Two Men Build Lonely Ranch south of Klamath Lake

Dec 18, 2013

 As a boy in 1853, Orsen Stearns was one of the first pioneers to settle near today’s Phoenix, Ore.   Thirteen years later he started his own ranch south of Klamath Lake, in an area he had explored as a soldier at Fort Klamath.

   For several weeks Stearns slept under a blanket next to a campfire, where coyotes caused his dog to growl continuously though the night.  With the help of a friend, Louie Colver, Stearns built a corral and a log house.  One November night they went to bed debating whether to add another foot to the height of the walls before roofing the house.  The next morning when they woke up with two inches of snow on their blankets, they decided to roof the existing walls immediately.  On Dec. 18, 1866, Stearns and Colver left the ranch and headed for their parents’ farms in the Rogue Valley.  Although the snow at Greensprings was two feet deep, they arrived safely and spent four weeks attending one holiday party after another before returning to the lonely ranch in January.

    Source: Stearns, Orsen A. Reminiscences of Pioneer Days and Early Settlers of Phoenix and Vicinity. Ashland, Oregon: Southern Oregon Historical Society, 1921-1922. 33-37. Print.