Guide to the John B. Waldo Papers
1880-1989

Print this Finding Aid | Email this Finding Aid


Results

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Waldo, John B. (John Breckenridge), 1844-1907
Title: John Breckenridge Waldo papers
Dates: 1880-1989 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 2.25 linear feet (4 containers)
Collection Number: Coll 303
Summary: Judge John Breckenridge Waldo (1844-1907) was a conservationist who explored Oregon's Cascade Range and sought to protect it as a forest reserve. The collection includes his diary, 1891-1907; letters, journals, and photographs by Waldo on his travels in the Cascade Range, 1880-1907; and two periodical articles about Waldo and his conservation efforts published in 1984 and 1989. The materials in the collection present a portrait of Oregon’s Cascade Range at the time it came under protection as a national forest reserve from the perspective of one who knew it well and cared for it deeply.
Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon, 97403-1299
(541) 346-3068
spcarref@uoregon.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Judge John Breckenridge Waldo (1844-1907) was born in Oregon on October 6, 1844 to Malinda Lunsford Waldo and Daniel Waldo, a pioneer of the 1843 wagaon train over the Oregon Trail with the Applegate party. John Waldo studied law at Willamette University in Salem and graduated in 1866. He was admitted to the Oregon state bar in 1870 and married Clara A. Humason in 1877. Beginning in 1880, Waldo served six years on the Oregon Supreme Court, the last two as Chief Justice. A member of the Republican Party, Waldo also served one term in the Oregon State Legislature. During his term, Waldo introduced House Joint Memorial No. 8, which asked Congress to set aside as a public reserve a portion of Oregon's Cascade Range. Waldo explored the area on summer backcountry trips to alleviate an asthma condition and indulge his love of the outdoors. Bowing to sheep grazing interests, the Senate tabled the bill. Following the passage of what became known as the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, William Gladstone Steel of Jacksonville, Oregon revived Waldo's idea for a large forest reserve along the crest of the Cascade Range. On September 28, 1893, President Grover Cleveland created the Cascade Forest Range. Judge Waldo continued to support the Cascade Range until his death in 1907 and his name is reflected in several geographic names in the region, including Waldo Lake.

Content Description

The collection comprises papers of Oregon judge and conservationist John Breckenridge Waldo, including his diary from 1891-1905; letters, journals and photographs from his travels in Oregon’s Cascade Range, 1880-1907; and articles about Waldo and his conservation efforts, 1984-1989. The materials in the collection present a portrait of Oregon’s Cascade Range at the time it came under protection as a national forest reserve from the perspective of one who knew it well and cared for it deeply.

John Waldo’s diary, a single volume of approximately 100 pages, contains accounts of activities, as well as thoughts and observations, from 1891 to 1905. Notable in the diary are literary quotations and reflections on outdoor experiences that offer insight into Waldo’s appreciation of nature and his conservation ethic.

The letters and journal entries in the collection were written by Waldo during his summer backcountry trips in the Cascade Range from 1880 to 1907. They document his travels and present an intimate portrait of the area he proposed for a forest reserve. The letters and journal entries were transcribed from the originals, which are now lost, by Leonard H. McMahan, who corresponded with Waldo from the 1890s until 1907. A bound copy of these transcriptions, with an introduction and summary by Gerald W. Williams, was published by the Forest Service in 1988 and is also included in the collection.

The collection includes 45 photographs by Waldo or others of backcountry camps, lakes and mountains, and flora and fauna in the Cascade Range. Major subjects of Waldo’s writings and photographs are Crater Lake, Diamond Lake, Odell Lake and Waldo Lake, as well as Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Hood.

The collection also includes two articles about Waldo and his conservation efforts from the periodicals Wild Oregon and Oregon Historical Quarterly, published in 1984 and 1989 respectively.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], John B. Waldo Papers, Coll 303, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Collection is organized into the following series:

  • Series I: Diary
  • Series II: Journals and letters
  • Series III: Photographs
  • Series IV: Articles about John B. Waldo

Acquisition Information :  

The John B. Waldo diary was acquired on eBay by Special Collections & University Archives through Tom Robinson.

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by Nathan Georgitis.

Related Materials :  

Judge John B. Waldo: letters and journals from the high Cascades of Oregon, 1877-1907. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. Portland, Or. 1992


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  Diary
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
1 Diary and photograph 1885-1901

^ Return to Top

Series II:  Journals and letters
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Typescript copies of journals and letters 1880-1907
Box
Folder
2 1 1880-1885
2 2 1886-1887
2 3 1888-1889
2 4 1890
2 5 1891-1892
2 6 1893-1894
2 7 1895-1896
2 8 1897-1900
2 9 1901-1902
2 10 1903-1905
2 11 1906-1907
Box
Folder
2 12 Judge John Breckenridge Waldo: diaries and letters from the high Cascades of Oregon, 1880-1907. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Forest Service. Pacific Northwest Region. Umpqua National Forest
Bound photocopy of typescript copies of journals and letters with an introduction and summary by Gerald W. Williams.
April 1, 1988

^ Return to Top

Photographs (PH192)
44.0 photographic prints
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
1 PH290_001: Fort
PH290_002: Portrait of Judge John B. Waldo undated
PH290_003: Camp Edith, Waldo Lake - Note the canvas canoe on shoreline August 1889
PH290_004: Waldo Lake - The Twins on left and Maiden Peak on right 1891
PH290_005: Waldo Lake - Showing canvas canoe August 1889
PH290_006: Crescent Lake and Diamond Peak 1889?
PH290_007: Diamond Peak August 1889
PH290_008: Glacier - Diamond Peak August 1889
PH290_009: Glacier - Diamond Peak August 1889
PH290_010: Camp scene at Elk Mountain - Old man Daly (behind horse) for whom Waldo named Daly Lake, and Bert Potter July 28 or 29, 1889
PH290_011: Waldo Lake - Rhododendron Island - Canvas canoe on right August 1889
PH290_012: Southwestern Bay of Waldo Lake August 1889
PH290_013: Waldo Lake - Waldo caried fish in a 5 gal. can 15 miles to stock the lake 1889?
PH290_014: Odell Lake September 1889
PH290_015: Head of the Willamette River - June Lake with Cowhorn Mtn. September 15, 1889
PH290_016: Rigdon's Station September 1889
PH290_017: Deer Camp - North Umpqua - Judge Waldo on left September 1889
PH290_018: Among the lodgepole pines, North Umpqua (The Snow Camp of 1887) September 1889
PH290_019: Camp scene in the snow October 1889
PH290_020: Camp scene in the snow October 1889
PH290_021: South Sister from Crater Butte - Looking North 1889?
PH290_022: South Sister, Three Sisters, Eastside 1889
PH290_023: Hunts (Bennetts) Railroad Camp - Santiam (old Minto) Pass, Northeast of Hayrick Butte (Hay Stack Mtn.) September (?) 1889
PH290_024: High Camp 1889?
PH290_025: Camp scene with several deer hides on the ground 1889?
PH290_026: Lagoon and South Sister July 25 or September 18, 1890
PH290_027: "The Lagoon" from Camp - Crater Butte in the background 1890
PH290_028: "The Lagoon" from Camp - Crater Butte in the background 1890
PH290_029: Inscription Camp near Daly Lake - Where miners in 1854 carved their names on trees on their way across the mtns - Western White Pine (Pinis monticola) and Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) July 19, 1890?
PH290_030: Inscription Camp near Daly Lake - Where miners in 1854 carved their names on trees on their way across the mtns - Western White Pine (Pinis monticola) and Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) July 19, 1890?
PH290_031: Summit Mt. Hood July 31, 1891
PH290_032: Camp near Mt. Hood August 1891
PH290_033: Davis Creek (River) Camp September 30, 1891?
PH290_034: Bert Potter among the Jack Pines - Three Sisters above trees October 13, 1891?
PH290_035: Broken Top from the west 1891
PH290_036: Camp on Odell Lake - Note the bear hanging from the trees September 1889
PH290_037: Odell Lake, looking south - Railroad now on the southwest side 1891
PH290_038: Odell Lake 1891
PH290_039: Odell Lake Camp (Note the fish and deer hanging from the trees) 1891
PH290_040: Camp at Odell Lake 1891
PH290_041: Camp scene 1891
PH290_042: Camp scene 1891
PH290_043: Waldo Lake 1891
PH290_044: Source of Davis Creek (River) near Davis Lake - A spring comes from bluff 1891

^ Return to Top

Series IV:  Articles about John B. Waldo
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
2 14 "Exploring the Cascades in the 1880s." Wild Oregon Fall 1984
2 14 LaLande, J. "A wilderness journey with Judge John B. Waldo, Oregon's first 'preservationist'." Oregon Historical Quarterly. v. 90, no. 2, pp. 116-165 Summer 1989
2 14 Carbon copy of memo from Jeff LaLande to Sheila Pilcher regarding photographs for Oregon Historical Quarterly article November 2, 1988

^ Return to Top

Subjects

  • Personal Names :
  • Waldo, John B. (John Breckenridge), 1844-1907--Correspondence
  • Waldo, John B. (John Breckenridge), 1844-1907--Diaries
  • Waldo, John B. (John Breckenridge), 1844-1907--Travel--Cascade Range
  • Williams, Gerald W.
  • Corporate Names :
  • United States. Forest Service. Pacific Northwest Region
  • Geographical Names :
  • Cascade Range Forest Reserve (Or.)
  • Cascade Range--Description and travel
  • Cascade Range--Discovery and exploration
  • Cascade Range--Photographs
  • Subject Terms :
  • Conservationists--Oregon
  • Forest reserves--Oregon--History
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Photographs

    ^ Return to Top