Sandy Creek Splash Dam, Middle Fork Coquille, 1929 (Beckham Papers)
Logging the Luckiamute: Ramifications of Splash Dams and Log Drives
Thank you to everyone who tuned in to our virtual Sips 'n' Science pub talk with Stephen Dow Beckham on January 11, 2022. Below is the full recorded presentation, ready for viewing and sharing!
The Luckiamute Watershed Council is honored to welcome Stephen Dow Beckham as the speaker for our first Sips 'n' Science event of 2022 with a look at the fascinating history and impacts of logging practices in our region. This presentation examines the use of the Luckiamute River for transportation of forest products between 1853 and 1936. It places the challenges of log transport in the context of changing technologies, particularly the use of river drives and artificial freshets created by splash dams. The illustrated presentation identifies the types of splash dams, their environmental impacts, and the creative responses of lumbermen in the Mid-Willamette Valley to "getting out the cut" of the region's Old Growth forests.
About the Speaker:
Stephen Dow Beckham is the Pamplin Professor of History, Emeritus, Lewis & Clark College. Educated at the University of Oregon and UCLA, Professor Beckham taught college students for 42 years. His courses included "Wilderness and the American West" (environmental history), "U.S. History Survey," "History and Culture of the American Indian," "History of the Pacific Northwest," and "Historical Materials" (research methods seminar).
Beckham has served as an expert witness in eleven court cases involving public floatage rights (navigation servitude) in Oregon rivers, lakes, and estuaries, and thirty cases related to Indian treaties, reservation boundaries, fee-to-trust land conversions, tribal status, and tax issues. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and technical reports and is the former "Oregon Professor of the Year." He is the recipient of the Asher Distinguished Teaching Award, American Historical Association. He is on the board of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and is Chair of the Oregon Committee on Historic Preservation.
Douglas Fir old growth, Stephen Dow Beckham, 1973
Log drive at tidewater (Dellwood), ca. 1950, South Fork Coos River, Allan Hoernish on bank
McKenzie River log drive with peavies, Google Pix
Tioga Dam full, 26 miles from tidewater, South Coos River, April 29, 1956, Warren Dick photo
Lower Dam, 1949, David, Dow, & Stephen Beckham, Keith Elliott, S. Coos River
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Luckiamute Watershed Council 165 D Street, Independence, OR 97351 503-837-0237 • Director@LuckiamuteLWC.org