Governor Oswald D. West's Administration

Letters, 1911

Source: MESSAGE Of OSWALD WEST Governor of Oregon, To the Senate February 9, 1911.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, February 9, 1911

To the Honorable the President and Members of the Senate:

I have the honor to transmit herewith the report of a special committee, consisting of Doctors J.F. Calbreath, W.T. Williamson, Harry Lane and Andrew C. Smith, and the special report of State Engineer John H. Lewis, both of which reports deal with the proposed site for the Eastern Oregon State Hospital.

This special committee was requested by the State Board to visit the site selected for the proposed Eastern Oregon Insane Hospital, inspect the same and give their opinion upon its feasibility as regards the construction of those buildings which will, in the future, be necessary.

The State Engineer was requested to make an examination of the site purchased and report his findings.

The two reports have been forwarded to the executive office, and I transmit them to you, bespeaking for them your earnest attention.

Respectfully submitted,

To the Honorable State Executive Board:

The undersigned, your committee appointed to examine the site selected by the preceding Board of Trustees, and advise you as to the advisability of building thereon, and to assist you in considering other sites mentioned, would respectfully report:

On January 22nd, 1911, accompanied by John H Lewis, State Engineer, we visited the Carpenter-Oliver tract and inspected the site selected. We found room and grade suitable for the main building required for the purpose but the area immediately adjacent was too steep to make it convenient or practicable. A number of other buildings for various purposes becomes necessary as the institution grows and the level tract is too restricted in area for that purpose.

This adjoining steepness should also be considered in the expense of transferring supplies and building materials.

A grade could be selected for a switch, but if the State does not own the ground for switching purposes it might be expensive to acquire and should be secured before determining upon this site.

The character of the soil of the upland would apparently demand irrigation and the bed-rock seems to near the surface for economical building excavations. This could of course be overcome by the necessary expenditures.

The question of water supply demands serious attention. The natural building site when occupied by a two or three story building, such as an institution of this character would necessarily be, would be too high to receive water from the Pendleton works with sufficient pressure by gravity.

The river water which would have to be pumped, would be unfit for drinking and culinary purposes, and could be used by gravity only on the bottom lands for stock and irrigation purposes. If used for irrigation on the uplands as suggested by the engineer, it would have to be pumped and would require a reservoir. The amount going with the water right with this land should be carefully determined by abstract or title, for it would perhaps be quite expensive for the State to acquire it after an institution is established.

The Wheeler site, (the tract three-quarters of a mile down the river), is much better adapted for the extensive building of an institution, and the altitude being less, the water supply from the Pendleton works could be supplied wholly by gravity.

The additional expense would be in supplying the pipe required for this distance.

The water question there, as in the Carpenter site, is a very important one and in this connection we would call special attention to the recommendations and suggestions along these lines made by the State Engineer.

Your committee are of the opinion that the land already purchased by the State should be retained. If the Wheeler tract is used for a building site, eighty (80) acres of the Daniels tract lying immediately adjoining, should be purchased in order to round out the premises. If the Carpenter site is not used for a building site, the Roberts land would not be needed by the State.

We call attention to the report of the State Engineer, hereto appended, dealing with the water problem and the physical features and the various tracts under consideration.

Respectfully submitted
W.T. Williamson,
Andrew C Smith,
J.F. Calbreath,
Harry Lane.

February 3, 1911
To Dr. J.F. Calbreath, Dr. W.T. Williamson, Dr. Harry Lane, Dr. Andrew C. Smith, Portland, Oregon.

GENTLEMEN: I enclose herewith a report of the physical features relating to the building site for the Eastern Oregon Hospital, as a result of our recent investigations under instructions of the board of trustees of such institution.

This report has been hastily prepared, from information gathered from various sources, and I believe is correct so far as it goes. I regret that time will not permit that securing of information upon which a more detailed report can be made.

With reference to the probably growth of such institution, the need for farming lands, and for exercise grounds, the arrangement of buildings and other technical matters pertaining to the management of such an institution, I know but little. Inasmuch as you have each had special experience and training along this line, I am leaving this feature for your consideration. I trust that the maps and information furnished, together with your knowledge from an inspection of the grounds, will enable you to recommend the most suitable site for building purposes, and what additional lands, if any, you deem advisable to purchase.

It appears to me that the Roberts tract of 54 acres should be purchased in any event, to round out the State’s present holdings, and to protect the State’s interest in the possible water power development.

Very respectfully,
John H. Lewis

Report of John H. Lewis, State Engineer, relative to the Pendleton building site:

The State, I am informed, now owns 314 acres of land about one mile west of Pendleton, Oregon, upon which, or in this vicinity of which, it is proposed to erect a hospital for the insane, to accommodate at the outset about 800 patients. This land was purchased from two different owners.

The Oliver tract of 154 acres is very largely bottom lands, bounded by the Umatilla River on the south and the bluffs on the north, and along which rungs the O.W.R. & N. Co. Railroad. The bottom land is only a few feet above low water, and at high water is subject to overflow in places. Danger from this source can be avoided by building a dike along the east line of the tract. Several buildings are located on the highest points of the bottom lands. About 60 acres have been irrigated by a ditch which crosses the Utopian gardens to the river. These garden tracts, about 40 acres in extent, are not owned by the State. As all the low water flow of the Umatilla River is entirely consumed, water for the irrigation of bottom lands not heretofore irrigated can only be secured during the spring floods unless storage is supplied. Reservoirs for this purpose can be constructed in the mountains. This will probably be necessary in any event, as large quantities of water will be necessary for lawns and general irrigation around the building site, if located on high ground. This method would probably be cheaper than using city water if such supply is found to be adequate.

The outlet for the Pendleton sewer system enters the river just above this tract. The Pendleton authorities state that they expect to extend this sewer to a point below the tract. I am not aware of any executed agreement to this effect. During the low water flow, the two power plants at Pendleton are in the habit of storing all the stream for part of the day, to secure sufficient water for the balance of such day.

This condition would compel the State to extend the city sewer about one mile farther down stream, if the city authorities failed to do so.

The only high ground on this tract available for a building site is north of railroad, and this is of restricted area because of a ravine which crosses the most desirable spot. This cove widens to the eat, and if the Roberts tract of 54 acres was owned by the State, it would give a building site about 1,000 feet long and 200 feet in depth, with 100 feet or less for lawn purposes. The ground rises about 25 feet in 200 feet distance, and four test pits show loose lava rock within 3.5, 7, 1, and 3 feet, respectively, below the surface,. With indications of solid rock close below.

The Carpenter tract of 160 acres is hill land, the west half of which is crossed by a rive. A building site about 300 by 600 feet in dimensions is found on the east half of this tract, 135 feet above the present country road and 165 feet above the river. If a building of such dimensions were constructed it would occupy about all the available level land. The average slope in front of such building would be about 14 feet per 100, to the road about 1000 feet distant. On either side the ground slope would be less, probably 6 to 10 per cent. Back of this building site the ground rises gradually, and would furnish an adequate location for a water tank, which will give the necessary pressure for domestic and fire protection purposes. The base of such building will be 47 feet below the bottom of the present city reservoir. The head without allowance for friction losses would give about 20 pounds per square inch pressure. As about 80 pounds pressure is necessary, the present city supply could not be utilized without pumping. This supply is inadequate for present demands of the city, and if the proposed mountain water supply is not installed, it will probably be necessary for the State to sink a bored well in the bottom lands, and pump from the underground water stratum from which the city is now supplied.
The proposed building site on the Carpenter tract can be reached by a wagon road having approximately 7.5 per cent grade, or about 5 per cent grade if started on the Roberts tract, not now owned by the State. It can be reached by a railway spur 4,500 feet long having a maximum grade of 3.3 per cent, with 10 degree curves. To construct this will require approximately 7,100 cubic yards of solid rock excavation, 2,100 cubic yards of earth excavation, and the construction of a 525-foot timber trestle, of 60 feet maximum height. It is extremely doubtful if the railway company can be prevailed upon to operate such spur even if constructed by the State because of its steep grade. To construct a spur of less grade will be longer and more expensive . Right of way will have to be purchased or condemned if such spur is constructed.

The Carpenter tract is bounded on the south by the Oliver tract for 1,320 feet, and an equal distance by the Roberts tract, not owned by the State. This latter tract is directly in front of the proposed building.

Water Power.—The Roberts tract of 54 acres, on which I believe the State holds an option to purchase at $150 per acre, extends to the river on the east and if purchased would control a possible water power development. There is 33.7 feet fall in the river between the upper corner of the Roberts tract and the lower corner of the Oliver trac.t The low water flow of the Umatilla is about 40 cubic feet per second, which under the above head would develop 150 theoretical horsepower. This would be sufficient to furnish lights for the institution and pump the necessary water for domestic supply and for side hill irrigation. Because of the fluctuating use by upper mill owners, some storage would have to be provided to equalize the flow. The cost of such development cannot be closely estimated with the limited information available. It would probably range from $15,000 to $25,000.

The Wheeler tract of 320 acres said to be optioned for purchase at $30 per acre, is all bench and hill land, located one-half mile down stream from the Oliver tract. The lower corner is about 800 feet distant from and 65 feet above the railway track. It is 82 feet above the river. It is described as the west half of Section 5, township 2 north, range 342 eat, W.M. From the southeast corner the surface rises gradually to the northwest for 1,000 feet, at the rate of 6 feet per 100 feet, and for the next 1,000 feet at the rate of 11 feet per 100. Beyond this it is somewhat steeper, the surface being closely underlaid by rock, until the top is reached where the soil becomes deeper and is valuable for dry farming crops.

The surface soil at the southeast corner is about eight feet in thickness as indicated by Wheeler’s cellar and well and is underlaid by hard pan, with probably rock close below. Mr. Wheeler refused permission to dig test pits at the most probable building site; which appears to be in the vicinity of the 160-foot contour, along which a building 1,800 feet in length could be built, with suitable wings, to fit the contour of the ground.

The Daniels place of 320 acres joins the Wheeler place to the south and is optioned at $75 per acre. The bottom land is badly cut up by the river and railroads, and only partly improved. About 60 acres is located on a bench south of the river, and would probably afford a suitable building site. An expensive wagon road bridge and railway bridge would have to be constructed, if such site were selected. The 80 acres of bench land adjoining the Wheeler place, should be purchased if this tract is selected as the building site. The county road which divides these two tracts can be changed to follow the old railway grade at the foot of the bluff, thus making available a tract of about 100 acres of uniformly sloping land.

A 2,400-foot spur on 2.33 per cent grade will reach the building site. Much of this will be expensive rock work. A profile of the line is not available.

Assuming the 150-foot contour to be the base of the proposed site, it would be 127 feet below the bottom of the city reservoir. This without friction losses would give only 55 pounds pressure and correspondingly less at the top of the building. Some additional pumping would therefore be necessary at this site. If city water is used, the added expense in constructing a ten-inch cast iron pipe from the Carpenter to the Wheeler site will amount to $15,000, or $8,200 for a 6-inch pipe.

It seems to me that the Wheeler tract at $30 per acre, even if not used as building site, would be a good purchase, if additional farm lands are needed, as about 100 acres can be reached with less than 250 foot lift, pumping from the river. This land when irrigated would be more valuable than the bottom lands, and free from destructive floods. If used as a building site large areas will be available for lawns, shrubbery and for exercise grounds for the patients. The Oliver tract while disconnected can be reached by the county road, about as conveniently as from the building site on the Carpenter tract.

A building on the Wheeler tract would be located at a bend in the river, affording a good view of Pendleton, and of the valley looking down stream.

Accompanying this report are the following exhibits:

Exhibit A—Attached; showing in red, lands purchased by the State, and outlined in red, areas for which it is said, options to purchase have been secured.

Exhibit B—Separate; showing topography at three proposed building sites with railroad spurs, and depth to rock and location of test pits, as dug; prepared by Geary Kimbrell, under the direction of the State Board.

Exhibit C—Separate; map showing the location of railroads and streams, with proposed spur to Carpenter building site; prepared by the O.W.R. & N. Co., at request and under instructions of certain Pendleton citizens.

Respectfully submitted,
John H Lewis,
State Engineer.
SALEM, Oregon, February 3, 1911.

State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310

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