearing trees destroyed by fire . . . A fir, 30 ins. . . . A fir, 24 ins. . . . A fir, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 16 ins. . . . Timber, fir, maple, dogwood and scatter chinquapin; recent fires have destroyed the principal part of the timber, 80 chs. . . . Dense undergrowth of vine maple, fir, arrowwood, wild cherry and salal berry (Gesner 1891: 283-284).

Sec. 30:

“Timber, fir, cedar, chinquapin and dogwood; all trees dead in the burn, 80 chs.” (Gesner 1891a: 240)

Sec. 31:

“A deserted cabin, about 10 chs. Up the creek, but the brush was so dense it was impossible to see the house from any part of the line” (Gesner 1891a: 250)

 

“Timber poor, principally dead.” (Gesner 1891a: 251).

Sec. 33

[W mile between 28 and 33]

Descend steep West slope in old deadening. Enter brush . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . A fir, 5 ins. . . . A fir, 4 ins. . . . covered with dense undergrowth of cherry, mountain balm, alder, maple and fir (Collier 1893: 210)

Cox 1891

Wagon road from Lobster to Alsea . . . Mr. Joseph Cox's house . . . about 15 chs. . . . A red fir, 12 ins. . . . A red fir, 18 ins. . . . A dead fir, 36 ins. . . . Wagon road (Gesner 1891: 254)

Sec. 34:

Corner 27, 28, 33, 34: “A dead fir, 40 ins. . . . A red fir, 20 ins. . . . A dead fir, 30 ins. . . . A red fir, 14 ins.” (Gesner 1891: 298)

 

“Timber, mostly burned fir, cedar” (Gesner 1891: 297)

Sec. 35

“Timber, burnt” (Gesner 1891a: 253)

Sec. 36:

“Timber, dead fir and cedar; alder along creek” (Gesner 1891a: 241)

 

Corner 25, 30, 31, 36: “A dead cedar, 18 ins. diam, bears S. 8 o W., 50 lks. Dist. . . . A dead cedar, 20 ins. diam., bears N. 12o E., 117 lks. dist. . . . A large fir (stump) burned to the ground, bears N. 32o W., 98 lks. dist. The end of a burnt yew log, bears S. 60o E., 73 lks. dist.” (Gesner 1891a: 240)

 

Corner 25, 26, 35, 36: “A dead fir, 30 ins. Diam. Bears S. 62 1/2 W., 158 lks . . . A dead fir, 36 ins. Diam. Bears N. 18 1/2 W., 109 lks. . . . A dead fir, 36 ins. Diam. Bears N. 82o E., 187 lks. . . . A dead fir, 30 ins. Diam., bears S. 43 1/2 E. 229 lks. (Gesner 1891: 293).

 

 


Tsp. 15 S., Rng. 7 W. (15-7): Prairie Mountain

 

General Description

 

[Sharp c.July 15, 1897: 411-412] This township is entirely rough, broken and mountainous. There is no bottom land along the creeks . . . This township is covered with a heavy growth of valuable timber, mostly fir with scattering cedar, hemlock, maple and yew, with dense undergrowth and entirely without grass [!]. A few glades of 3 or 4 acres each occur in secs. 3, 4 and 9 and an extensive glade in sec. 7 of about 100 acres. These glades are covered with a dense growth of fern with little grass . . . There are no trails excepting one leading into the northern part of the township. It is impossible to get a 'pack horse' through the mountains.

 

 

Map D.05 Prairie Peak prairies and trails, 1969.

 

 

Fig. 3.02 Aerial photo of Prairie Peak prairies and trails, 1967.

 

[Compare the vegetation patterns and trails of Map D.05 and Fig. 3.02 with

 

 

 

Sec. 1

[1/36 ?]

I began at said SW. cor. Of sec. 36 where I found part of the post described in original notes, burned or rotted down. (Collier 1892: 168).

 

41.50

Left timber and enter prairie, bears E. and W.; this prairie extends in an easterly and westerly direction about 1 1/2 miles each way.

 

55.00

Summit of Blue Mountain bears E. and W., elevation about 150 ft. above 1/4 S. cor[ner].; this is one of the highest mountains in the Coast Range. (Gesner 1891: 418)

 

31.50

Cattle trail, course S. 75 W. and N. 75 E.

 

Trail to Prairie Mountain, course 75o E., and S. 75o W., on top of ridge of same (Collier 1893: 197)

 

33.25

Top of Blue Mountain, a sharp rocky ridge, bears N. 75 E., S. 75 W.; elevation above cor[ner]. To secs. 11, 12, 13 and 14 about 700 ft. (Gesner 1891: 421)

 

29.25

oak, 12, 8”. “Left timber and entered prairie; this prairie extends easterly several miles along the top of Blue Mountain.” (Gesner 1891: 424).

Sec. 2

Bagley 1915

Yellow fir is good quality and generally sound except in SW 1/4 SW 1/4 and SE 1/4 NE 1/4 where there is considerable defect in the old growth timber. Hemlock is thrifty growth but low in clears. Cedar is good for posts only. This section will be easy to log. . . . Fire damage as shown on plat [14 acres]. The fire risk is nominal.

Sec. 4

[W mile between 4 and 33]

. . . A fir, 6 ins. . . . A fir, 7 ins. . . . Trail to Prairie Mountain . . . A hemlock, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 40 ins. . . . A yew, 12 ins. . . . A vine maple, 6 ins. . . .Heavily timbered with fir and hemlock; old growth dead on west 44.50 chs., but young growth in thickets taking its place. Dense undergrowth of salala and rhododendron on last half (Collier 1893: 172-173)

Sec. 7

 


Tsp. 15 S., Rng. 8 W. (15-8): Lobster River

 

General Description

[David D. Fagan 1885: 498] Conterminous to the valley of the Alsea is a considerable quantity of partially settle country. For eight or ten miles to the southward, until Lobster creek is reached, the land is rolling and productive; while along the valley last-named there is a general settlement, but plenty of room for more.

 

[Alonzo Gesner, May 29, 1891] The townships on the east [14-7], south [15-8] and west [14-9] are settled with a class of people who intend making homes for themselves.

 

[Alonzo Gesner, July 28, 1891: 443] This Township is mountainous in character, some portions of it being quite broken. There are about ten settlers along the Lobster River, a tributary of Five Rivers. . . Nearly the entire Township is covered with a dense undergrowth . . . A voting precinct, Post Office and school district are located in this township.

 

 

Sec. 1

[N mile between 1 and 6]

A dead fir, 26 ins. . . . A dead fir, 20 ins. . . . [Bummer] Creek . . . Top of ridge . . . A dead fir, 30 ins. . . . foot of Blue Mountain [Prairie Peak], ascend . . . Timber, fir and hemlock, generally burnt wood. Dense undergrowth of hemlock, fir, huckleberry, thimbleberry, salalberry and arrowood (Gesner 1891: 419)

 

 

 

 

 

 

[W mile between 1 and 36]

[Bummer] Creek . . . pass over spur. A dead fir, 12 ins. . . . Top of ridge . . . Ravine . . . An alder, 10 ins. . . . A red fir, 6 ins. . . . Top of ridge . . . [Swamp] Creek . . . A red fir, 6 ins. . . . . A red fir, 20 ins. . . . A cedar, 30 ins. . . . A red fir, 8 ins. . . . Timber, burned fir and cedar, alder along the streams. Dense undergrowth of vine maple, thimbleberry, cherry, myrtle [?] and hazel (Gesner 1891: 251-252)

Sec. 2

[W mile between 2 and 35]

Top of ridge . . . The top of Elkpone, bears S. 450 E., about 10 chs. dist. which is a round top mountain . . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . . A red fir, 36 ins. . . .A dead fir, 30 ins. . . .Top of ridge . . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . . A dead fir, 48 ins. . . . An alder, 15 ins. . . . An alder, 8 ins. . . . Timber, burnt. Dense undergrowth of vine maple, thimbleberry, and wild grape (Gesner 1891: 252-253)

Bagley 1915

Yellow fir is a fair grad, medium length. Red fir and piling is young sappy timber and has no clears, fit for ties and dimension only. Cedar is a fair grade suitable for shingles . . . No fire damage of recent date and there is not much danger from fire at this time. This [SW] 1/4 section is of very little value as there is very little timber in this locality and the timber is patchy and quite small except a little old timber on the extreme east side. The country on the east for some distance is brushy with small patches of timber and to the north it is all burned. To the west there is a little young timber and a great deal of burn.

Sec. 3

“Timber, scattering fir, mostly burnt alder along stream, 92 chains” (Gesner 1891: 428).

 

[W mile between 3 and 34]

[Meadow] Creek . . . Same creek . . . A small lot . . . Trail . . . Little Lobster . . . A maple, 10 ins. . . . A maple, 10 ins. . . . A maple, 10 ins. . . . A red fir, 50 ins. . . . A red fir, 50 ins. . . . A red fir, 16 ins. . . . Timber, scattering fir, alder and maple. Dense undergrowth of vine maple, hazel, fir, wild grape and thimbleberry (Gesner 1891: 253-254)

Young, Mrs. 1891

(Gesner 1891: 432)

 

 

 

 

 

Sec. 4

“Timber, scattering and burnt fir, cedar and alder along streams” (Gesner 1891: 432)

 

[W mile between 4 and 33]

Descend. Wagon road from Lobster to Alsea . . . Mr. Joseph Cox's house [14-8-33]. . . about 15 chs. . . . A red fir, 12 ins. . . . A red fir, 18 ins. . . . A dead fir, 36 ins. . . . Wagon road . . . Same road . . . Same road . . . Mr. Hoge's garden . . . Wagon road . . . near old fir stump . . . Timber, fir and alder, 80 chs. Dense undergrowth of vine maple, hazel and thimbleberry (Gesner 1891: 254-255)

Bagley 1915

A few scattering yellow fir of good quality. Red fir is a young and rapid growing timber, fit for ties and dimension only at this time. Piling is same kind of timber and will soon make saw logs . . . No recent fire damage but the old fire killed the old timber and it is growing up to young fir and alder. Not much fire risk now.

Sec. 5

[4/5 S]

Top of ridge and divide bet. Little and big Lobster . . . Wagon road and fence . . . A fir, 50 ins. . . . 195 lks. . . . A fir, 60 ins. . . . 242 lks. . . .Wagon road . . . Young’s field, fence . . . A. M. Peek’s house . . . barn . . . Mr. Young’s house . . . barn . . . Mr. Bratton’s house . . . barn . . .Mr. Young’s fence . . . Lobster River . . . river bottom . . . Timber, fir, maple, alder and cedar. Undergrowth of vine maple, cherry, salalberry and thimbleberry (Gesner 1891: 436-437)

Peek, A. 1891

A. M. Peek’s house . . . barn (Gesner 1891: 436)

Bratton 1891

Mr. Bratton’s house . . . barn (Gesner 1891: 436)

Young, Mr. 1891

Wagon road . . . Young’s field, fence . . . Mr. Young’s house

 

. . . barn . . . Mr. Young’s fence . . . Lobster River . . . river bottom (Gesner 1891: 436)

 

[W mile between 5 and 32]

Creek . . . pass over sspur . . . Creek . . . pass over spur . . . Creek . . . A red fir, 24 ins. . . . A red fir, 18 ins. . . . Stream . . . pass over spur . . . Stream . . . pass over spur . . . Stream . . . pass over spur . . . Stream. . . A red fir, 14 ins. . . . A red fir, 16 ins. . . . A red fir, 12 ins. . . . A red fir, 14 ins. . . Timber, fir, alder, cherry and maple. Dense undergrowth of vine maple, cherry, hazel and thimbleberry (Gesner 1891: 255-256)

Sec. 6

[5/6 S]

Ascend. Top of hill and divide bet. Little and big Lobster . . . An alder, 20 ins. . . . A fir, 10 ins. . . .Enter Mr. G. C. Peak’s calf pasture, fence . . . Left pasture, entered orchard, fence . . . Entered river bottom. Mr. G. C. Peek’s house and Lobster post Office bears . . . 75 lks. . . . Wagon road from Lobster to Alsea . . . Mr. G. C. Peek’s barn, bears 150 lks. . . .Entered G. C. Peek’s grain field . . . Left grain field and right bank of Lobster River . . . Left Lobster River bottom and foot of hill . . . Top of ridge . . . Timbered with scattering fir, cedar, maple and alder . . . Undergrowth, vine maple, hazel, cherry and salalberry (Gesner 1891: 442-443)

 

[W mile between 6 and 31]

. . . A red fir, 32 ins. . . A chittem, 8 ins. . . . A cedar, 30 ins. . . .A small spring . . . Top of ridge . . . Timber, scattering fir, alder, cherry and maple . . . Undergrowth of vine maple, cherry, hazel and salal berry (Gesner 256-257)

 

[S mile between 1 and 6]

Descend. A red fir. A cluster of dogwood, about 12 in No. . . . A cherry, 8 ins. . . . A red fir, 10 ins. . . . Top of hill . . . Wagon road . . . Fence . . . Enter Mr. Sapp's yard and orchard. The NE. cor. Of school house in Dist. No. 46 . . . 256 lks.; the NW. cor. Of Mr. John Sapp's house [15-7-7]. . . 318 lks. Fence, leave orchard and yard . . . A maple, 26 ins. . . . An ash, 10 ins. . . . An alder, 5 ins. . . ., An alder, 12 ins. . . . An ash, 8 ins. . . . Timber, fir, maple, alder and dogwood, mostly burned. Dense undergrowth, vine maple, salal, berry, salmon berry, wild cherry and dogwood (Gesner 1891: 415-416)

Peek, G. 1891

Enter Mr. G. C. Peak’s calf pasture, fence . . . Left pasture, entered orchard, fence . . . Entered river bottom. Mr. G. C. Peek’s house and Lobster post Office bears . . . 75 lks. . . . Wagon road from Lobster to Alsea . . . Mr. G. C. Peek’s barn, bears 150 lks. . . .Entered G. C. Peek’s grain field . . . Left grain field and right bank of Lobster River (Gesner 1891: 442)

Sec. 7

[6/7 E]

J. Sapp’s pasture, fence . . . Lobster River . . . Same river . . . J. Sapp’s field, fence . . .An ash, 12 ins. . . . An ash, 36 ins. . . . Timbered with fir, cedar, maple, hazel, salmonberry, gooseberry and salalberry (Gesner 1891: 441)

Sapp 1891

Wagon road . . .Fence . . . foot of hill. Enter Mr. John Sapp’s yard and orchard . . . the NW cor. Of Mr. John Sapp’s house bears . . . 318 lks. . . . fence, leave orchard and yard (Gesner 1891: 415). J. Sapp’s pasture, fence . . . Lobster River . . . Same river . . . J. Sapp’s field, fence (Gesner 1891: 441)

Sec. 8

“Heavily timbered, south-half mile, green fir, alder, maple and cedar; north-half mile, mostly burned woods.” (Gesner 1891: 440)

Sec. 9

[9/10 N] Mr. Tucker . . . B. W. Jenkin . . . James Morgan

Tucker 1891

(Gesner 1891: 429-430)

Jenkin 1891

 

Morgan 1891

[4/9 W] B. F. Smith (Gesner 1891: 435]

Smith 1891

 

Sec. 11

“Timber, burned woods, fir and scattering cedar” (Gesner 1891: 423)

 

“Timber, burnt fir and cedar, 80.60 chains” (Gesner 1891: 427)

Sec. 12

[N mile between 7 and 12] A red fir, 24 in. . . . A red fir, 24 in. . . . A red fir, 24 in. . . . Left timber and enter prairie, bears E. and W.; this prairie extends in an easterly and westerly direction, about 1 1/2 miles each way. Summit of Blue Mountain [Prairie Peak] bears E. and W. . . . this is one of the highest mountains in the Coast Range. Descend. A red fir, 30 in. . . . A hemlock, 20 in. . . . A hemlock, 20 in. . . . A red fir, 32 in. . . . A red fir, 30 in. . . . Timber, red fir and hemlock, 65 chs. Dense undergrowth of fir, hemlock, vine maple, hazel and huckleberry (Gesner 1891: 418)

Sec. 15

Entered Lobster River bottom, at foot of Blue [Prairie] Mountain Trail. Bears N. 400 W. and S. 400 E. Lobster River, 75 lks. Wide, on line, runs N. 350 W. (Gesner 1891: 429)