GSOC 50 Years Ago, 1964 Annual Campout

September 4th, 1964, GeeSockers began to gather at the Rujada Forest Camp.... As shadows vanished in the twilight the dancing council fire drew everyone to exchange views with the stars and each other.... Trip Chairman Truman Murphy wore out his thumb with his guitar accompaniment of the songfest from “Barney Google" to 'Goodnight Ladies", while Echo II sailed overhead. 

Saturday breakfast was tucked away by the time late comers began arriving. First jaunt was 1. 1 miles by car (seemed like 2 if you walked) to the road cut through upper Oligocene tuff prolific with leaves, many similar to contemporary flora. Don Campbell hung by tooth and nail to separate samples for everyone that wasn't satisfied with his own efforts . Drs Gilchrist and Stauffer offered expert analyses of the alders, sycamores, and sumacs brought to light.

Conifer needles were the theme of Emily Moltzner's specimen. Mrs. Irma Sullivan opened a layer and found the perfect remains of an Oligocene knothole. On Sunday she found the counterpart in Recent wood.... 

Sunday morning the caravan was ready to roll at 9:30. First stop and last chance for gasoline or orange juice was the Disston Store. Seven miles later the group lined up along the precipitous edge of Brice Creek to examine the falls below and the steep exposure of basaltic andesite above. An andesite dike appears to have penetrated this formation.

Next stop was an unnamed falls in a beautiful glen, rich with moss , shadowed by cedars and firs. The day's objective was a bog. New logging roads , not yet shown on most of the maps, created a problem that gave time for picking huckleberries, blackberries and examining the red rocks (agglomerate stained with iron oxide). With the decision made, the caravan proceeded to Gertrude Lake. Here an acre of bog surrounds and extends northward from an acre of lake. The lake is surrounded by sedge, but 25 species typical of bogs are identifiable. Most photogenic was Monkshood (Aconite). Lunch time arrived, was soon dispatched and the caravan moved westward along the Noonday Ridge. An exposure of successive formations of breccia, agglomerate and la pilli tuff brought the caravan to a halt. Two miles further Dr. Gilchrist spotted an Alaska Yellow Cedar (Chamaecyparis Nootkatensis) , and shinnied up the tree for a sample of the cones.

From here Fairview Peak dominated the horizon , a challenge to be conquered. Next point of decision was the Champion Saddle. After scouting the Champion Mme (to the right), the turn was to the left. We came upon a most picturesque person--an ancient bearded prospector, standing by the road with his pack and staff. He had run out of food. Some of the caravan dug into their lunch leftovers to give him sustenance which he tried politely to decline. Turned out it was the "Professor" Floid Day, who for 80 of his 94 years has prospected the Bohemia. He taught school before he became an accountant in Cottage Grove and now spends his summers prospecting while his wife goes to Seattle.

At the Bohemia Saddle we turned to the right and made the climb to Fairview Peak. A few walked from the last switchback. Dick Grimes, forest lookout at Fairview Peak for the past five summers, was invaded by the large party of GSOC enthusiasts , but willingly extended the courtesies of his lofty aerie while the intruders fingered his telephones , two-way radio, fire -finding instrument, maps and housekeeping gear.

Dick is a senior at Oregon College of Education at Monmouth. He said his most exciting experience was the reporting of eight fires in one hour during a severe electric storm in September of 1903. From the eminence of 5, 933 feet the party looked down upon the mountain tops from all the cardinal points of the compass. Mounts Hood, Jefferson, Three Sisters , Diamond Peak, and Thielson were silhouetted on the horizon while silvery clouds in the valleys below made exciting photography From here on it was a roller-coaster ride down St arps Creek Canyon with an occasional stop for specimens. De Bixby's council fire was blazing brightly by the time dinner and the dishes were tucked in. With the day's questions dissected the songfest began Highlight of the evening was Dr. Gilchrist 's discourse on the development of mammals from the pre-Cambrian protoplasm.

Monday dawned with threatening sunshine. By 9· 00 A. M the caravan was on the road, well spaced to allow maneuvering up Sharps Creek Road Ray Nelson, Nelson Electric Company of Cottage Grove, proprietor of the Vesuvius Mine, and his wife Gen received the party at their cabin at the mine entrance and courteously gave us a very worthy history of the operations at Bohemia Mountain from its earliest day. Mr. Nelson has published his history "Facts and Yarns of the Bohemia Gold Mines11 (1959), and generously presented the Society with: a copy which is available to all members at the GSOC library. The party then walked along a half mile of shelf road to the entrance of the New Musick Mine. Working the exploratory tunnel for the Federal Resources Corporation of Utah were Ed, Jerry, and Roger of Brown Brothers Construction Company. After picking over the tailings for galena and sphalerite the group was invited to tour the tunnel. Three ore cars were coupled to the compressed air engine and four GSOC'ers doubled down in each car with heads, arms and elbows pulled in while the engineer opened the valve that pushed the train for 1800 feet. This drift probes a section of the ore vein not previously explored. During stops for recharge of air , doubled-up knees were straightened and the walls and ceilings scanned for ore veins. At the end of the ride a ll piled out and sloshed the last 100 feet to the face . Veins were examined and specimens selected. Then all piled into the "pullmans" for a nonstop trip to the entrance.

Our host to the Bohemia Mining District was Harold E. L. Barton, consulting mining engineer and geologist of Eugene. Mr. Barton, representative of Federal Resources Corporation of Utah and of Lane Minerals , Inc of Cottage Grove, has long been associated with the Bohemia Mines, knows every inch of the terrain, and was able to give us an exciting and educational tour. He was accompanied by his daughter Edith (U of 0, Eugene) and son Stephen. The New Musick Tunnel is 430 feet below the Musick diggings on the opposite side of Bohemia Mountain and had just reached a vein (700 dip~ that intersects the older drifts Since previous mining attempts had seldom probed deeper than 300 feet it is assumed that the ore body , though possibly less rich with depth, will still be profitable in modern recovery procedures. At Harold Barton's invitation we ate our lunch in the barracks kitchen of the Champion Mine and shared his coffee. He related stories of the past glory of Bohemia and of hopes for modern development, illustrated with his own drawings and those from the U. S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 7512 (out of print).

Our next scavenging stop was the Musick tailings Most rewarding were the peacock hues of galena, iron and copper at the Musick-Winze dump At the Helena the workings of past strikes were inspected and the most promising tailings picked for some homestyle gold panning. Farther down the mountain a core drilling operation that is probing deep into the mountain's interior was examined Back at the Helena Bill Barto of Boyles Brothers Drilling Co. showed the diamond bit and demonstrated Lte core clamp that brings back the core story intact.

Last stop was the recovery plant at the Champion Mine. Here Harold Barton described in some detail the processing and problems of economic recovery from the oxides and sulphides of this area He also distributed samples from an outcrop of tourmaline near the Musick Guard Station We said farewell to a new friend and went our different ways back to camp, the more adventuresome returning via the road down Champion Creek. Some members had left earlier in the day, and others were packing for the trip home. A few stayed another night and returned Tuesday.

It was a most rewarding campout--rich in geology, fresh air, and fellowship with a mighty fine group of people. New friends were made, and the Society gained a new member, Mrs. Bertha Robertson, who came as a guest. The Geological Society of the Oregon Country is deeply indebted to Mr. Barton for the day he spent in making the tour so successful, and for the advance arrangements with the companies he represents. His charming daughter and helpful son were a happy addition to the interest and variety of the day's activities.

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Bohemia Mountain named for "Bohemia Johnson, a native of Bohemia, who discovered the mines in 1863.

Dorena was named for Dora Burnette and Rena Martin.

Layng Creek, so called for George Layng , a nearby resident

Rujada was a lumber camp at the eastern terminus of the Oregon, Pacific & Eastern Railway, named for a telegraph code book and means "a considerable body of standing timber is available".

Row River, so designated because two neighbors quarreled continually.

Disston, named because of Disston saws used in logging.

Fairview Mountain, once you stand on its top, the naming is clear as the view.

Noonday Road, superseded the Annie Trail. Built entirely by hand labor.

Sharps Creek, after old "Bohemia" Sharp, an early prospector and road builder. The stream is a tributary of Row River.

Bohemia Saddle, between Bohemia and Fairview Mts

Champion Creek, named after the Champion nune situated near its headwaters.

From "Oregon Geographic Names" Lewis A. McArthur, Facts and Yarns of the Bohemia Gold Mines

Ray Nelson & Emily Moltzner [edited from 1964 September/October Newsletter]