Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Rural Philomath Oregon 1850-1930 : geography and economy in oral history Public Deposited

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  • Ranching and lumbering were two of the primary economic practices in a small rural study area south of Philomath Oregon (in Benton County), from first Euro-American settlement through 1930. Ranching was common but lumbering was restricted by geographical and market transportation problems until after 1900. Catalysts for change came in the form of individuals and advanced technology. The introduction of trucks marked a cusp between two eras for both loggers and cowboys. Two important historical facts were discovered through oral history-gathering, regarding this rural area: first, the story of the first successful lumber company to build a mill close to Philomath, and second, the occurrence of a remarkably popular Round-Up in this small town, in 1916. The two primary oral informants were both born at a rural mill settlement established by this lumber company, at the foot of the Coast Range, in the southwest part of the study area. Junctions (and distinctions) between geography and economy, city and country, loggers and ranchers, and oral and written history are highlighted in specific detail. Because of long geographical isolation from big lumber markets, this region's timberlands, mills, loggers and lumber companies remained in the hands of local people, into the 1950s. This area thus underwent a history quite different from coastal logging history. Attention to local oral sources and specific catalysts for change in other such small rural regions would broaden current historical understanding of the history of the West, and the Pacific Northwest.
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