Spaces are still available for several tours in this year's Jefferson County Historical Society Tours programs, according to Jim Carroll, society tour chairman.
>Historical Society still has space for summer tours
The popular tours feature excursions into the historical byways of Jefferson County, conducted by local historians.
Checks for the tours should be made out to the Jefferson County Historical Society, and sent to: Historical Society, Box 647, Madras, OR 97741.
The tours are:
Saturday, June 16: North Unit's legendary "Burma Road," tour with the Smith Rock irrigation tunnel, Crooked River Flume and pumping station, conducted by Kirk Holcomb of the North Unit Irrigation District.
The cost is $45 per passenger; contact Holcomb at 541-475-3625, or Jim Carroll at 541-475-6709.
Wednesday, June 27: There are currently five slots open for a tour of the Deschutes Valley Water District's unique Opal Springs hydro plant in Crooked River Gorge west of Culver, hosted by Gary Lytle, plant manager. The cost is $45 per person; contact Jim Carroll at 541-475-6709.
Saturday, Aug. 18: A first-ever homestead orchard tour, visiting four of Jefferson County's century-old Pioneer orchards: the McCoin and Cyrus orchards in the foothills of Gray Butte, and the Clark orchard on the old Ashwood Road northeast of Hay Creek Ranch.
According to tour organizer Jerry Ramsey, the tour will feature two experts on identifying old "heirloom" fruit varieties from the Home Orchard Society in Portland.
Ramsey said, "Our hope is that the Home Orchard folks will be able to identify on sight the kinds of apples and other fruit that have somehow survived here all these years, despite our challenging climate, and give us some understanding of why these mostly-forgotten varieties were planted in the first place, and how they have kept bearing fruit despite harsh winters and neglect. These orchards are an important and fascinating part of our local historical heritage."
The cost is $60 per person, with lunch provided; contact Jerry Ramsey at 541-475-5390.
Tour Chairman Jim Carroll noted that the Historical Society's Model-T Tour over the Ashwood Road and back to Gateway has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 23, because of the recent rains. This tour is sold out. Contact Carroll for more details.