Looking back: This week in Klamath Basin history

October 29, 2016 GMT

Oct. 29-Nov. 4 1936

In a scientific report appearing in the Portland Oregon Journal, Dr. C. H. Dake writes as follows: “Iron in the metallic form, termed ‘native’ iron by mineralogists, is of very rare occurrence in nature and is seldom reported from any part of the world. Practically all the iron found in the world is in the combined form, usually with oxygen and called oxides of iron. Recently there has been reported by John Melhase, a prominent mining engineer and mineralogist of Berkeley, Calif., a number of occurrences of native metallic iron in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Mr. Melhase states, several years ago a handful of bright flattened metallic pebbles were handed to me, that were bailed from a water well in the process of drilling a well. The flakes were of all sizes up to one inch and as thick as heavy cardboard. This material was taken from a shallow well on a ranch near Hildebrand, some 25 miles east of Klamath Falls. More recently states Mr. Melhase, a number of small ‘nuggets’ of this same material were received from a resident of Klamath Falls, from a locality at Olene, 9 miles east of town, where the material was found in a bed of volcanic ash. Until the iron of Klamath Falls is found in its original matrix it is difficult to account for its origin.”

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1976

Hammering hard on the peace issue, Republican vice-presidential candidate Robert Dole addressed a “fantastic,” wall-to-wall crowd inside Klamath Falls’ Shasta Plaza Shopping Center today. The senator from Kansas flatly predicted a “win next Tuesday, with your help,” for himself and President Gerald Ford, while U.S. Sen. Robert Packwood, R-Oregon, said Klamath County and Eastern Oregon will be pivotal in determining which state receives Oregon’s six electoral votes. Arriving about an hour after the political rally in his honor began, Dole was greeted by an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 individuals who stood wall-to-wall about two-thirds the interior length of the shopping center mall. The candidate drew cheers and applause when he said the Republicans have “no plans for gun control as advocated” by the Democrats. Early in his appearance some “We Want Carter” chants were heard, drawing a scattering of boos from the audience.

1996

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Editorial: Klamath County voters have a chance next Tuesday to undo one of the misfortunes it suffered at the hands of nature. On the ballot is a measure that would let the county issue bonds of up to $17 million to build a new courthouse. The old one was damaged beyond reasonable chance of repair in the 1993 earthquakes. Any lump sum contributed by the federal government would be used to reduce the bonds. The feds are expected to provide at least $1.5 million. Ever since the earthquakes, county offices have been scattered. The county and the federal government have been renting facilities for courts and other county offices. The federal government has been picking up 75 percent of the nearly $14,000-a-month rent, but that help is scheduled to run out in August unless the county is able to make a convincing case that it is doing something about the problem. The courthouse committee investigated trying to salvage parts of the existing building for their historical significance, but decided not to because of the cost involved.

2006

Floyd Baze, Christmas Valley, is a man of many alter-egos. Over the years, Baze has worn wigs and pasted on beards while successfully passing himself off as Lee Marvin, William Holden, Jack Lord, Robert Preston and Neville Brand, among others. It’s all been very legal. That’s because for 25 years Baze was a Hollywood stuntman. For the 72-year-old Baze, life on horseback in the movies was just a continuation of the life he’s always lived. He was born and raised in Eastern Washington’s Yakima Valley, where his father, Dock, raised race horses, always at least 800. Baze was horseback as a youngster, and riding in rodeos at age 13. He was still a teenager when he began riding the Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit as a steer wrestler and saddle bronc rider. Baze might have considered stunt riding in movies as “all business,” but he enjoyed his friendships with stars like John Wayne, Holden and Marvin. Baze met Wayne in “The Cowboys.” He remembers the “Duke” as “a people’s man.” Everybody liked him, and he liked everybody.