MONDAY 6-03-2013

Jun 02, 2013 -- 7:01pm

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6:35 Wayne Allyn Root, author of "The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide". How to thrive and prosper in spite of the president's policies.  We discuss his experience with the Obama IRS, too!

7:10 Gary Lake, John Martinez, discussion is all about Native American, tribalism, radical environmentalism speeded along because of this.  Get involved before they strip your water and property rights. Email for more information.

8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers (History Post is below)

WE'RE LIVE AT DINER 62 (Next to Welburn's Weapons) THIS FRIDAY 6-9am, JOIN US!

(yeah, I'm kind of cheesy in this, but we had great fun at Diner 62, and the food is fantastic!)

Two specials all this week - Bill's Blue Plate Lunch special - 1/3 pound bacon cheeseburger, seasoned fries, loaded with flavor at $4.99, For Breakfast you'll love the loaded omelette complete with cheese, and sausage, peppers, hash browns, homemade biscuit, $4.99 also!

8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers "Visiting Past and Present"

The Applegate Trail Interpretive Center

By Dennis Powers

Located in Sunny Valley fourteen miles north of Grants Pass on I-5, the Applegate Trail Interpretive Center was brought about by an ex-airline stewardess, Betty Gaustad. After college in California and working for United Airlines for eleven years, she and her family in 1974 bought a ranch in Sunny Valley that dated back to an 1851 land claim. Her mother, Irene, had a strong interest in history and was the one who discovered that the Applegate Trail--unmarked there and not known by anyone--cut directly across their property.

Betty was elated, as she remembered back to her elementary-school days in a tiny Minnesota town. The one-room brick schoolhouse had been filled with pioneer and history books, and Betty first learned there about the trail cut by the Applegate brothers so many years ago. She never forgot the story of the hardy pioneers who had endured so much hardship.

The main Oregon Trail followed the Snake River across southern Idaho into Oregon, but forced settlers, their oxen, and wagons to make it down the dangerous Columbia River. When the Applegate bothers lost two young sons in 1843 when their raft overturned, they decided to find a safer route. They headed back to Idaho and convinced other settlers to follow them on a different way.

They decided on a route that headed southward into present-day Nevada, worked through a desert and California, then crossed the Klamath Basin into Southern Oregon; it followed the Rogue River into the Rogue Valley and then northward for the Willamette Valley--their ultimate destination. As the trail descended the Cascade Range into the Rouge River Valley, it cut across Emigrant Creek in Jackson County, now named for those pioneers; Highway 66 to Ashland and Interstate 5 heading towards Sunny Valley basically follow the Applegate Trail.

The wagon train that first tried the new, uncertain route endured great hardships from disease, Indian attacks, flooded rivers, food shortages, and near impassible mountain passes, but they made the trek in some three months, traveling 500 miles to reach the Willamette Valley. A young woman (Martha Leland Crowley) died of typhoid in Sunny Valley in 1846, as the first wagon train rested there, and was buried near the present old covered bridge; the stream was named Grave Creek six years later due to her death. Thousands of wagon trains over the years then followed this trail in settling Oregon.  

Encouraged by her mother, Betty Gaustad was determined to build a center commemorating the Applegate Trail. With limited funds, she mortgaged her ranch, businesses (she owned a grocery store, gas station, and restaurant in town), and worked for donations and grants. Although she received regional economic grants, Betty financed 85 percent of the total project’s costs by herself. Her daughter, Jacquelana Ladd, worked in designing the center; Dennis Gaustad, her brother, built the 5,400 square-foot, rustic-looking museum, behind a two-story, fir-columned Western false front, designed to look like the front of the 1860 Grave Creek Hotel.

The center portrays the history of Native Americans and trappers in the 1800s, as well as describing events after the Applegate Trail was blazed: the discovery of gold in 1851 in the area, ensuing Indian Wars, stagecoach era, coming of the railroad, and the life of early settlers. There is also a three-screen theater that shows a film depicting the struggles faced by the Applegate-Trail pioneers; dressed authentically, local residents show the challenges in the film made in Sunny Valley.

The original 1929, log-constructed Sunny Valley grange hall is outside the center; seen from the museum, the Grave Creek covered bridge stands, one of the few ones still remaining in Southern Oregon. Although Betty’s mother died one month before the museum opened in 1998, there is no question that she would have been impressed by it. And one woman’s dedication.  

Sources: “Applegate Trail Interpretive Center,” at Interpretive Center (With Images); Jeff LaLande, “The Oregon Encyclopedia: The Applegate Trail,” at The Applegate Trail; “Southern Sunny Valley/Grave Creek Covered Bridge” at Bridge (With Image); “Oregon's Other Trail,” The Seattle Times, January 6, 1999, at Betty Gaustad and the Center; Paul Fattig, “Trail takes a Historic Turn,” Mail Tribune, November 29, 1998, at Additional Background.




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