River Guide Makes Zane Grey's Rogue Famous

Jul 11, 2014

 Zane Grey made the Rogue River famous for its fishing in the 1920s and 30s, but he couldn’t have done it without the river guide and boat builder Glenn Wooldridge.

 Wooldridge greeted the writers, movie stars and other celebrities who flocked to the river, among them Jack London, Clark Gable, Ginger Rogers, and Ted Trueblood, the associate editor of Field and Stream magazine.  Wooldridge even guided President Herbert Hoover, who had grown up in Oregon. Wooldridge had gillnetted salmon west of Grants Pass as a 19-year-old, and with friend Cal Allen decided it would be fun to float the river to Gold Beach. They built a boat and cast off on Sept. 5, 1915. Later, as a river guide for the rich and famous, Wooldridge used his knowledge of the Rogue and his engineering skills to smooth the dangerous rapids all the way to Agness near the Oregon Coast. The area around Blossom Bar was impassable until Wooldridge dynamited rocks obstructing a safer path.  The boat he built when he was 19 became a prototype for the now famous Wooldridge boats. 

 Sources: Douthit, Nathan. “Traveling the Jedediah Smith Trail.” A Guide to Oregon South Coast History. Corvallis, Ore.: Oregon State University Press, 1999. Print; "Looking Upriver through Blossom Bar." Bloosom Bar.com. 2014. Web. 22 June 2014