One December morning in 1917 this writer came by train to Madras and spent the whole day in the company of Harry Gard, reviewing a dream. The dream was that 50,000 acres of Jefferson County plain might be wedded to the waters of the Deschutes and turn the scene of dry farming defeat into the lush success of irrigation.
We climbed Juniper Butte. It was one of the most discouraging scenes I had ever looked upon. But it was in company with the most enthusiastic man I have ever met. They say Harry Gard would even borrow a suit in order to be dressed properly for reclamation meetings to plead the cause of what is now known as the Jefferson water conservancy.
The piece I wrote for The Oregon Journal nearly 30 years ago ended with this paragraph:
“Some day I want to go back to the North Unit and help the people celebrate the realization of their dream.”
Saturday was the day of celebration. The dream was fulfilled. I heard the water ripple and splash as for the first time it ran from the Cascade mountains by way of the Deschutes river and the big main-line canal . . .
–Marshall Dana, in The Oregon Journal, May 19, 1946