The following are books and reports written during the past 50 years that deal primarily with Klamath County history or communities in Klamath County. If you have additional books to suggest, please complete this form. You may also use the [ PDF ] form.
This listing is merely to inform people of some of the available history books. It is not an endorsement of any or all of the publications.
Aaron, Jayne, “Cultural Resources Evaluation at Klamath Falls – Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base, Klamath County, Oregon.” College Park, Md.,: Air National Guard, 2002. maps, photos. 286 pages.
A historic context statement that reviews the history and structures of the airbase. PDF [41.1 MB]
Beckham, Stephen Dow, “Statewide Inventory of Historic Sites and Buildings: Klamath County,” Salem: State Historic Preservation Office, 1976. 102 pages.
A brief survey of structures for potential listing on the National Register of Historic Places. PDF [7 MB]
Beckham, Stephen Dow, The Gerber Block: Historical Developments of the Public Rangelands in Klamath County, Oregon. Klamath Falls: Bureau of Land Management, 2000. Photos, bibliography. 142 pages.
The major themes and personalities of this area, which became the first grazing district under the Taylor Grazing Act, are discussed. PDF [8.6 MB]
Bowden, Jack. Railroad Logging in the Klamath Country. Hamilton, Mont.: Oso Publishing Co., 2003. Maps, illustrations, photographs, footnotes, bibliography, glossary, index. 352 pages.
A well-written and researched technical history of railroad logging in Klamath County in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The volume opens with a general history of county timber boom and railroad development followed by individual chapters dedicated to the history of a particular logging company.
Dicken, Samuel N. and Emily F. Dicken, “The Legacy of Ancient Lake Modoc: A Historical Geography of the Klamath Lakes Basin,” Self-published, 1985. Maps, photos, notes, index. 89 pages.
A historic context of the Klamath Basin for evaluating the significance of sites and structures in the area.
Drew, Harry J. Maud Baldwin: Photographer. Klamath Falls: Klamath County Museum, 1981. Photographs, index, bibliography. 143 pages.
A biography of the life and work of female photographer Maud Baldwin, 1978 – 1926, who photographed the people and places of Klamath County. The book is most useful for the many images it contains. Part of a series of “Research Papers” published by the Klamath County Museum.
Drew, Harry J. Pages from the Past. Klamath County Research Paper No. 8. Klamath Falls: Klamath County Museum, 1979. Photographs, index. 48 pages.
A brief history of several important persons, places, and events in Klamath County. Each topic is contained in its own chapter, and not necessarily related to the others. Topics include Fort Klamath, the Winema Steam Vessel. Streetcars, the Klamath Mission, the town of Pokegama, stage service to Spring Creek, and other topics.
Drew, Harry J. George T. Baldwin: His Life and Achievements, Klamath County Museum Research Paper No. 9. Klamath Falls: County Museum, 1980. Photographs, photographic index, bibliography. 35 pages.
A biography of George T. Baldwin, a successful Klamath Falls businessman and community leader from his birth in Missouri in 1855 until 1920. Baldwin’s life intersects many of the important events of his home town during the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Although lacking footnotes, the author speaks credibly about his subject.
Enman, Bertha. Days of Potatoes ‘N Gravy: A History of Potatoes and its People in the Klamath Basin.. Klamath Falls: Craft Printers Inc., 1978. Illustrations, photos, bibliography. 67 pages.
A brief history of potato farming in the Klamath Basin, including in depth discussions of the development and techniques of the industry based on oral interviews, local newspaper articles, and primary source material.
Gray, Edward. An Illustrated History of Early Northern Klamath County Oregon. Bend: Maverick Publications, 1989. Photos, illustrations, endnotes, appendixes, bibliography. 293 pages.
A history of northern Klamath County during the white settlement period through the early 20th century. Chapters are organized geographically by section, township and range and focus on the families and their homesteads in each particular location. General chapters include local lore and stories, sawmills, the Forest Service, railroads, and a general chapter on other topics of interest. Much of the material is based on oral histories and written correspondence; however, the bibliography includes many primary resources, making this a good introductory resource.
Hall, Michael, Irrigation Development in Oregon’s Upper Deschutes River Basin, 1871-1957. Bend: Deschutes County and the Cities of Bend, Redmond and Sisters, and the State Historic Preservation Office, 1994. Maps, graphs, charts, notes, photographs. 139 pages.
Describes the rise of irrigation along the Upper Deschutes River in Deschutes, Jefferson and Klamath counties, including changes under the Carey Act and the Reclamation Act. PDF [8.2 MB]
Howe, Carrol B. Frontier Stories of the Klamath Country. Unknown publisher, 1989. Photos, bibliography. 169 pages.
An eclectic history of the Klamath region. Topics include the region’s natural history, brief biographies of notable individuals, a chapter on outlaws and another on local unsolved historic “mysteries,” a history of the Pitchfork Ranch, the town of Olene, and the Klamath Development Community. While providing fairly detailed information on some topics, the story presented is not comprehensive and the reliance on oral histories undermines the books authority.
Klamath County Historical Society. The History of Klamath County Oregon. Portland: Taylor Publishing Company, 1984. Photographs, index. 488 pages.
A thematic study of Klamath County’s history and communities from its early white settlement through the publication date. The majority of the value is dedicated to family histories, based on oral histories, which are arranged alphabetically by family name. Although lacking footnotes or a bibliography, the volume speaks authoritatively about its subject matter.
Shaw Historical Library, And Then We Logged: The Timber Industry in the Klamath Basin, Klamath Falls: Shaw Historical Library, 2002. (Volume 16 of its periodic journal.)
Articles and photographs about logging and timber processing in the Klamath Basin from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries.
Shaw Historical Library, Service and Sacrifice: Klamath Basin Life Through Two World Wars, Klamath Falls: Shaw Historical Library, 2003. (Volume 17 of its periodic journal.)
Articles, reminiscences, photographs and oral history about 20th century life in Klamath County.
Shaw Historical Library, Sheep Trails: Sheep Ranching in the Land of the Lakes, Klamath Falls: Shaw Historical Library, 2004. (Volume 18 of its periodic journal.) Photographs, maps. 148 pages.
Eighteen scholarly articles and reminiscences of the sheep ranching industry in southern Oregon and northern Nevada beginning in the late 19th century.
Snyder, William S. “Klamath History Notes.” Klamath Falls: Reprinted from the Herald and News, 1988. Photographs.
A series or reprinted newspaper articles focusing on important aspects of Klamath County, and Klamath Falls history. Topics include settlement, first pioneers, industry, local historical organizations and events, and important historic events. Articles are well-written, but lack references and rely heavily on oral histories and first-person accounts.
Tonsfeldt, Ward. “Historical Resource Survey: Rural Klamath County, Oregon.” Bend: Ward Tonsfeldt Consulting, 1990. Photos, bibliography. 90 pages.
A survey of potential above-ground sites for listing on the National Register. PDF [3.7 MB]
Tonsfeldt, Ward, Kay Atwood, Ben Francy, David Braley and Margaret Queary. “Klamath Falls Cultural Resources Survey.” 1986. Bibliography. 109 pages. PDF [3.9 MB]
A survey of possible National Register sites in Klamath Falls, including summaries of archaeological and architectural information, and a historic context for the city.
Tonsfeldt, Ward, “Historic Structure Evaluation, Assessment and Management Plan: Winema National Forest,” Klamath Falls: Winema National Forest, 2000. Maps, drawings, photos. Part One 165 pages. Part Two 41 pages.
An evaluation of structures at 10 sites in the Winema National Forest for potential inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, and recommendations for their management. Part One PDF [26.4 MB] Part Two PDF [33 MB]
Tucker, Kathy, “Roads and Trails in Oregon, 1848-1930,” Klamath Falls: Bureau of Land Management, 2001. Footnotes, photos. 46 pages.
This examines the written and landscape record for roads that are today Highways 62, 66 and 140 in Klamath and Jackson counties. This was prepared by students at Portland State University. PDF [1.7 MB]