Butte Falls in Jackson County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Douglas C. Ingram Memorial Tree
A range examiner and expert botanist, Mr. Ingram provided a basis for management policies through his intensive study of these lands in 1925 and 1926.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Disasters. A significant historical date for this entry is August 1, 1929.
Location. 42° 30.033′ N, 122° 24.087′ W. Marker is in Butte Falls, Oregon, in Jackson County. Marker is on Park Meadows Rd. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Butte Falls OR 97522, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Whiskey Spring and Mt. McLoughlin (approx. 1.2 miles away); Butte Springs Watershed (approx. 2.9 miles away); Cat Hill (approx. 4.4 miles away).
More about this marker. This marker survives but unfortunately, the tree does not. It died a number of years ago. This marker also exists on a topography map. To get to this tree you'll need to park just off Park Meadows Rd across the road from Fourbit Ford Campground and walk a short distance east. You approach a metal fence that you'll need to cross over (it's smooth, not barb-wired). The brown wooden marker stands out from a distance in a small open area and is easy to see. My posted coordinates should place you very close to this tree.
Regarding Douglas C. Ingram Memorial Tree. Article from the Mail Tribune provides more history on Doug Ingram and reads: Fires run uphill,
Doug Ingram and Ernanie St. Luise knew they were in trouble.
This wasn’t a ground fire that took its time eating through the forest. The Camas Creek fire that raged in the Chelan National Forest in Eastern Washington in 1929 was a crown fire, a hot wave of flame riding the tops of trees faster than a champion racehorse.
A few days before, Ingram had calmly saved a dozen panicky men from this same inferno by telling them not to run and leading them to a clearing where they laid flat until the fire passed over.
Now, Ingram’s only hope was to flank the blaze and get behind it. But a quick walk along the ridgeline turned into a run when the flames did something unexpected. Instead of climbing the hill, the fire raced in a straight line, parallel to the men’s escape route.
Then, with a mind of its own, the fire scrambled uphill on a freak gale-force wind. Like a runaway freight train, the hot flames roared over treetops toward the men.
They saw it coming. They ran to an open slope where there was little to burn and laid down, faces pressed against the earth.
It lingered over them for a moment, burned their clothes, blackened their skin and left them dead. Their bodies were found nearly two weeks later.
Ingram emigrated from Scotland
He began his career with the Forest Service at a time when ranger districts hadn’t been defined in Oregon’s Cascade Range. His first assignment was to post sheep and cattle grazing allotments within the forest.
He progressed through the ranks and in 1918 was appointed Northwest regional range examiner, tasked with scientifically studying the forestlands and livestock range of the Pacific Northwest.
Not long before he died, Ingram came across a ponderosa pine sapling along Fourbit Creek, a few miles east of Butte Falls. Admiring its strength and form, he marked the tree and recommended it never be logged.
After Ingram’s death, the Forest Service placed a barrier around the pine and dedicated it as the Douglas C. Ingram Memorial Tree. For more than 70 years it grew, reaching nearly 40 feet in height before it died.
“It was overtopped,” said former Forest Service historian Jeff LaLande. “It was suppressed. Too many thirsty and aggressive Douglas firs were left after fire suppression in the area.”
Ingram is remembered as one of the best field naturalists in the Pacific
In the words of a colleague, ranger G.C. Blake, “He became a very able man and he did great work for the Forest Service.”
Credits. This page was last revised on January 19, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 16, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 178 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 16, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.