Elliott State Forest History

Elkhorn Ranch in winter snow, 1889. This photograph was probably taken by George Gould, his wife Hattie, or her sister Oela McClay. It is part of the family collection of historical photographs and documents maintained by cousins David and Wade Gould in the continuing process of being digitized and reformatted for educational uses on this website.

The history of the Elliott State Forest has been best told and documented in book form by Jerry Phillips, Aileen Rickard (deceased), and Lionel Youst. Those books have all been generously made available for this website by Phillips and Youst and by David Gould, nephew of Aileen Rickard and a Gould-McClay family historian. In addition to their books, the authors and Gould have also provided hundreds of historical maps and photographs, correspondence, family diaries, newspaper articles, student reports, and other historical materials focused on the Elliott, its history, prehistory, and possible futures.

Oral Histories: During Fall 2017, the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) collaborated with Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project, Inc. (ORWW) to record and document a series of three oral history interviews with Jerry Phillips and Dr. Bob Zybach regarding the history and management of the Elliott State Forest. This agreement was authorized by Jim Paul of DSL and Wayne Giesy of ORWW. The project resulted in 15 hours of audiotape-recorded interviews, a detailed GIS map, and several dozen photographs taken during the three different tours of the various road networks and historical locations on the Forest. DSL Property Managers Amber Ross and Randy Wiest provided transportation and GIS mapping during each of the three field trips and were instrumental to their success. David Gould, descendant and family historian of the Elkhorn Ranch pioneer homesteaders, and Roger Johnson, reforestation forester of the Elliott for many years, participated in separate tours that focused on each of their knowledge of the Elliott. A one-hour interview was also recorded with Bob Jacobson at the Coos Bay History Museum regarding West Fork Millicoma fishing history. All recordings have now been digitized and deposited in Oregon State University (OSU) Archives, after being edited and indexed via funding authorized by Anthony Davis, acting Dean of OSU College of Forestry. These products in their digitsal formats are all avaialbe on this ORWW website.

"I'd been vaguely aware of the Forest’s existence since attending Oregon State College, where it was described in college literature as an undeveloped State-owned forest of young timber lying between Coos and Umpqua Rivers, dedicated to educational purposes." (Jerry Phillips 1998: iii)

Jerry Phillips. Phillips has written the definitive history of the Elliott State Forest, Caulked Boots and Cheese Sandwiches. He has also collected and maintained hundreds of historical maps, photographs, and publications specific to the Elliott's history that he has made available for this project. A 15-hour oral history with Phillips recorded during three separate tours of the Elliott in Fall, 2017 has been digitized and transcribed for this website to benefit future student, teacher, and researcher uses.

Gould-McClay Family. David Gould, a direct descendant of George Gould and Hattie McClay Gould, has made his family's history available for this project. In addition to allowing his Aunt Aileen Rickard's book The Goulds of Elkhorn to be digitized and made freely available for student use, Gould has also provided his great-grandfather's 1908 diary of life on the Elkhorn and dozens of family photographs and correspondence dating to the 1860s. Gould also participated in the Jerry Phillips' oral history recordings and is an expert on Elliott geology, road rock, and road maintenance.

Lionel Youst. The most prolific author and archivist of Coos County history has been Lionel Youst, who has contibuted digitized versions of his books Lost in Coos, Above the Falls, and Sawdust in the Western Woods, to this educational website. His opinions regarding Elliott ownership and management are a matter of public record and are also linked to his webpage.

Bill Lansing. William "Bill" Lansing is a retired CEO and President of Menasha Forest Products, based in North Bend. He moved to this community in 1970 after graduating from Yale University and has written a number of family and regional histories since his retirement. His book regarding national and regional CCC history, Camps and Calluses, provides excellent context for Phillips' Elliott CCC documentation and has been made avaiable to this website. Lansing's books can be purchased via bill@billlansing.com.
Maps. These JPEG maps are selected from the reports, magazine and news articles, government records, and other documents contained in this website. They show the Elliott in reference to the State of Oregon; in relation to other State Forests; legal boundaries; streams; topography; subbasins; fire history; early historical Oregon Indian Tribes; roads and trails; marbled murrelet, spotted owl, and coho habitat; and tree ages. Additional maps are included with SWOCC F251 student reports, Phillips' history webpage, and other locations on the ORWW Elliott websites.
Photographs. These JPEG photograph files have been provided by Jerry Phillips, taken from ORWW reports and articles by Dr. Zybach, donated or published by members of the Gould family, selected from the public domain, obtained during student field trips, and/or from other willing sources. The images are specific to the Elliott Forest and adjacent lands and are freely available for student use and public display. We ask that photograph sources, dates, and photographer names are properly cited for such uses.
Wildlife. Native and exotic wildlife populations of the Elliott, including vertebrate and invertebrate aquatic and terrestrial animals historically and/or currently present in the Forest.



Armstrong, Chester July 1, 1965 Oregon State Parks Oregon State Parks History, 1917-1963 16_MB
Beckham, Dow September 1, 1991 Arago Books Swift Flows the River: Log Driving in Oregon N/A
Cummings, Ed and Ed Schwartz August 10, 1967 Oregon Fish Commission Obstruction and Stream Evaluation: Elk Creek, West Fork Millicoma, Coos River System (annotated) 2_MB
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
Farnell, James October, 1981 Division of State Lands Smith River and Umpqua Tributaries Navigability Report 9_MB
Mahaffy, Charlotte 1965 Interstate 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
Plummer, Fred October 23, 1912 Washington: Government Printing Office Forest Fires: Their Causes, Extent and Effects, with a Summary of Recorded Destruction and Loss 7_MB
Whereat, Don 2010 Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians Our Culture and History: The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians N/A
Zybach, Bob Spring 2017 Oregon Fish & Wildlife Journal "Forest History vs. Forest Science: 1993 Elliott Management Plan" 7_MB


© 2017, 2018 Oregon Websites & Watersheds Project, Inc. & NW Maps Co.