Dean Hollinshead, a friend of the Vandevert family, got a job in 1917 floating lumber down the Little Deschutes from above La Pine down to Benham Falls. He and two other men connected forty two rafts of lumber together with 2 x 12’s and struggled with sandbars and the twists and turns of the river. They stuck a pole through a hole in the last raft so the last man could drag the pole along the bottom of the river to slow down the last raft and keep the flotilla from bunching up. The trips got easier and easier until one day they found Claude Vandevert (W.P. Vandevert’s son) and two of his brothers standing on the footbridge looking rather stern. Some other rafters had gotten out of the river and trampled down the Vandevert’s hay. Claude and his brothers wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again. The rafters did a perfect job of guiding the lumber through the bridge until it was time to pull up the braking pole. The pole wouldn’t come. The top of the pole then jammed on the bridge. The pull of the current on the rafts overturned the entire bridge. Claude made a dive into the river that he and Dean talked about for years.

Fourth of July

The fourth of July was a big deal at the ranch, celebrated with a big picnic at the edge of the timber on the west side of the river. Picnics were always capped by homemade vanilla ice cream using ice from the nearby ice house.





“The one car garage…was the workshop for almost everything. Dad had workbenches around two sides of the garage where he had a large vise and a small vise. He built shelves into the walls for all the miscellaneous tools and hardware that he used every day. There was also a grinder to sharpen instruments of all kinds. A foot pedal ran it, and you had to let water flow over it as you sharpened tools. He had every size hammer, saw, bits, and other tools that you can think of. Somehow, what he needed was usually right there when something broke down. In later years, he tore it down and, in its place, built the home that now stands as the guest house.” (from “Home on the Vandevert Ranch” by Gracie Vandevert McNellis, page 28. Used by permission.)  The photograph shows the garage on the right and the Homestead on the left.






Front Gate

“At the entrance to the ranch there was a big gate that had to open and shut each time we came through. Of course, this was to keep the cattle and horses and whatever other livestock we had from going out of the property. They did get away once in a while, but a neighbor would call us and we would go get them.” (from “Home on the Vandevert Ranch” by Gracie Vandevert McNellis, page 36. Used by permission.)

Grave of Kathryn Vandevert

Kathryn Grace Vandevert was the sixth child of W.P and Sadie Vandevert. She was born in 1890 in Spring Valley, New York but grew up on the ranch. The diaries and letters she wrote show how much living on the ranch meant to her and how much she enjoyed it. She died in the worldwide influenza epidemic of 1918 and is buried on the ranch that she loved.

Return to Ranch Map circa 1935

Continue to Points of Interest Page 3

Note: Black and white photographs are the property of Grace Vandevert McNellis and are used by permission.
Text quoted from her book is copyright 1999 by Grace McNellis. All other copy and art is copyright 2005-2010 by T. Haynes & G.V. McNellis. Neither the The Vandevert Ranch Association nor its members guarantees the accuracy or completeness of information or representations on this Web Site.  Buyers should obtain definitive information from their real estate agent.