An Unforgettable Pendleton Round-Up, 1911

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Red White Black: A True Story of Race and Rodeo
Available now!

Red White Black tells the true story of the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up. Three men of different skin colors – Jackson Sundown, John Spain, and George Fletcher – are brought together during the finals of the Northwest Saddle Bronc Championship. What happened that September day, the judges’ decision and the reaction of the crowd in the aftermath, forever changed the sport of rodeo, and the way the emerging West was to look at itself. Read more . . .

Rick Steber, who spent four decades researching this story, has more than 30 titles under his belt and sales of over a million books. Rick is the only Oregon author to have won the prestigious Western Writers of America Spur Award – Best Western Novel. He is a keen observer of the changing American West and he articulates these changes in prose that are boldly descriptive, invigorating and creative. His writing has been compared to Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, McMurtry and Stegner.

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New Book: Red White Black Has Gone to Press!

Rick Steber book printing press

Red White Black has gone to  press and now is in the capable hands of the production department. Once  the printing is complete, the book will be bound and ready for shipment. It  should take about 10 days for the baby to  come home.

We’ll be taking orders shortly.

Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

Bobbie, The Oregon Wonder Dog!

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog

In August 1923 Silverton residents Frank and Elizabeth Brazier and their daughters Nova and Leona, embarked on a cross-country trip in their Overland Red Bird automobile. The Braziers dog, a bob-tailed Scotch collie and shepherd mix named Bobbie, rode outside on the luggage rack.

On the ninth day of their vacation, in the town of Walcott, Indiana, Bobbie ran away. Six months later Bobbie appeared back in  Silverton.

map Bobbies journey

Practically every newspaper in the United States ran a story about Bobbie’s amazing 3,000-mile journey home. Robert Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” radio show featured Bobbie; a book was written, and Bobbie even starred in his own movie, “Bobbie, The Wonder Dog”.

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog!

Bobbie, The Wonder Dog!

Rick Steber is an award winning writer of contemporary western stories. To find out more about his books, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs visit his website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

Oregon Hops, 1865: A Superior Flavor for Beer

Hop Field, ca. 1900, Willamette Valley

Hop Field, ca. 1900, Willamette Valley

The first hops, used to provide flavor in the making of beer, were planted in the Willamette Valley in 1865. When the hops were harvested brewers raved about the quality, claiming the hops grown in the rich soil and under the sunny skies of Oregon, had a superior flavor.

Hop Harvesting 1940

Hop Harvesting 1940

Oregon hops were sought after on the world market. But growing hops was labor-intensive and farmers sought any able-bodied worker to work in the harvest. Many homesteaders left their farms and worked and camped in the hop fields.

Oregon children harvesting hops, 1915

Oregon children harvesting hops, 1915

Entire families, from the oldest to the youngest, picked hops for curing and gingerly
packed the fragile flower cone buds for shipment to distant ports. By 1910 Oregon had
become the leading producer of hops in the United States.

August 1933: Fire Consumes Oregon’s Tillamook Forest

On August 14, 1933 a tiny spark landed in dry tinder at a logging site in the Coast Range. For ten days the fire burned and then, with continued hot temperatures, low humidity and a fresh storm blowing in off the Pacific, the fire exploded.

Tillamook fire1
A cloud of smoke mushroomed 40,000 feet into the sky and during the next two days, what became known as the Tillamook Fire, cut the heart out of Oregon’s most productive forest. It consumed well over a quarter-of-a-million acres of virgin Douglas fir timber.
1941_TillamookBurn_LOC
The total economic loss was said to be in excess of 600 million dollars. The fire burned until the arrival of the rainy season, and even then, throughout the long winter, blackened snags continued to smolder.

“De Moss Family Lyric Bards” Oregon Trail Musicians

De Moss Cornets

De Moss Cornets

James De Moss and his wife Elizabeth came west over the Oregon Trail in
1862 and settled near the town of Cove in Northeastern Oregon.
De Moss Banjo Club

De Moss Banjo Club

Here they raised five children, teaching them to sing and play a variety of musical instruments. The family began playing and entertaining at mining camps and cow towns in Eastern Oregon. They traveled by wagon and camped out under the stars at night.

For thirty years the talented De Moss family performed on stage, and as their fame grew they traveled to Canada and throughout Europe.
DeMoss_Springs_Oregon_1921
In 1883 the family retired to a sprawling wheat ranch at De Moss Springs in Sherman County.Herschel_Davis_triangle-sm
If you’ve enjoyed this moment in Oregon’s history, you can find more historical and contemporary western stories, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs– on my website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com

A Moment in Oregon History: What famous writer visited Crater Lake in 1911?

Jack London

Jack London

Jack London, the famous American writer of many novels and short stories set in the Yukon, passed through Medford in 1911 on his way to visit Crater Lake. He rode in a wagon drawn by a four-horse team and was accompanied by his wife and a Japanese servant. He later told a reporter of his impressions of Crater Lake, saying:

“It is worth traveling hundreds of miles to see. I thought that I had gazed upon everything beautiful in nature as I have spent many years traveling thousands of miles to view the beauty spots of the earth, but I have reached the climax. Never again can I gaze upon the beauty spots of the earth and enjoy them as being the finest thing I have ever seen. Crater Lake is far above them all.”
Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake, Oregon

If you’ve enjoyed this moment in Oregon’s history, you can find more historical and contemporary western stories, including non-fiction biographies and novels, audio books and DVDs– on my website:  Writing the West http://ricksteber.com