If this is week three of the Crazy 8s Author Tour, then the next stop for Blue Thread must be Redmond, Oregon. That’s the Redmond that was first settled by homesteaders Frank and Josephine Redmond, as opposed to Redmond, Washington, which got its name from homesteader Luke McRedmond.
Back in the Blue Thread era (the Portland 1912 part), Redmond was just getting started. A private irrigation company had platted the town (with plots of land and a canal system) in 1906 or so, and electrification came to the area in 1910. With water and power, farmers flocked to Redmond. The 1910 census showed a population of 216!
Now Redmond has a population of about 26,000. There’s still farming in the area, although tourism is now an important industry. What hasn’t changed significantly over the years–that would be thousands of years–are the caves and lava tubes that formed during volcanic eruptions. Estimates are that the Horse Lava Tube System around Redmond is 80,000 years old.
Did the men of Redmond vote for woman suffrage in 1912? Good question. If you know the answer, please let me know. Redmond is part of Deschutes County now, but Deschutes County was created from a chunk of Crook County in 1916. Suffrage carried Crook County by a close margin (1,062 for and 973 against), so I’d like to think that the men of Redmond did their part to give women the right to vote. And, after eight crazy authors do their thing this Friday evening at 6:30 at Paulina Springs Books, I’d like to check out those lava tubes.