zane grey 7
1 of 13
Slideshow-prev-disabled Slideshow-next

Famous western author Zane Grey shoots the Rogue River Rapids at Lower Black Bar during a 1925 fishing excursion. He later memorialized the Oregon wilderness in his novel Rogue River Feud.

zane grey 6
2 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

"It was a river at its birth; and it glided away through the Oregon forest, with hurrying momentum, as if eager to begin the long leap down through the Siskiyous. The giant firs shaded it; the deer drank from it; the little black-backed trout rose greedily to floating floes." —from Rogue River Feud

Pictured: Zane Grey’s party makes camp along the banks of the Rogue.

Zane Grey 14
3 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

"… the sight of this long deep boat, sharp fore and aft, with its beautiful lines and its strong frame, brought that old forgotten joy surging back."

Zane Grey rowing one of the three dories that he had made for his 1925 trip down the lower Rogue.

Zane Grey dustjackets
4 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

A collection of book covers from the westerns that made Zane Grey famous, including Riders of the Purple Sage (lower right) and The Lone Star Ranger (right)

zane grey 11
5 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

"They had to portage their cargo around the fall, over tremendous stones between which deep ruts yawned."

Pictured: The expedition with a swamped dory

Zane Grey 13
6 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

"And lastly the skiff had to be dragged, and hauled, and skidded over the bar ledges to the channel below."

In 1925, the Rogue River had not yet been opened up by blasting. The excursion’s dories were portaged up and over huge boulders, said Lisa Brennan, the archaeologist for the Medford District Bureau of Land Management.

zane grey- 15
7 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

“Swifter current caught them; the banks blurred; the stern of the skiff rocked and dipped; then they shot down to smash into the curling backlash. They bounced high between spread sheets of water and went over straight as a die into the long buffeting incline."

Pictured: Zane Grey at the oars

zane grey split
8 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Although Zane Grey is pictured here (twice) with salmon, and although he was an accomplished fisherman, according to family lore he never actually caught a fish on the Rogue, says his great-grandson Eric Grey.

zane grey 16
9 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

“He had a leathery, weather-beaten face, homely and hard, unshaven and dirty, yet despite these features and the unmistakable imprint of the bottle, somehow far from revolting. Perhaps that was due to the large, wide-open, questioning blue eyes."

—describing Garry Lord, a river man

Pictured: Zane Grey poses with a local miner.

zane grey 3
10 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

“It raced and eddied by turns; it tarried under the high golden meadows that shone like jewels on the black mountain slopes; it glided on in glancing ripples around Winkle bar, gentle and reluctant and sweetly vagrant…"

Soon after the fishing expedition, Zane Grey purchased Winkle Bar, on the banks of the Rogue, from a local miner.

Zane Grey 11
11 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

In September 1926, Zane Grey built a rustic cabin on the site with the help of local river guide Claude Bardon. It took the men three months to build the one-room log cabin, using timber from the property. “Zane Grey’s cabin was built the same way that old miners had built their cabins for hundreds of years,” said Ms. Brennan, the BLM archaeologist.

Pictured: Zane Grey (left) and family at the Winkle Bar cabin

zane grey- cabin
12 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next

Zane Grey’s rustic cabin at Winkle Bar is still standing today. The site is about half a day’s hike and nearly a day’s float from the put-in at Grave Creek, and visitors are welcome.

zane grey-river2
13 of 13
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next-disabled

"And the river glided on in an endless solitude, its eternal song, low and musical, near at hand, droning sweet melody from the rapid at the bend, and filling the distant drowsy aire with its soft thunder."

Read more about the Rogue River.

zane grey 7
zane grey 6
Zane Grey 14
Zane Grey dustjackets
zane grey 11
Zane Grey 13
Slideshow-next
zane grey- 15
zane grey split
zane grey 16
zane grey 3
Zane Grey 11
zane grey- cabin
Slideshow-prev Slideshow-next
zane grey-river2
Slideshow-prev
More Slide shows

Please help us keep this community civil. We retain the right to remove or edit comments containing personal attacks or excessive profanity, and comments unrelated to the editorial content. Consult our Terms of Use for more details.