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Hermiston History: Fair starts with an electrical fire

Herald archives, August 8-15

Published on August 7, 2018 6:30PM

Members of the Hermiston High School marching band played in the 1993 Umatilla County Fair parade.

Members of the Hermiston High School marching band played in the 1993 Umatilla County Fair parade.

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Beth Sullivan of Hermiston showed her heifer, Christy, in the 1993 Umatilla County Fair.

Beth Sullivan of Hermiston showed her heifer, Christy, in the 1993 Umatilla County Fair.

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August 10, 1993

The Umatilla County Fair got off to a surprising start Monday night when firefighters responded to an electrical fire in a storage building at the fairgrounds.

“We’re really lucky we got there when we did,” Hermiston Fire Chief Jim Stearns said.

“That old building — it’s dry, it’s wood — I’m not surprised it happened,” he added.

Power lines had made contact with metal flashing on the roof, causing several hot spots.

“Everywhere you had a nail, you had a fire,” Stearns said.

Firefighters had to wait for power to the building to be disconnected before taking on any but the largest of flare-ups. The fire was out in about two hours. The building has served many functions over the years, most notably as a plant that processed artemisia for veterinary purposes. It is now used primarily for storage and contains a small welding shop.


August 8, 1968

The Oregon City Syncro-Ettes, a group of synchronized swimmers, will give a free demonstration of their swimming stunts and costumed routines Saturday, August 10, at 9 a.m. at the Hermiston High School outdoor pool. The Syncro-Ettes, under the experienced direction of Mrs. Marna Moore, will be enroute to Spokane where they will compete in the invitational AAU synchronized swimming meet August 10-11. These girls have just returned from competing in California and previously they have entered northwest and Canadian meets where they have won many points. In their presentation here, they will show basics such as sculling head first and feet first, and the three required stunts for competition: the Kip, the Dolphin and the Somer-Sub. Then they will perform a series of stunts of gradually increasing degrees of difficulty from the Tub up to the Dolpholina, including the popular Porpoise and Catalina. The second half of the program will be in costume during which the girls will perform their competitive routines to music in the pool. The program will be finished in time for the audience to walk over to the nearby route of the Umatilla County Fair Parade.


August 12, 1943

Walter Earl Cebula, soldier at Pendleton field, is in custody of military authorities awaiting trial after his arrest in Hermiston Sunday night by Chief of Police B. J. Nation on a charge of attempted rape. After Cebula was lodged in the local jail he requested a glass of water. A short time later Nation discovered that the youth had attempted suicide but failed. A statement given by the girl said that the soldier walked with her to the home of a friend. The two found no one at home. The girl reported that the soldier then attacked her, but that she fought off his advances. Screams heard by passersby brought aid, but the soldier fled. He was captured later and brought to the local jail. The incident stirred up quite a bit of ill feeling about town and for a time it looked as though the jail would be stormed by an angry crowd. However, peace was restored when army officials came for the youth.


August 10, 1918

The 1918 Pendleton Round-Up will be held next month, the war notwithstanding. The directors at a recent meeting decided, after consulting with representatives of the government, that the necessities of war were not such as to deprive the people of the pleasures and inspiration growing out of the big epic drama of the west, and they decided, too, that every cent of the profits from the show will be turned over to the Umatilla county chapter of the American Red Cross. The directors of the chapter at their monthly meeting ratified the proposal and arranged for an auditing committee to check up on the reports after the show. The dates of the Round-up have been fixed as Sept. 19, 20 and 21, and the directors will start this week signing up stars and making other preparations for the show.


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