Early-Day Legends & Lore
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 43° 48.807 W 120° 35.998
10T E 693024 N 4853953
Quick Description: Sign about Legends and Lore of the High Desert of central Oregon.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 2/24/2009 6:15:53 PM
Waymark Code: WM5XDH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 2

Long Description:

This is one of four signs in a kiosk at the Brothers Rest Area.

Marker Name: Early-Day Legends & Lore
Dry-farming seldom succeeded here. Even when homesteaders managed to coax a few tender sprouts from their desert fields, jackrabbit hordes caused widespread havoc. Desperate farmers organized rabbit drives, often killing thousands. But the slaughter provided little relief.
Some settlers even tried selling pelts to a New York hatter. Unfortunately, rabbit-fur top hats never became popular.
The desert is still home to jackrabbits, but their numbers are now greatly diminished, the result of natural habitat changes.

Ranch hands first stumbled onto it in 1904 - a cavern that sparkled in their torchlight like diamonds. The men broke off a few samples, then showed them around town on their return to Bend.
But no one expressed much interest. The finds weren’t diamonds after all, but most likely calcite crystals, and presumably of little commercial value.
Bend hardware merchant Nicholas P. Smith recognized this to be an unusual geologic feature, however - especially in volcanic terrain. So he set out to see for himself.
Remarkably, he managed to find the mens’ trail, and then the cave. But his explorations were cut short by an early snowstorm. And when he returned the following spring the landscape seemed puzzlingly changed.
Smith could never find the place again. Some believe that mysterious cave is out there, somewhere, still waiting to be found - again.

In 1912, Millican’s future looked bright. Some 60 homesteaders had moved to the area, eager to farm these new lands. But droughts and repeated crop failures doomed their dreams. By the early ‘20s virtually everyone had abandoned this desertland.
Highway 20 was relocated in 1930. The sole remaining Millican resident also moved, establishing a new location along the highway, about half a mile north of the hamlet’s original site.
This flinty holdout, WIlliam A. Rahn, even gained fleeting fame in 1940 after he was included in Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not,” a popular syndicated newspaper feature of the time.

Her name was “Klondike Kate” Rockwell - surely one of the Yukon’s most flamboyant gold-rush entertainers. But in 1914, at the age of 38, fate beckoned Kate from those rowdy theaters and dance halls to a remote homestead just three miles northeast of Brothers.
It must have been a rude change for the colorful celebrity. But Kate persevered, and “proved up” on her 320 acres over the next three years.
She spent much of the rest of her life in Bend, but never lost her love for the High Desert. One of Kate’s final requests was that her ashes be scattered at her old homestead site, following her death in 1957.

Some think it was because so many related males - brothers - lived in the area.
Others say its nameske was a nearby sheep camp, called the Three Brothers, which had been named after a trio of similarly shaped hills, possibly in contrast with the Cascade’s snowy Three Sisters skyline.
But the official 1913 post office name offered no clue. It was, simply, Brothers

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: State of Oregon

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Central Oregon

County: Deschutes

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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Volcanoguy visited Early-Day Legends & Lore 2/25/2009 Volcanoguy visited it

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