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1920 USFS pamphlet
Doug Firman

Trail Maintenance
10/21/2016 - 5:47 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 266
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It's called "Forest Trails and Highways of the Mount Hood Region, Oregon National Forest, Oregon" published by the US Dept of Agriculture in 1920.  As you might expect for a 1920 publication, there is little in it regarding the mostly roadless Clackamas area.  The Columbia Gorge and Mt Hood areas are the main topics of discussion.  But there are a couple of maps which touch on the northern part of the district, showing the lack of roads into the Clackamas area at that time and showing a few of the trails.  I thought the description of a national forest and its uses and management was interesting.  A 1920 view of things. 


Rob Williams
10/22/2016 - 9:54 am
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 1458
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Thanks for posting this - it was really interesting to read.  What is now highway 26 was paved to the Multnomah county line, then gravel to Sandy and then was plank and dirt roads the rest of the way.  How far those roads have come.

Some other random comments/questions/observations:

Terminology was quite different in those days - they talk a lot about train trips, but they also talked about an "automobile stage" - does anyone know what that means?  Is it like a stagecoach but it is a car/bus kind of thing?  It had times kind of like a train, so I'm assuming it was more of a bus ride?

I did see references to two Clackamas destinations - Squaw (Tumala) Mountain, and Austin Hot Springs of all places.  The map also shows Fanton, which I guess was a small town way back when.  But the only road was to the Clackamas Lake Ranger station and a train line part way down the Clackamas River.

The Eagle creek trail had mile posts every half mile too - interesting.

Also, I was not aware that they had summer home sites at Lost Lake - I thought all of them were around ZigZag - maybe they gave up on Lost Lake?

Another interesting comment in the pamplet:

Canteens should be carried and a handful of raw oatmeal added to the water in the canteen. A small quantity of oatmeal water quenches the thirst and has an appreciable and stimulating food qualitv.

Never heard of that before.  It sounds kind of gross to me....uncooked oatmeal in water

Doug Firman

Trail Maintenance
10/22/2016 - 3:12 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 266
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I agree, this was an interesting publication to read.  And there are quite a few more really old Forest Service pamphlets and reports available on that same website if you have some time to browse around in there.  I downloaded a few for future reading.

It seems that the "automobile stage" was the predecessor of the bus that we know today.  I hadn't really thought much about it, but apparently the bus evolved from a smaller car-like vehicle. 

The pamphlet refers to drivers as "autoists," which sounds kind of quaint.  Serious autoists must have been hardy and adventurous folks to deal with plank roads to get around on Mt Hood.

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