History presentation Feb 27

Early electric power would light a few bulbs for a few hours each evening in the homes of The Dalles. Power came from this wood-fired steam plant at the corner of First and Laughlin Streets. 

“Electric Power in Wasco County, Past and Current” is the topic of the fourth program of the Original Wasco County Courthouse 2021 Regional History Forum. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, programs are taking place on Zoom and not at the historic 1859 Courthouse.

Access is free at OWCCZoomLink.info. Those needing help getting Zoom on a computer or cell phone may leave a message at 541-296-4798. There is a limit of 100 participants. Zoom will be available at 1 p.m. and the presentation starts promptly at 1:30 p.m.

Rodger Nichols will present the final program in the 2021 series. He is a veteran news personality with a long background in local print and broadcast media. He pioneered the “History Mystery” feature in The Dalles Chronicle, hosted interviews and news reports for Gorge Country Radio, and most recently has taken up writing articles for the Ruralite.

Work with Northern Wasco County People’s Utility District led to Nichol’s program this Saturday. He said that he hopes those who tune in the program “will get a charge out of an enlightening presentation on watts been happening in the 120-year history of electricity in Wasco County,” which may “have the potential to spark a battery of questions.”

The program will cover the arrival of hydro-power from White River, the big dams, the fight for a P.U.D., rural electrification, and the grid that carries locally-generated power all the way to southern California.

Saturday’s online presentation is free, but donations to the Original Courthouse are gladly accepted.