Saturday June 20

Posted on June 17th in Community Calendar

The 25th annual Country Music Jamboree will be held June 18-20 at the Harney County Fairgrounds. The event features daily shows at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and a variety of workshops.

Harney County Horse Pull from 3 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Harney County Fairgrounds.

The High Desert Cutters will be having their scholarship cutting on Saturday, June 20, at the Bell-A ranch starting at 9 a.m., with sign ups at 8 a.m. All funds go to local youth for college scholarships. Please pre-register with Sallianne Kelly, call or text 541-413-0788 or email For any questions please contact Corinne Elser 541-589-1577.

Sunday June 21

Posted on June 17th in Community Calendar

A free community dinner, eat in or take out (no strings attached), will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, June. 21, at Burns Christian Church, 125 S. Buena Vista. Call 541-573-2216.

Overeaters Anonymous meets each Sunday at 1 p.m. in the Harney District Hospital Annex (downstairs in cafeteria area).Enter through the cafeteria door on North Grand. For more information, call Susie at 541-589-1522.

Alcoholics Anonymous meets every Sunday at 7 p.m. at Foursquare Church for 12×12 study.

Monday June 22

Posted on June 17th in Community Calendar

Meet Craig Johnson, author of the Sheriff Longmire series, starting at noon at Harney County Library. Optional lunch may be purchased for $10. Please call library, 541-573-6670, by June 17 to reserve a lunch.

A Grief Support Group is held the second and fourth Monday of each month by Harney County Hospice and Rev. Jean Hurst during the day as well as the evening. For more information, call Harney County Hospice, 541-573-8360.

The Harney County Health Department is available at the Harney County Senior Center, 17 S. Alder, to check blood pressure the fourth Monday of each month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. There is no charge for the clinic and results can be forwarded to a physician or nurse practitioner at your request.

Harney County Search and Rescue meets the fourth Monday of each month at the Search and Rescue Building at 7 p.m.

The Burns Lions Club meets every Monday, except holidays, at noon at the Burns Elks Lodge. Those interested in serving the community and visitors are welcome. For more information call 541-573-4000.

A Walking Class is held each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from  10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. indoors at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center.

Burns Fire Dept. meets each Monday at the Burns Fire Hall at 7 p.m.

The Hines Volunteer Fire Department meets at the Hines Fire Hall each Monday at 7 p.m. (except the last Monday of the month). Prospective members may contact Fire Chief Bob Spence at 541-573-7477 or 541-573-2251.

Narcotics Anonymous meets each Monday at 10 a.m. in the community room at Saginaw Village, 605 N. Saginaw. For more information call 541-589-4405.

Tuesday June 23

Posted on June 17th in Community Calendar

Hines Common Council meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Hines City Hall, 101 E. Barnes, at 6:30 p.m.

The Breast Cancer Support Group will meet from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, in the Harney District Hospital conference room. Learn and share about breast cancer, ways to manage symptoms or treatment side effects, and other valuable information. For details, contact HDH Outreach Coordinators Kristen Gregg or Savanna Boll, 541-573-8614.

Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program (SHIBA) trained volunteers will be at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center, 17 S. Alder, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. each Tuesday to help with Medicare insurance needs or medications you cannot afford.

A Walking Class is held each Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from  10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. indoors at the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center.

Tai Chi for Better Balance with Diane Rapaport is held each Tuesday and Thursday at Harney County Senior and Community Services Center from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — free.

Boy Scouts meet each Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the LDS Church in Hines. All boys age 11 and above are welcome to participate.

Alcoholics Anonymous holds an open meeting each Tuesday at Foursquare Church, 74 S. Alvord in Burns at 7 p.m.

Donna Tackman is this year’s Pioneer Queen Mother. Tackman grew up homesteading in a three-room cabin. (Submitted photo)

Donna Tackman is this year’s Pioneer Queen Mother. Tackman grew up homesteading in a three-room cabin. (Submitted photo)

Family and early life

Donna Yvonne Carey was born in the old Burns hospital, which is an apartment building today, on May 1, 1928. Her father and mother were Forest Carey and Nellie Marie Moore.

Donna’s family was originally from England, but relocated to Independence, Mo. From there, her extended family (great-uncles, aunts and great-grandparents) followed a wagon train west.

Donna grew up in a home on the west side of a little valley called “Diamond Valley.” The home was built from the remains of the Camp Harney Fort. When they tore the fort down, the family got some of the lumber to build a three-room cabin, which was first started as a homestead on Riddle Mountain. Donna’s grandmother, Myrtle Barnes, later bought 80 acres in Diamond and moved the cabin there.

Donna grew up in that three-room cabin with her grandparents and mother (when she was between jobs helping somebody cook for big crews). There was a bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen.

Donna remarked, “I guess it was my teachers and my folks at home who raised me that influenced my life the most. That’s where you learned. Like Grandma taught me to sew, crochet, and cook.  And I just picked up things from my granddad by being with him and by doing things outside. And you know, during those times you learned survival habits and things to carry you on through to the next generation. That’s the way I look at it.”

Her earliest memory as a child was when she was about 2 or 3. She said she woke up one morning with something wet and soft on her face. It was winter, and it was cold, and the old cook stove was really cranking out the heat.  She looked over and found a little, black puppy that her granddad had brought home for her, and he was licking her face.

Donna also recalled the first time her granddad shoed her horse, Shorty.

“My horse bit him on the butt, so he learned to tie the head up, so he wouldn’t get bit,” she said.

Donna said her granddad, Art, was a little Swedish man, and she was with him all the time when he was working. For example, she  spent a lot of time helping him look for cows.

He would say, “Get to bed early tonight, girl, because we’re leaving early in the morning to look for cows!”

Regarding her granddad, Donna added, “He had quite a taste for apricot wine, just loved it. He’d go check on some cows some place in the valley. He’d come home, and my grandmother could look up the road and see him coming on his big old black horse. Well, he had stopped at the joint and she could see him swaying as he rode his horse. His biggest desire was to wrestle grandma to the ground. You couldn’t have made him mad if you wanted to. He was so happy with life at that point.”

Bare necessities

What Donna remembers most about growing up in Diamond was living off of what she described as the “bare necessities” during the tail end of the Depression.

She explained, “Everybody in the valley was in the same boat. There was no money. When I say ‘no money,’ that’s what I mean. There was no money. The neighbors traded tasks if they didn’t have a team.  All the machinery was drawn by horses. There were no power tractors or any such thing as that. So if you were short a pair of horses, and you needed to get so much work done, you traded that fellow for a pair of horses and he got so much hay in exchange for payment.”

She further explained, “When I tell the young people now that there was no money when I was a kid, they ask, ‘What did you do?’ Well, you just went to the old swimming pool and picked the leeches off of you when you got out of the water. You couldn’t hire me to do that now!”

Donna said, “My grandmother was a very honest person, strong-willed, but good. She would sew clothes for other families that needed help. She was always helping somebody and had just as little money as anybody else. She always seemed to manage to come up with a way to do something, fix something.”

She added, “My mother was a happy person. She did lots of cooking. And when she worked in the hay fields, she whistled.

School days

Donna went to grade school in Diamond and high school in Crane.

“School was fun back then because I was with the rest of the kids. All eight grades in one room,” she said, adding that, “All the kids rode horses to school.”

Two of Donna’s best childhood friends were Marianna Brown and Shirley Thompson.

She remarked, “Marianna Brown and her family moved to Diamond, as I remember, probably when she was pre-school. Then she started off at grade school there, and then somewhere along the way, the family moved away before she got into her teen years. We went through grade school together and still stayed in touch until her death.”

Three miles away, up the canyon, was where Shirley Thompson and her family lived. She was a year younger than Donna, and they have always been good friends. They went through all the schools together, grade school and high school, and they still stay in touch to this day.

Donna said, “I’ll never forget her family had lots of fruit trees and especially a Bing cherry tree. It had black cherries, and every fall, I would go visit Shirley and prop myself up in that cherry tree and eat cherries all day and vomit all night. I did that year after year and never did get smart. Living three miles from the nearest neighbor, I loved to go see Shirley, and didn’t always ask permission.”

Marriage, career and family life

Donna had five children by her first husband, Bill Winn. They lost their oldest child, Marie Alene, who passed away at a very young age of polio. She went on to raise her other four children, LaNeva, Bill, Judy, and Sherri.

Donna went to Boise Junior College for half a year, and spent a year at Central Oregon Community College. Then she took training as an LPN in Redmond.

After becoming a nurse, she worked 33 years at the Burns hospital.

She said, “I liked working with older people, and I was lucky enough to give a lot of the newborns their first bath. But after bathing several generations of babies, I thought it was time to let somebody else take over.”

After Donna retired from the Burns hospital, she went right across the street and started working for Harney County Home Health.

Some of the accomplishments she is most proud of in life are helping to pioneer the local Hospice program in 1992, receiving the 1995 Senior Woman of the Year award, and receiving the 2007 Harney Partners for Kids and Families Volunteer Award.

‘Try one more thing to make it better’

Donna said she hopes to be known for her willingness to help others.

“The most valuable thing I learned from my parents was to always do your part and be willing to help,” she said, adding, “I’m most proud of my years of nursing. I saw lots of happy things happen and lots of sad things. It was a time in my life that I felt like I grew up and realized the full value of life and what it takes to be a part of a community and a home.”

She added, “I always felt that I was a happy person. I giggled all the time, if you can imagine it. Giggle, giggle, giggle. I knew there were bad times, but it was just a part of life, and you just tried one more thing to make it better in some way. I guess that would be a good explanation for someone to remember me by. Try one more thing to make it better.”

Pioneer spirit

Donna noted, “I felt mighty honored when I was notified that I was selected as the Queen Mother this year. Then I recalled perhaps why I was selected, other than my birthday. My earliest family moved here in 1872, and was one of the first permanent families to live in the area and make Happy Valley their home. They homesteaded and eventually established a ranch. My great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother were all honored as Queen Mothers over the years.”

She reflected, “I feel like especially the early ladies really played an important part in helping to establish the Happy Valley and Diamond areas and communities. They were involved in the early meetings along with the men to help develop and govern the communities, playing an important role in the history of Harney County.”

She concluded, “They were true pioneers. It took everybody in the family to make a go of it. It still does, but it was a different side of life. It was complicated, no medical facilities. You would have to travel far distances to get your supplies for the year. You didn’t go back to the store every 45 minutes for a loaf of bread or a jar of jam. You made it or you did without it.”

Donna added, “To me, the 70s were really the end of an era. That’s the way I feel about Harney County. We were the last to get electricity, and then indoor plumbing. We would hear next year Diamond will get such and such, and sure enough, we would be a year behind everyplace else in the state. I guess you could say we were a part of the last frontier of the West.”


Larry Dunn is this year’s Pioneer President. By the age of 6, Dunn was wrangling horses for the hay crew. (Submitted photo)

This year’s Pioneer President, Larry Dunn, has a history that spans back generations of ranching in Harney County. His great-grandfather, William Dunn, who was born in Iowa in 1832 and died in Harney County in 1917, left Ohio at age 16 and went from the Mississippi River to New Orleans and continued to California via Cape Horn. In 1870, he owned a freighting business and was hauling freight for Doctor Hugh Glenn from Fort Bidwell to the P Ranch in French Glenn. William and his wife, Martha Dunn, settled in Harney County in 1885 on the Blitzen River. William and his son, William “Billy” Dunn, Larry’s grandfather, developed and operated the River Ranch near Sod House. Billy Dunn married Effie Hutchinson in 1899 and had seven children, including Samuel Dunn, Larry’s father.  Billy Dunn was a well-respected cattleman for 60 years in Harney County. Sam married Blanche Cooley, and together they continued ranching. Billy and Effie Dunn had what the Dunn family always called the “Home Place,” which was located along Sod House Lane. They raised a large family, and when the need to divide up the place came about, Larry’s father, Sam, and mother, Blanche, along with his sister, Mavis, and Larry took on the place in Mud Lake. Mud Lake is the land located between the Malheur and Harney Lakes.

Larry’s first job, at about age six, was wrangling the horses for the hay crew. At age 8, he was promoted to a horse-drawn rake. Soon, he was operating the power buck. He attended grade school at Sod House for most of the year, but for a few months each winter, his family took his grandfather, Billy, to San Diego for health reasons. This was the only real time he spent living outside of Harney County. During this time in a huge, strange school with hundreds of other children, he learned how to give and receive a black eye or two on the playground. During these few months out of the year in Southern California, he loved getting boxing lessons from his cousin, Lee Ramage, who actually fought Joe Louis for the world heavyweight championship.

The first movie he saw as a little boy was starring Hopalong Cassidy. Apparently he got pretty engrossed in the movie, because as it got into the heavy action part, he jumped out of his seat with his double cap guns drawn and yelled, “I’ll help you Hoppie!” and then put his cap guns to blazing, much to the embarrassment of his parents.

He attended Crane High School and was a competitor in football, wrestling and track. He was an outstanding wrestler. Back in those days, there was no school size classification. Small schools competed against large schools. He went to state three years, and one year he placed third at state in his weight division.

Larry spent a little time trying his hand in bareback riding on the rodeo circuit with, among others, Evan Osborne and Bob Paxton. He enjoyed those days, but did not find it very profitable. He would leave with a little money and a full tank of gas and would come home broke with an empty tank and a few buckles. He then realized it was time to dedicate his time to the ranch life.

Once out of high school, he married his high school sweetheart, Allene Catterson. After getting married, in the true pioneer spirit, he physically helped build his own home, where they lived and raised their family until the floods of the 1980s took the house away. Larry and Allene got married and went directly into running a large hay contracting business and crew. Back in those days, the crews necessary to put up hay were quite large. He was owner and boss of all of this at 18 years old and his recent bride did the cooking for this huge crew at 17 years old.

Over the years, Larry put up hay for many different people around Harney County. He also did a lot of work for people clearing ground or doing various dozer work with a Cat. Like a true pioneer, he always did his own mechanic work, welding and fabrication. His building and repairing skills have always been pretty amazing. For two years, in 1962 and 1963, Larry and Bob Sitz had a partnership where they put up the hay on the Bell A Ranch.

In 1956, Larry and Allene began purchasing the ranch from his parents.  Larry helped develop it, by building large canals, ditches, and of course, fences and buildings. Larry has always had the pioneering spirit with the desire to clear the land, plant it to grass, and make it productive for raising cattle. He also drilled numerous wells to increase the land’s productivity. It was his nature to continually work to develop and improve the place. Larry began crossbreeding his cattle around 1970 to get the advantages of hybrid vigor. Larry has always had an appreciation of a good ranch horse, and, over the years, he trained many for use on the ranch.

Larry and Allene relocated to Diamond after the floods of the 1980s because the Mud Lake Ranch was totally swept away. After several years of futile attempts to save the ranch from the flood, it was finally destroyed, under water. Everything was lost except the family themselves, a little of the equipment, and the pioneering spirit that cannot be broken. Larry, Allene, and two of the four children, Bryan and Renae, completely started over from scratch on the ranch in Diamond.

In Diamond, just as they always had, Larry and Allene worked side-by-side to achieve success. Starting over to completely rebuild a new ranch was a daunting endeavor, but they never complained. Like most ranching families, they each worked tirelessly to accomplish all that needed to get done.

Larry and Allene have four children, Mark, Brett, Bryan and Renae. As a result of a car accident, Allene passed away in 2010.

Larry continues to operate the Diamond Ranch with his son, Bryan, where they raise Red Angus cross cattle. He enjoys watching his grandchildren play sports and continue the ranching traditions as the sixth generation.

Over the years, Larry has always enjoyed talking and visiting with people. Like his father, Sam, and sister, Mavis, he has always enjoyed the social side of visiting, not only with family and friends, but strangers as well. Time just seems to fly by during a visit with Larry. Today’s trend of Facebook and email is just not quite the same as a visit with Larry.

Larry grew up in the traditional pioneer culture where people were usually always able to come up with solutions for differences or issues by working it out between themselves;  and where people always go an extra mile to be fair, by going more than half-way. You can be assured of one thing, if Larry Dunn gives you his word on something, you know that is the way it will be. He has firmly instilled this into his family’s upbringing.

He says, “If you cannot hold true to your word, then you are just not worth much.”

Being true to your word is a quality held by all pioneers in Harney County and more broadly within the people of Harney County.

Harney County Junior High Rodeo Club members (L-R): TC Hammack, John Barry Rose, Brady White and Tea Recanzone (Submitted photo)

Harney County Junior High Rodeo Club members (L-R): TC Hammack, John Barry Rose, Brady White and Tea Recanzone (Submitted photo)

The Harney County Junior High School Rodeo Club competed in the Oregon Junior High State Finals Rodeo in Prineville  May 29-31.

Final state placings from the Oregon Junior High School Rodeo are as follows:

Tea Recanzone — All-Around Cowgirl, 1st in ribbon roping, 2nd in breakaway roping, 4th in goat tying, 6th in pole bending, and 7th in barrel racing;

John Barry Rose — 1st in team roping, 2nd in boys breakaway roping, 3rd in saddle cow riding, 7th in boys goat tying, and 9th in ribbon roping;

TC Hammack — 2nd in team roping, 3rd in breakaway roping, and 7th in ribbon roping;

Brady White — Cowboy Sportsmanship Award;

Coy Aldrich — 1st in breakaway roping, 1st in team roping, and 4th in ribbon roping;

Zane Taylor — All Around Cowboy, 4th in calf roping, 3rd in ribbon roping, 4th in team roping, 4th in chute dogging, 1st in saddle bronc cow riding, and 2nd in bareback cow riding.

The top four competitors in each event, from each state, advance to the National Junior High School Rodeo held in Des Moines, Iowa, June 21-27. Approximately 1,000 contestants from the United States, Canada, and Australia will be competing at the National Jr. High Finals Rodeo in Des Moines.


OBIT BeamerHarold “Hal” Lee Beamer Jr., 77, passed away May 26 at his home in Oakridge, from multiple system atrophy.

Hal was born on Mother’s Day, May 8, 1938, in Pulaski, Va., to Harold Lee Beamer Sr. and Mary Smith Beamer.

Mutual friends introduced Hal to Mary Frances Sumner, and a romance blossomed. They were married three years later on June 18, 1960.

Hal graduated from Pulaski High School in 1955.  He attended Duke University, receiving his bachelor of science degree in 1959 and his master of forestry degree in 1960. Hal remained an avid Duke fan all his life and kept up with all events, especially basketball.

Hal first worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a summer employee in Idaho in 1956 and in Michigan in 1959. As a permanent employee of the U.S. Forest Service in 1960, he was assigned to the Olympic National Forest in Quilcene, Wash.; the Willamette National Forest in Eugene, and then in Oakridge; the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in North Bend, Wash.; and he retired as district ranger on the Burns District of the Malheur National Forest.

Upon retirement, Hal took up woodworking and especially enjoyed making many rocking chairs of his own design which he donated to various people and organizations. He was a member of the Society of American Foresters and the National Society of Retired Federal Employees.  He was an active member of the Oakridge United Methodist Church.

Hal is survived by his wife, Mary; three sons and their wives, Mark and Tracy Beamer of  Solvang, Calif., Hal and Kerri Beamer of Albany, and Benjamin Beamer of Oakridge; grandchildren, Jonathan, Alyssa, Nathaniel and Molly; brother, Robert Beamer and his wife, Joan of Columbia, S.C.; sister, Elizabeth Beamer of Blacksburg, Va.; niece, Janelle; and caregiver, Kathy Nelson.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Oakridge United Methodist Church on Saturday, June 13, at 11 a.m. Remembrances may be made to the Oakridge United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 405, Oakridge, Ore.


Cleone Strand, born Feb. 9, 1925, in Grandview, Idaho, passed peacefully in her sleep May 17 in Las Vegas, Nev. The youngest of six children, she graduated from St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Boise, Idaho. Upon her marriage to Jack Strand of Burns, she began her career as a registered nurse in Burns. From there, she continued her career as an RN in Washington and Hawaii, before retiring in Nevada.

Cleone is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Gaii and Don Creed of Nevada; daughter-in-law, Karen and grandson, Scott Strand of Arnold, Calif.; granddaughter, Kristen and great-granddaughters, Abigail and Nichole Overton of Elk Grove, Calif.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack, of 65 years; and son, Max.

As per their request, Cleone and Jack’s ashes have been returned to Harney County.

Misa K. Blackburn, 22, passed away Sunday, June 7, at Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 12, at the Burns Elks Lodge No. 1680.

Contributions in Misa’s memory may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.

Whaddya Think?

Which animal do you most resemble?

Loading ... Loading ...

Destination Harney County

Destination Harney County 2012


Litehouse Technology

Litehouse Logo

Ruthie's In His Image Photography

Ruthies In His Image Photography

Map of Burns