Cy Bingham Tree at Odell Lake - Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 43° 34.315 W 122° 01.318
10T E 578974 N 4824793
Quick Description: The Cy Bingham Tree at Pebble Bay on Odell Lake.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 10/12/2013 12:46:11 PM
Waymark Code: WMJ8XG
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member briansnat
Views: 2

Long Description:
Cy Bingham was one of the first U.S. Cascade Forest Reserve rangers, and the first one to penetrate the high country of the mountains. Over the years from 1903 to 1907, he spent the summers working the high country where at campsites he used in the course of his work he carved his name and date on 20 known trees. This site is Tree #9 - (visit link) - which was carved in September 1904. The tree is located at the mouth of Crystal Creek at Pebble Bay and is surrounded by a wooden fence. The scar has partially overgrown and was also vandalized in the mid 1990s, but part of Bingham is still recognizable.

Text of information posted on nearby tree.

A Brief History of C.J. Bingham, Early Forest Ranger
Cyrus James Bingham was born in Oakland County, Michigan in 1870. By 1890, he moved to Asotin County, Washington where he worked in ranching. Here he met and married Connie Boggan Bingham. From there they went to Idaho and Southern Oregon and did some mining. In 1900, Bingham settled in Lane County, Oregon, where he worked for the Bohemia Mining District, running stamp mills for three years.
Bingham became a forest ranger for the General Land Office in June 1903 and worked as a fire guard in the High Cascade mountains. When the Forest Reserves came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture in February 1905, he continued to work as a Forest Ranger. Being one of just a few Forest Service Rangers at the time led Bingham to wear (figuratively) many hats. These included lookout, ranger, fireman, trail building, and grazing supervisor. For these duties, Bingham received the standard salary of $75.00 a month.
The brief summer season was spent in the high country. Winters were spent at McKenzie Bridge or Oakridge ranger stations. Bingham blazed trails to Davis Lake, Maiden Peak, and past Waldo Lake to the south fork of the McKenzie River. The most enduring evidence of Bingham’s presence in the Cascades is by far his carvings on trees scattered from Cowhorn Mountain to Horse Creek. These carvings are dated between 1904 and 1907.
In 1907, he moved to John Day, Oregon, and became the first Forest Supervisor of the Malheur National Forest. He resigned from the Malheur job in 1920 when the changing times became too much for this independent man. Bingham was elected sheriff of Grant County in John Day. By 1932, when he resigned from the sheriff’s post, he was considered on of the last of the “old west” sheriffs (he was instrumental in promoting moonshining in Grant County during prohibition!). He died of pneumonia in 1937 at his daughter’s home in California. Although originally buried in Pomona, California, his remains were later transferred to Oregon where they were buried in a cemetery in Canyon City.
This tree, at Pebble Bay, has on of the earlier dates carved by Bingham. Apparently, this spot was one of his favorites. A poem written by Bingham about the camp follows:

“As I rode into this campground on one summer afternoon
To look at nature’s beauty spot that is so little known
I was just a little hungry and my horses they were gant
For ide come from Crane Prairie which ile say no little jant
I unpacked by the inlet cinched the hobble good and tight
Pulled the muffel from the horse bell built a fire good and bright
Then I dug into the kitchen fixed my apatite quite well
Then I lit my pipe in comfort on the banks of Lake Odell
Now I am sitting neath the hemlock while I am scratching down this poem
There is little to disturb me but the pine squirrel falling cones
In the inlet is a splashing it’s the dollys in a fight
Over who will use that riffel for to spawn their eggs tonight
Up the glade I hear the horse bell indicating all is well
There’s no other life about me in this camp at Lake Odell.
Website: [Web Link]

Historic Event:
The tree and the 1904 carving are important facets of the early history of the Odell Lake area and the Forest Service.

Year: 1904

Species: Fir

Approximate Age: 150

Location: Pebble Bay on Odell Lake

Visit Instructions:
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Volcanoguy visited Cy Bingham Tree at Odell Lake - Oregon 9/6/2013 Volcanoguy visited it