History of Stevensons Park near Klamath Falls Oregon

Stevenson Park is located on Highway 140, eleven miles east of Klamath Falls, Oregon. It spreads over two and a half acres of mostly grass with few trees and bushes, and no landscaping. Its main feature is the Lost River. The park is a popular spot for fishing and bird watching, but boat launching is forbidden. It is used as a rest stop for the highway and has a picnic area and restrooms. It is open year-round from dawn until dusk.

The land for Stevenson Park was part of the Stevenson Ranch before it was donated by George E. Stevenson in 1963 to commemorate his wife Myler May Stevenson. A plaque with this information is located at the entrance to the park. Stevenson Park was dedicated in 1970.

George Ekler Stevenson was an Oregon native, born on June 5, 1891. According to an oral history related by George on April 12, 1953 and recorded and published in the Klamath Echoes 1965 by Devere Heifrich, George bought a dredge in 1915 and used it to build approximately a hundred miles of dikes on the Upper and Agency Lakes. He also ran a barge tender and later a barge.

There is a military record of a George E. Stevenson from Klamath Falls, who fought in World War I as a private in 30 Company of the 35th Army Engineers. It is not clear, however, whether this is the same person, in view of the fact that the service dates seem to conflict with the time he spent on his dredge and on the barge tender. It may be possible that George misremembered the dates.

George bought a 30-acre ranch along the Lost River, where he lived until his death. He was one of the founders of the Klamath Compact, a document outlining protection for irrigation use, water quality, water rights of the upper Klamath Tribes, wildlife, drainage, and economical power rates. He was also a member of the Cattlemen’s Association.

Myler  May Stevenson was born in Fulton County, Kentucky on May 14, 1901. She was the third of three daughters born to Henry and Harriet Calkins, nee McCutcheon. She and her family moved to Klamath Falls sometime in the 1910s. George and Myler got married on August 27, 1922. She died on April 11, 1950 and is buried in Linkville Cemetery in Klamath Falls.

Sources:
Public records of Klamath County and the State of Oregon
Klamath Echoes 1965, accessed at http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/