The Triplicate has found several significant events to commemorate in 2009. Just last week we published features on the anniversaries of the Klamath flood and the opening of Pelican Bay prison. In April we needed a six-part series to do justice to the 45th anniversary of the ’64 tsunami. Seems we’ve been eager to tell the stories of significant anniversaries, except our own.
Every publishing day on our front page right under the logo, the words “informing the community since 1879” remind me that the Triplicate has a 130th anniversary this year. But it’s been difficult to generate much enthusiasm among the staff here to research and write our own story.
When I worked for The Grants Pass Daily Courier, if I had a question about the history of the company, or of the county for that matter, all I had to do was walk upstairs and ask John. His grandfather Amos E. Voorhies bought the Courier in 1885. Amos was a crusading journalist with an agenda. When he thought the city needed a second bridge across the Rogue River, he took photos of traffic jams to prove his point.
Amos was so dedicated to his trade that he put in a full day of work, went home and sat down in his easy chair and dropped dead. His son Earle followed in his footsteps and met the same fate.
Grandson John, my boss, retired at a reasonable age and is still alive (in his 80s). He was determined to get in a little golf before he met his maker. But he was devoted to the family business and his community and, with me, was always available to share old stories and photos.
But here, the history of The Triplicate isn’t as easy to come by. From the notes in a file folder in my desk labeled “history,” here’s what I have pieced together. If you know more, I’d love to hear from you.
1854: The Crescent City Herald was established on June 10. It was a four-page weekly started about a year after the townsite had been surveyed. It published for seven years. The company that owned the paper moved the printing plant to Jacksonville, Ore., in 1861.
1872: The Crescent City Courier first published on Sept. 12. It was a weekly newspaper.
1879: The Del Norte Record was launched in April by job printer E.J. Eldredge as a modest advertising sheet. After winning the county printing bid, Eldredge turned the Record into a weekly newspaper in May of the same year.
1880: On May 5, the Del Norte Record bought the Crescent City Courier, consolidating the two.
1892: John L. Childs launched the Crescent City News
1910: First issue of the Coast Times published by George Sartwell.
1912: Del Norte Argus is published.
1912: The name Triplicate was adopted when William McMaster, publisher and editor of the Del Norte Record (the oldest of the three newspapers brought together under one banner), acquired the Coast Times and the Crescent City News and named his newspaper the Del Norte Triplicate.
1916: M.A. Broadbere acquired the Del Norte Triplicate and continued publishing until 1922, when the newspaper was sold to John Juza, former publisher of the Gold Beach (Ore.) Reporter.
1926: Howard F. Griffin printed the first edition of the Crescent City American.
1932: Klamath Chinook began publishing April 28,
1935: The Gasquet Gazette began publishing March 23.
1947: Michael F. Neish became owner and publisher of the Del Norte Triplicate. He operated the newspaper until 1954, when he was named Crescent City postmaster and subsequently sold the Triplicate to Hadley Newspapers, owned by Gordon Hadley.
1949: James Yarborough began working at the Del Norte Triplicate as a reporter and later was promoted to editor. In 1964 he became a partner in Hadley Newspapers at the time that the newspaper offices and much of downtown Crescent City were being rebuilt following the tsunami.
1969: The company bought the Crescent City American, the last remaining rival newspaper in the county, and the Del Norte Triplicate went from weekly to twice weekly.
1986: Yarborough retired as publisher and editor of the Del Norte Triplicate and the newspaper was sold to Curtis Tuck.
1988: Tuck sold the Triplicate to Western Communications.
1990 Construction of the new Smith River printing plant was completed and the twice-weekly Del Norte Triplicate became The Daily Triplicate, publishing five mornings a week, Tuesday through Saturday.