Born in Sisters, left for 30 years, visited regularly.
Father (Ellis Edgington) homesteaded in Tumalo in 1905, traded
for Squaw Creek place. The Edgington Ranch was located 2 miles
up from town on Squaw Creek. Her father met and married her mother
in Plainview. Georgia married and moved to New Jersey for a year,
then to Redmond, then to Salem. Occupation - Dietitian
What are your favorite places around Sisters?
Upper Squaw Creek, I like it up there where there are big rocks.
There were some interesting places to climb around.
We always enjoyed Three Creek Lake, for
fishing and picnicking. My family were great picnickers.
stay away overnight. We had to be home to feed the cows and
chickens and milk and all those things.
Memories of Squaw Creek- floods
The bridge to the ranch got washed out
on a fairly regular basis, whenever the creek was high. The family
built their own bridge up there across Squaw Creek. The foundation
was dirt and rocks. I can remember one year when it washed out.
The ice would block up against it and knock it out- that’s
really what would take it out.
There was a road that came down through
the Bailey Ranch (now the Patterson Ranch), the back way, so
if they couldn’t get
across Squaw Creek they’d come that way. They’d come
down and drive back up this side and leave the car there. Then
Dad would put some logs across and he’d rope the logs together.
One time we kids were going to school and walking the log. My
sister was walking the log and fell off, but dad had a rope around
her and pulled her in.
Time spent on the creek (ranch was down stream of irrigation diversion)
We fished and so-called swam in it,
it wasn’t deep enough
to swim but you could wade. There were a few places where there
would be a pool maybe but it was too cold to swim anyway.
What changes have
you seen in the creek?
Squaw Creek changes its
channel quite a bit between here and the Three Creek grade,
mainly a couple miles above town. When the high water came there
were several channels through there. It would change and go into
a different one. I know one time (probably in the 1930’s)
my Dad blocked off one of the channels, made a kind of earth
dam there and in return for doing that the State gave him a little
more water, he got a few acre feet of water. But I think in the
meantime its all washed out again.
There was a time when they were talking
about building some of those small power plants up on Squaw Creek
by that upper bridge and diverting the creek across a point of
land and dropping it through a power plant. I was concerned about
I like to hike in the mountains and drink
from the streams and I wonder if even the springs contaminated
where they come out of the ground.
What would you like
to see in the future of our creeks?
Not too much development along them hopefully.
Stay wild! I’d like
to keep it pretty primitive, not too much development. I wouldn’t
mind some trails along Squaw Creek, its beautiful up there higher
up and it would be nice to have trails. The only problem with that
is more people would go there, but that’s inevitable
Do you recognize different kinds of fish?
I mostly know Rainbow
and Eastern Brook I don’t know that I’d recognize
others. We caught some that they call Mountain Trout. I don’t
know if they are related to the rainbow or what but they are
pretty little gray spotted trout and that’s what
we mostly caught in Squaw Creek.
They didn’t like stocking Squaw Creek because the fish
all went out in the ditches. At one time they put in fish screens
but they were always getting clogged up. It must have been clear
back in the 20’s, I can barely remember seeing screens lying
out beside the ditch that they’d taken out. And of course
the creek is one that washes a lot of debris down, a lot of rocks.
Sometimes its high and sometimes its low and when it gets high
it washes down a lot of stuff.
I know we talked about a Dolly, which would
be a Bull Trout, up at the dam, in a big pool just below
the irrigation dam. We’d
get all excited about trying to catch that Dolly because they
were bigger fish and also they were inclined to eat the trout
so we wanted to get him out of there.
What wildlife do you
didn’t have bear
here much. I remember seeing bear tracks up on Pole creek.
Lots of deer. We always said the deer would
eat the alfalfa off so it couldn’t grow in our fields. Back in about 1950 they
built a six foot woven wire fence around the ranch to keep the
deer out of the fields. There used to be a lot more hunters in
this area then there even are now. I remember going up to hunt
on Broken Top and driving up that road, it seems to me we counted
70 camps on the way up there (in the late 1940-50’s). I’m
sure we always saw deer out in our fields. We always enjoyed seeing
them. Our back door looked out on this big meadow and someone would
say, “ there are deer out there” so we’d all
go out and look. I suppose we had a deer or two out of season
now and then, but we fed them all the time.
No we didn’t see eagles. I don’t think there were
hardly any here. We saw hawks. In fact hawks were something that
were detrimental to our chicken population. So if we saw a hawk
someone would run and get the 22 so they could shoot it. That’s
against the rules now days. And there were owls. They’d
get the chickens too sometimes.
Animals that have decreased:
We used to
have a lot of woodchucks or marmots and I haven’t seen many of those for quite a while.
They were kind of interesting animals. They’d stand up straight
and they had this one whistle, kind of a sharp whistle for danger
coming. You see them up in the mountains around here. They’re
probably the same thing. Dad had hauled rocks off his fields and
he’d make a rock pile. They’d get in there or up in
the lava rock piles too. You’d see them in there.
Animals that have increased Deer around
town have increased. I don’t think they’ve necessarily increased so much in
the woods but they have around town. They’ve gotten used
to being fed around town here I guess. They eat our lawns and
Concerns about fish/wildlife.
would like to see more fish in Squaw Creek and
some way to keep them there.
What would you like to see in the future
w/ fish/wildlife I like the program of protecting the eagles.
Its nice to see some eagles around, and even hawks, now that
we don’t have chickens.
Eliminate feral cats (eat chipmunks, birds, and other animals).
People & Town
How has town changed?
The business district has increased tremendously.
The residential area in town up until recently hasn’t
changed much over the years. The Industrial
Park is something new. It used to be the sawmill down there,
now its all sorts of things.
People ask me how do I like
Sisters and the way it’s
grown and I say well if it’s going to grow I think it’s
done pretty well so far. I don’t like the
idea of filling up all the fields around here with
developments though. I think that will change Sisters
What do you hope for
will slow up... its not slowing, its gaining
speed. And I’m
afraid with the sewer that every green
spot in town will fill up with buildings, all those drainfields
will be built on.
Preserve the atmosphere. You know that’s what has made Sisters
successful, the kind of openness and the atmosphere. If they start
letting it completely fill up in all the fields around, of course
there will still people be that will want to come here but the
people that are here I think will gradually leave, some of them
anyway. And the little houses in town won’t be able to
afford the utilities costs.
Forests - looking
at map of Edgington homestead
The road coming into the house came right
through there and there’s
some nice big pines there , kind of a
nice entry into the house. Mother was afraid they were going
to come in and log those because they were logging around there,
so Dad bought those 40 acres (maybe from Sam Johnson) to
keep them from logging those big trees in front of our house.
When all this logging was going on were people as upset about
it then as they are or was it more understandable?
“No... it was understandable, because most of the people
were loggers. I don’t remember the folks being particularly
upset about cutting the forests. They weren’t clearcutting
though they were selective logging. This section had been logged
pretty closely. Most of it was young trees left there when Dad
bought it from Sam Johnson.”
Favorite areas in the
That’s what I always enjoyed
about hunting was just wandering through the forest. I didn’t
have to be going somewhere, you could just wander along and look
at whatever you wanted to look at. I’ve always known the
woods well enough I didn’t worry
about getting lost. I like to hike the
trails in the mountains in the summer.
How have forests changed since you were
Other than the fact that’s there not much
old growth in the pine forests.
Was there this much bitterbrush?
not, but I do remember it because we
always enjoyed the smell of it this
time of year. And you know back in
the 60’s’ and 70’s they
collected bitterbrush seed and planted it all over the place.
The Forest Service encouraged that. I had friends in Bend that
collected seed to pay for their skiing in the winter, for ski
Do you remember any big forest fires?
wasn’t here but
I was very much aware of the Peterson burn. It was close enough
to the Ranch that they were somewhat concerned it might come
down and burn the ranch too. My brother-in -law was a State
Forester. They were always on the lookout for fires. They
had so many lookouts around here.
Were people as worried about fires in
the past as they are now?
I don’t suppose they were. They were concerned and that’s
the reason they had so many lookouts around here so they could
spot them quickly and get them stopped. An d they had good size
fire crews, fire school, my nephews all were firefighters. And
my sister stayed on the radio or phone to hear anybody call.
All the lookouts would call in.
Concerns for the forests?
Well I don’t like to see clearcuts.
I’m very definitely against clearcuts. Logging the way they
did it before they started clearcutting, logging the mature trees
didn’t seem to me to be too detrimental. Most of these forests
around here have been logged at one time or another, you see stumps
out there, but the forests have grown up again . With leaving the
younger trees they’ve got
25 - 50 years growth on them
it seems to me a shame to cut
them down and start over . So
I would hate to see anymore of
that type of logging. Like I
say I have no objection to logging
conservatively, lets say, and
leave some of the old growth.
Hopes for the forests?
Good care...But they took pretty good
care of themselves before people got here.