Pamplin Media Group – 1971: Fire destroys The Met hotel, store and post office

Portland General Electric plans to restore anadromous fish tracks above Pelton Round Butte three-dam hydroelectric project


September 22, 1921

Oregon Trunk Railway Crop Report: A dramatic decrease in the area devoted to grain crops will follow this season’s record yield. Farmers are putting every available acre into cultivation this year and will be forced to fallow much of their acreage in 1922. Threshing is usually done all along the trunk and splendid yields are the rule. The districts of Madras, Metolius and Culver have an average of 22 to 28 bushels per acre with a harvest of about half. The country of Maupin and Bake Oven produces 28 to 30 bushels per acre and their harvest is almost two-thirds complete.

Throughout this section the weather is ideal for the harvest in general and within two weeks this year’s harvest will be harvested safely. Grain here as in other sections is forced into markets due to the inability of farmers to finance an operating program. This movement, however, re-established the planter’s credit and placed a heavy burden on the territory’s banks. Plowing will not start until wet weather has arrived as the soils are very dry and dusty.

Potatoes in the Redmond District, unless they are in retreat from an unforeseen calamity, will yield another bumper crop. The fields are all very beautiful and the growers say the harvest is the best. Livestock move slowly and unless prices improve significantly traders stand to lose heavily this year and could be forced to close their doors. Much of the hay will also be wasted if current prices improve, as producers say it can only be marketed now at a distant loss. The harvest was the heaviest ever. In summary, it can be said that this part of central Oregon has had an exceptional year, one that will likely remain a mark to be drawn for many years to come.


September 19, 1946

When OC Hedgepeth, a new lumber merchant here who was previously engaged in noxious weed control work in California, discovered a patch of star thistle, a major pest in parts of the Pacific coast, he reported it to County Officer RA Hunt, engaged in cooperation with departmental authorities. The US Bureau of Reclamation and the Jefferson County Water Conservancy District in a campaign to eliminate weeds. Following the warnings issued by Hunt, John Priday discovered a small patch of pierced vine, believing it to be star thistle.

“This discovery was very fortunate,” says Hunt, “because the breakthrough vine, so far unknown in Oregon except for its discovery in a limited area on the Snake River, is a serious pest in California. local infestation is very low and can be quickly eradicated. ”

The Jefferson County program to clear the land to which the waters of the new irrigation district will be applied is declared of paramount importance due to plans to use a substantial portion of the land for growing garden vegetables and crops. certified field seeds.


September 23, 1971

“The Met”, a large two-story hotel, store and post office on the Old Culver Highway in Metolius, was completely destroyed by fire last Thursday afternoon.

Janiece Winnegar, who ran the store at the time, said one of the tenants, Paul Faith, ran downstairs at 12:20 p.m. to report the fire. Ms Winnegar immediately called the Culver Fire Department and had just enough time to empty the cash register before the smoke swept her out of the building.

Cut off from the stairs by flames and smoke, several tenants reportedly tied sheets and blankets together to get to safety. No injuries were reported.

Based on her conversation with Faith, Ms. Winnegar stated that she believed the fire had caught in an upstairs fuse box. State police investigating were unable to confirm this, but said arson had been ruled out.

Within minutes of the start of the fire, thick clouds of black smoke rose hundreds of feet into the air. The smoke was reported four miles away in Madras.

A strong northerly wind fanned the flames, which passed through the frame of the building. When trucks from the Madras Fire Department and the Northern Unit arrived to assist Culver’s Department, most of the building was on fire. The blaze continued as firefighters sprayed a cafe across the highway and a gas pumping area just outside the building.

Two short hours after the fire started, “The Met” billed as “central Oregon’s most modern hotel,” just before it opened in June 1911, was a smoldering heap of black ash.

In its June 16, 1911 issue, the Metolius Central Oregonian reported, “No detail about guest first class accommodations will be overlooked… no other hotel in central Oregon will match it in terms of modern amenities.

The fire closed a chapter in the history of Metolius. The building survived a fire that destroyed most of the buildings constructed during the heyday of Metolius before WWI. Lately, it has been the temporary home of transients. Thirteen people were living in the hotel at the time of the fire.

The current owners are Estar M. Belnap of John Day and Wilford H. Belnap of Portland. Insurance is supposed to cover the loss.


September 18, 1996

Representatives from Portland General Electric said last week that they had committed to re-establishing anadromous fish tracks above the three-dam Pelton Round Butte hydroelectric project.

This will be a major undertaking, and there is not yet a firm cost estimate on the proposal to reestablish the tracks.

Representatives from PGE presented their views at a town hall meeting last Thursday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

Also present at the meeting were representatives from several federal and state agencies, Jefferson County, Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs and others.

The meeting was a first step in the dam license renewal process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Pelton project has been operating under its original license since the late 1950s. The current project license expires on December 31, 1999.

Restoring fish runs will likely be the biggest problem in the license renewal process, officials said.

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