100 Years Ago

From the East Oregonian

Oct. 17, 1920

The death of John Gurdane, aged 97, the oldest man in Umatilla county, marks the passing of a man identified with the progress of this section. Mr. Gurdane was born on the sea while his parents were en route to the United States from Scotland. At the age of 15 he took up a sea-faring life and spent 30 years at this occupation, visiting all the leading ports of the world. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the Fourteenth Wisconsin Infantry and was wounded in the heavy charge at Vicksburg. Returning to his family in 1865, Mr. Gurdane remained for two days and then shipped as first mate. Later he engaged in shipping wagons for the Mitchell Co. and removed to Missouri before he crossed the plains to Oregon. Mr. Gurdane came to Pendleton in 1882, camping where Byers’ warehouse now stands. Later he settled on a place in Little Potts where he continued for 17 years, raising cattle and feeding stock sheep in the winter. Always active in the political realm and prominent in the affairs of the county, Mr. Gurdane in 1894 was elected to the state legislature. Gurdane, one of the stations in the county, was named in honor of the pioneer.

50 Years Ago

From the East Oregonian

Oct. 17, 1970

Dorothy Lee of Pendleton will take office the first of November as secretary to the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, an organization which claims more than 60,000 members. The membership of this organization is not made up of scientists pursuing post-doctoral knowledge of geology. “Members are rock hounds,” said Mrs. Lee, who shares her hobby with her husband, Glenn. Collecting rocks may be one of the most popular hobbies to be found anywhere. The federation is divided into regions, and the Northwest Region — Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and parts of Canada — contains 11,000 members. Parked in the driveway of the Lees’ home is a self-contained travel trailer they have taken all over the western states in pursuit of their hobby. They have a well-equipped lapidary shop in the basement, a cutting saw, smaller saws and sanding machines. What is there about rockhounding that attracts so many? “It isn’t the value of them in money,” said Glenn Lee. “I guess it’s just what we might find next that keeps us at it.”

25 Years Ago

From the East Oregonian

Oct. 17, 1995

Karyn Jones of Citizens for Environmental Quality, Umatilla County, will be traveling to Russia this month to participate in a series of meetings aimed at finding environmentally safe ways to destroy chemical weapons. Jones is among citizen activists from communities near the nine U.S. and 10 Russian chemical weapon storage facilities who will attend the International Citizens Summit along with environmental and legal experts from both nations and Russian officials. The Army, National Research Council and other agencies and individuals have said incineration is a safe and effective way to destroy chemical weapons. A $1 billion incineration program is planned at the Hermiston depot, with construction beginning next year. “The meetings in Russia are an opportunity for activists and experts from both countries to develop joint strategies and press their governments to implement safer, more efficient, cost-effective approaches to destroy the world’s deadly chemical weapons,” Jones said. James Wilkinson of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will also attend as an observer.

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