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Harper's Weekly 1899

Harper's Weekly, March 4, 1899, p. 225 - Rogers, W.A., "Skee Running in Oregon"

The cover of this issue features a drawing by W. A. Rogers captioned, "Skee-running on the snow-covered hills of Oregon." The drawing (very cloudy on the UW's microfilm) depicts a woman and child striding over snow on skis, each carrying a single staff with a round disk affixed about a foot from the end.

The short article notes that due to the rainy climate of Portland, the Oregonian has been given the nickname of web-foot. Yet little known is the fact that 50-60 miles inland (this would be the vicinity of Hood River) is country that depends on winter snowfall in the mountains for the year's supply of water. On the eastern slope of the Cascades, and farther east in the Blue Mountains, the snow this winter (1899) is deep. In the gold mining country of the Blues, the snow averages five to six feet in depth. With few plowed roads, inhabitants of the mining camps use skis to perform their winter errands.

The author writes that throughout the Oregon mountains and in the Siskiyou country near Mt Shasta, many men, women and children are adept at using skis, which are as necessary a footwear as arctic boots. "The ordinary snow-shoe is but little used in the mountains, the skee being considered a more convenient form for a hilly country." The author recommends slipping a round wooden block, "like a little wheel," over the lower end of the balance-pole, to prevent the pole from sinking down when thrust into soft snow.

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