Elliott State Forest History: Gould Family

Gould-McClay family on the front porch of their home on the Elkhorn Ranch, ca. 1886. Photographer unknown: George Gould with timer?

The history of the pioneer George and Hattie Gould family, and their lives at the Elkhorn Ranch in the heart of present-day Elliott State Forest, has best been told by family historian Aileen Rickard, in her book The Goulds of Elkhorn. Other local histories written by Jerry Phillips, Lionel Youst, Charlotte Mahaffy, Emil Peterson, and Alfred Powers also describe this resourceful and successful pioneering family of Coos County.

The Rickard history was written in 1982 and reflects a wide range of access to such personal family documents as photographs, correspondence, diaries, receipts, and other materials not available to the other authors. However, copying and duplication methods were significantly poorer in 1982 than by today's standards and her book was not digitized or made generally available for more than 35 years, until 2018. During winter 2017-2018, many of the original photographs shown in Rickard's book -- and a few hundred more -- were also scanned and digitized during that time, along with George's 1908 daily diary, family postcards and annotated logging pictures from the early 1900s, etc.; made possible by permission, direct access to family keepsakes, and funding provided by George and Hattie Gould great-grandson, David Gould.

Much of the family's history in subsequent years has been augmented by a series of oral history interviews with Jerry Phillips and David Gould in the Fall of 2017, conversations with cousins David McClay and Roger Ott, and by educational field trips to Elkhorn Ranch, Allegany, and Loon Lake by Southwestern Oregon Community College forestry classes in 2018.

The Goulds of Elkhorn. This is the definitive self-published history of the Gould and McClay family's pioneer development of the Elkhorn Ranch in northern Coos County, 1885 to 1915. It was written and first published by Aileen Barker Rickard, granddaughter of George and Hattie Gould, in 1982, and first digitized and made available online in 2017, by great-grandson David Gould.

George Gould 1908 Daily Diary. This is the scanned version of George Gould's 1908 daily diary, including original poems, several months on the Elkhorn Ranch, and a trip to California. A transcribed version of the diary is planned, possibly in the form of a student project.

Oral History. A series of three oral histories totaling 15 hours were made with Jerry Phillips while touring the Elliott State Forest during Fall, 2017. One of the three trips included David Gould and specifically visited the Elkhorn Ranch, trail, and cabin locations used by his ancestors from the 1880s until today. These recordings are in the process of being digitized and transcribed at this time and will be put online when they are completed.

Elkhorn Ranch History Report. Southwest Oregon Community College student history report by David Gould, following his retirement from family-owned business, Coos Bay Timber Operators, Inc.

Family Photographs. This is a selection of 30+ historical family photographs preserved by George and Hattie Gould descendants, depicting the family's history along the West Fork Millicoma River; focusing on the 1880s Elkhorn Ranch to the 1950s Elliott State Forest. A number of these photographs have been published in newspapers, magazines, research reports, and university theses in past years, but this is the first time they have become generally available online.

 

OTHER HISTORICAL REFERENCES

AUTHOR(S) DATE PUBLISHER TITLE & DESCRIPTION PDF
Beckham, Dow September 1, 1991 Arago Books Swift Flows the River: Log Driving in Oregon N/A
Dodge, Orvil 1898 Capital Printing Co. Pioneer History of Coos and Curry Counties, Or.: Heroic Deeds and Thrilling Adventures of the Early Settlers 38_MB
Mahaffy, Charlotte 1965 Iinterstate Press Coos River Echoes: A Story of the Coos River Valley N/A
Peterson, Emil and Alfred Powers 1952 Binford & Morts, Publishers A Century of Coos and Curry: History of Southwest Oregon N/A
Phillips, Jerry 1998 Self Published Caulked Boots and Cheese Sandwiches: A Forester's History Of Oregon's First State Forest, "The Elliott" (1912-1996) 38_MB
Youst, Lionel 2011 Golden Falls Publishing Lost in Coos: "Heroic Deeds and Thrilling Adventures" of Searches and Rescues on Coos River, Coos County, Oregon 1871 to 2000 7_MB
Zybach, Bob Spring 2017 Oregon Fish & Wildlife Journal "Forest History vs. Forest Science: 1993 Elliott Management Plan," and "Elliott State Educational Forest: The Giesy Plan Alternative" 7_MB

 

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