By Cory Edmondson
ROCKY POINT, Ore. — At the Highway 140-Westside Road junction, an important building is now recognized as historically significant.
The Pelican Guard Station was constructed in the early 1930s by Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps. On Saturday, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to recognize the recent renovations to the 80-year-old building.
In attendance was the McFarland family. John, or as some of his Forest Service friends call him, Mac, reflected on his former address. From 1960 to 1965, his family lived in the small building. Those six years could be considered a “short time” in Mac’s impressive Forest Service career. In 2009, Mac retired from the service. He was a Forest Service employee for 50 years – he had that exact amount of time in his tenure.
For the rest of the family, the ceremony was like visiting their childhood home. When Smoky Bear made an appearance, the family reunion became official. The family photo included Smokey, three generations of the McFarland family, and in the background was their former home: the Pelican Guard Station. Just as the family admired the property about 40 years prior, they still appreciated the breathtaking scenery.
In front of the Forest Service Pelican Guard Information Center and a small group of attendees, the McFarlands shared stories about living at the station. Rarely, they mentioned it as the Pelican Guard Station. Most of the time, they referred to it as their home. After some stories, even current Forest Service employees were impressed with Mac’s knowledge of the land. Many of the audience responses were laughs and smiles. Mac was a brilliant storyteller.
At the storytelling session, a humble Mac had the honor of cutting the ribbon. The gesture was a surprise to Mac and his family. Once the ribbon was cut, the barbecue was ready to serve hamburgers and hot dogs plus a special cake baked and designed for the Pelican Guard Station.
The McFarland home was now part of Nation Forest Service and Klamath Basin history.