Donation Land Claimant's Daughter Promotes Sutherlin

Sep 12, 2013

Fendel Sutherlin took out a donation land claim in Camas Swale in Douglas County, Ore., in the early 1850s.  By 1901, Fendel’s daughter Anne Waite inherited his several thousand acres of land, and determined to establish a town in her father’s honor. 

 Frank Waite, Anne’s husband, and other investors formed the Sutherlin Land and Water Company, built a dam on the Calapooia River to provide electricity and water and tried to market farm sites.  The idea was great, but better promotion was needed. In 1906 F. S. Luce bought the company and formed the Luce Land and Development Company with his friends in St. Paul, Minnesota. Luce ran colorful ads in the Eastern press and brought excursion trains out to Camas Swale to see 10 or 20-acre irrigated orchard home sites. By 1911, Anne’s dream of the town of Sutherlin was fulfilled. It sported a large hotel, stone bank building, Luce’s Land Office and 455 people. The orchard boom never materialized.  By 1919, the hotel became the Seventh Day Adventist Academy, the bank was headed toward failure and Luce’s Land Office was closed. Sutherlin boomed again in the 1940s, but that is another story.  Sources: Hubbard, Doris W. Widow Makers and Rhododendrons:Loggers--The Unsung Heroes of World War II. Central Point: Hellgate Press, 2000. 17-27. Print; Dias, Tricia. Sutherlin. N.p.: Arcadia Press, 2011. 23. Print; Holm, Ivan. "Sutherlin Adventist Church History." Sutherlin Adventist Church. Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1998. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. <>.