Lake County Historical Society met on Thursday, Nov. 21 for its monthly meeting, doubling as a communal Thanksgiving dinner celebration while reveling in Native American photographs and artifacts presented.
Historic photographs were provided courtesy of Marie Lee, curator for the Lake County Museum. A collection of arrowheads was presented by Ben Adair. Updates were given on sales from “100 Years of Lake County Round-Up, Eight Seconds of Heaven and Hell,” a coffee-table book jointly produced by the Historical Society and the Lake County Round-Up Association. The book is now profitable, and is for sale at a number of local merchants. The Historical Society will also have a booth at the Holiday Fair as well selling copies of the book.
The “Pansy Quilt” from the Schmink Museum is now on display at the Willamette Heritage Center Exhibit, “Stitches & Stories, Discoveries from the Oregon Quilt Project.” Jim Ogle’s book was reviewed in the Oregon Historical Society’s quarterly magazine.
Programs for the new year were discussed, including a guided trip to see petroglyphs, archival methods, techniques and demonstrations, Alkali Lake history to present day, and the 75th Commemoration in early May by the Forest Service of Mitchell Monument -- where the only casualties on the US mainland were sustained when a Japanese balloon bomb exploded at a church picnic prior to 9-11.
Lee discussed the sad but common story of the decline of Lake County Native Americans from the 1880s to 1930s; of treaties broken, and monies never paid. There were seasonal villages in Deadman and Bullard Canyons. She told stories and showed articles from the Lake County Examiner about a number of well-known personalities. Many of the photographs were from Georgie Ellen Boyd Stevenson’s collection. She lived in Washington D.C., but spent years traveling back to Lakeview for research and interviews.
Stevenson confirmed how Plush was named. From her own research, Lee had written information about many of the photographs. In the 1880s Indian John’s brother, Plush was chief of the Indians in the vicinity. He was said to have a love of gambling; his name was acquired as he would say, “Me Plush,” instead of “flush.” According to legend the town of Plush was named after him. Lakeview John succeeded Plush when he died in 1885. Not only did he become chief he also took Plush’s wife, Maggie.”
Adair showed one collection of arrowheads that Indian Village owner Bob Ogle had arranged according to a design he saw once in a dream. Later, people from Idaho told him that there are petroglyphs with that same design in their state. Many frames of arrowheads had been on display at the Village, but most of the others have been dispersed – lost, stolen or sold. He said that Indians would typically shoot deer and elk with tiny points, not so often with atatl points.
Adair has a large point made of grey stone, and he showed how it is made of different material and style from the local obsidian. Its Texas turkey-tail style, the end where the point is attached, were made from Edwards chert found in Texas. The cuts are so straight, compared with native technique. These points are called “Gray Ghost” because they have no provenance.
Lake County Historical Society meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at Western Villa in Lakeview. A potluck supper is offered at 6:30 p.m, with meetings to follow around 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information contact Ray Simms at 541-219-2278.