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Pages of History: July 1949

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, July 1949.

They ran the Klamath— but ‘once is enough’

The Klamath River is tough, merciless. No one knows better than Oscar Taylor and Merton “Slim” Coates, the two Klamath men who recently made history by being the first to run the swift, treacherous waters from Yreka to Klamath.

Boulders as big as cottages, falls with 15–20-foot drops, they lost count of the number. But they never lost an oar and sheared but two propeller shaft pins in the entire 176 miles, although the drive line housing cracked and left only two slim water tubes to support and steady the motor, greatly reducing the speed.

The race, in which the only other entrants, Vernon and Loren Myers of Klamath, early lost their boat and were forced out, began near Yreka on July 8 at 5:25 a.m. By 7:30 p.m. that evening, the Myers brothers were out of the race and Coates and Taylor had made 66 miles.

That second day, Taylor said, was the toughest day of all. Telling of the long runs down canyons and over falls, Taylor goes on to say that he was most scared during the run below Happy Camp through the steep-walled canyon.

For their achievement in being the first to conquer the Klamath, Taylor and Coates received $500 from Klamath Sport Carnival Inc. and Frank Mahach, who knows the Klamath well, says that they may be able to do it again, but no one else ever will. Oscar and Slim say “once was enough.”

Donkey baseball coming here soon

That laugh-riot sport, donkey baseball, will again come to Del Norte under the sponsorship of Crescent City 20-30 Club when the latter’s hard-hitting team meets Jim McGilvary’s Cut-Throats at the fairgrounds on Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.

Everyone is urged by the 20-30 Club to keep in mind the date of Aug. 3 for an unforgettable evening’s entertainment. Tickets will soon be on sale with adults at 60 cents and children at 40 cents.

Joint venture to conduct tours

A three-party venture to promote interest in Del Norte County as an industrial, recreational and business site with a future was formed Tuesday in Crescent City. The three parties are the Crescent City Chamber of Commerce, Delightful Del Norte Inc. and Southwest Airways.

Plans are already being formulated to bring to the county on Aug. 6 and 7 industrialists, business executives and heads of tourist organizations. Efforts will be made to interest the group as a whole in the county as a recreational area.

C-coasters may aid shipping in Del Norte

“Package loading” into C-Coasters, reconverted wartime landing crafts, is now being considered by the harbor commission in connection with their public utility wharf into the inner harbor. The new craft is a natural for the inner harbor area, providing capacity loading in a minimum of time on a low-cost basis for all local industries.

The new type of lumber schooner has been described as “renewed hope for coastwide water-borne trade,” and may prove the answer to Del Norte’s shipping problems, the harbor commission stated.

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