100 Years Ago

From the East Oregonian

Aug. 17-18, 1909

Three combine harvesters have been destroyed by fire in Umatilla county within the last four days. The first one went Saturday afternoon, the second Saturday night, and the third was burned yesterday. The first machine lost was that of Bannister Brothers of near Athena. The crew was engaged in threshing the last 40 acres of the last quarter of a long season's run when an explosion of smut wrecked the machine and set it on fire. John Balcom of Echo was the loser of the second machine, which had been stored in a shed on the George Ferguson place, just above Eastland, Saturday evening after Balcom finished his harvest season. The next morning it was discovered that the shed and machine had been burned. No one so much as heard the fire. There is evidence of incendiarism in connection with this disaster and an effort is being made to locate the guilty person. The last machine burned was that of Dunn & Patton brothers. The fire occurred yesterday at noon in the McKay creek farm of H. S. Dunn and is though to have resulted from a hot box.

50 Years Ago

From the East Oregonian

Aug. 17-18, 1959

Hermiston Mayor Bill Belt's guided mud turtle named Snappy "threw a shoe" and stalled out on the track halfway to the finish line in the mayor's much-touted turtle race Saturday at the Umatilla County Fair. While a field of 15 amphibians rushed lickety-split to the outer edge of a 50-foot circle, Snappy refused to go past the halfway point while the turtle raced by Cal Hanion, Athena, took first place. Belt, duded-out in silk hat and swallowtail coat, was disgusted. Second place was taken by a turtle raced by Mayor Freeman Young, Helix. Third was Sherwood Henderson, Stanfield. Judges were Norm Schroth, Hermiston, Ralph Currin and Leonard Lorenzen, Pendleton.

25 Years Ago

From the East Oregonian

Aug. 17-18, 1984

Firefighters in Pendleton got a little more practice than they bargained for Thursday afternoon when a controlled fire near Eastern Oregon State Hospital rekindled after the department burned off a field of weeds thought to be a fire hazard. The department had conducted a controlled burn Thursday morning to clear a field on the hospital grounds of weeds and dried grass. The burn served a double purpose, to remove the fire hazard and to give firefighters a change to practice on field fires, according to Capt. Kenneth Garrett of the Pendleton Fire Department. But at 11:38 a.m., when firefighters thought the burn was over, the fire rekindled and burned about 20 acres of weeds, mostly on the hospital grounds. Firefighters had the fire extinguished for the final time about a half-hour later.

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