Merrill, Oregon is at the northwest corner of the Tule Lake Basin and a mile north of the California border. Oregon Route 39, and the fabled Lost River, run through it. Like all of the Tule Lake Basin communities, and most of rural America, Merrill has a rich agricultural history. Merrill is the oldest city in the Tule Lake Basin.
Malin, Oregon is nine miles northeast of Tulelake and eight miles east of Merrill, Oregon. In 1909, scouts from the Czech Colonization Club in Nebraska surveyed western federal irrigation projects. They decided the Klamath Project was the best location for a new Czech Colony. Malin was named after a Bohemia farming community.
Tulelake, California is a young city. It sits on land in Siskiyou County, just south of the Oregon border, that was reclaimed from Tule Lake by the Klamath Reclamation Project which diverted water down the Klamath River. Tulelake is on Highway 139 which connects Bend and Klamath Falls, Oregon along with Alturas and Reno, California. Some thousand people live in Tulelake at an elevation of 4,066 feet above sea level. This is rural American farmland and wildlife refuge. This is big sky country.
Newell, California was born out of the War Relocation Authority’s Japanese-American Internment, and later Segregation, Center. This would soon house as many as 18,000 internees. A substantial infrastructure was in place with the camp closure in May 1946: five deep wells, red cinder roads, many surplus buildings, water, sewer, electricity, Southern Pacific Railroad lines and Highway 139. A concept was raised of creating a township to serve the new Veteran Homesteaders. Five years later, June 1951, lots in Newell were for sale.
Music and Song are one of many Farmland traditions.
Robert Ganey wrote and sings a delightful ditty about living on America’s fields
and productive soil. Video was shot on Tule Lake Basin farm land, home to Merrill,
Malin, Tuelake and Newell, and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
©2013 Robert Ganey and Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.
©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.